31 Aug to 6 Sep
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In the 18th century, Newport, Rhode Island, was home to some of the most skillful craftsmen in colonial North America. Among them were the clockmakers William Claggett (1694-1748), James Wady (d. 1759), and Thomas Claggett (1730-1797)--individuals whose surviving works became the best-known records of their lives. Although they flourished in an era widely considered as a golden age of prosperity in Newport, their stories remained elusive, with a few magnificent clocks the only testament to their place in pre-Revolutionary New England. Through a broad search of archival records and a hunt to locate and document not only the work of these artisans--featured here in stunning new photography--but also their interconnected lives, the authors offer a more accurate picture of these three men, their trade, and aspects of life in contemporary Newport. The resulting volume reveals their stories and extraordinary works: an important contribution to the history of masterful craftsmanship in Rhode Island.
Donald L. Fennimore is curator emeritus, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library. Frank L. Hohmann III is a collector of 18th-century clocks and furniture.