A heavily illustrated classic on the evolution of the handloom.
The handloom—often no more than a bundle of sticks and a few lengths of cordage—has been known to almost all cultures for thousands of years. Eric Broudy places the wide variety of handlooms in their historical context. What influenced their development? How did they travel from one geographic area to another? Were they invented independently by different cultures? How have modern cultures improved on ancient weaving skills and methods? Broudy shows how virtually every culture has woven on handlooms. He highlights the incredible technical achievement of early cultures that created magnificent textiles with the crudest of tools and demonstrates that modern technology has done nothing to surpass their skill or inventiveness.
Charles Darwin’s monumental The Origin of Species, published in 1859, forever changed the landscape of natural science. The scientific world of the time had already established the principle of the “intelligent design” of a Creator; the art world had spent centuries devoting itself to the celebration of such a Designer’s creation. But the language of the book, and its implications, were stunning, and the ripples Darwin made when he rocked the boat spread outward: if he could question the Designer, what effect might there be on the art world, and on mortal designers’ renderings of Creation.
Published in partnership with the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art to accompany its exhibit, this catalog of essays and more than fifty color exhibition plates invokes these two senses of “intelligent design”—one from the debates between science and theology and the other from the world of art, particularly architecture and the decorative arts. The extensive exhibition includes furniture, metalware, glassware, textiles, and designs on loan from public and private collections in the United States and England. Among the artwork included are items from William Morris, C. R. Ashbee, Christopher Dresser, C. F. A. Voysey, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Louis Sullivan. Through these pieces and the accompanying examinations, the book explores how popular conceptions of the theory of evolution were used or rejected by British and American artists in the years that followed Darwin’s publication.
The first comprehensive catalogue of the Getty Museum’s significant collection of French Rococo ébénisterie furniture.
This catalogue focuses on French ébénisterie furniture in the Rococo style dating from 1735 to 1760. These splendid objects directly reflect the tastes of the Museum’s founder, J. Paul Getty, who started collecting in this area in 1938 and continued until his death in 1976.
The Museum’s collection is particularly rich in examples created by the most talented cabinet masters then active in Paris, including Bernard van Risenburgh II (after 1696–ca. 1766), Jacques Dubois (1694–1763), and Jean-François Oeben (1721–1763). Working for members of the French royal family and aristocracy, these craftsmen excelled at producing veneered and marquetried pieces of furniture (tables, cabinets, and chests of drawers) fashionable for their lavish surfaces, refined gilt-bronze mounts, and elaborate design. These objects were renowned throughout Europe at a time when Paris was considered the capital of good taste.
The entry on each work comprises both a curatorial section, with description and commentary, and a conservation report, with construction diagrams. An introduction by Anne-Lise Desmas traces the collection’s acquisition history, and two technical essays by Arlen Heginbotham present methodologies and findings on the analysis of gilt-bronze mounts and lacquer.
The free online edition of this open-access publication is available at www.getty.edu/publications/rococo/ and includes zoomable, high-resolution photography. Also available are free PDF, EPUB, and Kindle/MOBI downloads of the book, and JPG downloads of the main catalogue images.
In our industrialized society, it is often difficult to imagine how the objects around us are made. How, for example, are triple spirals put into the stem of a wine glass or table tops inlaid with whole landscapes of semi-precious stones? This unique dictionary is devoted to the fascinating materials and techniques used in the decorative arts. Materials range from the exotic to the most basic, from rare stones found only in the mountains of Badakshan, unsavory animal products, and the ground bodies of South American insects to ones as common as sand, clay, and lime.
Compiled by a team of experts, each with an intimate knowledge of his or her subject, the entries are written in clear, accessible language and supplemented by numerous photographs and drawings. Each core material (glass, ceramics, textiles, paper, plastics, leather, metal, stone, wood, and paint) is covered from its raw state through any processing or preparation to various craft stages and finally, to any surface finishing.
Traditionally, the kind of information found in these pages has been passed on from craftsman to craftsman or confined to highly specialized books, and even common terms are often misunderstood. This dictionary makes the subject accessible to all—from art and architectural historians, curators, collectors, restoration specialists, artists, and museum staff to decorators, aficionados, and those who enjoy watching Antiques Roadshow. In short, this book is for all those who are intrigued by the materials and techniques used to create the beautiful objects that surround us.
In 1910 John Merven Carrère, a Paris-trained American architect, wrote, “Learning from Paris made Washington outstanding among American cities.” The five essays in Paris on the Potomac explore aspects of this influence on the artistic and architectural environment of Washington, D.C., which continued long after the well-known contributions of Peter Charles L’Enfant, the transplanted French military officer who designed the city’s plan.
Isabelle Gournay’s introductory essay provides an overview and examines the context and issues involved in three distinct periods of French influence: the classical and Enlightenment principles that prevailed from the 1790s through the 1820s, the Second Empire style of the 1850s through the 1870s, and the Beaux-Arts movement of the early twentieth century. William C. Allen and Thomas P. Somma present two case studies: Allen on the influence of French architecture, especially the Halle aux Blés, on Thomas Jefferson’s vision of the U.S. Capitol; and Somma on David d’Angers’s busts of George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette. Liana Paredes offers a richly detailed examination of French-inspired interior decoration in the homes of Washington’s elite in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Cynthia R. Field concludes the volume with a consideration of the influence of Paris on city planning in Washington, D.C., including the efforts of the McMillan Commission and the later development of the Federal Triangle complex.
The essays in this collection, the latest addition to the series Perspectives on the Art and Architectural History of the United States Capitol, originated in a conference held by the U.S. Capitol Historical Society in 2002 at the French Embassy’s Maison Française.
Today we witness a steadily growing interest in the Shakers and their way of life, especially their crafts. Although Shaker furniture, architecture, and herbs, for example, have been written about repeatedly, there are no other studies in depth of another all-important element in Shaker lives--Shaker textiles. Beverly Gordon, an experienced craftswoman and teacher, presents a comprehensive, illustrated book on the kinds of textiles the Shakers used, how they were produced, and their cultural and economic importance to the communities. She shows how Shaker beliefs were manifested in the actual artifacts and integrates detailed technical information in a way that will appeal to the nonprofessional admirers of these crafts as well as to experts. Professional dealers may use the book to verify the authenticity of a variety of items. An introductory chapter is followed by sections on the general characteristics of the textiles, their importance in Shaker lives, and the types of textile activities they undertook. Textile production, including fiber preparation, spinning, weaving, dyeing, knitting, crocheting, and sewing, is examined. Detailed descriptions of rugs and floor coverings, chair and seat tapes and cushions, clothing and personal accessories, popular cloth, and fancywork are followed by appendices on original Shaker weaving drafts, analyses of rugs and chair seat tapes, dye recipes, and instructions for knitting and constructing “fancy” items. This indispensable reference work results in part from the author’s close association with Shaker textiles between 1973 and 1977, when she was a textile interpreter at Hancock Shaker Village. Since then she has had access to artifacts and original manuscripts and documents throughout the country, works that are reflected in her full bibliography. A study from the procurement and processing of materials to the uses of finished products, this is a book of lasting value to collectors and antique dealers, museum curators, home economists, historians, weavers, and fiber artists with related specialties.
This is volume 28 issue 1 of West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture. Focusing on the decorative arts, design history, and material culture, West 86th provides a forum for new research into all aspects of the content, meaning, and significance of material objects in history. West 86th publishes scholarly articles; review articles; primary source translations; critical book, catalogue, and exhibition reviews; research inquiries; letters to the editor; and supplementary digital material integral to articles.
This is volume 28 issue 2 of West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture. Focusing on the decorative arts, design history, and material culture, West 86th provides a forum for new research into all aspects of the content, meaning, and significance of material objects in history. West 86th publishes scholarly articles; review articles; primary source translations; critical book, catalogue, and exhibition reviews; research inquiries; letters to the editor; and supplementary digital material integral to articles.