About Us

The Rhode Island Furniture Archive at the Yale University Art Gallery documents furniture and furniture making in Rhode Island from the time of the first European colonization in 1636 through the early nineteenth century. Bringing together records of surviving furniture, individuals who owned it, and known furniture makers, this archive aims to provide a complete account of the specific culture, local variations, and artistic practices surrounding the first two centuries of furniture making in Rhode Island.

The archive draws from research conducted at the Yale University Art Gallery surveying existing scholarly resources, secondary literature, and commercial publications to locate surviving examples of Rhode Island furniture. In addition, the generous contribution of information from public and private collections that contain furniture made in Rhode Island augmented existing published accounts. Information regarding craftsmen was gleaned from a wide variety of published resources, as well as a systematic reading of state judicial archives and land, probate, town-meeting, and town-council records up to the year 1800 for each Rhode Island town. The research also draws on the Liza and Michael Moses Photographic Archive, the Anne Rogers Haley research notes on British trade records, and the Sara Steiner research notes on Rhode Island land records, all of which are part of the Rhode Island Furniture Archive at the Yale University Art Gallery.

Every effort has been made to credit the photographers and the sources; if there are errors or omissions, please contact the Yale University Art Gallery so that corrections can be made.