Friday, August 5, 2011


There is both something pure and something paradoxical about the beauty of the furniture produced by the Byrdcliffe Colony in Upstate New York in the early 20th century. The abrupt geometries of the furniture contradicts the languid, fluid decoration of the pieces. The results? Magical and organic, geometric and biomorphic. I guess we could write about composition and scale, counterbalances and palette, but a view of Jane Byrd McCall's bedroom (above) in the wonderful book, Artist's Handmade Houses, helped us to understand the clarity of vision that made these masterworks possible.

The Hermann Dudley Murphy Chiffonier via James R. Bakker Antiques
Zulma Steele Hanging Cabinet sold at Treadway Toomey

Zulma Steele side chair from the Milwaukee Art Museum
Chest with Zulma Steele at the Milwaukee Art Museum

Linen Press via Arts and Antiques Online

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