Delightfully Designed: The Furniture and Life of Nathan Lombard

Event Details

Delightfully Designed: The Furniture and Life of Nathan Lombard

Time: October 19, 2013 at 9:30pm to May 4, 2014 at 5pm
Location: Old Sturbridge Village
Street: 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road
City/Town: Sturbridge
Website or Map:
Phone: 800-SEE-1830
Event Type: exhibit, osv, furniture
Organized By: OSV
Latest Activity: Oct 3, 2013

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Event Description

New Exhibit at Old Sturbridge Village Debuts October 19

This fall Old Sturbridge Village celebrates the life of acclaimed Massachusetts cabinetmaker Nathan Lombard (1777-1847) with a new exhibit, Delightfully Designed—The Furniture and Life of Nathan Lombard, on display October 19, 2013 through May 4, 2014. The OSV exhibit represents the largest reunion of Nathan Lombard's furniture since it left his workshop in the early 1800s.

Many of the 15 Lombard pieces in the new exhibit are from private collections and are rarely on public view. Others are on loan from museums and will travel great distances to be part of the exhibit. Old Sturbridge Village is one of 11 institutions taking part in Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture, a year-long collaborative project to celebrate the Bay State's legacy of furniture-making through exhibitions, demonstrations, lectures and publications. Visit

Lombard’s story is an important one for Old Sturbridge Village to tell; the talented cabinetmaker spent his life in Central Massachusetts towns surrounding Sturbridge. He was born in Brimfield in 1777, married in Sturbridge in 1802, and settled in Sutton in 1805.

"Lombard also had a refined eye for proportion and balance," noted Christie Jackson, Old Sturbridge Village curator of decorative arts. "One only need look at the seven-foot-tall desk-with-bookcase owned by the Winterthur Museum with its carved top pediment and imposing presence to realize that Lombard's level of craftsmanship was unlike most of his contemporaries in rural Massachusetts. This stunning piece, on loan to OSV from Winterthur, will be a highlight of OSV’s exhibit."

Old Sturbridge Village recently acquired two important pieces of furniture crafted by Nathan Lombard—a chest of drawers and a rare drop-leaf table—and will display them in new exhibit.

Lombard produced many chests of drawers, often with a slight variation in inlay and shape. Some, like the bow-front chest acquired by OSV, had simplified inlay designs and simple-curve case construction.  This made them less costly to produce and less expensive to purchase, making it possible for less affluent families to afford finely crafted, but more humbly decorated, furniture.

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