take a seat: A Mexican chair and its journey to cooper hewitt
How did road trips and X-rays lead to acquiring an exceptional eighteenth-century armchair originally made in Mexico?
Journey with us to discover the design history of this fascinating object that responds to Englishman Thomas Chippendale’s influential pattern book Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director, published in 1750. While artisans from across the Atlantic adapted Chippendale’s patterns to suit local tastes, this armchair shows how the furniture style evolved independently from its European origins in culturally diverse and cosmopolitan regions throughout the Americas. Join Cooper Hewitt’s curatorial and conservation teams for an illuminating discussion on artistic global exchange in the Americas during the eighteenth century.
ABOUT THE behind the design SERIES
What makes an object “museum-worthy”? How does an exhibition come to life? What discoveries have been unearthed by conservators? Behind the Design features curators, conservators, and other museum staff and guests in a series of lunch-time conversations to offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Cooper Hewitt and its collection.
This free program will feature a lecture followed by an audience Q&A hosted through Zoom, with the option to dial in as well. Details will be emailed to you upon registration. This program includes closed captioning. For general questions or if we can provide additional accessibility services or accommodations to support your participation in this program, please email us at email@example.com or let us know when registering.
Featured Image: Chair, Armchair, 18th century, unknown maker. Hardwood (mahogany or primavera), modern upholstery. 101.6 × 73.7 × 61 cm (40 × 29 × 24 in.). Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Museum purchase from Decorative Arts Association Acquisition Fund, 2019-13-1. Photo: Matt Flynn
Yao-Fen You, Brian Fraser, 2020