Artistic Furniture of the Gilded Age

Exhibition Website

- May 1 2016

This exhibition reveals the most sumptuous moment in late nineteenth-century America—a period known as the Gilded Age—through the work of some of the most noted design firms at the time. The centerpiece of the three-part exhibition is the opulent Worsham-Rockefeller Dressing Room from the New York City house commissioned by art collector and philanthropist Arabella Worsham (later Huntington; ca. 1850–1924). A complete work of art, with its elaborate woodwork and decorations, it is a rare surviving commission by the New York–based cabinetmaker and interior decorator George A. Schastey (American, 1839–1894).

Although little known today, Schastey operated a large and successful decorating firm in the late nineteenth century, catering to some of the nation's wealthiest individuals. Loans from public and private collections will highlight his work and important role; some of these works are newly attributed to him and have never before been on public view. The exhibition will also include furniture by some of Schastey's contemporaries.

An adjoining gallery will display works by Schastey's best-known competitor, Herter Brothers, that were created for the firm's most important commission, the William H. Vanderbilt House. In total, the exhibition will include more than three dozen examples of furniture from America's Gilded Age. Visitors will gain new insights into the luxurious and artistic interiors found in New York's wealthiest households in the late nineteenth century.

Credit: Exhibition Overview from the Met Museum website

  • Decorative Arts
  • American
  • 19th Century
  • Genre / Domestic / Interiors
  • Furniture

Exhibition Venues & Dates