Dean Lahikainen, The Carolyn and Peter Lynch Curator of American Decorative Art
Lahikainen has served as Curator of the department of American Decorative Arts since its formation in 1992 at the time of the merger of the Essex Institute and the Peabody Museum of Salem. Previously, he held various positions at the Essex Institute including Director of Museums and Public Programs and Chief Curator, after working at the Museum of American Textile History, Syracuse University Art Collection and the Lexington Historical Society. Most recently Lahikainen curated A Passion for American Art: Selections from the Carolyn and Peter Lynch Collection, which showcased a diverse collection of painting, sculpture, furniture, decorative art and Native American art spanning three centuries. He also curated In Plain Sight: Discovering the Furniture of Nathaniel Gould and Audacious: The Fine Art of Wood from the Montalto Bohlen Collection. He has also directed the restoration of the museum's Gardner-Pingree House; the neoclassical parlor in the Peirce-Nichols House and recently helped oversee the restoration of the Ropes Mansion.
Lahikainen earned an M.A. in American art history from Syracuse University and has studied at Winterthur and the Attingham Summer School in England. He has lectured widely throughout the U.S. and is the author of numerous articles and exhibition catalogues, including articles published in Antiques and American Furniture.