Monday, June 4, 2018

Presentation on Colonial Chippendale Furniture at the Old Dutch Parsonage - 6/16/2018

Presentation on Colonial Chippendale Furniture at the Old Dutch Parsonage
Saturday, June 16, 2018

On Saturday, June 16, at 1:30 pm, as part of the museum’s year-long celebration of famed furniture maker Thomas Chippendale’s 300th birthday, historian Michelle Fitzgerald will deliver a presentation on the Chippendale-style furniture of colonial Annapolis at the Old Dutch Parsonage historic site.

Detail of Billiard Table, made in Annapolis, 1797-1800, Winterthur Museum Collection
Travelers visiting Annapolis, Maryland at its height, in the eighteenth- century, were surprised the discover that news of the latest fashions reached the colonial city before even reaching London: wealthy and elite southern colonists aspired to be just as cosmopolitan as Londoners. Thomas Chippendale’s designs influenced Annapolis fashion during the city’s golden age, and by looking at the training of Annapolis’s craftsmen, the taste of her consumers, and their craving for Chippendale-style furniture, we uncover a new story about the city’s political and economic identity from before the American Revolution into the Federal era.

Michelle Fitzgerald has an M.A. from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, and is now the American Foundation Curatorial Intern at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. From her time working at the Maryland Historical Society, Maryland State Archives’ Commission on Artistic Property, and the Classical Institute of the South, she has specialized in southern and Tidewater furniture.

There is a $5 dollar per-person fee to attend this program. All visitors must register for this program in advance. Call 908-725-1015 or email to register. Please register early, as seating is limited.

The Wallace House
The Wallace House, built in 1776, served as George Washington’s winter headquarters during the Middlebrook Cantonment of 1778-1779. The house was the country residence of retired Philadelphia merchant John Wallace; Washington rented the use of half the house for himself and his staff and paid Wallace $1,000 for the use of his house and furniture. During his stay, the General hosted foreign dignitaries and planned strategies for the spring military campaign. The house is fully restored and furnished with period furniture.

1751 Old Dutch Parsonage historic site.
The Old Dutch Parsonage was constructed in 1751, by the congregations of three local Dutch Reform Churches. The house was occupied by the Reverend John Frelinghuysen and his family until his death in 1754. His successor, the Reverend Jacob Hardenberg was the principal founder and first president of Queens College in New Brunswick, now Rutgers University.

Both sites are administered by the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry, and are open to visitors Wednesday through Sunday. The Wallace House and Old Dutch Parsonage are both listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places.

The parking lot entrance and interpretive center for the sites is located at 71 Somerset Street, Somerville, NJ. For directions and more information about the sites, visit or call 908-725-1015.

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