From Winterthur Licensed Products

January 2014

In This Issue

Products Joshua Holden chair from Kindel Furniture Company

Partners Currey & Company visits Winterthur

Projects Andersen & Stauffer to reproduce 17th-century Massachusetts chest

Press Hickory Chair features Winterthur furniture in national ad

People Carolyn Grossman

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Products Joshua Holden chair from Kindel Furniture Company

Kindel Furniture Company has added the Joshua Holden Side Chair and Arm Chair to their collection of furniture inspired by the collection at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library.

The designers at Kindel found inspiration for the new pieces in a painted and gilded fancy chair currently on display in the
Winterthur Furniture Gallery. Made by Boston chairmaker Joshua Holden in the early 1800s, the chair reflects the 19th-century interest in ancient Greco-Roman design with its graceful scrollback klismos form painted with acanthus leaves, roundels, and a stylized shell. Kindelís chair accurately preserves the elegant lines and delicate ornament of the original antique.

Partners Currey & Company visits Winterthur

Currey & Company spent four days at Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library working closely with specialists and curators to find design inspiration for their collections of lighting, furniture, and floor coverings based on Winterthur originals. Their visit included in depth tours of Henry Francis du Pont's Winterthur home, tours of the estate and garden, as well as time spent in Winterthur Library's Rare Book Room and Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera. The extensive Textile Storage and Curtain Storage rooms were also explored.

"We are so glad that Currey & Company alotted the time to immerse themselves in the vast experience of Winterthur," said Kristin L. De Messe, director of Winterthur Licensed Products. "We wanted to expose them to as much of the collection and estate as possible. They were four very busy days, and I look forward to seeing new Currey & Company products inspired by what they saw during their visit."

Projects Andersen & Stauffer to reproduce 17th-century Massachusetts chest

Andersen & Stauffer has chosen to reproduce an intricate 17th-century chest in the Winterthur collection. Working closely with Winterthur conservators and curators, Tom Stauffer and Alan Andersen have carefully studied and measured the original chest in order to reproduce every detail. Made in Newbury, Essex County, Massachusetts, the rectangular chest has applied, molded decoration and a lid that opens to three compartments. Typical of the 17th-century fondness for decorating the entire surface of an object, the front and sides of this box are organized in geometric patterns using applied moldings, split spindels, and bosses. The owner's initials "S/HA" and date "1694" are incised on the front of the chest, which is also known as a dressing box. Andersen & Stauffer's close attention to detail and exquisite hand craftsmanship ensure that the reproduction will capture the spirit of the original precisely.

Press Hickory Chair features Winterthur furniture in national ad

Traditional Home featured Hickory Chair's new national ad displaying the Alexander Sofa and the special construction Alexander Chair from the Winterthur Country Estate Collection. The ad was run in the magazine's July/August 2013 issue.

Hickory Chair's Alexander chair, ottoman, and sofa are inspired by an image found in Winterthur Library's rare books collection in a volume of 88 copperplate engravings and articles on drawing and painting published in 1803 entitled The Cabinet Dictionary by Thomas Sheraton. Sheraton, an English cabinetmaker, interpreted elements from the French Directoire style, which emphasizes neoclassical forms, minimal carving, and the curved sabre leg. Hickory Chair Company's designers have adapted one of the images to create the elegant Alexander furniture forms, which are certain to become an important part of today's living environments that emphasize unparalleled quality and beauty.

People Carolyn Grossman

Earlier this year, Winterthur announced the largest single gift purchase in its history with the addition of the John and Carolyn Grossman collection, one of the most comprehensive archives of period ephemera ever to have been assembled. The Grossman Collection numbers approximately 250,000 items documenting the methods of lithography and chromolithography and all they represented visually from around 1820 to 1920.

House of Style recently asked collector and product designer Carolyn Grossman to discuss the fascinating collection and what it was like working and living with the collection before it was moved to Winterthur.

House of Style: How did the collection come together?

Carolyn Grossman: John has always been a collector, even when he was a teenager. His first collections consisted of Buck Rogers comic books and science fiction pulp magazines, but his focus really turned to printed ephemera in 1974. As a graphic artist, he found much interest in beautifully printed and designed paper, especially that from the Victorian era. In 1985, we started a stationery company, The Gifted Line, and the basis of all the designs came from the ephemera. In order to keep introducing new products, we sought to grow the collection rapidly.

House of Style: What was it like living with a collection of this size?

Carolyn Grossman: The collection originally fit in two four-drawer fire safes. Then two more were needed, until the protective home grew to be a total of 32 safes, plus large flat files. We always had to keep in mind the type of concrete flooring in the offices to handle that kind of weight. We hired a museum-trained curator named Dave Mihaly to work with John to index every piece in the collection over a period of twelve years. So living with the collection was easy and very well organized.

House of Style: How do you approach the collection as a product designer?

Carolyn Grossman: I have always said that the collection brings out the best in a designer, and the designer brings the best out of the collection. Over the course of thirty-three years that the ephemera has been used in designs, it is amazing how designers, as well as myself can see elements in a particular piece of ephemera so differently. For example, in a small two-inch piece of french silk ribbon there may be at least five design elements that can be used to create a complete tabletop product line or perhaps another designer can see using this same ribbon as an intricate border for the top edging on tote bags or on bath towels. So, as a designer, I closely study each and every part that makes up the printed piece. Using a variety of elements from a variety of ephemera gives you endless freedom to create entirely new concepts. It is easy to imagine that using individual elements from the pieces in such a large collection could produce an infinite amount of designs. I should wear a t-shirt that says "So many designs, so little time!"

House of Style: What is your goal for the collection at Winterthur?

Carolyn Grossman: John and I have always felt that the collection is an important part of our cultural history, and we wanted an institution that felt that same. We also want to share the collection with those who appreciate it. We are all fortunate that Winterthur is now the best home for the collection.

 

Revenue generated by the sale of licensed products supports the educational, preservation, and research programs of Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library.

 

Kristin DeMesse, Director of Licensed Products, 302.888.4861, kdemesse@winterthur.org

Susan Mathews, Licensed Products Assistant, 302.888.4748, smathews@winterthur.org