Toledo Museum of Art Archives - Heidi Bender

Tag Archives for " Toledo Museum of Art "

March 12, 2014

What is a cabinet pipe organ?

1785 Johannes Strumphler Cabinet Pipe Organ

1785 Johannes Strumphler Cabinet Pipe Organ

Recently, Ted and I attended the Paul Jacobs pipe organ concert at the Toledo Museum of Art. The concert was in the evening so we decided to spend the afternoon walking through the museum.

We were very surprised to find a cabinet pipe organ on display. A cabinet pipe organ is a small organ that is built inside of a cabinet. This particular cabinet organ was made around 1785 and is credited to organ builder Johannes Strumphler. The cabinet doors can be closed to hide the pipes when not in use. There is a foot pedal to pump air into the bellows. There is not a bench for this organ. The organist stands while playing presumably with one foot pumping the foot pedal. I am assuming the drawers are fake, but we didn’t try to open them!

Details on Cabinet Organ

Detailed work on the Cabinet Organ

The cabinet was beautiful with detailed scroll work and claw feet. In the description next to the display, it says that Johannes Strumphler worked with a fine cabinetmaker. The materials used for the cabinet include mahogany, oak, glided maple, glided bronze, ivory, ebony, and mother-of-pearl.

The cabinet itself is art, yet no recognition for the cabinetmaker. Very similar to the many paintings in the museum that had elaborate hand carved wooded frames. We didn’t read every plague but we didn’t notice any that mentioned the the frame maker. The names of the cabinetmakers and frame makers forever lost to history.

Can you imagine of this cabinet organ in your living room? What a surprise it would be for someone who opened it thinking it is a regular cabinet!

February 28, 2014

Paul Jacobs Pipe Organ Concert at the Peristyle – February 22, 2014

Date nights that include pipe organ concerts are swell! Last weekend Ted and I attended the Paul Jacobs concert at the Peristyle at the Toledo Museum of Art.

Peristyle at the Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH

Peristyle at the Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH. 1926 Skinner Pipe Organ console is center Stage.

The program featured the music of J.S. Bach, Nadia Boulanger, Stanley, Adler, Mozart, and Guilmant. The entire program along with detailed program notes can be found on the Toledo Symphony’s website.

Paul is a fantastic organist. His reputation did not disappoint. The way Paul played the organ seemed like the most natural thing ever. Almost as if the organ was an extension of himself. During the performance he pulled stops as if he had been playing this organ for years. The last piece, “Sonata in D Minor Op. 42” by Alexandre Guilmant was 25 minutes and played from memory!

Paul Jacob’s Call to Action

Before each piece (except for the first one) Paul gave some background on the piece he was about to play. He was funny and connected well with the audience. Before the final piece, his comments included a call to action. He compared the classical music to the art in the museum. His remarks reminded us to enjoy and appreciate music that is hundreds of years old, like many of the pieces in the museum. He encouraged us to attend symphonies and concerts to support the tradition. We should invite and introduce others to pipe organ music. They may like it!

1926 Skinner Pipe Organ
1926 Skinner Pipe Organ

The Skinner Organ

The pipe organ at the Peristyle is a 1926 Skinner Company organ which has been fully restored to its original condition. The restoration was done by A. Thompson Allen Company. The history of the organ, the restoration, and stop list can be found on their website. Paul described this organ as magnificent!

As wonderful as this instrument is, I felt like the pipe divisions are too far apart. In the above picture, the pipes are located to the left and to the right of the stage (they are behind the screens). When the music was played it was very obvious if the pipes were on the left or the right. I found this to be a distraction when music was played that used pipes from both sides. So much so, that I would not recommend the Peristyle for someone’s first organ concert.

Overall, Ted and I both enjoyed the concert. The music was varied and Paul was great. To learn more about Paul Jacobs check out is website: To hear and see Paul play watch the video below from his YouTube channel.