Nathaniel Gould

Courtesy of Historic New England. Photo by Gavin Ashworth.

In Plain Sight: Discovering the Furniture of Nathaniel Gould

On view November 15, 2014 to February 16, 2015

Located in the: Special Exhibition Galleries

Once an obscure figure in American furniture history, Nathaniel Gould is now recognized as Salem's premier 18th-century cabinetmaker. New scholarship, based on the recent discovery of his detailed account ledgers and daybooks, has led to the identification and re-attribution of many pieces of furniture, including monumental desks and bookcases, bombé chests and scalloped top tea tables carved from the finest imported mahogany. Gould's work is distinguished by its careful attention to graining, distinctive carved ball-and-claw feet, extended knee returns and superbly carved pinwheels and scallop seashells. In Plain Sight presents 20 exemplary works of Gould's furniture alongside paintings, archival materials, decorative arts and digital media elements that provide insight into the makers and consumers of 18th-century American design and culture.

This exhibition was organized by the Peabody Essex Museum with major support from:

The Americana Foundation

The Henry Luce Foundation

The Lynch Foundation

Nancy and George Putnam

Richard C. von Hess Foundation

Generous support provided by:

Jonathan B. Loring

Robert and Elizabeth Owens

Skinner Inc.

Support provided by the East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum. Additional support provided by many individual donors to the Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture.


Further Reading