For the Love of Beauty: The Collections of Lora and Claiborne Robins | Virginia Museum of History & Culture For the Love of Beauty: The Collections of Lora and Claiborne Robins
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For the Love of Beauty: The Collections of Lora and Claiborne Robins

For the Love of Beauty: The Collections of Lora and Claiborne Robins was on display at the VHS:
March 12 – February 11, 2013

Learn more about nineteenth-century Hudson River School landscape paintings and colonial furniture collected by philanthropists Lora Robins (1912–2010) and her husband E. Claiborne Robins, Sr. (1910–1995). These items were displayed in their home Clear View, located in Richmond, Va. The Robins family bequeathed the house and its contents to the Virginia Historical Society. This feature represents the first time that this personal collection has been publicly displayed.

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Hudson River Landscape at West Point from Crown’s Nest by John Ferguson Weir, c. 1862, oil on canvas
Weir was a second generation member of the “Hudson River School” of artists who explored that river and surrounding areas of the Northeast, including the Catskill, Adirondack, and White mountains. Those painters often juxtaposed scenes of peaceful agriculture with the remaining wilderness that was fast disappearing. Weir was a son of Robert Walker Weir, who taught drawing at West Point. (VHS accession number: C.V.A.8)
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The Relief of Jamestown: Old Times in the New World, 1830s by John Gadsby Chapman, oil on panel
Chapman, a history painter who focused on subjects from his native state of Virginia, here remembers the survival of the first American settlement: he depicts the arrival in June 1610 of a relief ship from London following the “starving time” of the preceding winter when all but 60 of the 500 Jamestown colonists perished. Chapman is best known for his mural The Baptism of Pocahontas in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. (VHS accession number: C.V.A.6)
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Slab Table, Philadelphia, c. 1755-70, mahogany and poplar, green marble
Alternately labeled a slab, pier, sideboard, or console table, this design—judged one of the best of the period—is derived from Thomas Chippendale’s Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Directory (1754). The fine carving on the skirt, knees, and feet adds to the visual appeal. (VHS accession number: C.V.B.30)
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Block-Front Chest, Attributed to Eliphalet Chapin, Connecticut Valley, c. 1770-90, cherry and white pine
Block- and shell-carved case furniture—an American innovation introduced by John Goddard (1723/4-1785) of Newport, Rhode Island—is at the top of today’s market, bringing prices as high as seven figures. Influence of the Goddard and Townsend families spread to nearby Connecticut where this spectacular piece was produced. Near Marlington, W. Va…. I felt that even though [photographs like this one] were not literally made in Virginia they are still representative of what once went on in the state." (VHS accession number: C.V.B.43)
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Compass Seat Armchair, Philadelphia, c. 1740-60, walnut
This extraordinary chair is from a group of seven in the Robins collection that were made by a highly skilled Philadelphia cabinetmaker whose distinct hand and style have been identified with certainty but whose name has been lost. The scrolled arms, shell carved knees, and trifid or drake feet are exquisitely carved. (VHS accession number: C.V.B.46)
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Sugar Casket, Baccarat style, French or Russian 1815−1830 Lead glass and ormolu
Made in a style that originated in the French glassworks at Baccarat, but possibly produced in Russia, this hinged-lid caddy with swirled asymmetrical leaf decoration and gilding is a highly decorative example of its type. (VHS accession number: C.V.D.1)
Hudson River Landscape at West Point from
The Relief of Jamestown: Old Times in the
Slab Table, Philadelphia, c.
Block-Front Chest, Attributed to Eliphalet
Compass Seat Armchair, Philadelphia, c.
Sugar Casket, Baccarat style, French or Ru

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