Wallace Nutting and the Invention of Old America (Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art)

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9780300096835: Wallace Nutting and the Invention of Old America (Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art)
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For devotees of American decorative arts, Wallace Nutting (1861-1941) needs little introduction. A Congregational minister turned author, photographer and wildly successful entrepreneur, Nutting was the principal authority on early American furniture for much of the 20th century and played an important role in the development of a colonial-revival aesthetic and ideology. He collected, reproduced and marketed colonial artefacts, and the goods and experiences he offered his middle-class customers promoted his idealised notion of a time and place that he called "Old America". This is an illustrated study of Nutting's life and work. Thomas Andrew Denenberg describes Nutting's interrelated endeavours, from his varied writings (including "Furniture of the Pilgrim Century" and the monumental three-volume "Furniture Treasury") to his photography (both amateur and professional), chain of restored museum houses, renowned collection of 17th-century furniture, reproduction colonial furniture business, and advertising programme. By charting Nutting's activities, Denenberg creates a picture of an influential cultural critic who deftly combined myth and materialism, contributing significantly to both the growth of consumerism and the development of an anti-modern worldview in the 20th-century United States.

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From the Publisher:

This important and entertaining book is published in conjunction with an exhibition organized by the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and shown there from June 3 to October 19, 2003. Published in association with the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

From the Inside Flap:

"This deeply informed and lavishly illustrated landmark book is essential reading for every curator, collector, and interested student of American antiques."—Wendell Garrett, editor-at-large, The Magazine Antiques

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