Andrew Richmond is the president and CEO of Wipiak Consulting and Appraisals in Sunbury, Ohio. With degrees in history from Kenyon College and American Material Culture from the Winterthur Program/University of Delaware, Andrew’s passion is the decorative arts of Ohio. He has lectured and published widely on the subject and has curated two major exhibition: Equal in Goodness: Ohio Decorative Arts 1788-1860 and A Tradition of Progress: Ohio Decorative Arts 1860-1945. He also serves on the boards of several museums and decorative arts organizations.
During the nineteenth century, the sound of German being spoken was a common occurrence throughout much of Ohio. During this time, thousands of immigrants left their homes in Germany, Switzerland, and Alsace and came to America, bypassing the populated Eastern seaboard, and choosing, instead, to settle in the agrarian heartland. Others came from existing Germanic communities in the Eastern United States, particularly Pennsylvania, and came west where land was cheap and fertile. Along with their language, these immigrants brought with them a rich material cultural tradition. Because of their language and religious beliefs, the communities that these immigrants formed often remained isolated from mainstream American society. As a result, they continued to produce furniture and other decorative arts in styles that had long fallen out of fashion elsewhere.
The History of Ohio’s First 100 Years in 10 Objects
From simple log cabins to Gilded Age mansions, from wagons to locomotives, and from pioneer settlements to booming urban centers, Ohio’s first one hundred years was an age of progress. Inspired by the serial podcast “A History of the World in 100 Objects,” this lecture will tell the story of Ohio’s first century, from the first legal settlement in 1788 to the the celebration of the Northwest Territory centennial in 1888, through ten cultural artifacts. These artifacts represent individuals, movements, and moments in time, and they can be assembled into an exciting narrative Ohio’s early years.
Buy Local or By River: Furnishing Early Ohio
Contrary to popular beliefs, the Ohio frontier was not a remote backwoods devoid of style. Trade via the rivers and lakes, and later, the canals, provided easy access to all manner of goods produced in eastern urban centers and in Europe. While early Ohioans did import great quantities of goods, they also produced equally great quantities of goods as well. Using both documentary evidence and surviving objects, we’ll examine the wide range of goods both made and used in on the Ohio frontier, and how trade networks and consumer choice played key roles in the furnishing of frontier homes.
Ohio Furniture 101: An Introduction to Styles and Cultural Groups, 1788-1888
During Ohio’s first century, immigrants flooded into the state from nearly every other state in the Union, as well as from Europe. Because of the organized method by which Ohio was parceled out and settled, oftentimes, groups of immigrants from one place came west and settled in the same area, and many of these groups brought with them lifestyles and stylistic preferences. As a result, we can use the furniture made in Ohio during its first hundred years to “map” these cultural groups, and we can see evidence of the style each brought to Ohio, and how each style was adapted to life in early Ohio.
From Crocks to Jazz Bowls: 150 Years of Ohio Pottery
Among the earliest settlers come west to the Ohio territory were potters. Ohio’s topography and geology created the perfect environment for potters to ply their trade and trade their wares. During Ohio’s first century and a half, more than 1,000 potteries produced millions of pieces of pottery that were sold both locally and throughout the Ohio River Valley. From utilitarian stoneware to French-style porcelain, Ohio pottery was the result of both tradition and innovation, and it reflects the complex cultural and economic history of the state.
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