New England Collectors and Collections

New England Collectors and Collections


This publication is a collection of papers presented at the Dublin Seminar of New England Folklife conference in June of 2004. The main emphasis on this seminar was on decorative arts objects, furniture, paintings, books, and antiquarian objects; but it also focused on other areas of historic and aesthetic enquiry. The conference posed these questions; Who collects? What makes objects collectible? How influential have been concepts such as class and ethnicity? What was ignored or discarded? How do we address the tension between private ownership, institutional ownership, and requirements of scholarship? Articles in this volume are in the order they were given at the conference, beginning with early library and museum collections, and progressing through collectors of regional history, decorative arts, oceanic art, wildlife, and labor archives and ephemera; and concluding with the collecting establishment and the special viewpoint of the American Indian.

 The following is a list of the title and author of each paper:

“An Equal Taste for Antiquities”: Reverend William Bentley and the American Antiquarian Society

 by Thomas Knoles

“A few monstrous great Snakes”: Daniel Bowen and the Columbian Museum, 1789 – 1816

by Peter Benes

Ethan Allen Greenwood: Museum Collector and Proprietor by Georgia B. Barnhill

A Family Enterprise: Collecting Deerfield’s Past by Donald R. Friary

“This Quaint Abbottsford-like residence”: Indian Hill, West Newbury, Massachusetts by Jane C. Nylander

“Bought…of nobody for almost nothing”: Anne Allen Ives and China Collecting in Nineteenth-Century New England by Thomas S. Michie

Hartford’s Role in the Origins of Antiques Collecting in America by William N. Hosley

Fur into Feathers; Manly Hardy and His Collection of North American Birds

by William B. Krohn and Marilyn R. Massaro


Labor Artifacts by Scott Molloy


The Wallis Collection in the Peabody Essex Museum: Putting a Nineteenth-Century Travel Collection in Cultural Context by Christina Hellmich


Colonial Relics, Nativism, and the DAR Loan Exhibition of 1892 by Robert P. Emlen


Sacred Relics in the Cause of Liberty: A civil War Memorial Cabinet and the Victorian Logic of Collecting by Tamara Plakins Thornton


History, Memory, and the Appropriation of the American Indian Past: A Family Affair by Judy Kertész

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