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“Great Place if Interested in Decorative Arts”

Frank L. Horton Museum Center
Attraction details
Reviewed May 24, 2012

This is another museum where you go through on a guided tour. I don't remember how many rooms of furniture the museum has but the tour only takes in a small portion of them since seeing all would be a mult-day endeavor. Since the tour is small it is possible to get very close to the furniture or other objects. Most of the rooms we were in had good lighting but one room has not been updated with better lighting. My husband is very interested in antique furniture so this was a great place for him. I enjoyed it as well. I would recommend this to anyone visiting Old Salem.

Thank FrontierLake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"decorative arts"
in 10 reviews
"guided tour"
in 9 reviews
"interesting collection"
in 2 reviews
"period furniture"
in 2 reviews
"old salem"
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35 - 39 of 47 reviews

Reviewed April 8, 2012

Docents knowledgeable, museum very professionally done; a longer tour is available and we will come back for the extended version. Shows accurate depictions of "wealthy" planters' homes and furniture as well as back country decor/architecture.

Thank vickywv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2012

We have not been there for about four years. Took out of town visitors there, telling them how great MESDA was, the 23 rooms that were replicas of many southern homes, recreated in the museum. We arrived, paid $ 10 each, and were taken on a tour, which usually requires reservations-and the tour lasted about 45 minutes. After walking into a couple of rooms, it was apparent that the entire museum of MESDA had changed completely. The tour guide kept telling us about the furniture, then adding "I think", or "I haven't been in the room for awhile so I forgot", and each room-about eight, were just rooms, with antique furniture in them. One had pottery, some silver, and a couple of rifles....Absolutely nothing like we remember and enjoyed at MESDA in times past when we have taken numerous guests there. The price is the same-$ 10.00, however the experience is ZERO. AFTER the tour, we were told that the tour had been completely changed about two years ago, and that guest thought the tour was too long so they shortened it and just placed some of the furniture in a few rooms. A real ripoff-and it is no wonder that traffic is must less at Old Salem than it was in past years. The price for a "full tour" is $ 20 in addition to the Old Salem ticket allowing you to enter just TWO places. We will never go back to Old Salem and of course, never take guest there again-$ 40. for four guests to see some antique furniture that can be seen in an antique store for nothing!

1  Thank mongooseadvancenc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2012

I've already described my experience here in my review of Old Salem. This museum is part of Old Salem, and the admission to Old Salem allows you to tour the museum as well as go inside many of the old Moravian buildings in Old Salem. You can only visit the museum on a tour, and that I didn't like, as I prefer to be able to linger over things that interest me, and move about at my own pace. But I suppose the collection is so valuable, and so accessible (the furniture and decorative arts are displayed in actual room settings) that they don't think it wise to let people do it on their own (and they probably don't have the funds to hire lots of guards). If you are just normally interested in Southern architecture (some of the rooms have authentic architecture, real walls, real floors, etc. from an old house) and furniture, the 45-minute or so tour should suit you just fine. But as a real Southern furniture buff, I was dismayed that I got to see only a small percentage of the museum. You have to pay extra and book in advance tours that take you to more rooms in the museum, but I didn't have the time to do that. Also, I was there during a busy week, and they didn't even know if they could offer me an extended tour the next day.

1  Thank fieldsold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 2, 2012

The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, or MESDA located in historic old salem is simply put the finest collection of southern colonial and early American decorative arts in the world. The suseum is a series of rooms decorated with a displaying the collection of works, the collection is on view through a guided tour only so be sure to call ahead and reserve your spot on the tour. My tour ended up being a private tour as there were no others asking of a tour that afternoon. It was great, my guide took an extra hour to show me in more detail many of the objects that were interesting to me as well as a bunch of her personal favorites that I most likely would have not noticed. Take the time to enjoy the tour, and then allow plenty of time to walk the grounds of Old Salem, which are lovely as well.

Thank colonialbob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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