As part of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s recent 150 anniversary, the British Galleries were redesigned—featuring more than 10,000 square feet devoted to British decorative arts, design, and sculpture created between 1500-1900. The 10 galleries showcase 700 works of art including a conserved 17th-century staircase from Cassiobury House (a now lost manor house) that matches one at Sudbury, a National Trust property. Three magnificent English country house interiors from Kirtlington Park, Croome Court, and Lansdowne House have been transformed by painstaking restoration and new lighting and remain at the heart of the galleries.
The visual exuberance of the 18th century is explored through 100 English teapots displayed in two 12-foot-tall semi-circular cases, as well as a huge “retail case” containing enameled candlesticks, silver toys, nécessaires, and gold boxes. The new gallery installation examines the intersection of British creativity and entrepreneurialism, and also illuminates the intense commercial drive that arose among British artists, manufacturers, and retailers over the course of 400 years.
Dr. Wolf Burchard will talk about the new galleries illustrating the magnificent interiors and highlight some of the new acquisitions and treasures of British design and craftsmanship.
Wolf Burchard, PhD is Associate Curator in the European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and lead curator of the museum’s new British Galleries. Previously, he was Curatorial Assistant at the Royal Collection and Furniture Research Curator at the National Trust, where his research was generously funded by the Royal Oak Foundation. He is a member of the Council and Editorial Panel of the Furniture History Society and sat on the executive committees of the Georgian Group and the Society for Court Studies as well on advisory boards at the chateau de Versailles, the Mobilier national in Paris and the German Embassy in London.