The Best of New York Furniture in Baltimore

Neoclassical Honoré Lannuier and Duncan Phyfe. How Did it Get to Baltimore? Peter Kenny of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Offers Some Answers on March 1.


Baltimore, Maryland (February 24, 2012) – The Maryland Historical Society (MdHS) will explore the work of 19th century New York furniture makers Duncan Phyfe and Charles-Honoré Lannuier on March 1st.  MDHS has rare examples of their furniture as well as some of the best Baltimore made furniture.

Peter M. Kenny, Ruth Bigelow Wriston Curator of American Decorative Arts and Administrator of The American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will speak on “The Best of New York Furniture in Baltimore: Neoclassical Honoré Lannuier and Duncan Phyfe” with a selection of their furniture from MDHS’s collection along with images on March 1, 6 pm, at the Maryland Historical Society, 201 W. Monument St. Tickets are $40 with an open bar reception following the talk. For more information, contact (410)-685-3750 or mdhs.org.

During the first decades of the nineteenth century, Duncan Phyfe and Charles-Honoré Lannuier were the acknowledged leaders of the New York furniture trade. Both immigrant craftsmen, they established a distinctive New York style of cabinetmaking that incorporated contemporary European design. Americans throughout the young nation considered their work to be the pinnacle of taste and sophistication.

Baltimore painted furniture of the 19th century is considered among the best in the world. Nowhere else was there such a fine blending of both the form and design of the furniture itself with the decorative painted work which was applied to the form.  This splendid marriage of sculptural form and two-dimensional painted work can be seen clearly on the furniture that the Findlay brothers, John and Hugh, created in Baltimore.

Peter M. Kenny has been a member of the curatorial staff at The Metropolitan Museum of Art since 1989. Kenny writes and lectures extensively on the subject of American colonial and federal period furniture and craftsmen.  His latest exhibition, Duncan Phyfe, Master Cabinetmaker in New York opened at the Metropolitan on December 19, 2011. The Phyfe exhibition is a pendant to Mr. Kenny’s earlier exhibition, Honoré Lannuier: Parisian Cabinetmaker in Federal New York (1998), which featured the work of Phyfe’s most tenacious competitor, the Parisian-trained ébéniste, Charles-Honoré Lannuier, who arrived in New York in 1803 and worked there until his untimely death in 1819.

Mr. Kenny is a graduate of Montclair State University and received his M.A. from the Cooperstown Graduate Program in History Museum Studies.

The Maryland Historical Society was founded in 1844 and is the world’s largest museum and library dedicated to the history of Maryland.  Occupying an entire city block in the Mount Vernon district of Baltimore, the society’s mission is to “collect, preserve, and interpret the objects and materials that reflect Maryland’s diverse cultural heritage.”

The Society is home to the original manuscript of the Star-Spangled Banner and publishes a quarterly titled “Maryland Historical Magazine.”

More information about the Maryland Historical Society can be found online at http://www.mdhs.org.

 

About Ramón Jiménez

Ramón Jiménez, actual Managing Editor de MetroLatinoUSA. Periodista que cubre eventos de las comunidades latinas en Washington D.C., Maryland y Virginia. Graduado de la Escuela de Periodismo de la Universidad del Distrito de Columbia. Galardonado en numerosas ocasiones por parte de la Asociación Nacional de Publicaciones Hispanas (NAHP) y otras organizaciones comunitarias y deportivas de la región metropolitana de esta capital. También premiado en dos ocasiones como Mejor Periodista del Año por la cobertura de la comunidad salvadoreña; premios otorgados por la Oficina de Asuntos Latinos del Alcalde de Washington (OLA) y otras organizaciones. Ha sido miembro del jurado calificador en diferentes concursos literarios, de belleza y talento en la región metropolitana. Ha visitado zonas de desastre en Nicaragua, Honduras y El Salvador e invitado a esos países por organizaciones que asisten a personas de escasos recursos económicos. Antes trabajó en otros medios de prensa de Virginia y Washington, D.C., incluyendo reportajes para una agencia noticiosa mundial.

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