Smithsonian Collections

Banjo Chair

Image for Banjo Chair
Data Source
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Center Label
An unknown artist probably made this piece for a minstrel show during the late nineteenth century. Minstrel shows were hugely popular, and the instruments, especially the banjo, often appeared as decorative furniture, clocks, and wall hangings. The artist created Banjo Chair by fixing brackets around the seat, carving the seat back to resemble a peghead, and inlaying thin strips of wood to represent the strings. (Lynda Hartigan, Made with Passion, 1990)
ca. 1875
Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson
turned, inlaid, painted, stained, and varnished wood
41 x 15 3/8 x 20 5/8 in. (104.2 x 39.1 x 52.4 cm)
Decorative Arts-Furniture
Folk Art
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Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Decorative Arts
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Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 25A
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor
Object number
Object\musical instrument\banjo