Paint, Pattern & People: Furniture of Southeastern Pennsylvania, 1725-1850

paint pattern people exhibition masthead


Small chest-over-drawers,

Small chest-over-drawers, probably made for Hannah Darlington, probably made by Moses Pyle, London Grove Township area, Chester County; 1747; 2001.19 Winterthur Museum partial purchase and partial gift of William R. Smith and sons in memory of Marjorie B. Smith, wife and mother

This landmark exhibition explored the stunning and diverse furniture of southeastern Pennsylvania and the people who made, owned, inherited, and collected it. Delving into the cultures and creativity of the area’s inhabitants, primarily those of British and Germanic heritage, this comprehensive show featured nearly 200 objects, including unique and colorful furniture, fraktur, needlework, paintings, and other items related to the history of the region.

Paint, Pattern & People shed new light on distinctive local variations of furniture, presenting rare examples for which the maker or family history is known. The exhibition was accompanied by a fully illustrated, 304-page publication. Join us for an in-depth exploration of this diverse region and its various creative expressions.



Paint, Pattern & People: Furniture of Southeastern Pennsylvania, 1725–1850

By Wendy A. Cooper and Lisa Minardi

Learn more about the diverse furniture of southeastern Pennsylvania in this groundbreaking publication. The region’s great diversity comes into focus through new scholarship as well as never-before-published furniture and related objects. Purchase online or in the Museum Bookstore. Members receive a 10% discount.


wooden chest

Chest, attributed to the Compass Artist, Lancaster County; 1785–1820; White pine, tulip-poplar, oak; paint; iron; Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Donald M. Herr

Major funding provided by

Kaufman Americana Foundation
Henry Luce Foundation
Elizabeth B. McGraw Foundation 
Richard C. von Hess Foundation

With support from


Portrait of Samuel Ensminger, Jr. and Portrait of Mrs. Samuel Ensminger, Jr. (Elizabeth Summy) and child,

Portrait of Samuel Ensminger, Jr. and Portrait of Mrs. Samuel Ensminger, Jr. (Elizabeth Summy) and child, attributed to Jacob Maentel (1778–1863?), Manheim, Lancaster County; 1831; Watercolor and ink on wove paper; Collection of Stephen and Dolores Smith

Pam and Jim Alexander; the Americana Foundation; the American Folk Art Society; Stephen and Susan Babinsky; Mrs. George P. Bissell, Jr.; Katharine and Robert Booth; Paul T. Clark; Susan Doherty and Syed Ali; DuPont Company; H. B. Ebert Foundation; Robert and Bobbie Falk; Susan Fetterolf and Jeffrey Gorrin; Henry Clay Frick Foundation; Tom and Karen Helm; Mr. and Mrs. Joseph C. Hoopes, Jr.; Dr.* and Mrs. Henry A. Jordan; George M.* and Linda H. Kaufman; Kelly Kinzle; Carl* and Julie Lindberg; Sara and Forbes Maner; Mr. and Mrs. John L. McGraw; Richard and Pamela Mones; National Endowment for the Arts; National Endowment for the Humanities; Pook & Pook, Inc.; Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP; Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Bowie Roberts, Jr.; Arthur D. Robson*; Dr. Margaret B. and Mr. John Ruttenberg; Irvin and Anita Schorsch; Katharine Draper Schutt; Shelley Pennsylvania German Heritage Fund; Stephen and Dolores Smith; John J. Snyder, Jr.; Marian S. Ware 2003 Charitable Lead Annuity Trust; Beth and Stanley Weiss; Wood Foundation of Chambersburg, PA; and Wyeth Foundation for American Art.  *Deceased.

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