Thursday, April 1, 2004Sunday, November 7, 2004
Bell Decorative Arts Court
Don't miss the exhibition of antique card tables now on view in the Bell Family Decorative Arts Court (Gallery 380); the show closes November 7.
Card tables and card playing have enjoyed a long tradition in North America. The Puritans played cards in New England during the seventeenth century, and by the 1750s the American-made card table was a mainstay in wealthy homes. Its popularity coincided with the development of specialized furniture in America that conspicuously dislayed one's fortune.
With hinged legs extended and leaves unfolded, these tables served as an arena for popular games, such as whist, loo, quadrille, and faro, early variations of modern-day pastimes like bridge or blackjack. The Institute is proud to display its growing collections of card tables representing nearly one hundred years of acquisitions.