American Furniture: 1650 to the Present (Hardback)
  • American Furniture: 1650 to the Present (Hardback)

American Furniture: 1650 to the Present (Hardback)

Hardback 664 Pages / Published: 22/12/2017
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Drawing on the latest scholarship, this comprehensive, lavishly illustrated survey tells the story of the evolution of American furniture from the 17th century to the present. Not viewed in isolation, furniture is placed in its broader cultural, historic, and aesthetic context. The focus is not only on the urban masterpieces of 18th century William and Mary, Queen Anne, Chippendale, and Federal styles but also on the work of numerous rural cabinetmakers. Special chapters explore Windsor chairs, Shaker, and Pennsylvania German furniture which do not follow the mainstream style progression. Picturesque and anti-classical explain Victorian furniture including Rococo, Renaissance, and Eastlake. Mission and Arts and Crafts furniture introduce the 20th century. Another chapter identifies the eclectic revivals such as Early American that dominated the mass market throughout much of the 20th century. After World War II American designers created many of the Mid-Century Modern icons that are much sought after by collectors today. The rise of studio furniture and furniture as art which include some of the most creative and imaginative furniture produced in the 20th and 21st centuries caps the review of four centuries of American furniture. A final chapter advises on how to evaluate the authenticity of both traditional and modern furniture and how to preserve it for posterity. With over 800 photos including 24 pages of color, this fully illustrated text is the authoritative reference work.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781442270381
Number of pages: 664
Weight: 2023 g
Dimensions: 286 x 228 x 47 mm

This is a great improvement over earlier editions of Fitzgerald's surveys-Four Centuries of American Furniture (1995) and Three Centuries of American Furniture (CH, Jun'82). Fitzgerald adds material on the 20th and 21st centuries and a final chapter on connoisseurship. He takes a chronological approach, moving from the early l7th century to the present with great detail. All the well-known pieces are here, plus many that will be less familiar. Fitzgerald considers both the exceptional and the ordinary, both high styles and country-rural forms. He explores styles, construction, materials, regional characteristics, forms and types, upholstery and fabrics, design origins, use and taste, trade, and technological innovations. Each section has comparisons with architecture; chapters have notes; and the bibliography of books, catalogues, theses, and articles is annotated. The visuals are extensive-some 800 in black and white and 48 in color. . . Lengthy explanatory captions are helpful. New terminology is used throughout except for style names (e.g., "Chippendale"), which are kept for familiarity. An outstanding achievement in American cultural studies with up-to-date research, collection of sources, and detailed scholarship, this indispensable reference is an important addition to the literature on American art and culture. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers. * CHOICE *
This lavishly illustrated volume contains over eight hundred photographs, of which forty-eight are in color. This book combines and expands information from the author's previous publications Three Centuries of American Furniture and Four Centuries of American Furniture with additional content into the twenty-first century. As a result, it is probably the most extensive and comprehensive volume on American furniture from the seventeenth century up to the present. Twenty-one chapters provide in-depth analysis of various types and histories of American furniture such as Queen Anne, Federal, American Empire, Shaker, Gothic, Rococo, Eastlake, Mission, Revival, Post-Modern, and Avant-garde, to name but a few. Each chapter has numerous black-and-white photographs referred to in the content. The color photographs feature a number of re-created and historical rooms from around the United States, in order to show how Americans decorated rooms in various time periods, from rich mansions to humble rural dwellings. A wonderful addition to any public or academic library's holdings. * American Reference Books Annual *
Both serious readers and casual visitors to the book...will unearth a cache of diamonds in Fitzgerald's history.... In addition to his lavish use of photographs and their accompanying commentary, Fitzgerald, a renowned expert on furniture, a teacher, and a curator, deserves our applause for the wealth of information he has packed into these pages and the straight-up style with which he delivers this gift.. * Smoky Mountain News *
Anyone with an interest in furniture, past or present, owes a debt to Oscar Fitzgerald for this magnificent and comprehensive survey. He has put the entire story of American furniture between two covers for the first time, and has done so with commendable intelligence. Drawing from a wealth of recent scholarship, and ranging across an incredible span - urban and rural, north south east and west, expensive and everyday - this book immediately takes its place as an indispensable reference work, not to mention a most enjoyable read. -- Glenn Adamson, Senior Scholar, Yale Center for British Art
In American Furniture: 1650 to the Present Oscar Fitzgerald offers a long-needed, sweeping look at the history of American furniture. Deftly balancing high style and vernacular examples, 17th century and contemporary work, and small shop and factory production, Fitzgerald provides a comprehensive examination of the context, materials, styles, and forms of American furniture in a single volume. This volume will immediately prove invaluable to collectors and students alike, dispensing with the chronological or regional subdivisions that characterize the field and encouraging readers to embrace the full measure of American furniture. -- Edward S. Cooke, Charles F. Montgomery Professor, Department of the History of Art, Yale University

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