About the RIFA Archive

The archive draws from research conducted at the Yale University Art Gallery surveying existing scholarly resources, secondary literature, and commercial publications to locate surviving examples of Rhode Island furniture. In addition, the generous contribution of information from public and private collections that contain furniture made in Rhode Island augmented existing published accounts. Information regarding craftsmen was gleaned from a wide variety of published resources, as well as a systematic reading of state judicial archives and land, probate, town-meeting, and town-council records up to the year 1800 for each Rhode Island town. The research also draws on the Liza and Michael Moses Photographic Archive, the Anne Rogers Haley research notes on British trade records, and the Sara Steiner research notes on Rhode Island land records, all of which are part of the Rhode Island Furniture Archive at the Yale University Art Gallery.

Highlights from the Archive

Stillman Family Clock

This clock’s automated dial features a farmer knocking a cow on the head with an ax, one blow for every hour struck. Although this scene may seem grim, miraculously the cow stands up again before each new hour. This ingenious movement is attributed to the Stillman family of clockmakers in...