We’ve received a lot of good questions, suggestions and comments about our upcoming book on furniture from the collection of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) – thank you!
Many readers have commented that the selection we posted doesn’t fully represent all the many types of furniture built in the South – and that’s true. What we didn’t make clear is that our book is going to concentrate on the vernacular style – comparatively simple pieces when you consider the high-style work that was also produced in the region during the 18th and 19th centuries (such as the table pictured above, from the museum’s furniture collection).
There is no question that an amazing array of jaw-dropping furniture was built in the South – pick up “Southern Furniture 1680-1830: The Colonial Williamsburg Collection” or “The Furniture of Charleston, 1680-1820” or “Thomas Elfe Cabinetmaker” or any of the furniture books available through the bookstore at MESDA and you’ll see work that rivals (if not surpasses) all the best work coming out of New England, Newport and Philadelphia during the period. But, you’ll find those pieces in the aforementioned books.
What we want to do is introduce the vernacular style, which isn’t as well-known – we think it’s gorgeous, and it deserves equal recognition.
The plan is to pick the pieces we (and you) think best represent this style, and produce measured drawings. Plus, we’ll be providing the history of each of the selected pieces, and an introduction to Southern furniture and makers, as well as to this vernacular style.
Assuming we can stay on schedule, we should have the book out in time for Woodworking in America (late September, 2011). So if you’ll please excuse me, I must go crack the whip.