American Windsor Chairs

Nancy Goyne Evans, Author Hudson Hills Press $125 (744p) ISBN 978-1-55595-112-2
Thomas Jefferson sat in one, and so did New York City laborer John Cooper. The wooden Windsor armchair, introduced from England to Philadelphia in the 1730s by Penn family-sponsored governor Patrick Gordon, was initially a seat for the elite and prosperous, but after the Revolution it became the favorite chair of the general populace. Combining comfort, sturdy craftsmanship, simplicity and elegance, the Windsor chair, with its raked back and sculptural seat and its splayed legs, implying strength, is prized by collectors. Organized geographically from New England to the South, the Midwest and Canada, and augmented with more than 1000 illustrations (25 in color) and 24 maps, this encyclopedic study meticulously documents the Windsor chair's regional variations and the evolution of a recognizable American style. Decorative arts historian Evans brilliantly situates the chair within the cultural fabric of colonial and federal America. A must for collectors and scholars, this volume is published in association with the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum of Wilmington, Delaware. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
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