Historic Huguenot Street (HHS) has announced the online exhibit Kasten from Mid-Hudson Valley Collections at hudsonvalleykasten.org featuring more than a dozen 18th-century Dutch-style cupboards made by American craftsmen.
Based on a furniture form popular in the Netherlands, kasten (kast singular) were adapted in the Hudson Valley for over a century and were central to many Dutch-American homes, signifying both the heritage of their owners, as well as their wealth and social status. The online exhibition highlights the enduring influence of Dutch culture in the Hudson Valley. Funding for the project was provided by a grant from the Peggy N. and Roger G. Gerry Charitable Trust and a private donation.
The online exhibit is based on the original exhibition Kasten from Mid-Hudson Valley Collections, held at Historic Huguenot Street in the Jean Hasbrouck House and the Abraham Hasbrouck House, October 1 through December 17, 2017.
That exhibition gathered over a dozen of these important cupboards from prominent regional private and public collections, including examples from Historic Huguenot Street’s own holdings.
A 17th-century Dutch-made kussenkast with connections to the Elting family and Huguenot Street is featured from the Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Hudson Highlands. This piece features elaborate rosewood and ebony ornamentation and thick “cushion-like” doors.
A cupboard from the Ulster County Historical Society shares an over-scaled cornice and other elements with Hudson Valley kasten, yet is identified as a schrank or German-style cupboard, owing to its distinctive interior design and other details.
The website includes a bibliography for further reading and a contact page through which collectors can share examples of their cupboards.
For more information about tours, programs, and exhibits at Historic Huguenot Street, click here.
Photo of Kasten from Mid-Hudson Valley Collections exhibit provided.