Dutch-Flemish House in Met’s American Wing
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's American Wing reopened this spring after two years of construction and renovation. The period rooms in the Met’s American Wing —reopened by Michelle Obama on May 18th— provide an overview of American domestic architecture and interior design over three centuries. Among these rooms is a New York Dutch-Flemish Room. Highlighting the architectural tradition of the Low Countries, the ‘Winne Room’ is used as a gallery for the display of the museum's collection of furniture, silver, painted glass, and early portraiture made and used in the New Netherlands.
The room comes from an eighteenth-century house built by Daniel Peter Winne (1720–1800) on the famed Van Rensselaer Manor (present-day Bethlehem, outside of Albany). Daniel Peter Winne was a fourth generation descendant of Pieter Winne, also known as Pieter the Fleming, from Ghent, who arrived in the early 1650s.
The style is characteristic of the earliest settlements from the Low Countries in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Albany region, in particular, which continued to be favored until the mid-eighteenth century. The timbers used to build the house were felled in 1750. Although a thousand or more wood-framed houses may have been built in this distinctive style, only about a dozen examples still survive. Before the Museum acquired the house, its original structure had been obscured by additions; the historic nature of the building's core was not discovered until shortly before it was to be removed from the site by the owner.
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