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
    • Adults $15
    • Seniors (65+ with ID) $10
    • Military (with ID) $10
    • College Students (19+ with ID) $7.50
    • Youth (13–18) $7.50
    • Children (12 & younger) FREE
    • Certain special exhibitions are ticketed, with an additional charge.
    On Thursday, general admission is free for everyone.

Directions & Parking

  • Free Parking
  • Paid Parking
  • Street Parking
  • Make visiting a snap! Visit mfah.org/parking for complete parking info, including a map you can download.

    Two Parking Garages        

    Parking Garage Hours

    Open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

    Parking Garage Fees

    • Parking payments may be made only with major credit cards, or with MasterCard and Visa debit cards.
    • The first 30 minutes are always free. On Thursday, parking is free for visitors who enter the Museum between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.
    • For hourly rates, go to mfah.org/parking
    Recommendation for guests with limited mobility: 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.

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.

Events at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

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