Jonathan Fairbanks, Vice President of Research at Artfact, Receives Honors

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Jonathan Fairbanks is honored by The Decorative Arts Trust and Fuller Craft Museum. To coincide with these honors, Artfact publishes archive of over 100 of Jonathan Fairbanks' weekly auction newsletter essays, focusing on connoisseurship and collecting.

Jonathan Fairbanks, The Katherine Lane Weems Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture Emeritus, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Vice President of Research at Artfact, was recently honored at The Decorative Arts Trust Spring Symposium at The Winterthur Museum in Delaware. Jonathan was given The Decorative Arts Trust Award for Excellence for Distinctive Contributions in the Field of the Decorative. Bruce Coleman Perkins, who succeeded Jonathan as President of the Trust upon Jonathan's retirement last year, presented the award at a Trust luncheon on April 4, 2009.

On May 17, 2009, Jonathan Fairbanks will be honored by the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA. He, along with furniture artist Sam Maloof, have been selected as 'Luminaries 2009.' 'Luminaries' have greatly influenced and shaped the cultural landscape of the New England region, in particular the craft field. There will be a benefit gala on May 17th to honor both Sam Maloof and Jonathan Fairbanks at Fuller Craft Museum.

Coinciding with these awards, Artfact is pleased to announce that it has created an archive of Jonathan's weekly newsletter essays on Featuring over one hundred of Jonathan's essays, which are a highlight of Artfact's weekly newsletter, the archive is free of charge to the Artfact community. The new print-friendly format, available at, allows Artfact's readers to print these unique essays for their own archive.

As Vice President of Research, Jonathan serves as Artfact's in house authority on the Fine and Decorative Arts. For each newsletter, he selects and reviews upcoming auction lots from Artfact's 140+ premier auction house partners. Jonathan shares his thoughts about the newsletter, "Always there are surprises and treasures in the vast panorama of offerings on Artfact Live!. For me, the weekly newsletter is a learning experience that I love to share with readers. Sometimes the essay is written in direct response to inquiries from readers. At other times the essay reflects a recent or a remote experience. From time to time I offer advice on collection care, methods and materials used by artists and craftsmen, and historical references. It is my hope that these essays are both entertaining and useful to readers. The many responses are a pleasure for me to receive."

Jonathan Leo Fairbanks (b. 1933) is an American artist and expert of American arts and antiques. Fairbanks created the American decorative arts and sculpture department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and served as the department's Curator from 1970-1999.

Fairbanks earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Utah and his Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania through a joint program with the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. He earned a second Masters degree, an M.A. in American Culture, from the University of Delaware in the Winterthur Museum Fellowship Program. He served at the museum as an Associate Curator in charge of conservation for nine years.

Since his departure from the MFA, Fairbanks has served as a Guest Curator for several exhibits, including "Becoming a Nation, Americana from the Diplomatic Reception Rooms, U.S. Department of State," which toured eight cities from April 2003 until January 2005. He was also the Sr. Vice President of, the Editor at Large for the Catalogue of Antiques and Fine Art, and a Research Associate at Boston University. He is on the Board of Directors of the Decorative Arts Trust, of which he was President for 12 years.

Fairbanks has received several awards, including the Victorian Society of America Award for Conservation, The Charles F. Montgomery Award from the Decorative Arts Society, The Urban Glass Award for Exceptional Museum Glass Exhibition, The Ellen Banning Ayer Award for Contributions to Arts and Culture, and the Lifetime Achievement Medal from the Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston. In 2003 the Decorative Arts Trust announced the endowment of The Jonathan L. Fairbanks Lectureship in honor of Fairbanks' achievements. Also in 2003 The Furniture Society bestowed upon Fairbanks the Award of Distinction. In 2006 Fairbanks received the Iris Foundation Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Decorative Arts by the Bard Graduate Center.

About Artfact
Founded in 1989, Artfact is the largest global marketplace of fine and decorative arts, antiques, collectibles, and estate auctions. On January 1, 2009, Arfact launched Artfact Live!, its proprietary live auction bidding platform, enabling users to bid real time on auctions being held around the world by its prestigious auction house partners. Currently, over 1,000 fine auctioneers actively list their catalogues with and its U.K. sister site, reaching the Artfact community of more than 10 million knowledgeable collectors and dealers worldwide. Artfact's two websites, and, now have close to 2 million unique visitors monthly, as verified by Quantcast. Artfact's industry leading database includes more than 50 million complete auction results totaling more than $190 billion in value, including information on more than 500,000 international artists. In 2006, Artfact merged with RFC Systems, the leading provider of enterprise software developed specifically for the fine art and antique auction house industry. RFC helps prestigious auction houses around the world manage their businesses by automating their day-to-day operations.

Editor's Notes

  • Additional background information available.
  • Interviews with Doug Ellinger, VP Marketing,, (617) 219-1082
  • Complimentary media subscriptions to the Artfact database available.

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