Furniture Stories


September 05, 2004|By Lori Sears | Lori Sears,Sun Staff

Maryland has a charm all its own. Its people, its politics, its culture. And, certainly, its furniture. Yes, even Maryland furniture has its own unique allure. Just visit the new exhibit Furniture in Maryland Life, opening Friday and running indefinitely at the Maryland Historical Society, and see for yourself.

Delving into the craftsmanship, aesthetics and economics of Maryland's furniture industry from 1634 to 2000, the exhibit presents a comprehensive look at the furniture that was made and used during the past four centuries in Maryland. Visitors will see more than 100 pieces from the museum's collection, as well as unusual prints, photos and paintings that illustrate the historical progression and changing styles.

Visitors will learn the stories of the wealthy patrons who commissioned the often lavish home furnishings, as well as tales of the humble shop apprentices, makers and enslaved plantation workers. And they will see the works themselves, including a banister-back armchair made in the early 1700s and used by Baltimore County's Cromwell family. Also on view are the Lady's Cabinet Dressing Table (right), made in the early 1800s and attributed to William Camp; a mahogany and poplar couch (top) made around 1819; and a maple and poplar pier table (above), made by Hugh Finlay in 1819.

The exhibit runs at the Maryland Historical Society, Dorothy Wagner Wallis Gallery, 201 W. Monument St. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays. Call 410-685-3750.

Reality show focuses on filth

Call it "British eye for the American pigsty," if you like. But Lifetime Television prefers to call its new show by its gentler, real name: How Clean Is Your House? The spanking new original series features British grime-busters Kim Woodburn and Aggie MacKenzie cleaning up America, one filthy home at a time. Homeowners surrender their home for two days, allowing the duo to conquer and clean the dwelling, turning it into a sparkling and spotless haven, (with blunt commentary and comedic timing, of course).

How Clean Is Your House? makes its premiere on Lifetime at 11 p.m. tomorrow, and will air at 11 p.m. each Monday. Visit / shows / clean / index.html.

Ways to keep your cool

It's been a delightfully mild summer. But don't pull out those fall clothes just yet. As you know, summers in Baltimore like to linger through much of September, meaning the air conditioning often remains on full-time active duty. Solatube International, maker of solar-powered ventilation technology, offers a few cost-saving tips for the remaining hot weeks:

* Consider installing a ceiling fan to cut down on using the air conditioning.

* Add a trellis to create shade around the house.

* Replace the filter on your AC, and make sure the unit is properly serviced.

* Limit use of electric lights (which create a lot of heat) and avoid using the oven, drawing a hot bath or doing laundry during the hottest time of the day. (Microwaves are fine to use.)


* Celebrate "Plant Lovers Day" from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Cylburn Arboretum, 4915 Greenspring Ave. Buy plants, watch demonstrations, hear lectures on gardening topics, take garden tours, bring a perennial plant to exchange for another perennial, and more. $5. Call 410-367-2217.

Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Lori Sears, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278, or fax to 410-783-2519. Information must be received at least four weeks in advance to be considered.

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