The speaker bios below are presented in the order of the agenda.
A devoted baseball fan, historian, and vintage card collector, Michael Peich is Emeritus Professor of English at West Chester University (Pennsylvania). The proprietor of Aralia Press, a fine printing imprint that issues contemporary poetry, he co-founded the acclaimed West Chester University Poetry Conference, and established the WCU Poetry Center. He has written about vintage baseball cards, and created a website devoted to early 20c Southern minor league cards: www.t209-contentnea.com.
Matthew Algeo writes about unusual and interesting events in American history. His most recent book is Pedestrianism: When Watching People Walk Was America's Favorite Spectator Sport. Algeo is also a journalist who has reported from four continents for some of the most popular public radio programs in the United States. In addition to reporting and writing, Algeo has held jobs as a convenience store clerk, a gas station attendant, a Halloween costume salesman, and a proofreader. He also worked in a traveling circus (as a hot dog vendor; no acrobatics involved).
Claude Johnson, an author and a historian, is President & Executive Director of the Black Fives Foundation, a public 501(c)3 charity whose mission is to use the pre-1950 history of African-American basketball to engage, teach, and inspire youth, while honoring its pioneers and their descendants. Most recently, Claude was guest curator of “The Black Fives,” a museum exhibition at the New-York Historical Society (March-July 2014). The concourse of the Barclays Center, home of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets, features a permanently-installed compilation, provided by the Black Fives Foundation, of vintage Brooklyn-related African American basketball images. He is the author of “Black Fives: The Alpha Physical Culture Club,” the history of a pioneering early 20th century all-black basketball team, and is working on his second book.
Johnson enjoyed a 20-year corporate career with best-in-class brands including IBM, American Express, NBA Properties, Nike, Phat Farm, and Benetton Sportsystem, gaining extensive experience in sports marketing, sports licensing, and apparel merchandising, before launching Black Fives, Inc., the commercial predecessor to the Foundation. A former regular columnist with the Greenwich (CT) Post, he also has been published in SLAM Magazine, Bounce Magazine, and on BlackFives.org <http://BlackFives.org> . Claude is a former trustee of the Greenwich Public Library, a former candidate for the Connecticut State House of Representatives, a hobby photographer, and a volunteer youth football coach.
Nicholas D. Lowry is President and Principal Auctioneer of Swann Auction Galleries in New York City. He is also the Director of Swann's Vintage Posters Department. Born into a family of antiquarian book dealers, he was raised and educated in New York, and also attended schools in England and Germany. In 1990 he graduated from Cornell University. As one of the world’s foremost authorities on vintage posters, Lowry has spent the last 15 years serving as poster appraiser on the PBS television show Antiques Roadshow, and appears regularly on the program.
Swann Auction Galleries was founded in 1941 as an auction house specializing in Rare Books, and has expanded to include auctions of Prints, Maps, Photographs, Posters, Autographs and more. Lowry is the third generation in this family-owned business and the youngest auction house president in the world. He currently sits on the Board of Trustees of the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, and has served an unprecedented three terms as President of the International Auctioneers Association. In addition, Lowry is actively involved with many worthy causes, and presides over as many as 20 charity auctions a year.
Rebecca Klassen is a research associate in decorative arts at the New-York Historical Society, where for the past year she has been curating rotations of The Games We Played: American Board and Table Games from the Liman Collection Gift. She received her M.A. from the Bard Graduate Center in the history of decorative arts, design, and material culture.
Laura Wasowicz is Curator of Children’s Literature at the American Antiquarian Society. Since 1987, she has worked to acquire, catalog, and provide reference service for the AAS collection of 26,000 American children’s books issued between 1650 and 1899. She has written articles on various aspects of nineteenth-century American children’s book publishing, picture book iconography, and child reading habits. She is also the editor of the Nineteenth-Century American Children’s Book Trade Directory, available on the AAS website (http://www.americanantiquarian.org). She holds a master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Chicago, a master’s degree in History from Clark University, and a bachelor’s degree in History from Rockford College.
Daniel Gifford, Ph.D. is the Manager of Museum Advisory Committees at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, where he works on several national projects. He is a regular contributor to public history programs such as the Smithsonian Associates and the Ultimate History Project, and teaches courses on American popular culture through the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University. His first book American Holiday Postcards 1905-1915: Imagery and Context was published by McFarland Press in 2013. He holds both a Masters and Ph.D. in American history from George Mason University.
Christian Goodwillie is immediate past President of the Communal Studies Association. He is Director and Curator of Special Collections at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. He also serves as Associate Editor of the Richard W. Couper Press. He was Curator of Collections at Hancock Shaker Village from 2001-2009. He has authored, co-authored, or edited eight books and a number of articles on the Shakers and other topics.
Adrian Seville M.A. (Cambridge), PhD (Edinburgh), date of birth 25 October 1940
Adrian Seville is an international expert on the history of printed board games, specialising in research on the cultural history of the Game of the Goose and its many variants throughout Europe from the late 16th C to the present day. This research is supported by his private collection of board games, assembled over many years and now of museum quality.
He studied Physics as an Open Scholar at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, moving on to a PhD at the University of Edinburgh before joining the academic staff of City University, London. In mid-career, he moved into management of the university, serving as Academic Registrar from 1982 to 2001, with the title of Professor of Higher Education Administration. Following early retirement, he has concentrated on the study of printed board games, lecturing on them in Europe and in America, where an exhibition of his collection is being planned for 2016 at the Grolier Club of New York. He has contributed several lectures to the programmes of the School of Advanced Study of the University of London. He has a particular interest in cartographic games and assisted the UK Department for Culture Media and Sport as an independent advisor regarding the export of the King George III cabinet of dissected maps, subsequently purchased by the Art Fund. He has also advised the Bodleian Library (John Johnson Collection), the Rothschild (National Trust) Collection at Waddesdon Manor, and contributed to a study day at the Cluny Museum (Paris).