Why would a cup of coffee lead to this blog post on Wallace Nutting? Because, we serendipitously stopped for a cup of coffee in beautiful Wethersfield , Connecticut and parked directly in front of the historic Joseph Webb House. Outside the Webb house was a placard announcing an exhibition inside. It was early Sunday morning and the house did not open until 1:00. But, there was a wonderfully helpful description board on the premises that I carefully read and learned a great deal.
I am very concerned about historic preservation and was delighted to find that Wallace Nutting shared my passion. Wallace Nutting (1861-1941) was a committed collector of antiques, an enthusiastic photographer, and prolific author. During his 80 years he managed to gather a significant Pilgrim Century Furniture collection, which was eventually purchased by J.P. Morgan, Jr. and donated to the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, Connecticut. Nutting loved antique furniture and enjoyed creating household vignettes to photograph and promote historic preservation. The Joseph Webb House in Wethersfield, Connecticut was one site where Wallace Nutting could create his historically accurate settings. If a piece of furniture was not available, he had a band of trusty woodworkers create an accurate likeness. Over the years, an astonishing 1000 plus items were copied and created for Nutting. They were high quality and eventually sold to those who could afford them. His hand colored and signed photographs were synonymous with good taste at that time. I am not surprised to find these framed prints in good old collections when I am on a house call. See example we have for sale below.
In his spare time, Wallace Nutting wrote books on a variety of subjects dealing in various aspects of historic preservation and antique furniture. A few years ago, I went on a book buying spree and picked up a book by Wallace Nutting titled, “Pennsylvania Beautiful.” At the time, I intended to sell it, but, I have decided to keep it because the book contains a number of photographs of rural scenes from my childhood stomping grounds. There are also pen and ink illustrations by the author. What a prolific man!
By the way, the book “Pennsylvania Beautiful” was dedicated to J. Stogdell Stokes, who lived in Moorestown, New Jersey and was among other things, President of the Philadelphia Art Museum. I like that South Jersey connection.
The exhibition in Wethersfield ended on October 30, 2016 but, there is a Wallace Nutting Collector’s Club you can join at www.wallacenutting.org
Joseph Webb House
The Coffee House in Wethersfield, CT
This Wallace Nutting Hand colored photgraph is for sale at Noonmark Antiques
For more information and price of the above photograph, contact email@example.com