Classical Savannah: Fine & Decorative Arts, 1800-1840

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University of Georgia Press, 1995 - Design - 196 pages
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By the end of the eighteenth century, classicism, which arose out of Europe's fascination with ancient Greece and Rome, had also left its mark on America. This study of the classical style in the fine and decorative arts shows the extent to which it influenced the material culture of Savannah, Georgia, from 1800 to 1840. More than 130 examples of objects owned in Savannah in this period are illustrated, described, and discussed. The objects include oil paintings and watercolors, clocks, musical instruments, jewelry, sculptures, engravings, bank notes, needlework, china, silver, brass, lighting fixtures, architectural elements, and furniture.

Page Talbott presents an overview of the origins of classicism in Europe and its spread to America. Emphasizing Americans' close identification of classicism with national values and ideals, Talbott also discusses the style in the context of Savannah's social life and its history as a major southern port. She covers not only the principles, methods, and materials of classical design, but also the manufacture, distribution, sale, and ownership of a wide range of functional and decorative objects.

Classical Savannah is the companion volume to the Classical Savannah exhibition, which opened in the spring of 1995 at the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah. Illustrating well over half of the items in the exhibit, and including a detailed checklist of the additional seventy objects not shown in the book, Classical Savannah is a valuable source for historians, designers, decorators, collectors, and anyone interested in this period of America's history.

 

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Contents

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
FOREWORD by Olivia Evans Alison 5 The Classical Taste in the Early Nineteenth Century 6 ITS ANCIENT ORIGINS
TRANSMISSION OF STYLE
THE IMPACT OF NEOCLASSICISM ON THE UNITED STATES l8 NOTES
iii
2O CATALOGUE ENTRIES III
i
Savannah Georgia 18001840
1800
5O WILLIAM JAY S SAVANNAH
1810
JAY S PUBLIC BUILDINGS
1815
THE IMPACT OF THE RAILROAD ON SAVANNAH
1761
Il6 THE WANING OF CLASSICISM
1763
NEW PRODUCTS NEW LIFESTYLES
1766
NOTES I2O CATALOGUE ENTRIES 5964
1767
Classical Furniture in Savannah 126 NEW YORK FURNITURE 6589
1773
PHILADELPHIA FURNITURE gCJIOO 153 MASSACHUSETTS FURNITURE IOIIO2
1800
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND FURNITURE 103107
1802
l6o LOCALLY MADE FURNITURE AND CLOCKS 108113
1812

OTHER SAVANNAH HOUSES
1817
COASTWISE TRADE
1823
NOTES
1871
CATALOGUE ENTRIES 2358
1745
Checklist of Other Objects in the Exhibition
1821
Index
1840
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

Page Talbott is a decorative and fine arts consultant from Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. She has written extensively on the classical revival in America, on the history of American interiors, and on decorative arts in general. Talbott is the coauthor, with David A. Hanks, of Innovative Furniture in America, and is a contributor to Treasures of State and the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Three Centuries of American Art.

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