Washboards, armchairs, lamps, and pots and pans may not seem to be museum pieces. But they are invaluable evidence of how most people lived day to day, last week or three centuries ago. The Museum's collections of domestic furnishings comprise more than 40,000 artifacts from American households. Large and small, they include four houses, roughly 800 pieces of furniture, fireplace equipment, spinning wheels, ceramics and glass, family portraits, and much more.
The Arthur and Edna Greenwood Collection contains more than 2,000 objects from New England households from colonial times to mid-1800s. From kitchens of the past, the collections hold some 3,300 artifacts, ranging from refrigerators to spatulas. The lighting devices alone number roughly 3,000 lamps, candleholders, and lanterns.
"Domestic Furnishings - Overview" showing 1 items.
- The production and exchange of ceramics, metalwork, textiles, and other crafts were part of the economies of the Southwest and Mesoamerica centuries before the arrival of Africans, Spaniards, and other Europeans in the Americas. While central Mexico was almost immediately connected to the global economy after the Spanish conquest in the early 1520s, New Mexico and other frontier areas remained isolated and relatively self-sufficient until the mid-1800s. Once New Mexico was incorporated into the United States however, wagon trains and then railroads brought in new English-speaking residents and tourists, unsettling the economies of the established Hispano and Pueblo communities. By the early 20th century, a new livelihood emerged for local artisans—the creation of crafts for the tourist market. The tourist market demanded products that were as much about stereotypes as they were about authenticity. This Spanish Colonial Revival chair was made by Hipólito Sisneros in 1945 while he was a student at the Taos Vocational Educational School. Using a decorative technique called chip-carving, Sisneros crafted this chair in the style of New Mexican furniture from the early 1800s. After the 1930s, many Hispanics and Native Americans were enrolled in craft schools like this in an attempt by the state of New Mexico to support local craft cooperatives that targeted Anglo-American consumers.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- Taos Municipal School
- Sisneros, H.
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center