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Grant number: PG-52321-14

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Harriet Beecher Stowe Center (Hartford, CT 06105-3243)
Elizabeth Giard Burgess (Project Director: May 2013 to present)

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center Furniture Conservation Assessment

A conservation assessment of 36 items of furniture presented in period room settings in the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, a National Historic Landmark and Stowe's home for 23 years. The first and second floors of her 1871 Downing-style cottage are interpreted as period spaces, furnished largely with items that belonged to Stowe and her extended family. Among the pieces to be examined by a conservator are a c.1840 Empire mahogany secretary, a drop-leaf table given to Stowe by her father, a tip/tilt top table with marquetry inlay, an Egyptian revival chair purchased by Stowe while she was traveling in England, and a three-piece bedroom set painted by Stowe.

The Stowe Center seeks funding for a conservation assessment of 36 furniture artifacts in the Harriet Beecher Stowe House,a National Historic Landmark and the home where Stowe (1811-1896) lived for 23 years. The Center holds the largest collection of materials related to Stowe. The collections are nationally significant, illustrating Stowe's life and impact, and the worldwide response to Uncle Tom's Cabin. The artifacts date from the late 18th century to the late 19th century. All but 9 pieces were Stowe's or belonged to her extended family. This project will assess each item's condition and prioritize treatment needs before removing collections to specialized storage or treatment during a larger project upgrading environmental controls, installing fire suppression and renovating the interior during 2014-16. The artifacts will be safe during the renovation, any necessary treatment can be conducted, and public access ensured. The project is a strategic and conservation priority.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$4,090 (approved)
$4,090 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2014 – 6/30/2015