KEMP CARAWAY'S CHILDHOOD HOME wasn’t filled with treasured items
from past generations.
got rid of things instead of saving them,” she says.
Caraway’s Denton home contains 19th-century furniture, early 20th-century
pottery and other treasures befitting an expert on antiques and
(’88 M.S., ’95 Ph.D.) is the founder and executive director of the
Texas Institute of Antiques & Collectibles. Offering nine classes
toward a certificate in antiques and collectibles, the Texas Institute
is one of only five such institutes in the nation. Caraway also
teaches a course for UNT’s Center for Continuing Education and Conference
Management. The author of Tips, Tools & Techniques for Caring for
Your Antiques & Collectibles, she writes a weekly column for the
Denton Record- Chronicle. Caraway also offers estate appraisal and
liquidation services. She was even an appraiser for Antiques Roadshow
accomplishments for a former banking executive whose interest in
antiques came with marriage, and who educated herself about that
my husband, had a house full of antiques and reproductions,” she
says. “He had Chippendale chairs, and I had beanbags. I knew nothing
about antiques. I read every book I could find.”
business to history
of Burgettstown, Pa., Caraway attended business school in Pittsburgh
after high school. While working at a bank in Dallas, she completed
a bachelor’s degree in management at Louisiana State University
through a program for female banking executives. She decided to
earn an M.B.A. from UNT. A European vacation changed that plan,
in love with history,” Caraway says.
the bank and enrolled in UNT’s interdisciplinary master’s program
in Texas studies. She received her master’s degree in 1988. She
then earned a doctor of philosophy degree in higher education administration.
student, Caraway began her antiques career by operating a store
and a booth in an antiques mall. In 1992, she met Beth Stribling,
an assistant with UNT’s minicourse program, and agreed to teach
an “Introduction to Antiques” course.
Caraway responded to students’ desire for more classes by opening
the Texas Institute of Antiques & Collectibles, which has had more
than 700 students.
in the Texas Institute is to make the courses affordable to many
people, and to make them fun. That’s why I teach in my home,” Caraway
students may view Caraway’s own collections of beaded purses, thimbles
and sewing instruments, costume jewelry, and art pottery. Her favorite
collection is pottery made during the early 1900s by students at
the College of Industrial Arts, now Texas Woman’s University.
they produced is as beautiful as well-known art pottery,” Caraway
Caraway was recruited for the Dallas stop of Antiques Roadshow,
now in its fourth season on PBS. In the series, specialists from
leading auction houses and independent appraisers and dealers offer
free, public appraisals of antiques and collectibles. Caraway examined
20th-century collectibles with two familiar faces to Roadshow viewers
— Rudy Franchi of Boston’s The Nostalgia Factory and Kathleen Guzman
of Phillips Auction House in New York City.
Caraway has balanced her antiques career with her duties as director
of the Denton County Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum. Her UNT degrees
have proven vital for that job.
focuses on Texas and Denton County history. In my master’s program,
I read hundreds of books about Texas and took numerous Texas history
courses,” she says. “And the research, supervisory and organization
skills I learned in the doctoral program are very important for
works long hours at the museum, Caraway doesn’t plan to cut down
on her antiques courses.
was a little girl, I wanted to be a teacher, and now I’m finally
doing that,” she says. “I’ve kept in touch with students. I get
a lot more out of teaching in terms of relationships and sharing
what I love than I do in terms of money. If I was doing this only
for the money, I wouldn’t be doing it."