FREEHOLD – The Monmouth County Historical Association’s newest exhibition, “Of the Best Materials and Good Workmanship: 19th Century New Jersey Chairmaking” will open on Jan. 23 at the association’s museum at 70 Court St. The exhibition will remain open through July 9.
The reception and formal opening of the exhibition will be held on Jan. 23 from 2-4 p.m. Curator of Museum Collections Joseph W. Hammond will be available to point out highlights of the displays, explain the various woods used in chair making, and trace the interest of the craft in 18th and 19th century America. The reception is open to the public and refreshments will be served, according to a press release.
Hammond was the guest curator of a similar exhibition at the Morven Museum in Princeton and is the curator for this exhibition, the last time it will be on display in its entirety.
This exhibition explores the diversity of products made by chair makers in New Jersey from the late 18th century through 1900 and explores four different galleries: the craft of chair making, Windsor chairs, common chairs, and factory made chairs. It draws from chair makers from throughout the Garden State, including a large collection of chair making tools, equipment, benches, patterns and stencils collected by William H. MacDonald of Trenton, according to the press release.
MacDonald, who at one time worked in Freehold, donated the collection to the association in the mid and late 20th century. The exhibition represents the first time the entire collection of tools, equipment and patterns have ever been displayed together.
Hammond explained that the name for the exhibition is taken from the language commonly used by New Jersey manufacturers in their newspaper advertisements promoting themselves against craftsmen from New York and Philadelphia.
For further information about the association, call 732-462-1466 or visit www.monmouthhistory.org