A date for your diaries:
RFS members will be interested to hear about a two day symposium considering the rush seated chair, to be held at Marchmont House, Berwickshire this September.
This symposium will investigate the rush seated chair in all its facets, from the material and the ways in which the rush seats were made, to the widespread variety of vernacular types. Discussion will lead to some of the talented architect/designers whose names became associated with their revival. The scope of the symposium will cover all contexts, from the urban to the rural; from the country house to the cottage.
Full details of the event and the programme can be seen here Programme, and tickets can be purchased via the Eventbrite website here: The Rush Seated Chair – A celebration of past, present and future.
The Society is delighted to confirm that our annual conference and AGM will go ahead, with only minor alterations to the program and venues, caused by the recent fire at the School of Art.
We expect to visit all planned venues (including the famous Willow Tea Rooms on Sauchiehall Street), but not of course the school itself.
We look forward to hearing from the architects, specialist contractors and makers involved with the recent restoration, some of whose work was safely stored off-site when the fire took place.
Please note that the Conference is now sold out.
The 2018 Annual General Meeting of the Regional Furniture Society will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday 1 July in the Glasgow School of Arts Students Hostel Building, on the fifth floor. It is in Blythswood House on West Regent Street, Glasgow.
All RFS members are invited to attend, not just those attending the Glasgow Conference.
The Annual Report and Accounts for the year ending 31st December 2017 are available on the website here; any member requiring a paper version should send an A4 self-addressed envelope to the Secretary requesting a copy.
THIS EVENT IS NOW FULLY BOOKED
During 2018 Thomas Chippendale and his legacy are being celebrated as widely as possible, both by encouraging greater public awareness of his genius and the glories of 18th century craftsmanship, and by demonstrating how the same spirit animates today’s designers and makers.
The Chippendale 300: 1718 – 2018: A celebration of Britain’s greatest furniture maker project has formed partnerships with institutions and historic houses across the country and created a programme of exhibitions and events to celebrate Thomas Chippendale’s tercentenary.
Highlights include an exhibition at Leeds City Museum, co-curated by our own Adam Bowett, and James Lomax, Curator of the Chippendale Society: Thomas Chippendale: A Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design, 1718-2018 (9 February – 9 June 2018, Leeds City Museum). Adam will be offering RFS members a guided tour of the exhibition in March (see the Events page for how to book).
The full press release for Chippendale 300 can be downloaded here: Chippendale 300 press announcement
The new events listings and booking forms are now available on our Events pages and in the latest copy of the Newsletter.
Details of the 2018 Research in Progress event, a trip to Shandy Hall and the RFS Annual Conference, this year to be held in Glasgow, are included, as well as a visit to Leeds for the exhibition Thomas Chippendale: A Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design, 1718-2018, which will be accompanied by the exhibition’s co-curator Adam Bowett.
The 2018 RFS Research in Progress meeting will be held at the V&A Sackler Centre on the 24th February.
This year the event will focus on the sixteenth century, which saw great change in furniture types, usage, construction and decoration. Although a substantial body of material survives, the importation of furniture, the influx of immigrant craftsmen and the recycling of fragments complicates study of the field. The five papers presented will address a variety of furniture types and influences, based on close study of surviving pieces.
- Early marquetry technique in Europe – Yannick Chastang
- Imported cypress chests in the ‘long’ sixteenth century – Nick Humphrey
- The French furniture-making school in sixteenth-century Edinburgh – Michael Pearce
- Some problems in studying sixteenth-century furniture – Chris Pickvance
- Early Elizabethan chairs and chests at Sizergh Castle – Megan Wheeler
Further details about the presentations and speakers are available here on our new Research in Progress page .
The event will start at 10 am for 10.30am, and will finish at 4.45pm. It is open to all. The fee is £34 for RFS members, £39 for non-members and covers attendance and tea/coffee but not lunch, which can be purchased in the V&A café.
A number of 50% bursaries will be available (application details are available on the Research in Progress Booking form 2018). The deadline for applications is 5 February 2018.
Members will be interested to hear about Take a Seat! An exhibition of Lincolnshire craftsman-made chairs which will be held at Louth Museum from 13th September to 28th October 2017.
The extraordinary history of chairmaking at the beginning of the nineteenth century in Lincolnshire has only recently been revealed by vernacular furniture historian and long standing member of the RFS, William Sergeant. He has shown that the scale of windsor chair manufacture was unique in the UK and was far greater than was previously thought. During this period hundreds of thousands of chairs were made in workshops in Grantham, Sleaford, Boston, and then later in Stamford and Bourne. They were distributed and sold all over the Midlands and the North. Their style is distinct to the county and examples can still be found today in good condition, in auctions and antique shops.
Previous to this, in the eighteenth century, the simple rush seated ladderback chair had superseded the stool in country households. Lincolnshire produced large numbers of these chairs, with the centre of manufacture around Louth, Spilsby and Alford, extending later to Boston and Spalding. It is rare for good examples to have survived to the present day.
William Sergeant has been collecting and researching Lincolnshire’s chairs and is recognised as the country’s leading authority on the subject. On the evening of Tuesday 10th October he will be giving a talk on the subject, and on Saturday 14th October there will be an open day chair surgery: the aim of which is to try and find well provenanced local chairs, in the hope of establishing exactly which patterns were made in the towns of Spilsby, Alford, Caistor and Louth.