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Kimbel and Cabus (New York, 1863–82). Cabinet-Secretary, circa 1875. Painted cherry, gilding, copper, brass, leather, earthenware, 60 × 35 × 14 in. (152.4 × 88.9 × 35.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Bequest of DeLancey Thorn Grant in memory of her mother, Louise Floyd-Jones Thorn, by exchange, 1991.126. (Photo: Gavin Ashworth)


                          
                          Kimbel and Cabus (New York, 1863–82). Cabinet-Secretary, circa 1875. Painted cherry, gilding, copper, brass, leather, earthenware, 60 × 35 × 14 in. (152.4 × 88.9 × 35.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Bequest of DeLancey Thorn Grant in memory of her mother, Louise Floyd-Jones Thorn, by exchange, 1991.126. (Photo: Gavin Ashworth)

Kimbel and Cabus (New York, 1863–82). Cabinet-Secretary, circa 1875. Painted cherry, gilding, copper, brass, leather, earthenware, 60 × 35 × 14 in. (152.4 × 88.9 × 35.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Bequest of DeLancey Thorn Grant in memory of her mother, Louise Floyd-Jones Thorn, by exchange, 1991.126. (Photo: Gavin Ashworth)

<p>Kimbel and Cabus (New York, 1863–82). Corner Chair, circa 1875. Painted soft maple, gilding, paper, copper alloy, rubber, modern textile, 27<sup>1</sup>/<sub>2</sub> × 18<sup>1</sup>/<sub>2</sub> × 18<sup>1</sup>/<sub>2</sub> in. (69.9 × 47 × 47 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Bequest of DeLancey Thorn Grant in memory of her mother, Louise Floyd-Jones Thorn, by exchange, 1992.9. (Photo: Gavin Ashworth)</p>

Kimbel and Cabus (New York, 1863–82). Corner Chair, circa 1875. Painted soft maple, gilding, paper, copper alloy, rubber, modern textile, 271/2 × 181/2 × 181/2 in. (69.9 × 47 × 47 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Bequest of DeLancey Thorn Grant in memory of her mother, Louise Floyd-Jones Thorn, by exchange, 1992.9. (Photo: Gavin Ashworth)

<p>Kimbel and Cabus (New York, 1863–82). Humidor, circa 1875. American black walnut, brass-plated nickel, 8<sup>1</sup>/<sub>8</sub> × 18 × 10<sup>1</sup>/<sub>4</sub> in. (20.6 × 45.7 × 26 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Purchase gift of Deedee and Barrie Wigmore, 2017.7. (Photo: Gavin Ashworth)</p>

Kimbel and Cabus (New York, 1863–82). Humidor, circa 1875. American black walnut, brass-plated nickel, 81/8 × 18 × 101/4 in. (20.6 × 45.7 × 26 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Purchase gift of Deedee and Barrie Wigmore, 2017.7. (Photo: Gavin Ashworth)

<p>Kimbel and Cabus (New York, 1863–82). Chair, circa 1875. Ebonized cherry, gilding, paper, modern textile, 35 × 20<sup>1</sup>/<sub>4</sub> × 24<sup>1</sup>/<sub>2</sub> in. (88.9 × 51.43 × 62.2 cm). Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Promised Gift of Barrie A. and Deedee Wigmore, L.2019.66.30. © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Photo: Art Resource, NY)</p>

Kimbel and Cabus (New York, 1863–82). Chair, circa 1875. Ebonized cherry, gilding, paper, modern textile, 35 × 201/4 × 241/2 in. (88.9 × 51.43 × 62.2 cm). Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Promised Gift of Barrie A. and Deedee Wigmore, L.2019.66.30. © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Photo: Art Resource, NY)

<p>Kimbel and Cabus (New York, 1863–82). Desk and Display Cabinet, circa 1876. Ebonized cherry, gilt, polychrome, silver, mirrored mercury-tin amalgam, clear glass, velvet, brass, 81<sup>1</sup>/<sub>2</sub> × 52 × 20 in.(207 × 132.1 × 50.8 cm). The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Richard C. von Hess Foundation Acquisition Fund; partial gift of Michael and Anis Merson; and purchase with exchange funds from Bequest of Margaret Anna Abell; Bequest of Eleanor M. Anderson; Bequest of Alice Worthington Ball; Decorative Arts Fund; Gift of Elizabeth S. Ellis, from the Estate of Margaret Anna Abell; Gift of William Bose Marye; Bequest of Margaret D. Morriss; Gift of Abram Moses, in Memory of his Wife, Carrie Gutman Moses; Gift of Mrs. John W. Nicol, Jr.; Gift of Merrell L. Stout, Jr., in Memory of his Father, Dr. Merrell L. Stout, BMA 1999.150. (Photo: Mitro Hood)</p>

Kimbel and Cabus (New York, 1863–82). Desk and Display Cabinet, circa 1876. Ebonized cherry, gilt, polychrome, silver, mirrored mercury-tin amalgam, clear glass, velvet, brass, 811/2 × 52 × 20 in.(207 × 132.1 × 50.8 cm). The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Richard C. von Hess Foundation Acquisition Fund; partial gift of Michael and Anis Merson; and purchase with exchange funds from Bequest of Margaret Anna Abell; Bequest of Eleanor M. Anderson; Bequest of Alice Worthington Ball; Decorative Arts Fund; Gift of Elizabeth S. Ellis, from the Estate of Margaret Anna Abell; Gift of William Bose Marye; Bequest of Margaret D. Morriss; Gift of Abram Moses, in Memory of his Wife, Carrie Gutman Moses; Gift of Mrs. John W. Nicol, Jr.; Gift of Merrell L. Stout, Jr., in Memory of his Father, Dr. Merrell L. Stout, BMA 1999.150. (Photo: Mitro Hood)

<p>Kimbel and Cabus (New York, 1863–82). Table, circa 1875. Ebonized wood, gilding, paper, metal. 30<sup>7</sup>/<sub>8</sub> × 42 × 27 in. (78.4 × 106.7 × 68.6 cm). Collection of Deedee and Barrie Wigmore. (Photo: Gavin Ashworth)</p>

Kimbel and Cabus (New York, 1863–82). Table, circa 1875. Ebonized wood, gilding, paper, metal. 307/8 × 42 × 27 in. (78.4 × 106.7 × 68.6 cm). Collection of Deedee and Barrie Wigmore. (Photo: Gavin Ashworth)

<p>Kimbel and Cabus (New York, 1863–82). Étagère, circa 1875. American black walnut, earthenware, metal, paint, 60<sup>1</sup>/<sub>2</sub> × 41<sup>1</sup><sub>/2</sub> × 15<sup>3</sup>/<sub>4</sub> in. (153.7 × 105.4 × 40 cm). Collection of Ann Pyne. (Photo: Gavin Ashworth)</p>

Kimbel and Cabus (New York, 1863–82). Étagère, circa 1875. American black walnut, earthenware, metal, paint, 601/2 × 411/2 × 153/4 in. (153.7 × 105.4 × 40 cm). Collection of Ann Pyne. (Photo: Gavin Ashworth)

<p>Kimbel and Cabus (New York, 1863–82). Armchair, circa 1875. American black walnut, leather, 35<sup>5</sup>/<sub>8</sub> × 23 × 23<sup>3</sup>/<sub>4</sub> in. (90.5 × 58.4 × 60.3 cm). Collection of Andrew VanStyn. (Photo: Mitro Hood)</p>

Kimbel and Cabus (New York, 1863–82). Armchair, circa 1875. American black walnut, leather, 355/8 × 23 × 233/4 in. (90.5 × 58.4 × 60.3 cm). Collection of Andrew VanStyn. (Photo: Mitro Hood)

<p>Kimbel and Cabus (New York, 1863–82). Drop-front Desk, circa 1875. American black walnut, tulip poplar, metal, 79<sup>1</sup>/<sub>2</sub> × 42 × 14<sup>1</sup>/<sub>4</sub> in. (201.9 × 106.7 × 36.2 cm). Collection of Andrew VanStyn. (Photo: Mitro Hood)</p>

Kimbel and Cabus (New York, 1863–82). Drop-front Desk, circa 1875. American black walnut, tulip poplar, metal, 791/2 × 42 × 141/4 in. (201.9 × 106.7 × 36.2 cm). Collection of Andrew VanStyn. (Photo: Mitro Hood)

Modern Gothic: The Inventive Furniture of Kimbel and Cabus, 1863–82

July 2, 2021–February 13, 2022

Over the course of their nearly twenty-year partnership, Anton Kimbel (1822–1895) and Joseph Cabus (1824–1898) developed one of New York City's leading furniture and decorating firms. Sons of German and French cabinetmaking families, they defined a new take on Modern Gothic design, a style that originated in Britain and was embraced by a growing middle class in the post–Civil War United States. Combining British and continental European design sources, Kimbel and Cabus's furniture forms featured bold, clean lines and rich surface decoration, and the firm used innovative production techniques to offer these striking artistic objects at a variety of prices.

Modern Gothic: The Inventive Furniture of Kimbel and Cabus, 1863–82 is the first museum exhibition to trace Kimbel and Cabus's American success story with new scholarship and primary sources, offering fresh insight into the history of the enterprising design team, their ambitious marketing practices, and their forward-looking clientele. Over sixty objects are on view, with rare examples of furniture from their famous chair designs and dramatic, monumental desks to their quirky, smaller forms decorated with fanciful paper panels, as well as books and ephemera.

Modern Gothic: The Inventive Furniture of Kimbel and Cabus, 1863–82 is organized by the Brooklyn Museum and curated by guest curator Barbara Veith in consultation with Medill H. Harvey, Ruth Bigelow Wriston Associate Curator of American Decorative Arts and Manager of the Henry R. Luce Center, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Shea Spiller, Curatorial Assistant, Arts of the Americas and Europe, Brooklyn Museum.

Leadership support for this exhibition is provided by Deedee and Barrie Wigmore.