Nina Fletcher Little and her husband Bertram K. Little were prominent collectors of American folk art. The couple purchased and restored the 17th-century New England farm of Cogswell’s Grant in Essex County, Massachusetts, in 1937. For Nina Fletcher Little, collecting was also an engrossing intellectual pursuit. She loved "being the old detective,"and she systematically researched the objects she and her husband acquired during their long marriage. She did extensive fieldwork, using the tools of genealogists and local historians to comb through family trees, probate records, account books, diaries, period newspapers, and other primary sources for clues to the provenance of pieces and the working practices of early New England artists and craftsmen. In the early 1930s, she began writing regularly, and eventually became the author of six books, including the popular American Decorative Wall Painting: 1700–1850 (1952), which was reprinted three times, and more than 100 articles and exhibition catalogues.