Derin Bray is an art & antique dealer who splits his time between Hershey, Pennsylvania and the seaside town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, only an hour north of Boston. He spends most days traveling the country in search of exceptional American folk art, manuscripts, photographs, ephemera and hand-crafted items from the colonial period through the early twentieth century. He does not operate a brick and mortar shop, nor does he exhibit at antique shows. Instead, he buys selectively and sells directly to an extensive network of private collectors and institutions. His services include cataloging, marketing, and selling entire archives. Knowledgeable and well-versed in a wide range of categories, Derin also has a penchant for the unusual and offbeat; his personal collection of early circus, sideshow and tattoo material has been featured in numerous publications and exhibitions.
Derin has been immersed in the field of American art and antiques for more than fifteen years. He previously served as chief specialist of furniture and folk art at a major New England auction house and has worked as an author, curator and research consultant for prominent collectors and institutions, including Winterthur Museum, Old Sturbridge Village, and the Litchfield Historical Society in Connecticut. He also works closely with individuals and museums to authenticate and acquire art and objects, both privately and at auction.
A habitual researcher, Derin actively publishes new scholarship and lectures to collectors' groups, museums and libraries throughout the United States. He is the author of the award-winning Bucket Town: Woodenware & Wooden Toys of Hingham, Massachusetts, 1636-1945 and is co-curator of the accompanying exhibition at Old Sturbridge Village. He is also co-author of To Please Any Taste: The Furniture and Furniture Makers of Litchfield County, 1780-1830 and is a contributing author to the landmark book Harbor & Home: Furniture of Southeastern Massachusetts, 1710-1850. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including The Magazine Antiques and Antiques & Fine Art.
Derin earned a degree in history from Yale, where he worked at the Mable Brady Garvan Furniture Study. He also holds an advanced degree from the Winterthur Program at the University of Delaware. Derin is a member of the Ephemera Society of America, Daguerreian Society, and Circus Historical Society.