Register Now for Annapolis Tours: 28 May 2022

Mark Maleski

We're planning an exciting day of tours in Annapolis Maryland to see and examine period furniture and other decorative arts. Please review the description below and email [email protected] if you are planning to attend (morning session, afternoon session, or both).

Our morning will start at 9:45 (Saturday, 28 May) with a "behind the ropes" tour of Hammond Harwood House Museum (19 Maryland Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21401). We will meet at the visitor's center entrance of Hammond Harwood House (the door closest to King George Street). We'll assemble and take a group photo for Pins and Tales. At 10:00, the museum will open early for us to provide a special tour of Hammond-Harwood House Museum. Our guide will provide gloves and we may touch and open some of the pieces, as long as we do not disturb any of the collection items in the process. Be sure to bring your cameras! There will be no charge for this tour, as the museum is thanking us for contributing to an interactive colonial sign that is part of their current exhibition on Charles Wilson Peale. (As a non-profit organization, I'm sure they'd welcome any donations and/or purchases in their gift shop.)

The Hammond-Harwood House, a National Historic Landmark, was built in 1774. It was the final work of architect William Buckland (who is also well known as the architect of George Mason's home, Gunston Hall). With its carved doorway entrance, formal rooms, and elegant scale, the building blends the artistry of the finest Anglo-Palladian architecture with American sensibility. The museum proudly showcases the finest collection of colonial furniture in Maryland. With authentic works from Philadelphia, New York, Massachusetts, England, Ireland, and China, the collection represents a broad spectrum of 18th century artistic endeavors. Crafts from Annapolis are also featured in the collection, with special emphasis on cabinetmaker John Shaw. Shaw’s shop is still standing on State Circle. Today, Shaw pieces can be viewed in almost every room in the house.

Read more about Hammond Harwood House Museum here: Their blog also has compelling descriptions of many individual pieces of their collection:

After our tour, we will have lunch on our own. Galway Bay, Harry Browne's and Reynold's Tavern are all restaurants close to Hammond Harwood. Iron Rooster and Federal House are both down by the water near Market Place. Let us know when registering if you'd be interested in a group lunch; we could make arrangements for a large group reservation if that's the consensus.

To make it a full day, we are coordinating an afternoon tour, details TBD. We are considering either a walking tour of acclaimed 18th century Scottish born cabinet maker John Shaw (seeing his workshop, church, and homes of his clients), or a guided tour of the 1779 Maryland State House (which would have a broader focus on decorative arts and architecture). We plan to finalize these details this week and will send an update as soon as that's complete. Cost of this afternoon tour is also TBD.

Lastly, I want to advise you that one of the city's parking garages is currently closed, so please visit this link to plan ahead for parking and allow yourselves plenty of time:
Details of the afternoon tour are as follows:

At 1:30 pm, we will meet at Annapolis Visitors Center (26 West Street, Annapolis, MD 21401) for a Historic Walking Tour of Annapolis. This tour is about 2 hours and less than 1 mile through the Historic District of Annapolis. Visit a colonial kitchen and dining room in a Georgian mansion, when available. See St. Anne's Parish, the Brice House, the Paca House, and the Annapolis City Dock. Hear about the rivalry between the U.S. Naval Academy and St. John's College, and learn about everyday life in colonial Maryland. The tour will end at the Maryland State House, America's First Peacetime Capitol and the oldest state house still in legislative use. Cost for this tour is $18 per person (to be collected at the time of the tour).

We will end our day in the Maryland State House with a self-guided tour. The State House has many furniture, fine arts, and decorative arts from Maryland's earliest days on display. We will use this time, and the self-guided tour brochures, to prepare for a future Curatorial Tour of their collection (date TBD). We have made tentative arrangements with the Senior Curator and Director of Artistic Property at Maryland State Archives for this future tour, in which she will lead us through a tour of the Maryland State House as well as the Governor's Mansion. We will be seeking input from participants on the ideal time for the future Curatorial Tour.