New York State Decorative Arts graphic

Building a Collection: A Lecture Series and Exhibit Celebrating E. Martin Wunsch and His Passion for Celebrating New York State Decorative Arts

November 16, 2013 to June 27, 2014
West Corridor

Since 1969, the decorative and fine arts collections of the New York State Museum have been enhanced by generous donations from the Wunsch Americana Foundation Inc. under the direction of Eric Martin Wunsch. The Wunsch Collection consists of over 700 pieces of furniture, paintings, silver, ceramics, and folk art crafted primarily between 1700 and 1900. This collection is the cornerstone of the Museum's decorative arts collection and is important because it represents artisans and cabinetmakers from the entire state, includes historically documented pieces, and contains pieces by the nation's leading cabinetmakers who were located in New York. As a whole, the Wunsch Collection at the New York State Museum is the foremost collection of New York State furniture and decorative arts assembled.

Lecture Series: Free lectures on select Sundays throughout November & December. To be held in the Huxley Theatre

Sunday, November 17, 2 p.m.
From Frontier to Metropolis: New York Furniture 1650–1790
Dean Failey, Senior Vice President and Senior Director of the American Furniture and Decorative Arts Department at Christie’s in New York

Sunday, November 24, 2 p.m.
Duncan Phyfe and the Rise of the New York School of Cabinetmaking
Peter Kenny, Curator of American Decorative Arts and Administrator of the American Wing, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Sunday, December 1, 2 p.m.
Treasures from the Wunsch Americana Foundation: New York Decorative Arts 1700–1900
John Scherer, Senior Historian Emeritus and Curator of Decorative Arts, New York State Museum

Sunday, December 15, 2 p.m.
Hidden Treasures: Searching for Masterpieces of American Furniture
Leigh and Leslie Ken o of PBS’ Antiques Roadshow and FOX’s Buried Treasure. Leigh is the proprietor of Keno Auctions in NYC and Leslie is Senior Vice President and Director of American Furniture and Decorative Arts at Sotheby’s in New York