The Fabric Workshop and Museum

nanderson Furniture & Decorative Arts

At the moment, Philadelphia’s Fabric Workshop and Museum has a national reputation though it is less well known around town. In one respect it is a little like its founder, the late Marion “Kippy” Boulton Stroud, who was both bold (and bossy) but surprisingly self-effacing. Unlike the Rosenbach or the Barnes, to name two of the city’s other idiosyncratic museums, …

Mount Vernon Comes to Freeman’s

nanderson Furniture & Decorative Arts

Despite its dainty name the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association is not an outfit to be trifled with. Nor is it one to do anything by half measures. Founded in 1858, it is comprised of twenty-seven members, each representing a state in the union at that time, who approached and still approach the project of preserving George Washington’s estate with an almost …

Cajun and Creole, the rough and the fine

Furniture & Decorative Arts, Living with Antiques

Over the past ten years Wade Lege has rescued some of the disappearing landmarks of his native Louisiana, beginning with a group of Acadian cottages and culminating in the ongoing restoration of a Greek revival house originally from Kismet plantation. Wade Lege sold an early nineteenth-century armoire to pay for his architectural Moby Dick. With the proceeds, he got forty-five …

Getting the blues: Transfer ware translated by three contemporary artists

Furniture & Decorative Arts

You can only imagine what the china connoisseur in Edward Lamson Henry’s 1889 A Lover of Old China might think upon encountering a plate made by one of the three contemporary artists shown here. A Lover of Old China by Edward Lamson Henry (1841-1919), 1889.  Oil on academy board, 14 by 12 inches. Shelburne Museum, Vermont. We, on the other …

Iron in the Gilded Age: Samuel Yellin at Stan Hywet Hall

aroseshapiro Furniture & Decorative Arts

Samuel Yellin received what would prove perhaps his single most important early commission in 1914, for the Frank Augustus Seiberling estate in Akron, Ohio. The creative challenges and sheer magnitude of this effort set a new standard for Yellin and showed his singular ability to design and create a fully integrated approach to hardware for a devoted architect and client. …

The Seductions of Budapest

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

It is easy to succumb to the beauty of Budapest, Hungary’s capital city, which straddles the legendary Danube River flowing down from Germany out to the Black Sea. High on a hill on the Buda side stands the Buda Castle, erected on the ruins of former royal palaces going back to the thirteenth century. It is answered across the river …

Speaking Through Wood

sdalati Furniture & Decorative Arts

The Civil War has left its mark on two important pieces of vernacular furniture acquired by the Wadsworth Atheneum Fig. 1. Secretary-bookcase attributed to members of Connecticut’s 16th Infantry, made to honor brothers Wells (1845–1904) and John Bingham (1844 –1862), 1876. Walnut, oak, ebony, poplar, pine, maple, metal, glass, muslin, silk, bone, horn, abalone, and Seth Thomas movement; height 95 1⁄2, …

New light: More squares from Mrs. Miner’s carpet

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts, Magazine

Discoveries come in such unexpected ways. You can search for years for a missing piece of your puzzle without success. And then, sometimes, it falls in your lap! That is what happened last year when my friend Tom Jewett, of Jewett-Berdan Antiques, posted pictures of his Christmas decorations on Facebook. Deer panel from carpet worked by Eliza Campbell Miner, 1836–1844. …

George Washington’s brush with immortality: The hair relics of a sainted hero

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

The eighteenth century had no pollsters to assess what voters really thought about their politicians, but even without such data, the eulogistic editorials that announced George Washington’s death in December 1799 make clear that the country’s first president had assumed a status as close to sainthood as anyone has ever done in the United States. John James Barralet’s print The …

Gray matters

Editorial Staff Exhibitions, Furniture & Decorative Arts

Recent films, exhibitions, and books re-establish Eileen Gray’s reputation and start to set the record straight   History was made at the Grand Palais in Paris on February 24, 2009, when lot 276 in Christie’s sale of the collection of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé was hammered down. In the midst of an economic recession, Eileen Gray’s Dragons armchair …