The Peabody Essex “In Plain Sight”

plain sight

Nathaniel Gould’s Account Book (1763–90). Nathan Dane Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston. © 2014 Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Dennis Helmar Photography.

Nathaniel Gould has long been associated with some of the finest period furniture to come out of Salem, Massachusetts, but we didn’t know how much until recently. In 2007 three of Gould’s account books were discovered locked away in the Massachusetts Historical Society and they showed he was far more prolific than originally thought – the ledgers document over 3000 pieces made between 1758 and 1783.

The ledgers have been the focus of intense study since their discovery. The result of all this scholarship is a new exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass. called In Plain Sight: Discovering the Furniture of Nathaniel Gould. The exhibit opens on November 15, 2014 and runs through March 1, 2015.

I plan on making the trek to Salem to view the exhibit, but there will also be a 284 page catalog accompanying the exhibit. The catalog will be available through the Peabody Essex museum store once the exhibit opens. Until then you’ll just have to enjoy the few photos I’ve included here.

—Chuck Bender