Historic Preservation

Laura C. Keim

Laura C. Keim


Education and Biography

A.B. Art History, Smith College
M.S. Historic Preservation, University of Pennsylvania
M.A. Winterthur Program in Early American Culture, University of Delaware

Laura Keim teaches the History of the American Domestic Interior (HSPV-531). She has also co-taught a history and planning seminar centered on the Germantown neighborhood in northwest Philadelphia, where she has worked for the Historic Germantown consortium of sixteen sites. She has advised theses on diverse topics, from nineteenth-century furniture to twentieth-century plastic laminate.

Laura has served as the Curator for Stenton, a historic site in northwest Philadelphia since 1999. She also worked as Curator for Wyck and the Historic Germantown consortium. She has published articles in The Magazine ANTIQUES, Ceramics in America, and recently completed Stenton: A Visitor’s Guide to the Site History and Collections. Her primary interests include architecture, the decorative arts and material culture of the Atlantic world as well as the history of collecting and understanding the past in England and America. She currently serves on the Board of the American Friends of Attingham.


Work, Projects, and Research

As a historic site curator with an interest in conveying broad historical context and meaning in the present, Laura is well versed in applying historical understanding to the study, care and interpretation of buildings, objects, and landscapes. In 2014 she organized a national conference “James Logan and the Networks of Atlantic Culture and Politics,” in partnership with the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at Penn, the Library Company of Philadelphia, and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. She is currently mounting a re-created “yellow worsted damask” flying tester bed at Stenton as part of the Yellow Lodging Room Restoration.


Fellowships and Awards

  • Program in New England Studies, Historic New England Scholar, June 2013.
  • Pew Center for Arts and Heritage Travel Scholarship, American Association of Museums Conference, Minneapolis, May, 2012.
  • Library Company of Philadelphia, short-term fellowship to research servants and slaves at Stenton, 2009-2010.
  • The Attingham Summer School for the Study of Houses and Collections, Royal Oak Foundation Dowager Duchess of Devonshire Scholar, July 2007.





  • Perrelli, David. “Preserving Stenton.” The Pennsylvania Gazette, 3 Jan. 2018.
  • Keim, Laura C. “Ochre, Old Fustic, and Maple: Stenton’s Yellow Lodging Room Restored.” Antiques and Fine Art, 2017, pp. 112-117.
  •  STENTON: A Visitor’s Guide to the Site, History, and Collections, 2014.
  •  LOGANIA: Stenton Collections Reassembled, 2014. Stenton Room Furnishing Study
  • “Remembering the ‘Olden Time’: John Fanning Watson’s Cultivation of Memory and Relics in Early National Philadelphia,” Faces and Places in  Early America, George W. Boudreau and Margaretta Lovell (eds.) forthcoming
  • “Soane and Strickland in 1824: Pivoting Walls across the Atlantic,” forthcoming.
  • “Preparing an Outstanding Concert: How to Plan and Implement Interpretation,” with Stephen G. Hague, Small Museums Toolkit, AASLH, Stacy Klingler and Cinnamon Catkin-Legutko (eds.) Altamira Press, 2012.
  • “Piece by Piece, Room by Room: Stenton Ceramics Restored,” with Deborah L. Miller, American Ceramics Circle Newsletter, fall 2010.
  • “Indian at Stenton: A Trail Left in Slip on a Redware Bowl,” with David Orr, Ceramics in America, 2008.
  • “Shellwork Shadow-Box Grottoes from Colonial Philadelphia,” Piecework Magazine, March/April 2004, 42-46.
  • Interpretive Plan for Stenton, co-authored with Stephen G. Hague, 2003.
  • “Furnishing Stenton: Quaker Grandeur in Philadelphia,” The Philadelphia Antiques Show Catalog, 2002, 49-80.
  • “Two Philadelphia Shadow-box Grottoes,” The Magazine ANTIQUES, March 2002, 104-107.
  • “Is There Anything Quaker about Southeastern Pennsylvania Children’s Furniture?” “In Books or Works or Healthy Play . . .” A Child’s Place in History. The Chester County Historical Society Antiques Show Catalog, 2001, 20-23.


  • Laura Keim during a Queen Anne Chairs workshop at Stenton. 

  • Laura Keim during a Queen Anne Chairs workshop at Stenton.