American vernacular rococo

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

from The Magazine ANTIQUES, May/June 2013 | About 1736 John Lewis (1678-1762) of Ulster, County Donegal, Ireland, killed his impetuous young landlord, “cleaving in twain his skull,” and then fled to Philadelphia in the American colonies. The following year his wife Margaret Lynn Lewis (1693-1773) and their four sons joined him. Informed that he was still a wanted man, Lewis …

Beyond moonlight and magnolias

Editorial Staff Art

from The Magazine ANTIQUES, September/October 2012 | “When I met Frank Horton and saw the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in 1976, I put down the Confederate flag and picked up a chair leg. How much better to see the South through its art, to understand its identity through its achievements rather than through the sacrifice of war. Here …

The discovery of William Black

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

from The Magazine ANTIQUES, July/August 2012 | When the late southern decorative arts expert and author John Bivins Jr. published his 1968 book on early North Carolina firearms, he noted that, “among surviving implements…of early America and the South, few art forms have stirred the imagination more than the American longrifle.”1 Created by craftsmen working in rural communities, long rifles …

Miniature discoveries

Editorial Staff Art

from The Magazine ANTIQUES, January/February 2012 | The recent appearance of two portrait miniatures leads to new information about back­country South Carolina artist Isaac Brownfield Alexander. Last year Elle Shushan, a leading expert on portrait miniatures, alerted curators at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) about the pending sale of a rare work by a southern artist-a delightful …

Servitude and Splendor: The craftsmen and carved furniture of the Rappahannock River valley, 1740 to 1780

Editorial Staff

May 2008 | By 1740 a colonial elite of well-to-do merchants and landowning planters had emerged in Virginia. With riches from tobacco production supplemented by investments in the profitable iron industry, they were fully prepared to engage artisans and to  commission houses and furniture in the latest European styles that would express and solidify their economic status. This trend was …

Growing Interests: Expanding the collections at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum

jbitenc Art, Furniture & Decorative Arts

In 1926 John D. Rockefeller Jr. formally embarked on the project that would become the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation by purchasing Philip Ludwell’s house of about 1775 on Duke of Gloucester Street. That acquisition, the first “antique” in Colonial Williamsburg’s collection, came to play a pivotal role in the founding of what would eventually be the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.

A charmed life

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts, Living with Antiques

English inspiration, American creativity, and a bit of historical luck are joined in the author’s house and gardens   Fig. 1. The neoclassical façade of the Gordon-Banks house in Newnan, Georgia. Several years ago English friends came for lunch at my house, now called the Gordon-Banks house, in Newnan, Georgia, some forty miles southwest of Atlanta. They walked down a …

The allure of Leeds House: An unparalleled private collection finds its ideal home in Philadelphia

aroseshapiro Exhibitions, Living with Antiques

Last winter, one of America’s great private collections slipped quietly from its urban home of nearly two decades in upper Manhattan to the splendor of a historic estate in Philadelphia. Preparing to move the peerless arts and crafts furniture, metalwork, glass, and ceramics, not to mention the sculptures, paintings, and works on paper, consumed the prior autumn months. Art handlers …

Talking antiques: Winter Antiques Show

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

We asked exhibitors at the Winter Antiques Show to highlight one exceptional object in their booths and describe it as they might to an interested collector. Here are the things they chose, along with some of their comments. ALLAN AND PENNY KATZ This artful rendering of a birdcage in the shape of the United States Capitol Building was undoubtedly made …

Ahead of the curve: The Newark Museum now and then

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

In a better world we would all be thronging the doors of the Newark Museum; in the best of worlds Ulysses Grant Dietz would be there to meet us, taking us through the galleries with fellow curators Christa Clarke and Katherine Anne Paul. But this is Newark-not a destination for many out-of-town museumgoers (though it should be), so Ulysses Dietz …