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Decorative Arts

On View: American Identities: A New Look, American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, From Colonies to States, 1660–1830, 5th Floor

The original Dutch settlers were less inclined than the English colonists to confront the frontier. Preferring to live in the colonies as they had in the Netherlands, they imported luxury objects such as the tea caddy and charger shown nearby. Even when New Amsterdam became New York in 1664, the Dutch colonials stood apart culturally from the English and consciously tried to maintain their differences, especially their adherence to the Dutch Reformed Church and their language.

The kas (large storage cupboard) is an example of the perpetuation of Dutch material culture. The forms continued to be made by descendants of Dutch colonials well into the eighteenth century, even though it had disappeared in the Netherlands. Interestingly, when the kas died out in the United States in the later nineteenth century, it was revived in the Netherlands as an expression of nationalism.

DATES early 19th century
DIMENSIONS 81 x 62 1/2 x 30 1/2 in. (205.7 x 158.8 x 77.5 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mr. W. C. Bunn
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CAPTION Kas, early 19th century. Wood, 81 x 62 1/2 x 30 1/2 in. (205.7 x 158.8 x 77.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. W. C. Bunn, 21.438. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, 21.438_PS4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Kas (Dutch style cupboard), fruitwood, with heavy over-hanging cornice, paneled doors, stiles and drawers, ball feet, inside fitted with shelves. Condition: Good
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