Architecture, Design & Decorative Arts

The collection of American and European decorative arts ranges from medieval stained glass to 21st-century furniture.

18th-century Decorative Arts

Works made during the 18th century form the greatest concentration in the collection, and include European pottery and porcelain, English silver, French furniture and European and American rooms.

The Burnap Collection of English Pottery, with more than 1,300 examples of slipware, tin-glazed earthenware and stoneware, is the most important collection of pre-industrial British pottery outside Britain. Donations from the Folgers Coffee Corporation and the Wallenstein family add other media to the understanding of 18th-century art and culture.

The Starr Collection of Miniatures provides an excellent illustration of European portrait miniatures, with more than 250 examples ranging from the late-16th century to the 19th century.

19th- to 21st-century Decorative Arts

The collection of 19th- to early 21st-century decorative arts includes representations of many design movements, including the Arts & Crafts Movement, Art Nouveau and the Bauhaus to works produced today.

Recent acquisitions have focused on European and American late 19th- and early 20th-century furniture, ceramics and silver. Contemporary ceramics, especially functional works produced by Kansas City or artists who studied in the region, are another strength.

Decorative Arts are displayed throughout the galleries with paintings, sculpture and works on paper, highlighting connections between objects that evoke a greater understanding of the social, economic, political, religious and artistic contexts of the past.

Joris Laarman, Dutch (b. 1979). <em>Makerchair Jigsaw (Prototype)</em>, 2014.
Joris Laarman, Dutch (b. 1979). Makerchair Jigsaw (Prototype), 2014.
ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), 31 1/2 × 23 5/8 × 25 9/16 inches. Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust through exchange of the gift of Robert Q. Sutherland and other Trust properties, 2014.22. © Joris Laarman.
Factory of John Dwight, England (Fulham), 1670-1859. <em>Covered Tankard</em>, ca. 1685-1690.
Factory of John Dwight, England (Fulham), 1670-1859. Covered Tankard, ca. 1685-1690.
Stoneware with salt glaze, height: 10 1/2 inches. Gift of Frank P. Burnap, 55-77 A,B.
<em>Armor for Man and Horse</em>, Italy (Milan), ca. 1565.
Armor for Man and Horse, Italy (Milan), ca. 1565.
Steel and copper with gilding, leather, and textile, 6 feet 4 inches x 8 feet x 45 inches. Gift of the Laura Nelson Kirkwood Residuary Trust, 42-41.
Jean-Joseph Lepaute, clock movement, French (1768-1846). Manufacturer: Sèvres Imperiale Manufactory, France (1756-present), Clock, 1813.
Jean-Joseph Lepaute, clock movement, French (1768-1846). Manufacturer: Sèvres Imperiale Manufactory, France (1756-present), Clock, 1813.
Soft-paste porcelain with gilding, copper alloy with mercury gilding, and brass movement, 51 1/2 x 11 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harry J. Renken Sr, 66-44.
Adam Weisweiler, German (active Paris, France, 1744-1820). <em>Chest of Drawers</em>, ca. 1780.
Adam Weisweiler, German (active Paris, France, 1744-1820). Chest of Drawers, ca. 1780.
Ebony, mahogany, Japanese lacquer, varnish and copper alloy with mercury gilding and marble, 38 5/8 x 58 7/8 x 24 inches. Purchase: the Kenneth A. and Helen F. Spencer Foundation Acquisition Fund, F70-43 A,B.
Kenneth Ferguson, American (1928-2004). <em>Four-Legged Vessel</em>, 1992.
Kenneth Ferguson, American (1928-2004). Four-Legged Vessel, 1992.
Stoneware with slip, 15 1/2 x 16 x 13 1/2 inches. Purchase: acquired through the generosity of the Richard M. and Carol H. Levin Foundation, F95-2 A,B. © Estate of Kenneth Ferguson.
John La Farge, American (1835-1910). <em>Peonies Blowing in the Wind</em>, 1889.
John La Farge, American (1835-1910). Peonies Blowing in the Wind, 1889.
Stained glass, 56 1/2 x 26 1/2 inches. Gift of the Enid and Crosby Kemper Foundation, F88-34.
Thomas Pitts I, English (London, active 1744-1793). <em>Epergne</em>, 1761.
Thomas Pitts I, English (London, active 1744-1793). Epergne, 1761.
Silver, 24 x 40 inches. The Folgers Coffee Silver Collection, Gift of The Procter & Gamble Company; Collected by Joseph S. Atha, F99-21/59 A-X.
Attributed to the Workshop of Nathaniel Gould, American (Salem, Massachusetts), 1734-1782. <em>Chest-on-Chest</em>, ca. 1760.
Attributed to the Workshop of Nathaniel Gould, American (Salem, Massachusetts), 1734-1782. Chest-on-Chest, ca. 1760.
Mahogany and white pine with brass, 7 feet 7 inches x 44 1/2 inches x 22 7/8 inches, Upper: 4 feet 2 3/4 inches x 43 1/2 inches x 22 1/4 inches, Lower: 41 1/8 x 44 1/2 x 22 7/8 inches. Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, 34-123 A,B.
<em>Hall from the Robert Hooper House</em> (Danvers, Massachusetts), ca. 1754.
Hall from the Robert Hooper House (Danvers, Massachusetts), ca. 1754.
Pine with paint, H: 10 feet 8 1/2 inches, W: (length of East & West walls) 22 feet 1 1/8 inches, D: (length of North & South walls) 23 feet 8 3/4 inches (these dimensions include the depth of the window seats). Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, 33-298.