Chris Schwarz's Blog

Peter Follansbee Under Glass

If you have been following Peter
Follansbee’s blog then you know that he has been working on an
interesting commission for the Museum of Fine Arts Boston brand new “Art of the Americas” wing.

The
piece is now on display and alert reader Colin Hayward sent us the
above photo and rave review of the new wing and its 53 rooms.

“More
highboys, Newport block front desks and carved sideboards than you can
poke a stick at, and several rooms of 17th-century furniture,” he wrote.
“Really spectacular stuff.”

Follansbee contributed the top part
of the cupboard that hangs above the original, which is circa 1690-1710
and is probably from Woburn, Mass., according to the museum.

Here’s the museum’s description of the work:

“The
bottom section of the cupboard at left dates from about 1680; the upper
section is modern, made to show how the cupboard might have originally
appeared. Peter Follansbee, the master joiner at Plimoth Plantation, and
MFA curators examined objects attributed to  the woodworker who made
the old chest, and then used techniques available in seventeenth-century
New England to make the new section. Scientific analysis of the
original paint provided the basis for the color scheme. Unusual
construction features suggest that the craftsman was not a full-time
furniture maker but, like most rural artisans, also a house carpenter or
joiner and probably a farmer as well.”

You can read about Follansbee’s work on the top on his blog here and here. Plus there are lots more entries on construction and sleuthing the piece on his blog. All good stuff.

Congratulations to Follansbee. And now I need to get myself to Boston.

— Christopher Schwarz

2 thoughts on “Peter Follansbee Under Glass

  1. Al R.

    Chris, a very similar piece was also executed by Ted Boscana of Williamsburg’s historic carpenters group, although I don’t recall carved panels being a part of it.

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