Exhibitions/ Artistic Furniture of the Gilded Age

Artistic Furniture of the Gilded Age

At The Met Fifth Avenue
December 15, 2015–June 5, 2016

Exhibition Overview

This exhibition reveals the most sumptuous moment in late nineteenth-century America—a period known as the Gilded Age—through the work of some of the most noted design firms at the time. The centerpiece of the three-part exhibition is the opulent Worsham-Rockefeller Dressing Room from the New York City house commissioned by art collector and philanthropist Arabella Worsham (later Huntington; ca. 1850–1924). A complete work of art, with its elaborate woodwork and decorations, it is a rare surviving commission by the New York–based cabinetmaker and interior decorator George A. Schastey (American, 1839–1894).

Although little known today, Schastey operated a large and successful decorating firm in the late nineteenth century, catering to some of the nation's wealthiest individuals. Loans from public and private collections will highlight his work and important role; some of these works are newly attributed to him and have never before been on public view. The exhibition will also include furniture by some of Schastey's contemporaries.

An adjoining gallery will display works by Schastey's best-known competitor, Herter Brothers, that were created for the firm's most important commission, the William H. Vanderbilt House. In total, the exhibition will include more than three dozen examples of furniture from America's Gilded Age. Visitors will gain new insights into the luxurious and artistic interiors found in New York's wealthiest households in the late nineteenth century.


Accompanied by a Bulletin

Featured Media


"Opulent."—Wall Street Journal

Artistic Furniture of the Gilded Age: George A. Schastey is made possible by the Enterprise Holdings Endowment and The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation.

Additional support is provided by Karen H. Bechtel.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Winter 2016 Bulletin is made possible by the William Cullen Bryant Fellows.

The Museum's quarterly Bulletin program is supported in part by the Lila Acheson Wallace Fund for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, established by the cofounder of Reader's Digest.

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in

Exhibition Objects

George A. Schastey & Co. (1873–97). Detail of the Worsham-Rockefeller Dressing Room, New York City, 1881–82. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of The Museum of the City of New York, 2008 (2009.226.1–19a–f)