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Subject: A death

A death

From: Thor Minnick <minnickassociates<-at->
Date: Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Mervin B. Martin

On January 19, 2009, I received a call from Joy Martin informing me
that her husband Mervin, had passed away.

Mervin will be mostly known to furniture people.  He was a friend
and mentor and will be missed.

Anyone wishing to send condolences to Joy may do so to the following

    Mrs. Joy Martin
    819 Grandview Drive
    Ephrata PA 17522

Condolences may also be sent through the funeral home's web site but
Joy does not use a computer.

The following is posted at the Stradling Funeral Home website
<URL:> and reproduced with permission.

   "Mervin B. Martin, one of the premier conservators of American
    antique furniture, passed away into eternal life on January 18,
    2009. He was 76. Over a career spanning nearly 60 years, Martin
    conserved some of America's finest and most important historical
    furniture treasures for major museums throughout the country,
    including an eleven year career at the Winterthur Museum in
    Wilmington, Delaware.

    Martin's reputation caused him to be sought out by major museums
    and private collectors throughout the country. Over the course
    of three decades following his Winterthur work, he restored and
    conserved antiques for the White House, the Philadelphia Museum
    of Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the St. Louis Art Museum,
    the Iolani Palace in Honolulu, as well as for numerous private

    Martin was an adjunct professor at the University of Delaware
    and lectured at the Intermuseum Laboratory at Oberlin College,
    at Oxford University, England, and the Australian Institute for
    the Conservation of Cultural Material. He was an Associate of
    the International Institute of Conservation and a Fellow of the
    American Institute for Conservation.

    In a newspaper interview at the height of his career, Martin
    said: "I grew up in the work. My father was a cabinet maker for
    65 years in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I started helping him when
    I was 12 - there is no other way to learn the business." Martin
    left his father's shop at 18 to join New Holland Architectural
    Mill doing fine woodworking, especially pews, pulpit carving and
    church interiors. Some years later a superintendent who had
    built the south wing of Henry Francis duPont's Winterthur estate
    lured Martin as an assistant cabinetmaker. Martin stayed for 11
    years, rising to the position Furniture Conservator before
    leaving in 1979 to found his firm, Furniture Conservation
    Associates, in Downingtown. Later he moved his shop to
    Coatesville and most recently he practiced in Ephrata,

    Joyce Hill Stoner, his colleague at Winterthur, said of him: "He
    was one of the kindest people and naturally talented
    conservators I have known.He had a natural intuition about wood
    and exactly how it would react to his deft chisel." When Martin
    left Winterthur, she entertained his farewell party by composing
    new words to "Nobody Does It Better" to salute what she called
    "his superb facility with wood."

    He lectured and taught extensively at universities and museums
    around the country. When Martin lectured at the Detroit
    Institute of Arts in 1981 during the renovation of the American
    Wing, the Institute called him "the foremost conservator in the
    country for the restoration of American furniture."

    He traveled to Hawaii to restore the king's furniture in the
    Iolani Palace in the 1980s. In a story in the Honolulu
    Star-Bulletin, Iolani Palace Curator Henry J. Bartels said of
    Martin: "He is our status symbol. Visiting museum people are
    terribly impressed that we (have) him here."

    Mr. Martin restored a rare Philadelphia marble-top pier table
    that Andrew Jackson had bought for the White House. Betty
    Monkman, former White House curator and author of a book on
    White House furniture, reflected: "Mr. Martin's conservation of
    the historic Andrew Jackson era table for the White House led to
    the preservation of a very important piece of the nation's
    history for which we are grateful to him."

    He was born January 31, 1932, near Elkhart, Indiana, and was the
    son of the late William E. and Barbara K. (Brubacker) Martin. He
    is survived by his wife, Joy Roth Martin of 819 Grandview Drive,
    Ephrata. Also surviving are four sisters: Anna McComsey, Mable
    Sensenig and Viola Hartz all of New Holland and Elsie Schupp of
    Lancaster; and brothers Raymond Martin of Jamesburg, NJ and
    David Martin of Honey Brook. Mr. Martin was a member of the
    Reformed Presbyterian Church in Ephrata.

    A viewing will be held from 10 to 11 AM Wednesday, January 21,
    at Stradling Funeral Home, 201 Church Avenue, Ephrata where
    funeral services will be held at 11 AM. Rev. Thomas Nicholas
    will be officiating. Interment will follow in the Eby Cemetery,
    Upper Leacock Township, Pennsylvania.

    If desired, memorial contributions in Mervin's memory may be
    sent to the Reformed Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Locust St.,
    Ephrata, PA 17522. Arrangements by Stradling Funeral Homes,

                  Conservation DistList Instance 22:43
                Distributed: Saturday, January 31, 2009
                       Message Id: cdl-22-43-001
Received on Tuesday, 27 January, 2009

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