The appearance and construction of any piece of furniture is influenced by the taste, creativity, and training of the people who make and purchase it, and the materials that are available to them. This was just as true in the Colonial and early National periods as it is today. Highlighting pieces from three regions—Eastern Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New England—this exhibition examines the range of furniture styles, designs, and forms found from Virginia to Vermont in the 17th through early-19th centuries.
Variations in the cultural and religious backgrounds of the inhabitants as well as trade settlement patterns and local economies influenced the people and their furniture. The regional variations in American furniture created by the diversity of the people, their environments, and their experiences helps scholars today identify where pieces were made.
On view in the Elizabeth Ridgely and Miodrag Blagojevich Gallery
You may be surprised that many of today's home furnishings are deeply tied to those of the past. Take an in-depth guided tour of 18th- and early 19th-century furniture. You'll see rare baroque, rococo, and neo-classical tables, chairs, chests, and desks that set the fashions we continue to enjoy today.