Curator’s Corner

decorative arts

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Curator’s Corner

Revival Curiosities

Friday, November 6, 2015 | Karl Cole

I once was a teaching assistant in a furniture history course in grad school, and have subsequently loved historic furniture and design. One of the mantras we chanted about the history of furniture wa ...

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Curator’s Corner

German American Heritage Month

Monday, October 5, 2015 | Karl Cole

The more things change, etc. I get really irritated with people who say in speeches that immigrants to the US should “speak American.” For one thing, “American” isn’t a l ...

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Curator’s Corner

Too Nice to Put on the Floor

Monday, June 29, 2015 | Karl Cole

Every so often I learn about a period in history in a certain place that seemed to have everything going for it—relative peace, flourishing economy and vibrant artistic culture, and a government ...

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Curator’s Corner

How Old Is This?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 | Karl Cole

Lately, I can’t seem to get away from seeing “abstraction” in all sorts of places. I came across this wonderful Japanese bowl from the mid-1700s to mid-1800s and was sort of wowed by ...

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Curator’s Corner

Some Thoughts About Stools

Monday, May 11, 2015 | Karl Cole

Does furniture have a soul? I sort of think it does. We sit on, lean on, and lie down on furniture for most of our lives. It’s hard to believe that something of our souls does not get infused in ...

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Curator’s Corner

Art History Survey, A New Slant, No. 8: The 1800s: A Different Take on Neoclassicism

Monday, January 5, 2015 | Karl Cole

Art is produced steadily on a second-by-second basis throughout the world. In our art history survey, we are now entering the 1800s, a period in world history when the influence of art from non-Wester ...

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Curator’s Corner

Sculpture as Jewelry/Jewelry as Sculpture

Monday, July 22, 2013 | Karl Cole

As you know, I consider artists in any medium to be ARTISTS, not “artisans” or “craftspeople” or “decorative artists.” When one looks at jewelry, even if it has bee ...

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Curator’s Corner

Furniture conforming to.....?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 | Karl Cole

Traditionally, furniture was designed to conform to the human body and what was being worn at the time. That’s why we see low side chairs with no arms during the mid-1800s when women were wearin ...

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Curator’s Corner

A Unique Design

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 | Karl Cole

In the mid-1900s, Scandinavian artists emerged at the forefront of modernism in all facets of design: architecture, furniture, and the art of household objects. Among them were many women who came up ...

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Curator’s Corner

Yet Another Facet of Forgotten Art History

Monday, April 22, 2013 | Karl Cole

Like women artists, African American artists have been neglected in the major art history survey texts, especially when it comes to pre-emancipation. I am always delighted to have an epiphany about an ...

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