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Release Date: September 24, 2012

Masterpieces of American Furniture from the Kaufman Collection, 1700–1830 Celebrated With Rich Array of Related Programs at National Gallery of Art


Film still from The Patsy (King Vidor, 1928, 35 mm, 78 minutes) Image courtesy of Photofest

Washington, DC—The Gallery plans several public programs in celebration of Masterpieces of American Furniture from the Kaufman Collection, 1700–1830, which opens in the West Building on October 7. The installation follows the announcement of the promised gift of one of the largest and most refined collections of early American furniture in private hands, and marks a significant moment for the nation's capital, which until this time has had no major presentation of early American furniture and related decorative arts on continual public view.

All programs are free of charge in the East Building Auditorium unless otherwise noted. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.


Triumphs in Craftsmanship: Masterpieces of American Furniture from the Kaufman Collection, 1700–1830
October 28, 2:00 p.m.
Wendy A. Cooper, Lois F. and Henry S. McNeil Senior Curator of Furniture, Winterthur Museum


Tanya Vegvari Plescia, pianist
October 28, 6:30 p.m.
Music by Mozart, Beethoven, and early 19th-century American composers
West Garden Court

Film Events

Starting in October and continuing through 2013, the Gallery will feature a series of six American silent films from two major American motion picture collections—the George Eastman House and the Library of Congress, two of the key moving image archives in the United States.

Ciné-Concert: The Patsy
Ben Model, piano
Saturday, October 27, 1:00 p.m.
Marion Davies, forever linked with the name of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, enjoyed a successful career in the silent cinema. In King Vidor's The Patsy she plays Patricia Harrington, an innocent victim in family feuds with her mother (Marie Dresler) and sister (Jane Winton) who coyly collects boyfriends. Devising a plot that employs her talents as a mimic—Mae Murray, Lillian Gish, and Pola Negri are specialties—she tries to trap a man she has set her sights on. Restoration from the Library of Congress. (King Vidor, 1928, 35 mm, 78 minutes)

Ciné-Concert: Kindred of the Dust
Donald Sosin and Joanna Seaton, piano and voice
Saturday, November 24, 1:00 p.m.
Raoul Walsh's 1922 silent melodrama of romantic intrigue in a Northwest logging town, based on a popular novel by the prolific Peter B. Kyne, features Walsh's wife, Miriam Cooper, as "Nan of the Sawdust Pile," a wronged woman who returns to her hometown to find that her old sweetheart still loves her but cannot marry her. Art direction is by William Cameron Menzies who moved on to one of the most brilliant careers in Hollywood production design. Restoration from the George Eastman House. (Raoul Walsh, 1922, 35 mm, 90 minutes)

Teacher Workshop

Artifacts as Evidence
National Gallery of Art, East Building Concourse, Education Studio
Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 4:00–6:30 p.m.
Repeat date: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Everyday objects can serve as potent primary sources in the classroom. They offer students rich opportunities to analyze and make deductions, both logical and imaginative, by comparing and contrasting the familiar in their own lives with the unfamiliar of the past. Drawing upon the Gallery's new installation of the Kaufman collection of American furniture and decorative arts, this workshop models strategies that foster curiosity, and build observation and language skills, while deepening understanding through group discussion.
Fee: $10
Registration required; please visit

Gallery Talks

Masterpieces of American Furniture from the Kaufman Collection, 1700–1830
West Building Rotunda
60 mins.

October 8, 1:00 p.m.
Wilford W. Scott

November 14, 15, 18, 1:00 p.m.
November 17, 2:00 p.m.
Dianne Stephens

December 9, noon
December 10–12, 2:00 p.m.
Martha M. Schloetzer

Podcasts to be Released in 2012

Collecting for Quality: Kaufman Collection of American Furniture
Wendy A. Cooper, then-director, The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, Colonial Williamsburg
(Original program date: October 12, 1986; release date: October 23, 2012)

Triumphs in Craftsmanship: Masterpieces of American Furniture from the Kaufman Collection, 1700–1830
Wendy A. Cooper, Lois F. and Henry S. McNeil Senior Curator of Furniture, Winterthur Museum, University of Delaware
(Original program date: October 28, 2012; release date: November 6, 2012)

Gallery Shops

The Gallery Shops will feature a wide range of beautiful books on early American furniture and design, complemented by wonderful period accent pieces for the home. Visitors will delight in Chinese export porcelain, glassware, as well as serving pieces and utensils. Books about historic houses, gardens, and contemporary designers who work with decorative arts and furniture of the period will be available, along with scholarly publications about Gilbert Stuart and painting conservation. In addition, the shops will offer a selection of period music and artwork for the home. Young visitors will enjoy books on early American history, including coloring books, a book of paper dolls, and an enchanting book about Dolley Madison's famous rescue of the Gilbert Stuart full-length portrait of George Washington during the War of 1812.

General Information

For additional press information please call or send inquiries to:
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000 South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: [email protected]
Anabeth Guthrie
Chief of Communications
(202) 842-6804
[email protected]

The Gallery also offers a broad range of newsletters for various interests. Follow this link to view the complete list.