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September 19, 2013 · Press Releases

Connecticut Historical Society launches furniture-focused series

Hartford, CT (September 19, 2013) The Connecticut Historical Society (CHS) in Hartford announces “Focus on Furniture“, a new series funded in part by Connecticut Humanities, that highlights its nationally-renowned furniture collection through a series of programs designed to help visitors earn about the rich legacy of furniture in Connecticut. Included in the three-part series this fall is historic Windsor cabinet-making, collecting furniture with an eye to value and use, and techniques from centuries past in a hands-on demonstration. In addition, on October 18, there will be an all-day hands-on Furniture Study Day with acclaimed furniture experts Dr. Philip D. Zimmerman, Frank M. Levy and Arthur Liverant.

First in the series, on Friday, September 20, Christina Keyser Vida, Curator of Collections and Interpretation of the Windsor Historical Society, will share the history of cabinet-making in Windsor, Connecticut, in its heyday of the late 1700s. Christina will bring that story up to the present day with the restoration of the Strong-Howard House, which will re-open October 5 and allow visitors to experience a hands-on historic home with reproduction pieces produced by local artisans.

The second installment of the series occurs on Thursday, October 17 when Dr. Philip D. Zimmerman, nationally-recognized authority on early American furniture and decorative arts, will offer beginners and seasoned collectors practical tips to selecting pieces that you can live with and treasure. For less than the price of contemporary mass-market sofa and loveseat combo, Zimmerman can show you how to furnish your home with beautiful, well-made antiques that will fit your budget and have quality and style that lasts.

The series concludes on Friday, November 22, as Will Neptune, furniture maker, master carver, writer for Fine Woodworking magazine, and instructor at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking will demonstrate construction techniques that were unique to East Windsor Cabinetmaker Eliphalet Chapin in the late 1700s. Neptune’s presentation illustrates that the apparent simplicity of Chapin’s furniture designs belied his extensive use of geometry to achieve the graceful final pieces that continue to inspire today’s furniture craftspeople.

CHS’ collection of early Connecticut furniture is unparalleled in its scope and depth. On October 18, CHS, along with Dr. Zimmerman, Levy and Liverant, will host All Access Pass: Furniture Study Day, a day-long program of learning about important objects in the collection through informative presentations, extensive examination, and discussion sessions. Limited enrollment and an open format will allow each individual maximum access and participation.

The Focus on Furniture Series is made possible by a grant from Connecticut Humanities and sponsor Nathan Liverant and Sons Antiques, LLC. Individual program sponsors include Windsor Federal Savings and the Society of American Period Furniture Makers.

The CHS is located at 1 Elizabeth Street in Hartford. For more, visit or call (860) 236-5621.


About the presenters:

  • Christina Keyser Vida is Curator of Collections and Interpretation of the Windsor Historical Society
  • Dr. Philip D. Zimmerman is a museum and decorative arts consultant, author, and nationally recognized authority on early American furniture based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
  • Will Neptune is the 2013 Cartouche Award Winner from the Society of American Period Furniture Makers.
  • Frank Levy is a principal of Bernard & S. Dean Levy, Inc., leading dealers in the best early American furniture, silver, needlework, and paintings.
  • Arthur Liverant is an antiques dealer and appraiser specializing in American antique furniture, paintings, silver, porcelain and related fine art and accessories and the third generation owner of the firm of Nathan Liverant and Son, LLC.

About Connecticut Humanities (@CTHumanities):

Connecticut Humanities (CTH) is a non-profit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities that funds, creates and collaborates on hundreds of cultural programs across Connecticut each year. These programs bring together people of all ages and backgrounds to express, share and explore ideas in thoughtful and productive ways. From local discussion groups to major exhibitions on important historical events, CTH programs engage, enlighten and educate. Learn more by visiting


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