American 18-19th Century Decorative Arts



This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "American 18-19th Century Decorative Arts."Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to these articles and essays. The date at the end of each title is the Resource Library publication date.

After articles and essays from Resource Library are links to valuable online resources found outside our website. Links may be to museums' articles about exhibits, plus much more topical information based on our online searches. Following online resources may be information about offline resources including museums, DVDs, and paper-printed books, journals and articles.

We recommend that readers search within the TFAO website to find detailed information for any topic. Please see our page How to research topics not listed for more information.


Resource Library articles and essays honoring the American experience through its art




Other online information


American Weathervanes: The Art of the Winds is a 2021 exhibit at the American Folk Art Museum which says: "American Weathervanes: The Art of the Winds is the first exhibition in more than four decades to highlight the beauty, historical significance, and technical virtuosity of American vanes fashioned between the late seventeenth and early twentieth centuries." Accessed 8/21

The Artistic Odyssey of Higinio V. Gonzales: A Tinsmith and Poet in Territorial New Mexico was a 2015-16 exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum, which says: "After more than a century of obscurity, art historian and tinsmith Maurice Dixon discovers that a New Mexican artisan, formerly known only as the Valencia Red and Green Tinsmith, is actually Higinio V. Gonzales, a prolific and bilingual 19th-century educator, artisan, poet, and musician. This exhibition traces the life of Gonzales and, for the very first time, explores his influence on music, poetry, and the arts in New Mexico." Accessed 11/17 Also see "The Tin Master" by Kate Nelson 12/15 in New Mexico Magazine. Accessed 11/16 Also see 12/11/15 article by Paul Weideman in Pasatiempo. Accessed 11/16

American Fancy: Exuberance in the Arts, 1790-1840, an exhibit held April 10-June 20, 2004 at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Accessed February, 2015.

The Flowering of American Tinware was a 2013-15 exhibit at Winterthur, which posted in-depth pages about decorated tinware. The intoduction says: "Decorated tinware was once ordinary and ubiquitous. The material-sheet iron coated with tin-could be shiny white and serviceable, thus most early useful wares were undecorated. The outer surfaces of tinware, however, could have added appeal with painted flowers, birds, landscapes, or geometric designs brushed on by amateur or professional decorators. By the early 1900s, painted tinware was commonly referred to as tôle or toleware, a misapplication of the French word for sheet iron." Accesssed 11/16.

In October 2012 The Metropolitan Museum of Art launched MetPublications, an online resource that offers in-depth access to the Museum's print and online publications, covering art, art history, archaeology, conservation, and collecting. Beginning with nearly 650 titles published from 1964 to the present, this new addition to the Met's website will continue to expand and could eventually offer access to nearly all books, Bulletins, and Journals published by the Metropolitan Museum since its founding in 1870, as well as online publications. Publications to be added to the program on a continuing basis include recently published books and online publications, and print titles published by the Metropolitan Museum from 1870 to 1964, as well as print-on-demand options for out-of-print titles. Following are relevant titles available for.pdf download:

Nineteenth-Century America: Furniture and Other Decorative Arts; Tracy, Berry B., Marilynn Johnson, Marvin D. Schwartz, and Suzanne Boorsch (1970)
Baltimore Federal Furniture in The American Wing; Bordes, Marilynn Johnson (1972)
American Furniture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Late Colonial Period. Vol. II, The Queen Anne and Chippendale Styles; Heckscher, Morrison H. (1985)
American Musical Instruments in The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Libin, Laurence (1985)
American Kasten: The Dutch-Style Cupboards of New York and New Jersey, 1650-1800; Kenny, Peter M., Frances Gruber Safford, and Gilbert T. Vincent (1991)
American Rococo, 1750-1775: Elegance in Ornament; Heckscher, Morrison H., and Leslie Greene Bowman (1992)
A Walk Through The American Wing; The curators of the American Wing, with an introduction by Morrison H. Heckscher and H. Barbara Weinberg (2002)

Accessed August, 2015.

Online audio and video


April, 2023 screenshot via Google video search:

The Smithsonian American Art Museum provides streaming media programming. Some videos are available through the Museum's website section Online Exhibitions for selected exhibitions, and others through a YouTube channel. The virtual exhibition The White House Collection of American Crafts contains several streaming videos. The Introduction section features three videos with introductions by Dr. Elizabeth Braun, Director, SAAM, Hillary Rodham Clinton, First Lady, and Michael Monroe, Curator-in-Charge, Renwick Gallery. Accessed May, 2015.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum provides the virtual exhibition The White House Collection of American Crafts which ontains audio clips by Michael Monroe, Curator-in-Charge, Renwick Gallery. Mr. Monroe conducts a ten-part tour of the collection with both audio and video elements. Many objects in the collection are accompanied by audio clips. Accessed May, 2015.


Books sampler


A Google Book Search conducted March 26, 2008 located the following books published with full view. The catalogues are listed in reverse date order.

Furniture Masterpieces of Duncan Phyfe, By Charles Over Cornelius, Stanley J. Rowland. Published 1922. Pub. for the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Doubleday, Page & company. Furniture. 86 pages. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized Nov 14, 2007

American Silver of the XVII & XVIII Centuries: A Study Based on the ..., By Alphonso Trumpbour Clearwater, Clara Louise Avery, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.) Published 1920 by The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Silverwork. 216 pages. Original from Harvard University. Digitized Aug 23, 2007

also see:

American Decorative Arts, from the Pilgrims to the Revolution: An Exhibition ..., Published 1967 by Detroit Institute Of Arts. 48 pages

American Masters of Hollow Ware in the Late 20th Century, Georgia Museum of Art - 1997. Notes. 06/98.

Ann Orr: Silversmith, Goldsmith, & Enamelist, by Lane Coulter, Virginia Shields, William U. Eiland, Gary Noffke - Crafts & Hobbies - 1994. Catalog of an exhibition held at the Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, September 24-November 13, 1994.


DVD/VHS videos


American Heritage is a two-part 30 minute Wilton program that showcases American history through vivid images of past and present. An engaging overview for American art history and social studies students, particularly at the middle school level.

EARLY AMERICAN CRAFTS A comprehensive look at American folk arts from the cradle to the grave. Beautiful examples of household crafts, glass, silver, painting, scrimshaw, and gravestones complete with the ?how and why? of each craft.

AMERICAN WESTWARD MOVEMENT A stunning panorama of American expansion as seen through the eyes of artists who were there: Catlin, Bingham, Bierstadt, and Remington just to name a few. This colorful and historic program includes instructional maps, etchings, paintings, and photography.

TFAO does not maintain a lending library of videos or sell videos. Click here for information on how to borrow or purchase copies of VHS videos and DVDs listed in TFAO's Videos -DVD/VHS, an authoritative guide to videos in VHS and DVD format


Go to Crafts and Decorative arts: 18-19th Century, 19-20th Century, 20-21st Century

Return to Topics in American Representational Art


TFAO catalogues:

American Representational Art links to dozens of topics in American Representational Art

Audio Online a catalogue of online streaming audio recordings

Collections of Historic American Art notable private collections

Distinguished Artists a national registry of historic artists

Geographic Tour of American Representational Art History a catalogue of articles and essays that describe the evolution of American art from the inception of the United States to WWII.

Illustrated Audio Online streaming online narrated slide shows

Articles and Essays Online substantive texts published outside of Resource Library

Videos Online a comprehensive catalogue of online full motion videos streamed free to viewers

Videos an authoritative guide to videos in VHS and DVD format

Books general reference books published on paper

Interactive media media in CD-ROM format

Magazines paper-published magazines and journals

Links to sources of information outside of our web site are provided only as referrals for your further consideration. Please use due diligence in judging the quality of information contained in these and all other web sites. Information from linked sources may be inaccurate or out of date. TFAO neither recommends or endorses these referenced organizations. Although TFAO includes links to other web sites, it takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, nor exerts any editorial or other control over them. For more information on evaluating web pages see TFAO's General Resources section in Online Resources for Collectors and Students of Art History.


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