Malkin Lecture: Modern Gothic: The Inventive Furniture and Interiors of Kimbel & Cabus

Over the course of their nearly 20-year partnership, immigrant cabinetmakers Anton Kimbel (1822–1895) and Joseph Cabus (1824–1898) developed one of New York’s leading furniture and decorating firms, capturing national attention with their inventive Modern Gothic designs. They melded British and Continental design sources to create a wide range of forward-looking forms that appealed to equally adventurous clientele. Based upon the recent exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, curators Barbara Veith and Medill H. Harvey share new scholarship and fresh insight into the firm and its contributions to American design history. The talk takes place in the Veterans Room by Louis C. Tiffany, Associated Artists and is followed by a visit to the Company K Room by Kimbel & Cabus.

Barbara Veith joined the Brooklyn Museum in 2018 as Curatorial Research Assistant to Dr. Barry R. Harwood, Curator of Decorative Arts, to help organize the Modern Gothic exhibition and the accompanying publication; she is honored to have completed it in his memory as Guest Curator and Co-Author with Medill H. Harvey. She has continued at the museum as a research associate of Decorative Arts. From 2010 to 2017, Veith was adjunct faculty at the Cooper-Hewitt/Parsons MA Program in the History of Design. She guest-curated Aesthetic Ambitions: Edward Lycett and Brooklyn’s Faience Manufacturing Company (2011–13), an exhibition that originated at the University Museums, University of Richmond, Virginia. From 1999 to 2009, she was a research associate in the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and contributed to exhibitions including Women China Decorators in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2001) and Louis Comfort Tiffany at Laurelton Hall: An Artist’s Country Estate (2005). From 1989 to 1996 she worked at Christie’s.

Medill H. Harvey is the Ruth Bigelow Wriston Associate Curator of American Decorative Arts and Manager of the Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She oversees the collections of American silver, jewelry, and other metalwork, as well as mid-19th-century furniture. Harvey joined the staff of the American Wing to direct research for the exhibition Art and The Empire City (2000). She is Co-Author of Early American Silver in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2013) and a contributing author for American Silver in the Art Institute of Chicago (2016). She contributed to The Met’s 2009 and 2011 reinstallations of the American silver and jewelry collections and the exhibition Silversmiths to the Nation (2007). Her most recent publication is Collecting Inspiration: Edward C. Moore at Tiffany & Co. (2021), written to accompany an exhibition that will be mounted at The Met in 2024.

Company K (1881), Seventh Regiment Armory. Interior decoration by Kimbel & Cabus, 1879–80. Photograph by Pachs Brothers.

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December 7, 2022

Wednesday, December 7, 2022 at 6:30pm
Doors open at 6:00pm
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Veterans Room

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