Secretary Cabinet

Kimbel & Cabus, New York
ca. 1876–80
MediumEbonized hardwood, tiles, glass, and brass hardware
Dimensions65 3/4 × 51 1/2 × 19 1/8 inches
CreditGift of Mr. Joseph Lippman, 1973
Accession Number73.39

In the 1870s, Kimbel & Cabus led the way in the Modern Gothic furniture design championed by Charles Locke Eastlake in his book Hints on Household Taste (London, 1868). The British author, whose book went through several U.S. editions, promoted rectilinear silhouettes like the form of this secretary and believed that stylized, flat decoration was most appropriate for flat surfaces, a future tenet of early twentieth-century modern art and design. The ebonized wood and incised, gilded decorative motifs also demonstrate the strong influence of Japanese art on European and American designers of this period.

Exhibition History