Celebrating two collectors’ passion for Americana and the window it provides into the everyday beauty of the past.
Becoming America offers a multifaceted view of one of the foremost collections of 18th- and 19th-century American folk and decorative art from the rural Northeast. Essays by leading specialists discuss the culture of furniture workshops, exuberant painted decoration, techniques of sewing and quilting, and poignant stories about the families depicted in the portraits. The collection itself includes Shaker boxes, a beaded Iroquois hat, embroidered samplers, metalwork, scrimshaw, handwoven rugs, ceramics, and a weather vane. The majority of these works have never before been published. With lively essays and profuse illustrations, this handsome volume brings to life the aesthetic of early Americans living in the countryside and is an essential exploration of the period’s taste and style.
This book is the catalogue for the ongoing exhibition Becoming America, on view in the Fielding Wing of the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.
James Glisson is the former Bradford and Christine Mishler Associate Curator of American Art at The Huntington.