Illustrated FURNITURE Glossary ................ Illustrated Architecture Dictionary

Samuel McIntire

McIntire was a self-trained architect, the outstanding example of the early American craftsman-builder tradition, though most of his work dates from after the end of the Revolutionary War. He was a woodcarver by trade and lived in Salem, Mass. He taught himself the Palladian style which he adopted for his first houses.

In the 1790s he came under the influence of Charles Bulfinch, who provided the general design for his most important private house, the Derby Mansion (1795-9, demolished 1815) and from whom he picked up the Adam/Federal style which he used in his later and finest houses (mostly destroyed, but there are rooms from them in the Boston and Philadelphia museums).

The mantel pictured below was designed and partially executed by McIntire. It, comes from the mansion of Elias Haskel Derby of Salem. Derby's contemporary Robert Gilmor of Baltimore described the mansion as being more like a palace than the dwelling of an American merchant.

The grape clusters on the columns are believed to have been carved by McIntire himself, while the delicate applied composition ornament in the Neoclassical style of Robert Adam may have been imported.

Click on illustrations for larger size -- and more information

On display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2004


Photos and their arrangement © 2005 Chuck LaChiusa
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