Keeping TimeThe Art of Clocks and Watches

July 21 through November 11, 2018

Eight-Day Mantel Clock with Diana, French, 19th century, Gilt brass case with porcelain dial, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Knight

For centuries, clocks and watches have kept time as we go about our daily lives. As the historian Eric Bruton noted, they “…rule every moment of our lives. We cannot escape them. We even live upon one—the Earth, our basic timekeeper.” While today it is rare to ask for the time—phones, digital watches, and computer screens are always at hand—our obsession with tracking minutes and hours has not waned.

This exhibition brings together objects from the museum’s holdings and local private collections that embody the delicate technology and craft of clock- and watch-making. Ranging from personal to utilitarian, from traditional to visionary, and from luxurious to practical, these objects show that while the styles of our timepieces may have changed, our fascination with measuring and marking time’s relentless course remains constant.