May 4–6, 2012, Upstate New York study tour

The Decorative Arts Society (DAS) enjoyed a three-day study trip in upstate New York in early May 2012, beginning with an in-depth private tour of the collections of the Albany Institute of History & Art led by deputy director and chief curator Tammis K. Groft. Participants moved on to a guided tour of the New York State Capitol Building. The day concluded with an architectural walking tour that culminated with a private visit to the Ten Broeck Mansion, a 1798 historic house that serves as the headquarters of the Albany County Historical Society. Participants lodged that evening at the Fort Orange Club.

The study tour continued on Saturday with a stop at the Munson-Williams Proctor Arts Institute in Utica. Anna D'Ambrosio, director and chief curator, led a thorough examination of the Institute's well-known period rooms and a tour of its extensive collections of American arts, including a visit to its state-of-the-art storage facilities. Members of the Landmarks Society of Greater Utica provided a private tour of two of the historic houses in Rutger Park and pointed out the architectural details of the ca. 1830 Federal and ca. 1850 Italianate mansions, built after designs by Philip Hooker and A.J. Davis, respectively.

After an overnight stay at the restored Hotel Utica, the DAS viewed a private collection of 19th-century Americana displayed in a restored Victorian home in Richfield Springs, followed by an examination of the collections at the Fenimore Art Museum and Farmer's Museum in Cooperstown. The study tour concluded with a visit to Hyde Hall, a neoclassical country house begun in 1817 on the shore of Cooperstown's Lake Otsego, led by executive director Jonathan Maney and architectural historian Gilbert Vincent. The house and its furnishings provided a fitting end to a weekend devoted to the study of American arts and accompanying architecture.

Further details of this enjoyable event will be published in the second 2012 issue of the DAS newsletter.


March 5, 2012

A specially designed tour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Peter Kenny, Ruth Bigelow Wriston Curator of American Decorative Arts and administrator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's American Wing, led a tour through the museum's collection of New York architecture and furniture, highlighting the newly installed exhibition of Duncan Phyfe furniture, Duncan Phyfe: Master Cabinetmaker in New York.