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<i>Bedstead</i> by Benn Pitman

Benn Pitman (1822-1910), designer; Adelaide Nourse Pitman (1859-1893), carver; and Elizabeth Nourse (1859-1938), painter
United States (Cincinnati)
Bedstead, ca. 1882-83
Gift of Mary Jane Hamilton in memory of her mother Mary Luella Hamilton, made possible through Rita S. Hudepohl, Guardian, 1994.61
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Art-Carved Furniture in Cincinnati
Bedstead by Benn Pitman, Adelaide Nourse Pitman, and Elizabeth Nourse

During the late nineteenth century, Cincinnati was a leader in the art-carved furniture movement. A direct response to the rise in industry in Cincinnati at this time, this movement was characterized by highly decorative, heavily carved designs on all types of furniture. Although manufactured furniture was extremely popular, art-carved furniture was embraced by many women who rejected the machine and sought to return to the tradition of hand-carved furniture. Its popularity grew, and Benn Pitman, designer of the Museum's Bedstead, established the woodcarving department at the Art Academy of Cincinnati in 1873 and taught there until 1893.

In this lesson students will closely observe this beautiful piece of art-carved furniture and use skills of scientific observation, measurement, historical analysis and creative writing to discover the story of this bedstead and its creators.


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