A Providence Legacy
Following the death of Elizabeth Angell West Gould in 1907, her son Marshall Hopkins Gould not only carried out his mother's wish of presenting the Esek Hopkins House to the City of Providence for an historic house museum, but also took the responsibility for furnishing it with appropriate objects. In addition to the furniture already there, and much of it original to the house, he filled in gaps left by earlier dispersals with a number of distinguished Boston Chippendale and Federal examples which had formerly graced his mother's childhood home, the impressive West mansion facing The Green in Taunton, Massachusetts. From his first cousin, Harriet Angell Church, also from Taunton, he purchased several other related Boston Chippendale and Federal pieces for the Hopkins House, along with the additional furniture from his father's side of the family, the Frederick Goulds of Boston and Cambridge. His generosity also extended to the Museum of the Rhode Island School of Design which received Oriental objects, and a pair of Boston Chippendale side chairs which his grandfather, Frederick Gould, had purchased at one of the several sales of John Hancock family heirlooms: these chairs are now on view in Pendleton House.
In light of Marshall Gould's interest in both the Esek Hopkins House and the Museum of the Rhode Island School of Design, it seems doubly appropriate that a selection of furniture from the former should be put on display at the latter during Providence/350. Marshall Hopkins Gould was indeed our mutual benefactor and friend, and we are pleased to be able to honor his memory on such an historic occasion.