Tradition in Contemporary Furniture
A Furniture Society publication, 2001. Edited by Rick Mastelli and John Kelsey
Everyone is familiar with the broad meanings expressed by traditional furniture: taste, comfort, wealth, and a certain sense of style. And it's not difficult to learn about its more specific vocabulary: The eighteenth-century mahogany sideboard conveys hospitality, its carved shell giving thanks for the bounty of the sea, while the curvaceous cabriole leg speaks to the search for ideal beauty.
We're perhaps less familiar with the broad range of meanings expressed by contemporary studio furniture, a leading art form in a traditional medium. Through beautiful photos and intelligent essays, this second volume in the Furniture Studio series explores the evolution of traditional furniture in contemporary work. The term "studio furniture" refers to work made one piece at a time or in small productions runs, by individuals and small teams of artisans, for functional reasons as well as artistic ones. Today's studio furniture artists seek to widen the vocabulary of furniture and expand its range of meanings. Yet even as they advance current art movements, probe newly revealed functions, and incorporate such modern materials as aluminum and acrylic, they remain within a still-unfolding tradition.
A highlight of this book is the juried gallery, featuring the very best new furniture by members of The Furniture Society. These 44 pages of images were juried from more than 1,000 submitted slides. Along with the other images in this book, more than 200 beautiful photos in all, they constitute a treasury of inspiring furniture.