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.
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Previous to this, in the eighteenth century, the simple rush seated ladderback chair had superseded the stool in country households.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.
The Antique Metalware Society, with a world-wide membership, is devoted to increasing the knowledge and promoting the appreciation of base-metal objects of all kinds and historical periods.
‘Touch Base: A Visual Celebration of 25 Years’ is a web-based exhibition in which over 100 objects have been assembled to show the diversity and appeal of the base metals and their uses. The range of exhibits includes candlesticks, cauldrons, nutcrackers, snuff boxes, fire grates and many unusual and rare objects. Copper, brass, bronze, iron and Britannia metal all feature and each object is accompanied by photographs and a detailed explanatory text.
Dr Christopher Green, Chairman of the Antique Metalware Society, sums up the exhibition ‘ this is the metalware people have lived with day to day, at home, at work and at leisure. It’s a wonderful record of the use to which base metals have been put: the practical, the ingenious and sometimes the strange and curious.’
Click here to visit the exhibition: http://www.Antiquemetalwaresociety.org.uk
More information is available from Dr Geoff Smaldon, Secretary: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Members will be interested to hear about an exhibition of the largest collection of Lincolnshire windsor and rush-seated chairs to be held at Belton House this September. This will be a fascinating chance to learn about fine local chair-making and the best local craftsmanship, with several talks by William Sergeant from the Lincolnshire Chair Museum.
There will be free entrance on Saturday 10th September to coincide with the National Heritage Open Day.
RFS members may be interested in this invitation “to experience Chatsworth in a new way; to take a seat and make yourself comfortable.”
Chatsworth is “turning to contemporary furniture designers to provide a completely different experience for our visitors”. A number of works have been specially commissioned for the exhibition by established and emerging designers including a collaboration with students at Sheffield Hallam University.
There is also an opportunity to join the curator, Hannah Obee, for a Make Yourself Comfortable tour on 24 April and 26 June.
For more information, see here: http://www.chatsworth.org/attractions-and-events/events/event/make-yourself-comfortable
241. “The Chair Maker”, engraving, 1944 [215 x 154 mm] Private Collection. © Stanley Anderson Estate
Stanley Anderson RA (1884-1960) was a key figure in the revival of engraving in the 1920s, best known for his series of prints depicting England’s vanishing rural crafts. ‘The Chair Maker’, very probably of Jack Goodchild, one of the last of the Chiltern makers, is typical of his work to be shown in an exhibition, An Abiding Standard
, at the Royal Academy of Arts, running from 25th February – 24th. May. For more information see the RA website here
Admission is £3, or free to holders of tickets to other current exhibitions at the RA including the magnificent Rubens show. A catalogue raisonne will be published to coincide with the exhibition.