Artist/maker unknown, American, Pennsylvania German
The architecture, decoration, and furnishings of this room illustrate the transplantation of Germanic traditions in colonial America.
During the second quarter of the eighteenth century, large populations of German speaking immigrants from throughout northern and central Europe established agricultural communities in Pennsylvania. They brought with them a variety of domestic forms, designs, skills, and customs. Craftsmen imbued these traditions with new energy and influences, modifying them in each succeeding generation.
The interior woodwork of this Pennsylvania German kitchen was originally part of a two-story rubblestone house that was completed in 1752 for Georg Müller, a prosperous mill owner in Millbach, a small community in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania. This traditional interior retains many features from Germanic house types. The massive molded beam construction, square newel post and stair balusters , and raised carved panels and shaped wrought-iron hinges on the doors all have precedents in late seventeenth-century and early eighteenth-century Germanic design.
Fitted with a large cooking hearth and furnished with work tables, rooms like this served as a center for a wide range of daily household activities.
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