The American Museum in Britain

Director's Choice

Richard Wendorf

    ISBN: 978 1 85759 772 1

    Size: 190 x 165 mm / 6.5 x 7.5 in.

    Binding: Paperback

    Pages: 80

    In association with:

    Date published: March, 2012

    UK £9.95 /US $12.95


  • A personal and engaging guide with a unique approach to the works in the only museum devoted to American decorative art that is located outside of the USA
  • The American Museum in Britain is part of the Director’s Choice Series


The American Museum in Britain in Bath was a unique institution when it opened its doors in 1961 and it remains so today: the only museum devoted to American decorative art that is located outside the United States. Founded by an American psychiatrist and an English antiques dealer, the Museum has welcomed over 3 million visitors to its dramatic setting in Bath, overlooking the Limpley Stoke Valley. In this series of short essays, the Museum’s director, Richard Wendorf, offers his personal perspective on selected items within the Museum’s wide-ranging collections, which include quilts, folk art as well as ‘academic’ paintings, items associated with trade in China, prints and maps, photographs, statuary and other carved objects, and the Colonial and early Federal furniture for which the institution is famous. In addition to addressing particular items, Wendorf also includes ruminations on the definition of the decorative arts and on the characteristic qualities of folk art painting.

This title is part of Scala’s Director’s Choice series

Author information

Richard Wendorf became the Director of the American Museum in Britain in January 2010. Earlier in his career he was Professor of English and Art History at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, Librarian of the Houghton Library and Senior Lecturer on the Fine Arts at Harvard University. He was also the Stanford Calderwood Director and Librarian of the Boston Athenæum.