Andrew Richmond
Vice-president, Garth’s Auctions, Delaware, Ohio

Buy Local or By River: Furnishing the Early Midwest

Contrary to popular beliefs, the early trans-Appalachian west was not a remote backwoods devoid of style...at least for not for long.  Trade via the rivers and lakes, and later, the canals, provided easy access to all manner of goods produced in eastern urban centers and in Europe.  While early Midwesterners did import great quantities of goods, they also produced equally great quantities of goods, so many, in fact, that Midwestern manufacturers developed a significant export trade that reached much farther than one might imagine.  Using both documentary evidence and surviving objects, we'll examine the wide range of goods both made and used in the early Midwest, and how trade networks and consumer choice ultimately helped establish the American Midwest as a distinctive cultural region.


A native Ohioan, Andrew Richmond received his bachelor’s degree in history from Kenyon College and his master’s degree from the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture. His research has focused on the furniture of early Ohio and the Midwest, and he has published articles in American Furniture and The Magazine Antiques; his current research focuses on the heretofore unknown Marietta, Ohio, cabinetmaker Joshua Shipman and the early furniture of the Midwestern Germans. He has lectured widely on Ohio furniture, including at the 2006 Colonial Williamsburg Antiques Forum and the 2007 Furniture Forum at the Winterthur Museum. Richmond has been in the auction business since 2003, and at Garth’s since 2006. He serves as a licensed auctioneer and certified appraiser. Along with his wife, Hollie Davis, he writes a monthly column for Maine Antique Digest titled “The Young Collector.” Most recently, Andrew has served as guest curator for Equal in Goodness, an exhibition of Ohio decorative arts at the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio in Lancaster. 

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