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Collecting for Quality: The Kaufman Collection of American Furniture, 1725-1825

Wendy A. Cooper, director, The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, Colonial Williamsburg. In honor of the exhibition opening for American Furniture from the Kaufman Collection on October 12, 1986, curator Wendy A. Cooper presented this lecture highlighting works collected by Mr. and Mrs. George M. Kaufman over a period of 25 years. The exhibition, on view through April 19, 1987, at the National Gallery of Art, showed 101 examples of American furniture made between 1690 and 1840. The collection, one of the largest and most refined in private hands, includes chairs, desks, tables, high chests, mirrors, clocks, and sconces from the major style centers of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Newport, and Charleston. The Kaufmans recognized this furniture as one of the earliest American art forms, as well as an expression of their love for and strong pride in our nation's creative and artistic heritage. Each and every object that they desired to acquire and live with is an extraordinary example of high quality craftsmanship, aesthetics, and design.