The great majority of what we know of how Robert Beverley was shaped by the powerful forces at work in his world is revealed through his surviving Letterbooks, by his great home, Blandfield, and the furnishings with which he chose to surround himself. From these resources Robert Beverley emerges as a unique individual and escapes the stereotype of a southern planter, but his legacy of correspondence, home and furniture also add a great deal of texture and nuance to our picture of the eighteenth-century Virginia gentry and their ambitions. His dialogues with agents, friends and family, his orders detailed in his Letterbooks, his estate inventory, Blandfield preserved by ten generations of Beverleys and today by the Wheat family, and the surviving furnishings, allow a comprehensive consideration of Robert Beverley, his home and its furniture. This work will seek to incorporate these three elements, Letterbooks, house and furniture, in an integrated study of Beverley and the sources of furniture for Blandfield. It will provide new documentary evidence regarding the specific forms, styles and origins of furniture he acquired that will allow for a more accurate assessment of Robert Beverley's patterns of consumption and the choices of furniture available to him in the Virginia Chesapeake and give a better picture of life in that time.
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Masters of Arts
Corcoran College of Art + Design (Washington, D.C.)
Masters Theses from the Corcoran College of Art + Design
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