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Very Rich and Handsome: American Neo-Classical Decorative Arts

Elizabeth Feld, Managing Director, Hirschl and AdlerGalleries, New York City

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Such words apply to the finest American furniture made in the various cabinetmaking centers of the United States—Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore—during the first decades of the nineteenth century. The best American cabinetmakers produced a stunning array of furniture: some ornamented with figures of winged ladies, lions, dolphins, or eagles; some carved, gilded, and painted verde antique; some with French fire-gilded or English gilt-brass mounts; and all made from the finest exotic wood veneers. These cabinetmakers continued the great tradition of American design and craftsmanship that had been firmly established in the eighteenth century.

This lecture will examine the aesthetics associated with each of these cabinetmaking centers during the period 1810–1840 and the rich and handsome contributions that they made to the canon of Neo-Classicism in America. 

Photos courtesy of the Hirschl and Adler Galleries.

Earlier Event: April 3
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Later Event: June 5
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