Furniture History and Design
Modern Design: The Fabulous 50s (schiffer Design Books)
Modern Design: The Fabulous 50s (schiffer Design Books)
Hardcover      ISBN: 9780764316210

This delightful picture book presents a broad selection of fine examples from two exhibitions held in the California Heritage Museum in Santa Monica (of which Smith is executive director). The furniture, ceramics, lamps, clocks, occasional print and textile are organized first by country then by artist. A short biography of each artist is provided. There is a bibliography, but no index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Now I Sit Me Down: From Klismos to Plastic Chair: A Natural History
Now I Sit Me Down: From Klismos to Plastic Chair
A Natural History
Paperback      ISBN: 0374537038

A grand tour of the chair through the ages by our foremost writer on design

Have you ever wondered where rocking chairs came from, or why cheap plastic chairs are suddenly everywhere?

In Now I Sit Me Down, the distinguished architect and writer Witold Rybczynski chronicles the history of the chair from the folding stools of pharaonic Egypt to the ubiquitous stackable monobloc chairs of today. He tells the stories of the inventor of the bentwood chair, Michael Thonet, and of the creators of the first molded-plywood chair, Charles and Ray Eames. He reveals the history of chairs to be a social history--of different ways of sitting, of changing manners and attitudes, and of varying tastes. The history of chairs is the history of who we are. We learn how the ancient Chinese switched from sitting on the floor to sitting in a chair, and how the iconic chair of Middle America--the BarcaLounger--traces its roots back to the Bauhaus. Rybczynski weaves a rich tapestry that draws on art and design history, personal experience, and historical accounts. And he pairs these stories with his own delightful hand-drawn illustrations: colonial rockers and English cabrioles, languorous chaise longues and no-nonsense ergonomic task chairs--they're all here.

The famous Danish furniture designer Hans Wegner once remarked, "A chair is only finished when someone sits in it." As Rybczynski tells it, the way we choose to sit and what we choose to sit on speak volumes about our values, our tastes, and the things we hold dear.

Samuel McIntire: Carving an American Style
Samuel McIntire
Carving an American Style
Hardcover      ISBN: 0875772099

For more than a century, historians have been searching for the true Samuel McIntire (1757-1811) and have been trying to define his role in shaping the cultural heritage of Salem, Massachusetts. Trained as a carpenter by his father, McIntire taught himself the art of architectural drawing and went on to design scores of public and private buildings in Salem, long celebrated for their elegance and beauty. After 1790, however, he made his living primarily as a wood carver, providing ornamental decoration for many of the buildings he designed as well as for furniture and more than two dozen sailing vessels. McIntire was also called upon to carve portrait busts and even a model of a historic pear, commissions that brought him into the realm of academic sculpture.Samuel McIntire: Carving an American Style is the first book to examine the full range of his carving career and to put it into a broader perspective in terms of the work of his contemporaries and other decorative traditions of the Federal period. The book draws on the remarkable collections of the Peabody Essex Museum, in Salem, Massachusetts, which owns most of McIntire's architectural drawings and several of his most important buildings, as well as furniture in public and private collections from around the country.

Shaker: Life, Work, and Art
Shaker
Life, Work, and Art
Hardcover      ISBN: 1556700113

Briefly traces the history of the Shakers, describes their lifestyle, and looks at Shaker furniture, architecture, boxes, brooms, fabric, clothing, and equipment

Shop Drawings for Greene & Greene Furniture: 23 American Arts & Crafts Masterpieces
Shop Drawings for Greene & Greene Furniture
23 American Arts & Crafts Masterpieces
Paperback      ISBN: 1892836297

23 Projects for Every Room in the Home Working shop drawings for authentic reproductions of rare, classic furniture Greene & Greene furniture, widely recognized as the finest expression of the American Arts & Crafts movement, is presented here for the first time as working shop drawings. Featuring accurate front, side, and top views in addition to comprehensive section and detail views, these drawings offer today's enthusiastic woodworkers a unique opportunity to reproduce this rare furniture line, which has often been photographed but not presented in such detail. Including introductory chapters on both the Greenes and the Halls, an extensive discussion covers suitable woods and finishes and provides solid technical information on how to make such characteristic Greene & Greene details as proud ebony plugs and splines, breadboard ends, and cloud lifts.

Stickley Craftsman Furniture Catalogs
Stickley Craftsman Furniture Catalogs
Paperback      ISBN: 0486238385

Directly influenced by William Morris' Arts and Crafts Movement in England, the Stickley family created what is now known and prized as Craftsman style furniture. This chastely beautiful and functional furniture was without superfluous or pretentious ornamentation, and it did not try to imitate any previous "period" style. Rather, it expressed the plain principle of honest construction and the sturdiness and beauty of the primary wood used, American white oak.
The contemporary antique collector can now see hundreds of pieces of Craftsman furniture as they were actually offered for sale in two Stickley catalogs -- Craftsman Furniture Made by Gustav Stickley (1910) and The Work of L. & J. G. Stickley (n.d.). The 594 illustrations show numerous settees, rockers, armchairs, reclining chairs, bookcases, desks, and tables -- tea, round, rectangular, library, lunch, dining, serving, sewing, toilet, dressing, folding, child's and others, even a billiard table and checkerboard table. A large number of other furniture pieces are also presented, including magazine cabinets, stools, plant stands, chests, sideboards, chests of drawers, beds, child's rockers and dressers, screens, Davenport bed, etc.
In addition, there are pages devoted to products not automatically associated with the Stickleys or Craftsman furniture: metalwork -- desk set, vase, chafing dish, cider set, candle stick, portieres, pillows, curtains, table covers, etc.; willow furniture -- two settees and nine chairs; and rugs in four different patterns. All of the illustrations are accompanied by identifying captions, including exact measurements and, often, prices or descriptive information.

Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color
Thomas Day
Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color
Hardcover      ISBN: 080783341x

Thomas Day (1801-61), a free man of color from Milton, North Carolina, became the most successful cabinetmaker in North Carolina--white or black--during a time when most blacks were enslaved and free blacks were restricted in their movements and activities. His surviving furniture and architectural woodwork still represent the best of nineteenth-century craftsmanship and aesthetics.

In this lavishly illustrated book, Patricia Phillips Marshall and Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll show how Day plotted a carefully charted course for success in antebellum southern society. Beginning in the 1820s, he produced fine furniture for leading white citizens and in the 1840s and '50s diversified his offerings to produce newel posts, stair brackets, and distinctive mantels for many of the same clients. As demand for his services increased, the technological improvements Day incorporated into his shop contributed to the complexity of his designs.

Day's style, characterized by undulating shapes, fluid lines, and spiraling forms, melded his own unique motifs with popular design forms, resulting in a distinctive interpretation readily identified to his shop. The photographs in the book document furniture in public and private collections and architectural woodwork from private homes not previously associated with Day. The book provides information on more than 160 pieces of furniture and architectural woodwork that Day produced for 80 structures between 1835 and 1861.

Through in-depth analysis and generous illustrations, including over 240 photographs (20 in full color) and architectural photography by Tim Buchman, Marshall and Leimenstoll provide a comprehensive perspective on and a new understanding of the powerful sense of aesthetics and design that mark Day's legacy.