Maynard Parker’s modern architecture & interior photography

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

The Huntington Library recently launched a new online database that makes accessible the archives of Los Angeles-based architectural and garden photographer Maynard L. Parker (1901-1976). Parker contributed images to many of the nation’s premiere home design publications from the late 1930s through the early 1970s including House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, Better Homes & Gardens, and Sunset. He traveled across the …

This Week’s Top Lots: August 8 – 14

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

*  The top lot of the August 8 sale of the estate of Joseph Stanley at Rago in Lambertville, New Jersey was an 18th century slant front desk that sold for $42,700 (estimate $1,200-1,500). Other top lots were an English Chippendale-style sofa that sold for $18,300 (estimate $2,000-3,000), and a set of Regency parlor furniture that sold for $17,080 (estimate …

Conservation and restoration of upholstery

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

Elizabeth Lahikainen and Associates specializes in the conservation and restoration of the upholstery of objects in museums and private collections, and since 1990 has been affiliated with the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. Her firm concentrates on interpreting the historical evidence presented by a piece of upholstered furniture and then selecting accurate fabrics for its restoration. In some cases …

The Expert Eye: Barry Harwood at BKLYN DESIGNS

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

Often the best way to experience the past is to see its influence on the present. To that end, I invited Barry Harwood, curator of decorative arts at the Brooklyn Museum to accompany me to the annual BKLYN DESIGNS exhibition (May 8-10), presented by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Dumbo. Over forty local designers showcased …

The American Wing gets ready to soar

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

May 2009 | When the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s renovated Greek and Roman galleries were inaugurated two years ago, critics acclaimed that majestic design by the architect Kevin Roche (1922–) as a crowning achievement of his career, and an equal triumph for the institution’s longtime director Philippe de Montebello, who soon afterward announced his retirement. Although Roche’s intervention deserved every …

The American Campeche chair

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

May 2009 | On March 8, 1827, Joseph Coolidge (1798–1879), the husband of Thomas Jefferson’s granddaughter Ellen W. Randolph Coolidge (1796–1876), wrote to Nicholas P. Trist (1800–1874), another of Jefferson’s grandsons-in-law, regarding the distribution of the Monticello, Virginia, estate: “Ellen now desires me to say that if you can procure the Campeachy chair, with [Jefferson’s] initials, she wishes you to …

Kem Weber and the rise of modern design in Southern California

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

May 2009 | In the fall of 1926 Barker Brothers, then the largest furniture retailer in the United States, opened a striking new shop on the fourth floor of its eleven-story building in downtown Los Angeles. The new “store-within-a-store,” christened “Modes and Manners,” was the brainchild of the young designer Kem Weber (Fig. 2). It was not only the first …

Japanned furniture: global objects in provincial America

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

May 2009 |On a cold winter dawn in January 1701, trumpeters marched through the streets of Boston, waking the residents and proclaiming Samuel Sewall’s poem.1 Written by a devout Puritan who had inherited a mercantile fortune, the poem shows a global imagination at work—and perhaps at play too. It reminds us that the provincial society of early America was not …

Queries: Paper lined bed testers

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

Cybèle Gontar and Stephen Harrison are writing an article on paper-lined bed testers. Decorative wallpapers have traditionally been placed on walls, ceilings, and folding screens. Less commonly, wallpapers were also used to cover valances and ceilings of bedsteads in the late eighteenth century. Bed and window valances covered with paper were advertised by Francis Delorme, a French immigrant craftsman in …

The Worsham-Rockefeller rooms

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

In New York in the 1880s—the gilded age when the likes of the Rockefellers, the Vanderbilts, and the Goulds were building their mansions along and near Fifth Avenue—the new aesthetic style often reigned supreme as the choice for their grand interiors. Herter Brothers, Kimbel and Cabus, Pottier and Stymus, Leon Marcotte are just a few of the firms that catered …