Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color - Richard Hampton Jenrette Series in Architecture and the Decorative Arts (Hardback)
  • Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color - Richard Hampton Jenrette Series in Architecture and the Decorative Arts (Hardback)

Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color - Richard Hampton Jenrette Series in Architecture and the Decorative Arts (Hardback)

Hardback 320 Pages / Published: 30/05/2010
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This title discusses about the legendary artisan of antebellum North Carolina, in words and pictures. 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. 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. 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 many 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, 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.

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807833414
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 1520 g
Dimensions: 279 x 203 x 30 mm
Edition: New edition

Day's incredible story is exhaustively researched and deftly illustrated. . . . A fascinating study of both the entrepreneur and his craft. . . . [With] eye-catching photographs and engrossing text. Highly recommended.--Library Journal

This beautifully-illustrated book offers exceptionally skillful and sensitive readings of the artifactual and textual evidence. It is recommended for academic libraries, museums and large public libraries, and for all collections that support programs in African American studies and American cultural history more generally.--Art Libraries Society of North America

An excellent book about the craftsman's remarkable life. Building upon decades of research, the authors have produced the most comprehensive publication on this figure to date. . . . The photographs . . . are abundant and of high quality.--American Craft

This fascinating study explores the vital legacy of Thomas Day. . . .The authors have produced a highly detailed-and highly readable-study of Day's career." --The Magazine Antiques

Thomas Day is to be lauded as a significant achievement in scholarship on free black artisans of the South.--Journal of Southern History

This long-awaited book . . . is the first significant scholarly examination of Day and his work. . . . The product of decades of research. . . . Is a foundation on which future scholars can build the often-forgotten story of North Carolina's free black community, and it is also a call to scholars in other states, North and South, to search out similar stories that puncture the myth of a monolithic antebellum society.--North Carolina Historical Review

An excellent addition to the continuing research of early North Carolina furniture.--The Journal of the North Carolina Association of Historians

Give[s] hints of the artisan's hidden inner life. [Day] came across as subservient in his newspaper ads, promising that commissions 'will be thankfully received and punctually attended to.' But he sent his children to an abolitionist boarding school in Massachusetts and wrote them that he longed to leave 'the Oppressive South.'--The New York Times

Provide[s] the most comprehensive inventory of Thomas Day's furniture and architectural woodwork to date. This is an invaluable volume. . . . Marshall and Leimenstoll have indeed broken new ground by better illuminating the work of one of America's greatest craftsman and by placing his life and business within a larger context that will interest readers beyond academe and the fields of history and material culture.--Winterthur Portfolio

Comprehensively researched and delightfully written. . . . The authors successfully advance the body of knowledge of free African American craftsmen in the antebellum period, while painting a vibrant image of the world in which Thomas Day operated. . . . Will be indispensable for all collections that focus on art history and the decorative arts, African American history, the antebellum era, and regional collections. . . . Essential.--Choice

Exhaustively researched . . . with . . . gorgeous full-color photographs of more than 160 pieces of furniture and architectural woodwork that Day produced between 1835 and 1861.--Raleigh News & Observer

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