The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Furniture in a New Taste: Early Anglo Cabinetmakers & the Lure of the East

Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017 – Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017

01:30 PM – 02:30 PM


Presented by Josh Lane, the Lois F. and Henry S. McNeil Curator of Furniture, Winterthur Museum, Delaware

Starting about 1700, English cabinetmakers and chair makers began to experiment with curvilinear designs and Chinese-inspired motifs. By the 1720s, furniture supported on graceful S-curve legs, and chairs with compass seats and ergonomic backs, gained popularity on both sides of the Atlantic. But what is known about the origins of these design elements, now familiar as hallmarks of the “Queen Anne” style?

This lecture explores the emergence of a new Western aesthetic influenced by East Asian designs and coinciding with rising consumer demand for silks, ceramics, tea, lacquerwares, and other East Indian luxury goods. The context of daring Anglo-Chinois architecture and landscape designs forms a backdrop for understanding elegant furniture styles of the early 1700s.

Drop in! This event is free. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

About the Speaker
Josh Lane graduated from Amherst College, earned a master’s degree in American Studies from Yale University, and has taught undergraduate courses on American colonial history and material culture. He served as curator of the Stamford Historical Society in Connecticut, and as curator of furniture and curator of academic programs at Historic Deerfield in Massachusetts. At Winterthur, he is working on plans to reinstall a significant holding of craft tools and furniture made, owned, and used by three generations of the Dominy family of Easthampton, Long Island.


  • Tuesday - Wednesday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    Thursday, 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
    Friday - Saturday, 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
    Sunday, 12:15 pm - 7:00 pm
    Monday: Closed (Except Monday Holidays). Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
  • General Admission: MFAH Members-FREE Adult-$15 ($14 Online); Senior (65+) $10 ($9 Online); Youth (13-18) $7.50 ($6.50 Online); Child (12 & younger) FREE; Military (ID Required) $10; Student (ID Required) $7.50 Ticketed exhibitions require an additional admission charge. Free Hours: FREE THURSDAY 10 am - 9 pm

Directions & Parking

  • Free Parking
  • Paid Parking
  • Street Parking
  • Make visiting a snap! Enlarge the map to see main-campus parking options, or download the PDF

    Parking update: A new underground parking garage, located on Montrose Boulevard, is now open!

    • The outdoor parking lot on Bissonnet, across from the Law Building, is closed permanently.
    • Parking is available in two garages: an above-ground garage at 1144 Binz Street, and a new underground garage at 5101 Montrose Blvd.
    • Guests with limited mobility: We recommend that you use the covered drop-off lane at the Main Street entrance to the Beck Building, or use wheelchair-accessible parking in the garage at 1144 Binz Street.

    Parking Garage Locations

    • 1144 Binz Street
    • 5101 Montrose Boulevard

    Parking Fees*

    Parking payments may be made only with a major credit card. Also accepted: MasterCard and Visa debit cards.
    MFAH Members Visitors
    0–30 minutes FREE FREE
    31 minutes–4 hours $6 $10
    4–12 hours $10 $18
    12–24 hours $35 $35
    *Parking is free for MFAH visitors who enter the Museum between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Thursdays. General admission to the Museum is free on Thursdays, courtesy of Shell.


    Both parking garages are open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Special Offers / Dining

Paolo Fronza, from Fellini Caffè, runs this sophisticated dining operation. Enjoy an array of Italian-inspired fare with a Texas flair, a European-style coffee bar, a kids menu, and much more at the MFA Café, located on the lower level of the Beck Building.

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