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Stories in Sterling: Four Centuries of Silver in New York
May 4 - September 23, 2012
Through September 23, 2012, the New-York Historical Society is presenting Stories in Sterling: Four Centuries of Silver in New York, an exhibition highlighting the histories of 150 notable examples of silver from its collection. Linked to significant moments in the history of New York and the United States, the remarkable objects in the exhibition range from domestic family heirlooms to acknowledged touchstones in the evolution of American silversmithing. The diversity of stories speak to themes that include individual accomplishment, family pride, silver consumption patterns, technological progress and innovation, rituals of presentation, and the commemoration of great events in peace and war.
These compelling objects are interpreted within a cultural context, focusing on the men and women that made, used, and treasured them. Featured objects span four centuries: from a Dutch silver beaker made for a member of the Van Rensselaer family in 1598, to a Hanukkah lamp crafted in a Bronx, NY workshop in 1999. The exhibition will be enriched by a selection of paintings, prints, photographs, manuscripts, furniture, and other items that illuminate the silver, bring to life the individuals who acquired it, and illustrate the physical context in which it was used.
"We're thrilled to be able to share our silver collection -- a true treasure of the New-York Historical Society -- with a wider audience through Stories in Sterling," stated Louise Mirrer, President and CEO of the New-York Historical Society. "This exhibition is more than a display of objects -- it is an exploration of four centuries of New York culture through the lens of silver objects, appealing to scholars and enthusiasts of silver, material culture, and New York history alike."
Stories in Sterling is comprised of seven sections:
Curated by Margaret K. Hofer, Curator of Decorative Arts, New-York Historical Society, with Debra Schmidt Bach, Associate Curator of Decorative Arts, New-York Historical Society, the exhibition is accompanied by a 350 page, full color catalogue published in conjunction with D Giles Limited, London. Available in hardcover and softcover, the catalogue includes illustrated essays by Kenneth L. Ames, David L. Barquist, and Margaret K. Hofer and entries featuring objects in the exhibition.
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