Classic America : the Federal style & beyond by Wendell D. Garrett

Classic America : the Federal style & beyond by Wendell D. Garrett

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New York : Rizzoli, 1992. Hardcover. 297 pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm. A nice clean copy with unmarked pages and firm binding.


CLASSIC AMERICA ; The Federal Style and Beyond

IN LATE 1782, with the adoption of the Great
Seal of the United States, the Confederation Congress officially proclaimed that a "new order of the ages" had arrived. George Washington in his Inaugural Address declared "the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government" were deeply and irrevocably staked "on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people."

This was the beginning of the Federal period and the launch of the Classical style in America—a style that endured longer than any national style thereafter. Classic America was influenced by the delicate neoclassical patterns of France and England, but was translated into an American statement by Thomas Jefferson and leaders of the new nation.

It is fortunate that so much of the architecture and design of the Federal period is still with us. Wendell Garrett, one of the foremost authorities on American antiques and a social historian, has selected the finest houses featuring the best examples of the decorative arts of this period. Here are the great Federal homes of America, both private and public, with Hepplewhite, Sheraton, and Duncan Phyfe furnishings in period settings, just as they might have looked two hundred years ago.

Wendell Garrett places the Federal period in historical context by region, moving from the North Atlantic states to the South, and he explains the social and economic forces behind the style. The exquisite photographs emphasize house interiors, but there are also many exterior views. Included are houses open to the public as well as private homes. Among the houses featured are Monticello; the White House; Gore Place, Waltham, Massachusetts; Robert Mills Historic House, Columbia, South Carolina; and Mistletoe Plantation, Natchez, Mississippi.

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