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American Style: Russell Kettell’s Pine Furniture

February 02, 2008 — May 18, 2008


In the 1920s and 30s, Russell Kettell, collector and author of the now classic books Pine Furniture and Early American Rooms, defined an aesthetic that helped shape the appreciation of American domestic art and craft. His book on period rooms, compiled with the help of the first generation of American museum professionals to interpret American art, was the first to define the canon for the re-creation of historic domestic interiors. His book on pine furniture similarly defined for generations the distinctive appeal of the vernacular furniture of New England. The Concord Museum drew on its own collection—Russell Kettell donated more than 1000 pieces from his own collection to the Museum—and several private collections to illustrate Kettell’s aesthetic. Included in the exhibition were boxes, tables, candlestands, looking glasses, six-board cases, cupboards, hanging shelves, ceramics and metalware that exemplify the American style associated with Russell Kettell.