A Brief History of the Chipstone Foundation

In 1946 Polly and Stanley Stone began collecting early American furniture and historical prints, as well as seventeenth and eighteenth century British pottery. The collection was housed in a colonial revival brick home in the residential neighborhood of Fox Point, Wisconsin. By the early 1960s their collection was impressive enough to capture the attention of Charles Montgomery, then Senior Research Fellow and former Director of the Henry Francis DuPont Winterthur Museum. At Montgomery's urging the Stones established the Chipstone Foundation with the purpose of preserving and interpreting their collection and stimulating research and education in the decorative arts. Following Stanley Stone's death in 1987, the foundation was activated by an initial endowment provided by Mrs. Stone.  Polly Stone remained closely involved in the Foundation until her death in 1995 at the age of 97.

Today, the Chipstone Foundation continues to preserve and interpret the objects collected by the Stones as a living collection, with the purpose of promoting original research and innovative education programs in the decorative arts and material culture. Read our Mission Statement to learn more. Since 1999 the Foundation has partnered with the Milwaukee Art Museum to share our collections and research with the broader public. We have developed strong collaborative relationships with the University of Wisconsin–Madison and many local and national museums and arts institutions. 

Life Begins at Fifty
from American Furniture at Chipstone by Oswaldo Rodriquez Roque, 1983

The origin of the name Chipstone
Stanley Stone’s affectionate name for his wife Polly was "Chipmunk." Merging this term with their last name created the word Chipstone.