Originally published in 1916 when the Arts & Crafts movement was in its heyday, this is a virtual textbook of materials, color, techniques, and designs. Arts & Crafts Design is a practical guide to the creation of high-quality, high-style furnishings through the industrial arts.
In this relativistic age in which de gustilrie non disputandum est (it is undisputed that each person has their own sense of taste), it is refreshing to look back to the early twentieth century when at least a few people were certain that there are universal rules for good art and also that they had themselves mastered these precepts and could pass them on to a society that loved commonly held values. William H. Varnum was one of those people. He offers here a textbook that will, if followed, allow students to 'directly apply well-recognized principles of design to specific materials and problems.' No situation esthetics here. In fact, he followed these principles in designing the logos representing his tools and ratio system on the cover of his book.
The publisher of this new edition has added a useful foreword and substitued the title Arts and Crafts Design for the original (1916) Industrial Arts Design, an appropriate modification since the term industrial suggests factory production whereas Varnum referred to objects that today we call Craftsman--Rookwood pottery, Stickley furniture, Jarvie candlesticks, etc. A delightful touch is that Varnum included pictures of these objects alongside the principles by which he believed they were designed. Varnum's book offers an enlightening, if somewhat technical, insight into thinking about design before World War I. There is no doubt that the Arts and Crafts period during which the principles of simple beauty married so neatly with function can be better understood and appreciated today through Varnum's perceptions.
Of the more than one hundred experiments in communitarian living that proliferated in America during the nineteenth century, the Untied Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, whose adherents are best known as Shakers, is certainly one of the most interesting, successful, and enduring. This book is a collection of furniture made by members of this remarkable American religious sect.
The great postwar modern furniture designs are classics, because they are still great. Herman Miller, the company that led the office revolution, is a name synonymous with the best modern residential as well as contract furniture. Classics by super-designers - Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, and Isamu Noguchi - can still be purchased from the Herman Miller for the Home collection. Their designs, plus the work of more than a dozen other important Herman Miller designers, are described here in detail and shown in color and black and white photographs, plus original drawings by Nelson and the famous Frykholm picnic posters, all from the Herman Miller archives. This book is essential for collectors, dealers, curators, designers, and other devotees of modernism.
Why do people consider aesthetic qualities as well as utilitarian ones in the making of everyday objects? Why do they maintain traditions? What is the nature of their creative process? These are some of the larger questions addressed by Michael Owen Jones in his book on craftsmen in the Cumberland Mountains of eastern Kentucky. Concentrating on the work of one man, woodworker and chairmaker Chester Cornett, Jones not only describes the tools and techniques employed by Cornett but also his aspirations and values. Cornett possessed a deep knowledge of his materials and a mastery of construction methods. Some of his chairs represent not objects of utility but aesthetic developments of the chair form. Cornett sought to cope with the problems of his life, Jones maintains; their massiveness provided a sense of security, the virtuosity of their design and construction, a feeling of self-esteem. Jones also compares other area craftsmen and their views about their work.
Following the huge demand in contemporary societies to decorate homes in a "green" style, this book offers a more environmentally conscious approach to design and production processes by presenting a wide range of furniture products made with natural materials as well as using recycling and more environment respecting technologies.
French furniture design has been wildly admired, emulated and collected throughout the world for centuries. Filled with 750 line drawings and brief descriptive definitions, French Furniture details the salient characteristics that define styles of French furniture from the 16th century, age of Louis XIII, to the end of the 20th century.
Thomas Chippendale (1718-79) was the most famous and most skilled of England's master cabinet-makers. So synonymous with excellence in design and craftsmanship was he that his name has been given to the most splendid period of English furniture design.
In 1774, Chippendale issued a catalogue of all his designs, a magnificent compilation of 160 engraved plates representing the prevailing furniture styles, particularly the French (Louis XXV), Gothic, and Chinese-manner pieces for which he was best known. The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, the most important and thorough catalogue of furniture designs that had ever been published in England, was enormously influential, spreading quickly throughout the Continent and the colonies and guiding the style and construction of furniture everywhere. A second edition was formed the following year, and a third in 1762. Today this classic collection is a very rare and highly valued work.
This volume is an unaltered and unabridged republication of the 1762 edition of The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director. The articles of furniture depicted are extremely varied: chairs, sofas, canopy and dome beds, window cornices, breakfast tables, shaving tables, commodes, chamber organs, cabinets, candle stands, cisterns, chimney pieces, picture frames, frets, and other decorations. The plates contain elegant drawings that show the unique combination of solidity of construction and lightness and grace that was the Chippendale trademark, along with many construction diagrams, elevations, and enlargements of moldings and other details. In addition to the plates, this volume also includes a supplement of photographs of sixteenth-century Chippendale-style pieces, including some executed by Chippendale, complete captions to the photos, and a short biographical sketch of Chippendale by N. I. Bienenstock, editor of Furniture World.
The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director is an indispensable guide for antiquarians, furniture dealers, and collectors, and a treasury of ideas for today's designers. Art lovers and other readers will also find it a delightful browsing book.
One hundred years ago Charles and Henry Greene developed a new and distinctive architectural and decorative style that blended Arts & Crafts and Asian influences with California sensibility and obsessive attention to detail. That innovative style is instantly recognizable today.
"David Mathias, author of this richly personal appreciation of the Greenes...comes to Greene and Greene from the perspective of an amateur woodworker with a fine aesthetic sense. Through his writing we are able to appreciate the Greenes' houses and furnishings almost as if we were hearing from one of their builders. Through stunning and perceptive new photography, the illustrated spaces and furnishings illuminate the genius of the Greenes' designs, material selection and craft, which has caused so many to celebrate and be seduced by their work...Being a woodworker, Mathias also pays due homage to John and Peter Hall, the Swedish brothers who worked closely with the Greenes on their finest houses. Mathias correctly grasps how without the Halls, the Greenes would lack a significant measure of the reputation that they enjoy today. Relatively few writers have focused exclusively on Greene and Greene, and so it is a privilege whenever a talented one such as Mr. Mathias comes along. Be forewarned that through this book his seduction may become yours, too."
Edward R. Bosley,
James N. Gamble Director
The Gamble House, Pasadena
School of Architecture, University of Southern California
In Plain Sight: Discovering the Furniture of Nathaniel Gould is the stunning result of happy accident and indefatigable, dedicated research. In the field of early American furniture made in Massachusetts, Nathaniel Gould has loomed as something of a mystery -- believed to have been prolific, handsomely skilled, and exceptionally enterprising, yet considered elusive because of a scarcity of known works, lack of documentation, and difficulties of attribution. Accident -- the unexpected discovery of Gould's day books and account book in the collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society -- and analysis -- painstaking and inductive -- have produced an invaluable, multifaceted case study.
This book establishes Gould unquestionably as Salem's leading cabinetmaker before and during the period of the American Revolution. He made substantial and often expensive furniture, including case pieces of bomb form embellished with carving. The number of works that can be attributed to Gould remains small, but the foundation for increasingly assured connoisseurship lies within these pages and Gould's archival records. The scale of his workshop, his impressively large, diverse clientele, and his successes in Salem's furniture export trade attest to his achievements as an entrepreneur.
However, this book illuminates not only a particular individual, but the Salem/Boston/New England spheres in which Gould operated during a tumultuous time in American history. The scrupulously recorded notations in his ledgers are precious clues to emerging concepts of style and taste, cultural mores, business practices, socio-economic circumstances, and familial histories with local, regional, and national relevance.
In Plain Sight presents a choice array of forms confidently assigned to Gould's shop, and makes accessible the ledgers themselves, meticulously analyzed and interpreted to facilitate present and ongoing scholarship regarding Nathaniel Gould, Salem, early New England furniture, and colonial America.