Rundlet-May House

World’s Fair Cabinet and Etagere

The International Exposition held in Philadelphia in 1876 to celebrate the nation’s centennial was a watershed event in which American manufacturing emerged as the equal of any other nation. The Exposition was a vast trade show, which exerted widespread cultural influence, stimulating interest in the nation’s history and spawning a craze for Asian furniture, decorative arts objects, and art. Elizabeth Morrison purchased this cabinet from the Chinese display at the Exposition and brought it back to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to occupy a place of honor in the parlor of her Federal-style house.