American Furniture of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries


Spring 2013


5th Floor Classroom


Kenneth L. Ames

Of all the early American decorative arts/household furnishings, furniture holds the greatest mystique. It has been actively preserved, collected, bought and sold, studied, and written about for well over a century and remains the cornerstone of the Americana marketplace. This course provides a survey of domestic furniture made and used in colonial and early Federal America, with emphasis on New England and the Middle Atlantic region. It examines major forms, styles, regional centers, and makers; objects both canonical and vernacular; and the historiography of scholarship in the field. Class project this semester is creation of our own in-house concise introduction to the subject, limited to 100 culturally resonant objects. Visits to institutions and auction houses as appropriate. 3 credits. satisfies the pre-1800 requirement