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: A New Period Room


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Mrs. Charles C. Bovey has recently presented to the Institute an American period room, with furnishings, in memory of her mother, Mrs. Martin B. Koon. It will be known as the Josephine Koon Room, and opens for the first time on April 6, 1929.This new gallery adjoins the Providence Room of thirty years later, to which it makes an interesting contrast, by showing the steady development in domestic standards in early New England.The paneling comes from a house at Foxon, not far from New Haven, and was built about 1740. It is fully characteristic of the houses constructed in Connecticut and will constitute the earliest of the contemplated series of American period rooms. Most of these early Connecticut houses had only two rooms on the ground floor. The inner wall, which contained the fireplace, was usually paneled and the outer walls finished in rough plaster.The paneling and decorative motives used in Connecticut were of a special type. Among them was the simply carved rosette, locally called a "sunflower," which in this room is to be found at the top of the fluted pilasters that flank the fireplace. Our paneling has a certain documentary value also, for the green paint is a first coat, presumably applied within a few years after the room was made. This we may judge from contemporary descriptions of certain definitely dated examples.The size of the room indicates the small dimensions of houses of this early period, largely due to the difficulty and high cost of building. It has been furnished with chairs, a chest, a table and other objects which might have been found in a home of this character and period.Further description of the Josephine Koon Room and its furnishings, together with illustrations, will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Bulletin.
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Source: "A New Period Room," <i>The Minneapolis Institute of Arts Bulletin</i> 18, no. 13 (March, 1929): 62-63.
Rights: ©MIA
Added to Site: March 10, 2009