The amazing tool cabinet of piano-maker Henry O. Studley has fostered intense admiration and contemplation surrounding its origins and creator for nearly three decades. I’ve heard a lot of this speculation while conducting research for the book “Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley” (Lost Art Press).
About the only thing I’ve not heard is that Studley’s creative genius was proof of extraterrestrial visitation. The reality is both inspiring and mundane.
Who? Studley was born in 1838 in Lowell, Mass., into a family of skilled tradesmen; he died in Quincy, Mass., in 1925. As a young man he mastered the cabinetmaking trade and worked nearly his entire adult life in the precision woodworking world of organ and piano building. The only known portrait of Studley presents him at the top of the piano-factory food chain.
What? His tool cabinet, filled with in many cases customized tools, and his workbench, were fabricated from premium mahogany.
Web site: Visit studleytoolchest.com for tickets and more information about the exhibit.
From the June 2015 issue