Finery & Finish


Credit: Jay Vanrensselaer

Furniture making emerged as one of Baltimore's most significant crafts from the late 1700s through the first quarter of the 19th century. Cabinet shops flourished throughout the port city, and many craftsmen became famous for specialized techniques such as inlay, veneer, and painted and gilded decoration. Interpreting English prototypes for the republic's newly independent elite, a skilled group of cabinetmakers created a distinctly Baltimore style through the choice and execution of these opulent, yet refined, decorative details.

Homewood Museum of Johns Hopkins University will host Finery & Finish: Embellishments on Baltimore Federal Furniture, an exhibition of approximately 20 pieces of such furniture, from September 18 through January 4. Many of the works come to the museum from private collections—meaning they have never been seen by the public—while others have not been on display since 1947. Visit for information.