To celebrate Black History Month, we would like to recognize Leroy Graves’ historic career and profound impact on the upholstery trade. Last year, the NUA hosted a CWC pre-trip to The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, where our members got an exclusive look at Leroy’s meticulous work on display. Inventor of the “Graves Method,” this non-destructive approach to upholstery preserves the delicate wooden frames of the furniture Leroy works on. It has been adapted and used by conservators around the world.
Leroy’s story from humble beginnings to world-renowned upholstery conservator and author serves as an inspiration to upholsterers everywhere. His book, Early Seating Upholstery : Reading the Evidence, can be purchased via the link, and The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s website has more information on his work, Upholstery CSI: Reading the Evidence.
Please visit the links below to learn about Leroy and his incredible contributions to the trade.
The legend of Leroy Graves: From fields to fame in furniture—ABC News
"Upholstery CSI": Preserving antique furniture at Colonial Williamsburg—CBS News
LEROY GRAVES SHARES 50 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN UPHOLSTERY CONSERVATION—The Decorative Arts Trust
Unmasking the secrets of 1700s upholstery in Colonial Williamsburg—Daily Press
For Leroy Graves, Upholstery Means Detective Work—New York Times