Chest with Drawer
Chest with Drawer, 1700–20
Oak and pine
33 3/4 × 45 3/4 × 18 3/4 in. (85.73 × 116.21 × 47.63 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Ginsburg M1992.106
Photo credit: Gavin Ashworth
Many early Americans made their fortunes through international trade, and the artworks they commissioned or imported share characteristics with the country of origin, whether Asian or European. At the same time, individual aesthetic traditions flourished within the many regional subcultures that made up the colonies. This chest, for example, is the distinctive product of furniture makers from several towns in the Connecticut River Valley. Decorated with leaves, tulips, and vines and often brightly painted, their chests were a favorite among the rural elite and were frequently made for women, who stored embroidered linens inside and had their initials carved on the front.
Milwaukee Art Museum. Building a Masterpiece: Milwaukee Art Museum. New York: Hudson Hill Press, 2001, p. 97, color illus.
This information is subject to change as the result of ongoing research.