Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque Lecture and Symposium 2016

Stillman family, Tall Case Clock (detail), probably Westerly, Rhode Island, ca. 1795. Maple (primary); maple, butternut(?), sycamore, yellow poplar, and chestnut (secondary). Private collection

Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650–1830

Thursday–Friday, September 15–16, 2016

Rhode Island was the center of a dynamic and active cabinetmaking trade during the colonial and Federal periods, and its makers produced some of the most iconic pieces of American furniture ever created. Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650–1830, the first major survey of early Rhode Island furniture in half a century, gathers more than one hundred examples of their work. On display are some of the masterpieces of American furniture—many from the two great centers of Rhode Island furniture making, Newport and Providence. These are presented alongside objects made in smaller towns, such as Warren and Coventry, illuminating how their makers interpreted the styles of the more populous centers. The 2016 Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque Memorial Lecture and Symposium is being presented in conjunction with the exhibition.

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Lecture and symposium made possible by the Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque Memorial Lectureship Fund, established by a generous gift from the Chipstone Foundation and contributions by family, friends, and colleagues in memory of Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque, B.A. 1972, M.A. 1975, a scholar of American paintings and decorative arts.

Symposium Video

The 2016 Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque Memorial Lecture and Symposium opened with a lively keynote lecture by Philip D. Zimmerman, a museum and decorative-arts consultant, author, teacher, and appraiser. Zimmerman explored the history of American furniture study, offering a unique and expert perspective on the current state of the field and illuminating the particular opportunities and challenges facing decorative-arts scholars today. View this and related videos here, or on the Gallery’s YouTube channel.

View Playlist on YouTube