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While
I have always admired the ornate 18th-century styles of furniture from
New England, I’ve never wanted to put one of those pieces in my home.

My
tastes in furniture have always been more in line with the simpler
furniture that was made by rural builders, what some people call the
“neat and plain style.”


And
because I am a grits-loving Southerner, I have always preferred
furniture from the South, which is always a half-bubble off from what
our northern neighbors were making. In my view, Southern makers were
more willing or able to experiment outside the realm of the classic high
styles produced in the North.




This
morning I got the opportunity to visit the Museum of Early Southern
Decorative Arts
in Winston-Salem, N.C. – a long-overdue and too-short
visit to a place that I have longed to go to that specializes in
furniture and decorative arts from the mid 1600s to the mid 19th
century.



Thanks
to Jerome Bias, a local woodworker and interpreter of Thomas Day, I got
a personal tour of the museum’s collection of furniture and permission
to “do anything I like to the furniture except scratch it.”



 

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