This sofa was formerly owned by Oliver Culver (1778-1867), who was an early Rochester pioneer, first supervisor of the town of Brighton, and original builder of the road that became East Avenue. Family tradition states that the sofa was made by a local cabinetmaker from lumber cleared off property owned by Culver. The furniture style is called Empire because it was influenced by French design; it was popularized in the 1820s by a furniture designer named Duncan Phyfe whose workshop was in New York City.
Two Rochester streets are named for Culver: Culver Road and Oliver Street. The 1815 section of Culver’s home still stands today on East Boulevard, where it was moved from its original location at the corner of East Avenue and Culver Road.
[Gallery label text, 2002]
Oliver Culver; to his grandson, Lawrence D. Smith; purchased by the Gallery in 1942
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This object has the following bibliographic references:
Article Title: Additional Gift to the R.T. Miller Fund.
Article Scope: Article.
Memorial Art Gallery.
Rochester, New York: Memorial Art Gallery, 1935-1995.
Volume Number: 8,
Issue Number: 3.
Issue Date: January 1943.
Democrat and Chronicle.
Rochester, NY: Rochester Print Co.
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