I’ve been reading a lot about furniture lately. Tonight’s post is about journals, I have one about books in mind, but am out of time for writing tonight. Here goes. We’ve been over this before, but there’s new folks.
There’s many shades of furniture enthusiasts. For those who lean towards “period” furniture, (not a clearly defined term – but maybe it’s stuff made before machine-work’s dominance), there are two journals I regularly read that are essential. Milwaukee, Wisconsin is home to the Chipstone Foundation – http://www.chipstone.org/ a non-profit foundation dedicated to preserving decorative arts, and promoting research and publications in the field. Since 1993 they have published American Furniture, an annual journal edited by Luke Beckerdite. It featurs various articles and an extensive bibliography. I am often surprised at the number of woodworkers I meet who don’t get this journal. Even if you don’t read it, the pictures alone are worth the investment. Usually runs about $60 per issue…I just saw some back issues for sale at $37-55. Many will say “read it on chipstone’s site” – but not all the photos are there, and they haven’t got all the articles up yet…they might never catch up.
In the US even less-well-known is the British group, the Regional Furniture Society. http://www.regionalfurnituresociety.com/home.htm Much different than the Chipstone Foundation, RFS is an all-volunteer, or mostly all-volunteer organization with no direct museum affiliation. Many of its members are in the museum field, but some are woodworkers, some antiques dealers or collectors…there’s quite a range of people in the group. Their annual journal, these days edited by Adam Bowett, is called Regional Furniture, first published in 1987. Their newsletter, published twice a year, often makes me want to leave home. They have field trips, study days, visits to collections both public and private – an amazing array of information. Book reviews, etc. The publications are available to members – right now US membership runs about £40, so around $60.
OK. Three journals. The Society of American Period Furniture Makers (SAPFM) have been publishing their journal, American Period Furniture and newsletters since 2001. http://www.sapfm.org/index.php Joining the society also brings you in touch with a wide range of woodworkers, some of the best in the US today…they have regional chapters with frequent meetings, demos, events – I am lucky enough to be part of the New England chapter, and Freddy Roman (and others) keeps arranging great events. When I attended one early this month at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking, there were around 90-100 people there to see/hear Brock Jobe, Mary May and Don Williams. And pizza.