The science of government it is my duty to study, more than all other sciences; the arts of legislation and administration and negotiation ought to take the place of, indeed exclude, in a manner, all other arts. I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain. So wrote John Adams in a letter to Abigail Adams (1780-05-12).
This telling quote was used by Ronald Freyberger in closing a gallert talk titled American Collectors of French Furniture.
I couldn’t have been more happy with the talk, and the twist around French decorative arts to end with a quote by John Adams was just one of many to extend from the knowledge and insights of Freyberger. Had you attended, you would have come away with some decent groundwork on the collectors, what they bought and who bought it for them, as well as an idea of what sold for how much when. Most interesting are the stories an item can tell by tracing it around and around until we find it in the museum.
If this is the kind of thing you’re sorry you missed, Freyberger will give the gallery talk again August 23.