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Full-scale three-dimensional photographic representation of drawer by Thomas Gross installed in PMA's Early American Art galleries.

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Photographic Representation of Drawer by Thomas Gross 


Accession #: 1983.167.1 a,b
Date: c. 1805–1810
Owner: PMA
Artist: Thomas Gross
Materials: Wood (mahogany, tulip poplar, yellow pine); brass
Dimensions: 6 feet 10 3/4 inches × 43 1/4 inches × 22 1/2 inches (210.2 × 109.9 × 57.2 cm)

This chest-on-chest was made by free Black Philadelphia cabinetmaker Thomas Gross in the early nineteenth century. The bottom of the lowest drawer is signed “Thomas Gross maker” in pencil, making this the only confirmed work by Gross, and thus an important artifact representing a more complete and inclusive story of early American furniture making.

Because the actual drawer and Gross's pencil signature were too fragile to display next to the chest in the gallery, the curatorial and conservation departments decided that a reproduction drawer could be used in its place. In order to present Gross's work and signature as objectively as possible, I collaborated with Conservation Photographer Jason Wierzbicki to create a full-scale three-dimensional photographic representation of the drawer to be displayed next to Gross's chest in the gallery.

View Full Summary HERE

Peggy Olley

Fabricating three-dimensional photographic drawer representation.

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