Lecture, Mapping the Mahogany Trade in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Gilbert Stuart, Francis Malbone and His Brother Saunders, ca. 1773

Gilbert Stuart, Francis Malbone and His Brother Saunders, ca. 1773. Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Gift of Francis Malbone Blodget, Jr., and museum purchase with funds donated by a friend of the Department of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture, and Emily L. Ainsley Fund, inv. no. 1991.436. Photo © 2018 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Furniture historian Adam Bowett outlines the development of the British and American mahogany trade from its tentative beginnings in the early 18th century to its climactic peak 150 years later. Bowett puts particular emphasis on the ways in which British colonial policy, combined with other commercial and economic factors, dictated the geographical spread of the trade, and considers the implications for current research on historic British and American mahogany furniture. Bowett has published widely in academic and popular journals and is the author of two books on English furniture.

This lecture is the keynote for the 2018 Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque Memorial Symposium, “Mahogany, Species of Elegance: The History and the Science,” which takes place on Friday, November 2, 2018, 8:30–5:00 pm. The lecture is free and open to the public. Registration is required for the symposium on Friday.