Now On View:
Highlights of the American Decorative Arts Collection

The reinstallation of American Decorative Arts on the Avery Building second-floor balcony is complete at last! The finest examples of American furniture, ceramics, glass, and metalwork have returned to public view with generous support from the Decorative Arts Council and the Mortensen Foundation. This is the first American Decorative Arts gallery to be reinstalled; additional galleries will follow in 2014.

Seventeenth- and eighteenth-century works from the Wallace Nutting Collection look brilliant! The new installation focuses on the talents of New England craftsmen and features Pilgrim-Century favorites, including the “Fuller” Plymouth cradle, Governor Prence’s court cupboard, and the Wethersfield chest by Peter Blin (active 1675-1725). Lesser seen collections, such as the historic ironwork and Nutting Factory furniture parts, assume an elevated status in the display. The emphasis of this installation is to encourage visitors to look and learn from the Nutting Collection by offering more opportunities for study and comparison.

The sprawling displays of Connecticut regional decorative arts will make any resident proud. The gallery revision expands upon the well-known accomplishments of cabinetmakers Samuel Loomis (1748-1814), Eliphalet Chapin (1741-1807), and Aaron Chapin (1753-1838) by showcasing a diversity of materials from the Wadsworth Atheneum’s permanent collection. Attractive Connecticut-made glass, pottery, clocks, and chairs pay homage to the state’s early industrial prowess that laid the foundation for modern production.

The celebrated Samuel and Elizabeth Colt Collection has a permanent home within Wadsworth galleries after nearly six years since its last appearance in the traveling exhibition Samuel Colt: Arms, Art, and Invention. The Avery balcony displays a mixed-media arrangement of Colt prototype and presentation firearms alongside the couple’s cherished paintings and sculpture from their Hartford home, Armsmear.