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“The Finest of its Kind”: Percival Griffiths’s Collection of Early English Needlework
A lecture by William DeGregorio (Metropolitan Museum of Art; BGC MA ’12, PhD ’21)

In the interwar period, chartered accountant Percival D. Griffiths (1861–1937) formed what is today considered to be one of the finest collections of seventeenth- and early-eighteenth-century English furniture and needlework amassed in the twentieth century. At Sandridgebury, his country house near St. Albans, Griffiths created an antiquarian fantasia, surrounding himself with masterpieces of walnut and mahogany, accented by hundreds of masterworks of the needle. While his collection of furniture is more widely known due to the extensive bibliography devoted to it by his advisor, scholar R.W. Symonds, Griffiths’s exceptional collection of Stuart and early Georgian needlework has remained, until now, far less recognized for its quality and significance. This alumni spotlight lecture, based DeGregorio’s research for the recently published two-volume monograph on Griffiths, provides an overview of Griffiths as a man and collector and explores the pivotal role he played in transforming the popular opinion of seventeenth-century needlework, from “grotesque” embarrassment to “glorious” source of national pride.

December 6 at 6 pm
38 West 86th Street, Lecture Hall

$15 General | $12 Seniors | Free for people with a college or university affiliation or museum ID, people with disabilities and caregivers, and BGC members

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