Tree Rings, Paint Chips, and Faded Text: Using Technology and Period Documents in Reinterpreting the American Wing Period Rooms

In this lecture series, Museum curators showcase the architectural elements, silver, ceramics, furniture, and other works now on view in The American Wing.

Cynthia Van Allen Schaffner, a research associate in American Decorative Arts, describes the second stage of the Museum's major renovation of the American Wing. "The New American Wing Part 2: The Charles Engelhard Court and the Period Rooms," as the project was called, included the reconfiguration and renovation of twelve of the earliest period rooms. The American Wing curators are always reviewing and revising installations, incorporating advances in science, technology and historic restoration, and new research enabled the reinterpretation of these historic seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century interiors.

The Period Rooms are a careful combination of architectural elements, often rescued from condemned buildings, with contemporaneous works of decorative arts and furniture from the Museum's collection. You may explore more contextual information about the rooms' history and furniture by using new touch screen technology available when you visit the Museum.

Cynthia Van Allen Schaffner, research associate, Department of American Decorative Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This Saturday at the Met is made possible by the Clara Lloyd-Smith Weber Fund. 

Learn more about plans for the finished New American Wing, to open January 16, 2012:

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