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Myer Myers: Jewish Silversmith in Colonial New York
by:Mr. David L. Barquist
Myer Myers, a Jewish silversmith in colonial America, created outstanding works for leading members of the New York elite, and the objects made in his workshop have long been regarded as among the most important American statements of the Rococo style. These works are also valuable for the information they provide about craftsmanship, patronage, colonial...
Myer Myers, a Jewish silversmith in colonial America, created outstanding works for leading members of the New York elite, and the objects made in his workshop have long been regarded as among the most important American statements of the Rococo style. These works are also valuable for the information they provide about craftsmanship, patronage, colonial Judaism, and changing cultural values in pre- and post-Revolutionary America. This stunning catalogue presents works from Myers's workshop in conjunction with essays by eminent authorities on his life and times, all of which shed light on significant themes and events in American culture and history. Myers's lifelong membership in the New York Jewish community, for example, reveals much about the role of religious minorities and social toleration in eighteenth-century America, and the artefacts he created for his family and religious community provide a vivid picture of colonial Jewish life. At the same time, Myers's career as a silversmith offers insights into the complexities of preindustrial craftsmanship in America, showing that silversmiths were less autonomous than has previously been assumed. Catalogue entries provide a chronological survey of Myers's career, highlighting his finest work, situating it within his routine shop production, and focusing on key objects to evoke the interplay of influences that shaped individual works of American art. This catalogue accompanies an exhibition that will be on view at the Yale University Art Gallery from 14th September 2001 to 30th December 2001. It then travels to the Skirball Cultural Center and Museum in Los Angeles from 19th February to 26th May 2002, and to the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum in Delaware from 20th June to 13th September 2002.
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