This object is currently on display in room 203 as part of Hewitt Sisters Collect. See our image rights statement.


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Church Birdcage, mid-19th century

This is a Birdcage. It is dated mid-19th century and we acquired it in 1916. Its medium is turned, cut, and stained mahogany, cherry, pine, cut brass, wire, enamel-painted metal. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

This birdcage is a model of a church in Flushing, Queens, New York; by the time the Hewitts owned the birdcage, the church was covered in stone. The spacing between the wooden slats provides visibility and ventilation for the birds and differentiates between an actual architectural model and a practical birdcage.
When the Hewitt sisters travelled to Europe in pursuit of objects for the museum they were creating (see photo of Sarah, Eleanor, and Amy Hewitt in a Venetian gondola), they collected items that, today, might not seem immediately relevant to a design museum—like birdcages. The European-focused Hewitt sisters acquired birdcages in various media, such as ceramics and glass. Others represent specific architecture from various locations.

This object was featured in our Object of the Day series in a post titled Birdcage In The Form Of A Church.

This object was donated by Sarah Cooper Hewitt and Eleanor Garnier Hewitt and catalogued by Carl C. Dauterman. It is credited Gift of Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt.

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 79 × 38 × 75.5 cm (31 1/8 × 14 15/16 × 29 3/4 in.)

Cite this object as

Church Birdcage, mid-19th century; USA; turned, cut, and stained mahogany, cherry, pine, cut brass, wire, enamel-painted metal; H x W x D: 79 × 38 × 75.5 cm (31 1/8 × 14 15/16 × 29 3/4 in.); 1916-19-83-a,b

This object has no known Copyright restrictions.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Church Birdcage, mid-19th century |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=6 February 2016 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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