Decadent Décor: Global Imports in an Early American Port City

2020 Exhibition

April 1 – December 31, 2020

Just like today’s homeowners, early Americans went to great lengths to furnish their homes with the most stylish materials available at the best price. Seeking out the exotic and the familiar, early consumers found furnishings from around the globe; these imported goods became cherished conversation pieces. British art, music, and literature heavily influenced early American culture. Despite the Revolution, many Annapolis citizens continued to look to England for style. At the same time, items such as Chinese pottery, French clocks, and sugar from the Caribbean arrived ready for purchase. Annapolis became a political stronghold and magnet for Maryland’s wealthy planters, who came to town bringing a profound desire for sophisticated society, stylish architecture and imported luxury goods.

This exhibition features pieces imported from around the world during America’s early years. Highlights include a French-made George Washington clock, Spanish silver, British furniture, and Chinese porcelain. Objects are from the collection of the Hammond-Harwood House, as well as from other museums and historic sites.

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