A Matter of Style:19th C. Furniture
Cast of Characters
Depression Era Art
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Keeping Us in Stitches
Matter of Style
Classical Revival
Gothic Revival
Rococo Revival
Renaissance Revival
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      In this gallery you will see six pieces of furniture from the Illinois State Museum's collection. Six furniture styles are featured that were popular in Illinois and in the United States during the nineteenth century. 

Learning about style—changes in furniture and other artifacts —helps us learn about how people lived, what they valued, and what technologies were available at that time. The pieces chosen are a piano, a chair, a desk, a mantel, and a table. They range from being handmade for a mansion, to being hand-carved by a retired farmer, to being mass produced by factory machines for the growing middle and lower middle classes. 

The pieces can also be seen (excepting the table) in context of their time in our Web site At Home in the Heartland, and on exhibit at the Museum in Springfield.


This time line represents approximate dates. Each style was popular at slightly different times in each part of the United States. The eastern states set the style first. A 'new' style might not have reached the rural Midwest until ten years after it gained popularity in New York or Boston. Also, styles tended to stay in fashion longer in the Midwest.


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