Lecture: “Making and Marketing Furniture in Massachusetts, 1790-1820”
March 10, 2016
Lecture by Brock Jobe, Professor Emeritus of American Decorative Arts, Winterthur Museum
In this lecture at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library, noted decorative arts historian Brock Jobe will recount the little-known story of the transformation of the furniture making trade in federal period Massachusetts. In Colonial America, furniture makers were craftsmen who utilized the apprentice system to fill specific orders from their customers. After the Revolution these craftsmen began to develop business strategies that promoted their products to a range of customers. This led to standardized production of furniture.
Using the example of a cabinetmaker in Sutton, Massachusetts, who was working during the early 1800s, Professor Jobe will discuss how these changes in business strategies altered the face of furniture making in Massachusetts. Eventually these changes led to a furniture making industry that ranked among the largest in the country.
Professor Jobe has authored multiple books on furniture making in New England. He has worked as a museum curator, administrator and professor at Winterthur Museum in Delaware. Professor Jobe has received the President’s Award from Old Sturbridge Village and the Award of Merit from the Antiques Dealers’ Association of America.
This lecture is made possible by the generous support of the Ruby W. and LaVon P. Linn Foundation and is the third of five talks in the 2016 lecture series, "Enterprise and Craft in the Young Nation".