Woodwork of a Room from the Colden House, Coldenham, New York

Date: ca. 1767

Geography: Made in Orange County, Coldenham, New York, United States

Culture: American

Medium: Pine

Dimensions: 252 x 213 x 113 in. (640.1 x 541 x 287 cm)

Classification: Architecture

Credit Line: Purchase, The Sylmaris Collection, Gift of George Coe Graves, by exchange, 1940

Accession Number: 40.127


In 1767, Cadwallader Colden Jr., son of the noted scientist and New York State lieutenant governor, built a home in the midst of the 3,000-acre family farm in Coldenham, New York. The house likely stood two stories high, five bays wide, and only one room deep. It was a fashionable home versed in Georgian ideals of symmetry, proportion, and order, and well suited for a member of a prominent family.

The woodwork of the room now in the Metropolitan Museum came from the home's first-floor west parlor and reflects the simplified classical aesthetic of the later Georgian period. The fully paneled fireplace wall incorporates crossetted moldings on the fireplace surround and overmantle, and fluted Doric pilasters that inform the overall proportions of the room. The other three walls are simpler, with a paneled dado that rises to the chair rail and elegant window surrounds that engage with the room's cornice.