Long Island Museum: Elias Pelletreau, Silversmith / 9.21 to 12/30

Elias Pelletreau

Long Island Sliversmith & Entrepreneur

From September 21 through December 30, 2018, the Long Island Museum will present Elias Pelletreau: Long Island Silversmith & Entrepreneur.   In conjunction with the exhibition, the museum will host a symposium on October 27 featuring scholars who will examine Pelletreau’s fine craftsmanship and his role in the complex trade and social issues of the time. In November, sculptor and jewelry maker Julio Saenz will hold a two-part jewelry-making workshop at the museum.
Elias Pelletreau (1726-1810) lived and worked as a silversmith in his hometown of Southampton, creating richly detailed, beautifully ornate, and shimmering 18th-century objects, such as teapots, tankards, and jewelry. A Long Island contemporary of Paul Revere, he was one of very few early American rural silversmiths to run a successful business that produced complex silver forms. His clientele came from among the most influential Long Island families of the time and included the Talmadges, the Gardiners, the Floyds, the Jones and many others.
The Elias Pelletreau exhibition will realize more than 40 years of groundbreaking research by Dean Failey (1947-2015), a nationally-prominent decorative arts expert. Failey began assembling this project several years before his passing, and the Long Island Museum thanks the family of Dean Failey for their encouragement in continuing and bringing this vital work to our visitors. This will be the first museum exhibition devoted to exploring Pelletreau’s life and work since the Brooklyn Museum mounted one in 1959.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a lavishly illustrated new book being published by Preservation Long Island, Elias Pelletreau: Long Island Silversmith and Entrepreneur, 1726–1810. The book will serve as the printed companion to the exhibition and symposium.
In addition to featuring over fifty of works by Pelletreau and his contemporaries, the new book catalogues the nearly 170 artifacts; silver, paintings, and furniture from the Long Island Museum’s Elias Pelletreau exhibition that will illuminate the life and times of one of this region’s most significant early American artisans.
Generous support for the Elias Pelletreau exhibition has been provided by The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, The Decorative Arts Trust, The Hugenot Society, and Paul Guarner. 
Photo: Cream pot, sugar tongs and soup cup, c. 1791. Shop of Elias Pelletreau. Collection of Paul Guarner  
 GRACE DARLING. Concord Carriage Builders, Concord, NH. Gift of St. Paul’s School, 1952. Carriage Museum lobby. Photo © Jeff Heatley. 


Located at 1200 Route 25A in Stony Brook, the Long Island Museum is a Smithsonian affiliate dedicated to enhancing the lives of adults and children with an understanding of Long Island’s rich history and diverse cultures. The museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.longislandmuseum.org.
AAQ Resource: McDonough & Conroy Architects 


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