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Sarah D. Kellogg Center Table
Sarah D. Kellogg (1822–1854)

Location: Amherst, Massachusetts, United States

Date: c. 1841

Materials: Watercolor, ink, and pencil on maple

Dimensions: 27 1/2 × 35 1/4" diam.

Credit: Gift of Ralph Esmerian

Accession Number: 2005.8.51

Photo credit: John Bigelow Taylor

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Description

This center table painted with musical motifs, baskets of fruit and shells, wreaths of flowers and leaves, and pastoral landscapes is an unusually extravagant example of schoolgirl painting on wood. This type of exercise is more frequently associated with small pieces of occasional furniture, such as sewing tables, and dates more commonly to the early years of the nineteenth century. The large Empire-style pillar-and-scroll center table must have represented a great challenge to the patience and skills of the young artist, and, in fact, Sarah D. Kellogg never finished her work. Around the perimeter of the decorative top, pencil outlines indicate where Kellogg had intended to fill in the border with more flowers and leaves. As such, it provides a rare insight into the process of amateur decorative painting on wood.

Sarah was the daughter of James (1792–1868) and Phidelia Kellogg (1796–1866). They were married in 1817 in Amherst, where James was listed two years later as a harness and saddlemaker. In 1835, he purchased a wooden-faucet business, producing a variety of wooden planes in large quantities. As business expanded, the operation moved to the area that became known as Kelloggsville. His new success may explain his daughter’s choice of the large center table for her project. After Sarah’s death in 1854, the table remained in her parents’ care and was carefully preserved in the family until 1985.

Stacy C. Hollander, "Sarah D. Kellogg Center Table, in American Radiance: The Ralph Esmerian Gift to the American Folk Art Museum (New York: Harry N. Abrams in association with American Folk Art Museum, 2001), 510. 


Sarah D. Kellogg Center Table
Date: c. 1841
Artist:
Dimensions: 27 1/2 × 35 1/4" diam.
Materials: Watercolor, ink, and pencil on maple
Credit Line: Gift of Ralph Esmerian
Place/Region: United States, Amherst
Description: Round top with 3" deep sides on pedestal base, 4 scroll feet rolling wheels. School girl decoration: overall - basket of flowers with floral borders on top, acorn binder on sides, cornicopia and flowers on small feet. Column different scene each niche - flower border on 2 sides urn of flowers with lyre and book in grass; harp against grassy landscape, scroll in grass.
Accession Number: 2005.8.51
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