Next Program - Thursday, April 13, 2023
AMERICAN STUDIO FURNITURE MAKERS
The First Generation
Dr. Robert Aibel
Owner of Moderne Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The public awareness of American Studio Craft as a significant design movement began in the mid-1960s. Prior to that, those who were hand-making pieces in wood, ceramics, glass, metals, etc. were seen as individual artists, not affiliated with any movement. The recognition of these activities as a cohesive movement of sorts that began with furniture makers. Wharton Esherick, George Nakashima (on the East Coast), Sam Maloof and Arthur Espenet Carpenter (on the West Coast), were the major figures in hand-crafted furniture. In Ned Cooke’s 1989 book and catalogue for a show at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, New American Furniture: Second Generation Studio Furnituremakers, he referred to the four of them as the First Generation of Studio Furniture makers. This phrase reified the existence of a movement that began before the Boston show and helped to create a framework within which to think about American Studio Furniture. In order to set the stage for the movement as a whole, it’s best to begin this presentation by developing an appreciation of the approach and work of Wharton Esherick and George Nakashima.
Robert Aibel founded the modern Gallery in Philadelphia in 1984. His scholarly approach to the field has established him as an authority on the work of Wharton Esherick and George Nakashima, and Studio Crafts in general. He is often consulted by museum curators and is frequently cited as a source in newspapers, magazines, and books. He is the author of several publications on art and communication—and on the work of George Nakashima and Wharton Esherick. Aibel has developed a national reputation as a lecturer and expert in 20th century decorative art and is a recognized specialist in the American Studio Craft Movement. Aibel holds PhD, MA, and BA degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. From 1977-1992, he was a professor of Aesthetic and Visual Communication at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School and at Drexel University. He was the producer/director of award-winning documentary films, including two films that focus on antiques in society.
THIS LECTURE IS SPONSORED BY SHARON AND JOHN AMDALL
banner image: George Nakashima (1905-1990)
Conoid Dining Table, designed 1959
image upper left: George Nakashima (1905-1990)
Karuizawa Chair, 1935
cryptomeria tree, jute
LECTURE AVAILABLE ALSO BY ZOOM
free to MEMBERS, watch for link to register in FAS email on April 6
NON-MEMBERS, purchase ticket at 309tix.com