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I like in a relatively small city (2.4MM in the metro area, but spread out - not a cultural center compared to places like London, NY or even Philadelphia, etc).
We have a museum of art, but I didn't expect to find any 18th century furniture in it of note.
I was wrong. We went a couple of weeks ago, and i saw superb period Boston work, continental furniture of the highest workmanship and design covering a period of a couple of hundred years (not lots of pieces, maybe 10, but they weren't all from the same time period), a superb grandfather clock made locally in the late 1700s or early 1800s, and even a Roentgen round top desk.
I erred in thinking there wouldn't be anything around here of that level that was just donated to a museum (maybe some was on lend), because there are old bank and steel heirs (and that is who owned many of them).
To say it's inspiring to see that level of work in person is an understatement. At some point, I need to go back and take pictures now that I know the photo policy of the museum. With kids there bouncing around, the security was on us tight, and there was no curator roving to ask questions. I felt the urge to keep moving for the benefit of the kids, and for the benefit of the very nervous security fellow.
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- Surprising Local Furniture