Rooms With A View

200 Years of American Design

Rooms with a View draws on the long and rich traditions of domestic and decorative arts used in transforming our houses into safe, comfortable, and appealing homes.

More about this exhibition

Interior design and home makeovers have become one of America’s favorite pastimes. Television channels are dedicated to the idea of making a person’s home reflect their individual needs, style and love of beauty. Our homes reflect our needs and tastes, our values, and our love for beauty. This story of home design begins in the colonial period and moves into the mid-twentieth-century. It brings together articles of daily use and adornment, fine arts and hand-crafts, furnishings and costumes to examine how our needs and tastes are constantly evolving. This is not a comprehensive index of design; rather, it features stylistic highlights and showcases seldom-seen objects drawn from the museum’s collections along with pieces on loan from area antique shops and private collections.

Highlights of the exhibition include a Hartford Chest, Woodbury case furniture, and pieces made by Eliphalet Chapin, preeminent cabinet maker in the Connecticut Valley in the second half of the 1700s.The Victorian era’s spirited, luxurious forms will come to life in a recreation of the Luther White Parlor, a gift to the Museum from the late H. Wade White in 1957 of furniture, paintings, mirrors and ornamental articles from his family home. The new excitement in American design from the 1920s modern movement will be represented by the sleek and efficient furniture and household items inspired by the industrial age.

The exhibition will provide an overview of regional design for both the experienced collector and the inquisitive novice.