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FREE | April 20–November 3, 2013

Early American Silver from the Cahn Collection presents masterworks of the premier Boston silversmiths such as Paul Revere and New York silversmith Myer Myers, whose objects are shown throughout the museum's buildings. Early Americans collected silver objects (also called plate) for their utility, to demonstrate their sophistication and to keep up with current styles. Silver was also a valuable commodity that could be bought, sold or passed on to heirs.

St. Louis collectors Paul and Elissa Cahn have assembled one of the finest collections of American and English silver in the world and are generous in sharing their treasures with the public.

This exhibition will be on display in several locations in the museum. You will find objects in the American galleries, alongside American paintings and furniture and in the period room, the Hall from the Robert Hooper House. You will also find works of 18th century American silver alongside their European counterparts on the Plaza Level.

Because contemporary silver artists still use the same methods as their 18th-century predecessors, you will find some of the Cahn collection in the Bloch Building alongside works by Kansas City artists Robyn Nichols and Erica Voetsch. While styles have changed, the techniques are the same.

A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition and can be viewed in the Spencer Art Reference Library or purchased in the Museum Store. If you want to learn more about Early American silver, view suggested reading list.

This exhibition has been organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.  It is supported in Kansas City by the Campbell-Calvin Fund and Elizabeth C. Bonner Charitable Trust for exhibitions. 

Paul Revere Jr., Boston, 1734–1818. Covered Sugar Urn, ca. 1790. 9 1/4 inches high. The Cahn Collection, St. Louis, Missouri. Photo: David Ulmer.
Myer Myers, New York, 1723–1795. Waiter, ca. 1768. Silver. 1 1/4 x 12 1/16 inches. The Cahn Collection, St. Louis, Missouri. Photo: David Ulmer.

Spotlight: Silver

Saturday, September 28 | 1–3 p.m.

This special event will shed light on the artistry of silver from several perspectives–its historical context, its conservation and preservation, and its use as an exciting medium for contemporary artists.