Based in New York and with clientele throughout the United States, Susan Kleckner is an independent appraiser, consultant and scholar in the area of American folk art, decorative arts and furniture. Prior to launching her own consulting and appraisal business in 2002, Kleckner worked for 10 years as a specialist in American furniture, folk art and decorative arts for Christie's, eventually becoming head of the American Folk Art department. Susan Kleckner was the principal specialist supervising Christie's five landmark American folk art sales, the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. George W. Scott, Jr. (June 1994), Pennsylvania German folk art and decorative arts from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Flanders Smith (June 1995), Pennsylvania German folk art and decorative arts from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Flack (September 1997), the John Gordon Collection of folk Americana (January 1999), American folk art from the Collection of Kendra and Allan Daniel (January 2001).
She also researched and wrote the catalogue "George Washington: The First Presidential Portrait" (January 2001), a 2-inch portrait miniature of George Washington completed in 1789 that set a world record for any portrait miniature at auction when it sold for $1.1 million.
In addition to her work for some of the leading institutions in the United States, Kleckner has been a scholar of American decorative arts for 17 years. Her educational credentials provide her with an exceptional perspective on the cultural and qualitative value of American antiques. She completed her undergraduate work in 1988 at Yale College with her thesis on American folk portraiture, and her graduate work in 1990 at the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture. At Winterthur, her master's thesis focused on the landscape, interior and exterior development of the historic house, Strawberry Hill. Before her decade with Christie's, Kleckner worked at the Mabel Brady Garvan Collection of Yale University Art Gallery, the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Maryland Historical Society. She is a member of the Society of Winterthur Fellows and an alumna of The Attingham Summer Program and has lectured extensively on the subject of American folk art.