Girandole Mirror (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

ca. 1820
Eastern white pine, yellow poplar, carved, gessoed, and gilded
United States,Albany, New York
Overall: 38 1/2 × 24 3/4 × 7 3/4 in. (97.79 × 62.87 × 19.69 cm)
Pair with "Girandole Mirror" (2012.279.1a-b)
This spectacular pair of girandole mirrors was once owned by the prominent Corning family of New York. Erastus Corning (1794–1872) settled in Albany in 1814. Highly involved in local politics and industry, he was the founder and first president of the New York Central Railroad, established in 1852. The mirrors’ unusual inclusion of Native American motifs—arrows, spears, and tomahawks—evoke upstate New York’s rich Native American history also reflected in literary works like James Fenimore Cooper’s 1826 bestseller, The Last of the Mohicans. By the end of the century, the impact of westward expansion had transformed Native American references into nostalgic symbols of a lost “ancient” America.
Early Republic; Classical Revival
Labeled: ALBANY INSTITUTE / AND / HISTORICAL & ART SOCIETY / ALBANY, N.Y. / No. AHF4 / Corning (on printed and manuscript label attached to the back of each); Corning (on red-bordered label on the back of each)
Floyd D. and Anne C. Gottwald Fund
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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