Public Program, Exhibition New Thoughts on Old Things: Four Centuries of Furnishing the Northeast 4 October 2013.Friday, 10:00AM - 5:30PM Location: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Co-sponsored by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Historical Society, this day-long symposium is devoted to new scholarly research on the design, production, and circulation of furnishings in New England. New Thoughts on Old Things will feature keynote speaker Glenn Adamson, Head of Research at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London, along with a select group of emerging scholars. The event is associated with Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture—a collaborative of 11 institutions celebrating furniture and furniture-making in Massachusetts. For more information on the Four Centuries initiative and events, please visit:

To Reserve: The symposium is free with admission to the museum. Advanced ticketing recommended. For information, please contact Lauren Spengler at

Event Details

Keynote Speaker: Glenn Adamson, Head of Research, V&A Museum, Furniture History: The View from Old England


  • Tania Batley, E. W. Vaill Patent Chair Manufacturer (Worcester, MA)
  • Nicole Belolan, Aunt Patty's Furniture: Adult Cradles and the History of Physical Mobility Impairment in Early America
  • Louisa Brouwer, “Vanishable Antiques”: The Story of Israel Sack, Inc., and the Building of an American Industry
  • Ben Colman, Between Memory and Antiquity:The Circulation of Seventeenth-Century Furniture in 18th-Century Plymouth
  • Philippe Halbert, Noblesse in New France: Furnishing the Hôtel de Vaudreuil and the Chateau Saint-Louis 1725-1760
  • Marissa S. Hershon, The Egyptian Revival in the 1870's: The Reception Room at Cedar Hill (Warwick, RI)
  • Jennifer N. Johnson, Patterns of Gentility: Pictorial Needlework Upholstery of Eighteenth-Century Newport