American furniture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. II ; by Morrison H Heckscher; Mary-Alice Rogers

By Morrison H Heckscher; Mary-Alice Rogers

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XII). 7), seat, 17% (45. 6). WOODS: Primary: walnut. Secondary: cherry (slip-seat frame). REFER ENCES: Myers, fig. 4. Dow ns 1948, p. 81. Bequest of Charlotte E. Ho adley, 1946 3. Side Chair New England, 1730-90 N UMB ER VI I IN ITS SET, this is one of a large number of New England Queen Anne side chairs of simila r design. Its splat is narrower than those at cat. no. 2, examples o f the same genre. , Kirk 1982, fig. 786 ), is not known on a ny other pi ece of American furniture. It ma y have been sa lvaged fro m a n English chair and inserted here during the eighteenth century.

It is a line of collecting which has hitherto been wholly neglected, to my great surprise, by our large museums, although among the people of New England and their descendants throughout the United States, I think there is hardly any kind of collection which appeals so directly to their hearts or gives them so much simple reminiscent pleasure. The next year, in the June issue of the Bulletin, Kent wrote of the purchase: With [a few] exceptions, no activity has as yet been displayed by our public museums in the conservation and exhibition in a dignified and discriminating manner-such as would be displayed in the treatment of the art of any other country---of the art of our own land.

From a descendant of the original owner the Museum purchased in 1927 three supreme examples of Newport cabinetwork, each bearing the label of John Townsend (cat. nos. 100, 139, 192). Their mellow, undisturbed surfaces attest to continuous tenure in one New England family. Forty years later, again directly from a New England family, the Museum purchased another magnificent and wonderfully preserved piece of Newport furniture: a card table attributable to John Goddard (cat. no. 99). In [930, George Coe Graves presented to the Museum his large and varied collection of American and English decorative art.

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