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KEAN Universithy
Home > About Us > Collections

Liberty Hall Museum’s collections feature 200 years of the Livingston/Kean family’s possessions from furniture, clocks, silver, crystal and china to children’s toys and a century-old dollhouse. While these objects are exquisite (and some one-of-a-kind), they also tell a story about this prominent family and the country they helped to establish.

Here are just a few highlights...

The doll house is a replica of a typical, New York brownstone of the 1880’s like the one the original owner, Mary Alice Van Nest, lived in New York City. The nine-room house is furnished typical of the day and is exceptional in its attention to detail from light fixtures, artwork, wall and floor coverings and knick-knacks, including the mother dog asleep with her puppies on the bedroom rug. Mary Alice Van Nest Barney passed the doll house to her daughter, Mary Alice Barney Kean, who eventually gave it to her daughter, May Kean Raynolds.

The Federal-style pier table (circa 1811) in the dining room is one of only three tables crafted by Lannuier in the le gout moderne style in existence today. Of the other two, one belongs to the Winterthur Museum and the other is in a private collection. The table was created by the French cabinet maker Charles Honore Lannuier who emigrated to America in 1803. This table was lent to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1998 for an exhibition celebrating the work of Lannuier.

During the Depression, many private charitable organizations sprang up to try to help those in need. One such group was the Women’s Committee of the Architects Emergency Committee, who aided out-of-work architects and draftsman. Their greatest fundraising idea was the Architect’s Tea Service. They commissioned 5,000 tea services from Lenox, who produced them at cost, and sold them for $35 each. Extra pieces could be purchased separately. The tea service featured prominent, historical, American architectural buildings. Katherine Winthrop Kean purchased the entire set, including the extra pieces. It is one of the few, complete sets known to be in existence today.