Early American Decorative Arts, 1620-1860: A Handbook for Interpreters (American Association for State and Local History)

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9780742503144: Early American Decorative Arts, 1620-1860: A Handbook for Interpreters (American Association for State and Local History)

Winterthur Museum is world renowned for its decorative arts collections and its strong interpretive programs. During the half century since Winterthur opened to the public, its staff has worked to compile comprehensive training materials for Winterthur interpreters, culminating in the Handbook for Winterthur Interpreters. Now, Winterthur educators Rosemary Krill and Pauline Eversmann have adapted that guide for general use. Early American Decorative Arts, 1620-1860: A Handbook for Interpreters is an indispensable guide for anyone involved with interpretation of decorative arts collections. Krill and Eversmann first define and elucidate the principles and goals of interpretation, explain how to look at objects, and help the reader to understand style. Then in later chapters they provide comprehensive descriptions and explanations of many items in styles ranging from seventeenth-century Mannerist to Empire, or Late Classical. Included are furniture, ceramics, textiles, paintings, pictures and prints, glass, pewter, and clocks, as well as other objects. Their interpretive approach situates each type and style within the social, economic, and cultural contexts of its time. More than 180 photographs drawn from the dazzling Winterthur collections help to illustrate details, and extensive bibliographies provide additional resources for further research and study. This book is an absolute must-have resource for curators, educators, interpreters, and students of decorative arts. Published in cooperation with Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library

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Review:

With Early American Decorative Arts, 1620-1860: A Handbook for Interpreters, authors Rosemary Troy Krill and Pauline K. Eversmann have produced a guide with broad appeal. Historic house interpreters comprise the primary audence, but any student of material culture will find it useful for understanding American decorative arts within a proper historical context....The handbook presents an organized and multidisciplinary approach to a very broad subject. (Patricia Phillips Marshall, Office of Archives and History North Carolina Historical Review)

The details in the chapters on specific items... offer new information for even veteran interpreters while the introductory chapters help to explain the vital and exciting role museum interpreters play in the enjoyment and understanding of our past. The layout allows for easy reference on specific topics and the chapter-specific bibliography allows for further study on one's own... Given the fact that few institutions have the in-house resources of the Winterthur Museum, this book will be very useful, especially for smaller institutions looking for some basic reference works without having to purchase an entire library. (Bruce A. Whitmarsh, Decatur House Museum The Public Historian)

Those who teach or are students in courses on American decorative arts, antiques collectors, museum educators, interpreters, and others will find this work useful and challenging...Early American Decorative Arts is a helpful guide to how we can look at and understand historic furnishings of all time periods. Museum curators and educators will find its ideas about interpreting museum exhibitions through interactive analysis of objects and their histories by guides and visitors especially intriguing. (Mary S. Hoffschwelle, Middle Tennessee State University North Dakota History, Vol. 70, No. 2, 2003)

The book is of exceptional interest as a comprehensive history of the decorative arts on the East Coast of the USA. (Glenn R. Cooke, Queensland Art Gallery (Australia) Museum National)

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