Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Wardrobe

Maker:
Herter Brothers (German, active New York, 1864–1906)
Date:
1880–85
Geography:
Made in New York, New York, United States
Culture:
American
Medium:
Cherry
Dimensions:
78 1/2 x 49 1/2 x 26 in. (199.4 x 125.7 x 66 cm)
Classification:
Furniture
Credit Line:
Gift of Kenneth O. Smith, 1969
Accession Number:
69.140a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 746
Herter Brothers, the firm of Gustave and Christian Herter, produced furniture and integrated interior designs in a great variety of styles. This wardrobe epitomizes their Anglo-Japanesque style of the 1870s, incorporating many of the design principles that the British critic Charles Locke Eastlake (1793–1865) promoted in the most widely read primer of the Aesthetic movement, his "Hints on Household Taste" (1868), published in America in 1872. The wardrobe is spare, rectilinear, and, as Eastlake espoused, has no "extravagant contour or unnecessary curves." Despite its apparent simplicity, however, the wardrobe is a highly sophisticated object. It references Ming-dynasty cupboards of the seventeenth century that are nearly identical in form, and the marquetry decoration is one of the most remarkable examples in the Herter oeuvre.
Inscription: stamped on the back near the top: HERTER BRO'S
Lillian Russell, New York, after 1880; Kenneth O. Smith, Upper Montclair, New Jersey, until 1969
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