The Cabinetmaker & the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections

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Holiday hours

The exhibition will be open Thursday, December 26, Friday, December 27, Saturday, December 28, and Monday, December 30 from 10 am to 4 pm.

Through January 17, 2014, this exhibition provides visitors with a rare opportunity to see nearly 50 examples of significant furniture borrowed from distinguished private collections in the greater Boston area. Ranging in date from the late-17th-century to about 1900, these privately held treasures, generously lent by their owners, provide a look at the trajectory of cabinetmaking in the Hub. They are supplemented with documents, portraits, and other material from the Society's collections that help place the furniture into historical context.

The exhibition is part of Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture a collaborative project of the Massachusetts Historical Society and ten other institutions that features exhibitions, lectures, demonstrations and publications to celebrate the Bay State's legacy of furniture-making. Visit

Images (left to right): Turned great chair, Boston or Charlestown, Mass., ca. 1675-1700, Massachusetts Historical Society; Cabinet and bookcase, possibly designed by Henry Hobson Richardson, Boston, Mass., ca. 1880, Massachusetts Historical Society. Photo by David Bohl; Cradle, Boston, Mass., ca. 1863, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Francis L. Coolidge; Card table, Boston, Mass., 1760-1770, Massachusetts Historical Society. Photo by David Bohl; Desk and bookcase, carving attributed to John Welch, Boston, Mass., ca. 1750-1755, private collection.