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5.0 1
Museums JK Joe Kunzman November 23, 2021 45
Generous host of our SAPFM chapter meeting
(Updated: September 07, 2022)
Overall
 
5.0
In May 2022, the Chesapeake Chapter arranged an exclusive, after-hours tour of the 18th Century Hammond-Harwood House in Annapolis, MD. Built in 1774, the Hammond-Harwood House is a National Historic Landmark. 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 nearby on State Circle. Today, Shaw pieces can be viewed in almost every room in the house.

We were led on a special Furniture Tour; by our host, Hammond-Harwood Museum Education Assistant Dan Connett. Ms. Connett led us through each room of the house and provided a detailed history and overview before providing access for us to move beyond the ropes for close inspection of the furniture. We were allowed to open doors/drawers and explore other hidden details of the furniture. We learned about design details that are unique to period furniture from Annapolis (example: dentil molding that terminates in turned acorn drops at the mitre) and Baltimore. The museum permitted photography, and we all came away with close-up photos of construction and ornamentation details. There was no charge for this tour, as the museum was thanking us for contributing to an interactive colonial sign that is part of their current exhibition on Charles Wilson Peale.

The ability to see construction details of such an extraordinary collection, up close and unhurried, allows SAPFM members to better understand the original features of the furniture, and enables us to produce more accurate reproductions in our shops. Moreover, it allows us to better appreciate the cabinetmaker who constructed the furniture in the 18th century. We all came away with a deeper appreciation of the uniqueness of the Hammond-Harwood House, even those of us who have visited multiple times prior.
MM
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