drawing of a bedroom

Go To Your Room! Interior Design & the Youthful Imagination

The ubiquitous catalogs, home design television shows, and retail stores make it seem as though the child’s bedroom has always been its own unique design space in the American home. The evolution of this room however, didn’t actually begin until the early 20th century when nearly every home decorating manual

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treasures on trial exhibition masthead

Treasures on Trial: The Art and Science of Detecting Fakes

Frauds. Fakes. Trickery. Deceit! Visitors were invited to put on their CSI hat and investigate some of the most clever and costliest deceptions of our time in the captivating exhibition Treasures on Trial: The Art and Science of Detecting Fakes. Read rave reviews from the Associated Press article,which also appeared

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tiffany lamp

Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light

As a painter, Louis C. Tiffany was captivated by the interplay of light and color, and this fascination found its most spectacular expression in his glass “paintings.” Through the medium of opalescent glass, Tiffany could actually capture light in color and manipulate it to achieve impressionistic effects. Using new and

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illustration of a rider and horse in a race

A Day at the Races

America's passion for horse racing began in 1665, with the opening of the first racetrack in the colonies in Long Island, N.Y. The sport grew especially popular in the Middle Atlantic and Southern states, where many horse farms and tracks still exist today. By 1750 the distinct breed of Thoroughbred

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The Byrdcliffe Arts and Crafts Colony

In 1901 Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead purchased about 1,000 acres of land near Woodstock, New York, in order to establish an artists colony. He named it "Byrdcliffe," combining his wife's middle name with a portion of his own middle name. During the winter of 1902, Whitehead initiated the construction of buildings,

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uncle sam paper toy

Maxine Waldron Collection of Children’s Books and Paper Toys

Maxine Maxson Waldron, a collector and researcher with an interest in art, fashion, and interior decoration, was born in 1898 in Iowa and studied art at Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York.

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elephant drawing

Paper Menagerie

The library's books, photographs, and printed ephemera capture mammals and birds on paper. Indeed, the rise of interest in the portrayal of animals, whether in the home or from exotic lands, in the 18th and 19th centuries coincides with the library's periods of greatest concentration.

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early illustration of man and tobacco

Tobacco: The Sovereign Herb

From its early beginnings as the first profitable crop in the New World to today's popular cigar bars and class action lawsuits against industry giants, tobacco has held a prominent, if controversial, role in our nation's history.

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early american still

Drinking in Early America

Alcohol undoubtedly played a significant role in the daily lives of colonists. Numerous reasons existed to justify the colonists' drinking habits: a fear of a polluted water supply, a belief in alcohol's nourishing and medicinal properties, and its role in warming them in a cold climate.

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barber shop

Personal Hygiene in America

Ever wonder what life was like before running water and today's endless assortment of toiletries? The plumbing and products we take for granted were nonexistent in colonial days, and this absence was glaringly apparent to visitors. Early travelers to this country noted the overall unclean condition of Americans--as one English

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