19th Century Cast-Iron Stoves from Albany and Troy
January 26 - May 25, 2008

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The Albany Institute is nationally known for its excellent collection of 19th century cast-iron stoves. This exhibition includes over 35 stoves cast-iron stoves made in Albany, Troy and Schenectady, including ten stoves recently donated by avid collector and renowned architect John I Mesick. The exhibition is enhanced by a seslection of prints, drawings, photographs, stove catalogues, and advertising materials. During the nineteenth century Albany and Troy, New York manufacturers were considered to be among the largest producers of cast-iron stoves in the world. Stoves made in these two upstate New York cities were renowned for their fine-quality castings and innovations in technology and design. The strategic location of Albany and Troy, located nine miles apart on opposite banks of the Hudson River afforded easy and inexpensive transportation of raw materials to the foundries, and finished stoves to worldwide markets.

Cast-iron stove making reached its highest artistic advent of the cupola furnace permitted more elaborate designs and finer-quality castings. Stove designers borrowed freely from architectural and cabinet-makers design books, a process that resulted in the use of Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Rococo revival motifs; patriotic symbols, and Franklin, box, dumb, base-burner, parlor, cook stoves and ranges and parlor cook stoves. However, the stoves that attracted the most attention and helped to secure the reputation of stoves produced during the 1830’s and 1840’s. These stoves were a focal point for a Victorian parlor because the overall designs incorporated current tastes in architecture, furniture and other decorative arts.

A facsimile edition of the 1984 exhibition catalogue will be available in limited numbers in the Museum Shop.

Above: George Washington Dumb Stove, Alonzo Blanchard, 1843, Albany, NY, Cast Iron; ht. 48 3/4″; w.15 d.9, AIHA Purchase: Rockwell Fund, 1992.7 Above: Dumb Stove Representing a Full-length Classical Female Figure, Alonzo Blanchard, 1843, Albany, NY, Cast Iron; ht. 48 3/4″; w. 14 d.9, AIHA Purchase:, Rockwell Fund, 1992.8

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