The Boscobel House and Gardens has announced its 2018 exhibition, Campaign Furniture: The March of Portable Design, featuring two dozen 18th and 19th century examples that are as functional as they are elegant. Collapsible chairs, tables, beds, and more were once considered essential equipment for military officers, Hudson River School artists, and well-heeled tourists. These ingeniously designed objects document the desire for the comforts of home, even when out on the road.
Campaign Furniture was inspired by Boscobel’s collection of New York furniture, the rich military and artistic history of the Hudson River Valley, and the tens of thousands of picnickers who bring their own stylish equipment to Boscobel every summer.
Campaign Furniture: The March of Portable Design opens on Saturday, August 25 and runs through Sunday, November 4. Admission is included with tickets to the house or grounds.
All are welcome at the opening reception on Sunday, August 26 from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. Immediately following Military Reenactment Day, enjoy an insider’s look at the exhibition, installed in the Gallery and throughout the Historic House Museum, with light refreshments.
The reception is free, but advance reservations are appreciated via boscobel.org. Donations are welcome. Guests interested in attending Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s 7:30 performance of Richard II are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance.
In the fall, Boscobel will offer a host of programs related to the exhibition:
Panel Discussion: The Enduring Appeal Of Campaign Furnigure, on Friday, October 5 at 6:30 pm (exhibition open from 5:30 to 6:30 pm) in Boscobel’s Entrance Hall.
Attendees will get a private peek in the Gallery and throughout the Historic House Museum, then hear from experts about why these 18th- and 19th-century forms are not only collectible antiques, they are inspiring new generations of urban dwellers, designers, and mass-market retailers from Pottery Barn to Target. Reception to follow. Adults: $26; Members, students, and artists: $16. Advance reservations recommended.
Woodworking Demonstration Day, Saturday, October 20, 10:30 am to 4:30 pm (begins every half hour), on the Boscobel grounds.
Interact with Hudson Valley artist Mike Leggett as he demonstrates the artistry, skills, and secrets of expert woodworking before power tools. Included with pay-what-you-wish admission. No registration required.
Talk: Travels, Tools, and Techniques Of 19th-Century Artist Expeditions on Friday, October 26 at 6:30pm in Boscobel’s Entrance Hall.
Artist/historian James Lancel McElhinney is an expert on period practices of drawing and painting on the move. Based on decades of research, McElhinney will discuss and illustrate the tools and techniques used by expeditionary artists like William Guy Wall, Jacques-Gerard Milbert, and West Point-trained military explorers like Seth Eastman and James Abert. In this talk, co-sponsored with the Garrison Art Center, McElhinney unpacks the mobile practice of 19th-century journal-art. Adults: $25; Members, Students, and Artists: $15. Advance reservations recommended.
Boscobel House and Gardens is located at 1601 Route 9D, Garrison, NY.
Photo: Collapsible armchair, England, c. 1840s, on loan from Michael Pashby Antiques, New York.