Gallery 717 - American Furniture, 1730–90
Part of The American Wing
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Part of The Doris and Stanley Tananbaum Galleries, this room displays selections of the best furniture made in eighteenth-century urban America. Boston was the largest colonial city and the leading cabinetmaking center in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Starting in the late 1740s, cabinetmakers in Newport, Rhode Island, adapted and refined standard Boston forms, adding distinctive carved shells and scalloped profiles to case pieces. Farther south, Philadelphia's immigrant craftsmen worked in the latest London styles, grafting playful Rococo carved ornament onto traditional Baroque forms. Artisans in New York also adhered closely to English models. The resulting region-specific furniture is a forceful reminder that there was no single dominant style in colonial America.