The Minnesota Furniture Collection
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About the Collection
The Minnesota Historical Society's Collections Department preserves over 3,000 pieces of furniture used and/or made in Minnesota. Approximately thirty percent of the furniture collection is on view at such Society properties as the Alexander Ramsey House and James J. Hill House in St. Paul; the Comstock House in Moorhead; and the Charles A. Lindbergh House in Little Falls among others. Other furniture is included in exhibits at the History Center in St. Paul.
This sampling of the collection presents late 19th and 20th century furniture that was used in Minnesota homes or designed and/or manufactured in the state. From a rustic style washstand made of birch twigs to an oak center table comprised of steer horns and a modernist chair of ordinary plywood and clothesline, a variety of materials and styles is represented by these pieces.
The range of designers and makers includes Twin Cities tastemakers and interior designers John S. Bradstreet and William A. French; high school students Byrdie Kraft of Minneapolis and David Walstrom of Lake City; and Norwegian immigrant fireman, Edward Ofstie.
Some of the furniture featured on this site was conceived for specific summer homes like "Hilldale", designed by Prairie School architects Purcell and Elmslie at Lake Minnetonka; "Rockledge", designed by George Washington Maher and snuggled under the cliffs of the Mississippi River near Homer; and two homes on the St. Croix River, "Skywater", designed by modernists Elizabeth and Winston Close and "Pine Needle Cabin" used by the John W.G. and Alice Monfort Dunn family in Marine on St. Croix.
The artifacts from the Minnesota Furniture Collection represent a sample of the broad spectrum of items that will be available and are now accessible through the library catalog. Each description contains a link to an image of the artifact.
Photograph copies of the artifacts may be ordered by submitting a Photograph Order form to the Society's Collections Department. Permission and license to use photographic reproductions is granted via a Request for Permission form and may involve a use fee for commercial use. Please check the Artifact Collection price list for other available services as well as current pricing.