Byrdcliffe Linen Press

Recreating a classic cabinet that breaks the rules of Arts & Crafts.
By Robert W. Lang
Pages: 34-44

From the April 2006 issue #154
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The history of most pieces of furniture can be traced back to one individual – usually the designer, the maker or the client. The roots of this linen press spread to include a  fascinating group of people at an early 20th-century art colony known as Byrdcliffe, located near Woodstock, N.Y.

With its carved door panels and distinctive colors, this unusual cabinet is one of the finest examples of the Arts & Crafts period. The basic form can be traced back to English designs of the period, but the stylized carving and overall proportions make it unique. The original is part of the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Fewer than 50 pieces of furniture were made at Byrdcliffe between 1903 and 1905. Fewer than half of those found buyers; the remaining pieces were found in various buildings at the colony after the 1976 death of the founder’s son. Many of these had been left unfinished, the idea being that the buyer could choose a color when purchasing.

Online Extra: Download Full-size Patterns for the carved doors. ByrdcliffeDR_pat

From the April 2006 issue #154
Buy this issue now