East Hampton Historical Society Presents New Exhibit Focused On The Dominy Craftsmen And Their Customers 

In anticipation of opening the new Dominy Shops Museum, the East Hampton Historical Society is presenting a new exhibition at Clinton Academy entitled, “Made to Order: The Dominy Craftsmen and their Customers, 1760-1840.” 

The Dominy family of craftsmen, including Nathaniel Dominy IV (1737-1812), his son, Nathaniel Dominy V (1770-1852), and his son, Felix Dominy (1800-1868) — father, son, and grandson — worked from approximately 1760 to 1840 when the last entries for making furniture were posted in their account books. Their well-documented craftsmanship tells a unique story of day-to-day colonial and early American life. They were renowned not just in East Hampton, but throughout Long Island and even the Northeast. 

While previous exhibitions of Dominy clocks, furniture, and tools have focused on their design and craftsmanship, “Made to Order” tells the stories of the people of East Hampton who commissioned and used these objects. For example, there’s the tale of Mary Brainerd Gardiner who brought a Dominy travel trunk to boarding school where she was sent at the age of 7, and there’s the story of the Davis family who fled to Connecticut with their Dominy clock when the British occupied East Hampton during the American Revolution. The exhibition acknowledges the enslaved people who lived in 18th century East Hampton and the Montaukett artisans who made rush seats for Dominy chairs. 

On display in Clinton Academy at 151 Main Street in East Hampton through Labor Day weekend, the exhibit text for “Made to Order” is accessible in both Spanish and English. For visiting hours and other information about the exhibition. Visit EastHamptonHistory.org. 

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