Categories
Art Curatorial

From the Collection—Elderkin Great Chair

A treasure you’ll find at the Milwaukee Art Museum: One of the oldest known pieces of American furniture to survive. Let me say that again: At the Museum is one of the oldest known pieces of American furniture.

This dramatic chair was made sometime in the mid-1600s in Connecticut or Massachusetts. Of course, at the time of its construction, its maker would have identified himself and the style of this chair as English. And yes, three-legged chairs of this type were not uncommon in England, but on the faraway shores of New England, this Great Chair was a great novelty.

Categories
Art Events

If You Had 15 Words to Last Forever, What Would You Say?

Dave Project workshop participants cutting the clay that will be inscribed

This past spring Theaster Gates created an installation at the Milwaukee Art Museum called To Speculate Darkly: Theaster Gates and Dave the Potter. The installation was centered on a Dave Drake ceramic pot. Dave Drake, also known as Dave the Potter, was an enslaved potter in antebellum South Carolina. He was, and is still, unique in that he not only made 40-gallon pots (any experienced potter can tell you how hard this is to do), but in that he wrote couplets on these pots and signed his name. Dave did this at a time when it was illegal for slaves to be literate.