Many of you have expressed the desire to accompany CVSW director Bob Van Dyke on one of his frequent visits to the Yale Art Gallery’s Hume American Furniture Study Center in West Haven, CT. The Furniture Study is an 18K sq. ft facility that houses over 1300 pieces of furniture, clocks, and wooden objects. Particularly strong in colonial and Federal furniture, mainly from the Mabel Brady Garvan Collection, the Furniture Study also contains tool displays that unpack craft processes, as well as a collection of about 200 pieces of contemporary turned-wood and related sculpture.

We have arranged a unique tour to be led by Patricia Kane, Friends of American Arts Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Art Gallery. Pat has for decades been a leading scholar on early American furniture, focusing for over twenty years on objects made in colonial and Federal-era Newport and greater Rhode Island.  The catalog of the Gallery’s major 2016 exhibition Art & Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650-1830, capturesnew scholarship by Pat and others, as does her ongoing Rhode IslandFurniture Archive online databaseMost people have heard of the Goddard and Townsend families of furniture makers but Pat brings to light the importance of the many other talented and influential Rhode Island furniture makers who helped develop and define the distinct techniques and designs that are the hallmarks of 17th & 18th century Rhode Island furniture.

Pat will compare and contrast particular Rhode Island designs and techniques with other New England furniture pieces at the Study.  By allowing up close inspection participants will have the unique opportunity to learn the details that set Rhode Island furniture and furniture makers apart from their New England contemporaries.

As an added bonus, after Pat’s presentation, Furniture Study Manager Eric Litke and CVSW Director Bob Van Dyke will lead an informal tour of American furniture on view in the Yale Art Gallery downtown.  After lunch (on your own) we will meet at the Gallery lobby at 1:30 and check out more of Yale’s excellent collection.

Hope you can make it.

Tuition: $ 55.00 (the majority being a donation to the Yale Art Gallery’s American Decorative Arts Dept.)

Friday; March 15, 2023, 9:00am – 12:00pm