Research: Luce Center for American Art

At Home in America

The Museum's renowned chronological series of American period rooms on the fourth floor traces the history of interiors in the United States, from the Dutch and English colonies, beginning about 1700, through the early twentieth century. The Luce Center for American Art contains many of the types of objects that would have been included in such rooms. To meet the demands of daily life through changing times, various furniture forms evolved that were characteristic of different periods of interior decoration in American houses. Periods were also distinguished by their decorative motifs. During the period of the struggle for independence and the early republic, for example, the patriotic symbol of the eagle often appeared as decoration on objects and furniture. Other historic factors have influenced the design of decorative objects. Evolving tastes for new foods, for example, have inspired new forms for tablewares. New technologies, especially in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, demanded new forms, such as electric lighting and television and radio sets.

In American paintings, domestic interiors--often carefully delineated--have long served as settings for narrative and genre works. Artists have also included glimpses of interiors as backgrounds for portraits.

22 objects are included in this theme. They are arranged into 3 groups:
Colonial Interior
19th Century Interior
Modern Interior

Colonial Interior
50.57 Joseph Blackburn
Portrait of a Woman, ca. 1762

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1997.150.1a-b William Savery
Armchair, ca. 1760

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1997.150.14 Unknown
Card Table, ca. 1800

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19th Century Interior
24.72 Raphaelle Peale
Still Life with Cake, 1822

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35.1865 Raphaelle Peale
Still Life with Peaches, 1821

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40.60 Eastman Johnson
Not at Home, ca. 1873

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45.157 William McGregor Paxton
Girl Arranging Flowers, 1921

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51.211 Stacy Tolman
The Musicale, 1887

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57.68 Frederick R. Spencer
Family Group, 1840

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1992.89 Pottier & Stymus
Armchair (Egyptian Revival style), ca. 1870

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1993.210 Platt Powell Ryder
Fireside Companion, 1889

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1994.153 Allen & Brother
Center Table, ca. 1875

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1995.15 Alexander Roux
Sideboard, ca. 1855

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1996.43.1 Samuel Lovett Waldo
David Leavitt, ca. 1820-1825

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1996.43.2 Samuel Lovett Waldo
Maria Clarissa Leavitt, ca. 1820-1825

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1998.89 Cornelius & Baker
Candelabrum, ca. 1853

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1999.113 Cecelia Beaux
Mrs. Robert Abbe (Catherine Amory Bennett), 1898-1899

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2001.47.1 John La Farge
Flowers on a Japanese Tray on a Mahogany Table, 1879

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Modern Interior
83.158 Sparks-Withington Co.
Sparton Table Radio, ca. 1936

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87.121 Gilbert Rohde
Desk Lamp, ca. 1933

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1998.44 Catherine Winkler
Predicta Line Pedestal, Model 4654 (Television), Designed 1958

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1999.141.5 Gilbert Rohde
Clock, Model 4082, ca. 1933

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