The Magic of Marquetry and More: A Compelling Conference at Winterthur

Lansing Moore Art, Exhibitions

This April, the Winterthur Museum, Garden, & Library will host The Wonder of Wood: Decorative Inlay and Marquetry in Europe and America, 1600–1900, a conference celebrating three centuries of woodworking craftsmanship across three days of programs. This very specific theme encompasses a rich and varied world of exacting artistry: the history and practice of making marquetry and inlaid furniture. The scheduled lectures and tours will examine 18th-century Paris, colonial Latin America, Dutch floral motifs, musical instruments, and much more.

Name board of double-manual harpsichord by Jacob Kirkman (1710–1792), 1761. Sigal Music Museum, Greenville, South Carolina.

There could be no more fitting venue than Winterthur, a pilgrimage destination for furniture lovers. The roster of visiting experts draws from many stars of decorative arts scholarship—with Winterthur’s own experts joined by guest speakers from the Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, the Wallace Collection, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the Rijksmuseum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. The lineup of speakers also includes two of the world’s finest living marqueters, Silas Kopf and Yannick Chastang, who will share their experience and perspectives.

Desk and bookcase, Puebla, Mexico, mid–18th century. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

The second day of the conference will bring registrants to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for additional lectures, as well as the chance to explore the museum’s newly redesigned American galleries and its European galleries. The conference is wisely arranged to finish just in time for the preview party for this year’s Philadelphia Show art and antiques fair—to be held for the first time at the PMA—which should prove a popular stop during this, the busiest spring season the fine and decorative arts world has seen in more than two years.

Nasturtiums, sideboard buffet by Silas Kopf (b. 1949), 2006. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania; photograph courtesy Silas Kopf.

The Wonder of Wood: Decorative Inlay and Marquetry in Europe and America, 1600–1900 will take place April 26–28 at Winterthur Museum, Garden, & Library. 

Registration is $375 for the public, $300 for members of Winterthur or the PMA, and $225 for nonprofit employees. A virtual version of the conference will be made available two weeks after the live event for $250, and $200 for members of Winterthur or the PMA. Register online or contact Winterthur at 800.448.3883.