Harbor & Home

Furniture of Southeastern Massachusetts, 1710-1850

Organized by Winterthur Museum & Country Estate

In 2009, the Nantucket Historical Association will host its first major traveling exhibition, Harbor & Home: Furniture of Southeastern Massachusetts, 1710-1850, organized by Winterthur Museum & Country Estate. Harbor & Home will be a landmark in the institution’s history. The Winterthur exhibition focuses on a largely unstudied region of New England furniture—the area falling between Boston and Providence, which includes the unique seafaring communities of the Cape and Islands. Nantucket furniture, influenced by the restraint and elegant craftsmanship of the island’s Quaker community, is extremely rare, and has never been gathered together in one setting, nor studied with the scholarly intensity that Winterthur curator Brock Jobe and his colleagues have dedicated to produce the exhibition and the accompanying catalog. Remarkably, of the seventy-plus artifacts included in Winterthur’s exhibition, thirteen are from the collection of the Nantucket Historical Association—the greatest number of any institution after Winterthur. This prominence indicates the strength of the NHA collection, created in large part with the help of the Friends of the Nantucket Historical Association, our main collector’s group.

The NHA pieces featured in Harbor & Home will include the astronomical tall-case clock made by island genius Walter Folger Jr., recently voted one of the top 100 clocks in America; examples of the classic Nantucket Windsor chair; an outstanding inlaid candlestand by Heman Ellis; a cylinder-fall inlaid desk signed by Ellis; and a 4-slat ladderback Quaker Monthly Meeting side chair; to mention a few examples.

Major support for Harbor & Home provided by: Americana Foundation, Chilton Foundation, Croll Foundation, Elizabeth B. McGraw Foundation, Wodecroft Foundation, Anonymous

Additional support is provided by Mr. and Mrs. James R. Alexander, Mr. and Mrs Max N. Berry, Mrs. Georgina M. Bissell, Mr. Paul T. Clark, DBS Northeast Auctions, James B. and Mary Lou Hawkes, The Hohmann Foundation, Mrs. Greta B. Layton, The Honorable and Mrs. Michael T. Paul, John and Margaret Ruttenberg, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Ryder, Joseph E. and Norma G. Saul Foundation, Skinner Auctioneers & Appraisers, Gary R. Sullivan Antiques Inc., Mr. William W. Upton, Washington Decorative Arts Forum, Beth and Stanley Weiss, Mr. Kemble Widmer, Mr. and Mrs William F. Wiseman, and Anonymous.

The exhibition at the Nantucket Historical Association is made possible with support from Wilmington Trust FSB Massachusetts, Mr. and Mrs. Amos B. Hostetter Jr., Mr. & Mrs Hampton S. Lynch Jr., and Mr. and Mrs. Jay M. Wilson, and Anonymous.

The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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