Ornamental Separator

Tools of the Trade

Coming in 2025
Will be on view in the Helen Zadarlik and Bruce Sogoloff Gallery
This exhibition is generously funded by Don and Elaine Bogus

The tools used to make many of the furnishings on view are just as worthy of exhibition as the products they made. Planes, saws, and chisels are some of the hand tools used by carpenters, joiners and cabinetmakers. This exhibition will explore the production and use of the tools specific to the woodworking trades. A recent addition to the collection, and a highlight of the exhibition, will be a series of planes made by Cesar Chelor, the first identified African American toolmaker. He was enslaved to a prominent New England toolmaker until 1752 at which time he was freed.

Plow Plan by Cesar Chelor, Wrentham, Massachusetts, 1753-1784. Bequest of David V. Englund, 2016-344
Dovetail Saw, London, England, 1790-1810. Museum Purchase, 1991-96.
Try square, England or America, ca. 1776. Museum Purchase, 1995-194
Plumb Square, England, 1800-1850. Museum Purchase, 1991-608