Wardrobe

DATE:
c. 1860–1870
MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
Cedar and paint
CLASSIFICATION:
Furnishings
DIMENSIONS:
Overall: 76 1/2 x 61 x 23 in. (1 m 94.31 cm x 1 m 54.94 cm x 58.42 cm)
DEPARTMENT:
Decorative Arts and Design
LOCATION:
American Art - 19th Century, Level 4
CREDIT LINE:
Dallas Museum of Art, The Faith P. and Charles L. Bybee Collection, gift of Faith P. Bybee
OBJECT NUMBER:
1992.B.116

General Description

This wardrobe, reflective of the so-called German Biedermeier style, is one of the finest pieces of furniture made in Texas during the nineteenth century. While the wardrobe form was relatively common in the central and eastern parts of the state, examples decorated with faux wood graining are extremely rare. This piece features a variety of graining techniques. The door frames and sides of the case are striped to simulate rosewood, while the doors and drawers are painted to look as if they are covered in matching sheets of elaboratively figured veneer. The pronounced cornice is spotted with paint to give the appearance of being cut from burled wood. In central Texas, where the wardrobe was made, German immigrants produced virtually all of the furniture from the 1840s to the 1880s, when the coming of the railway made possible the shipment of factory-made furniture from the Midwest.

Excerpt from

Bonnie Pitman, ed. Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art; New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012), 196.