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Other titles in the Richard Hampton Jenrette Series in Architecture and the Decorative Arts series:
Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color (Richard Hampton Jenrette Series in Architecture and the Decorative Arts)by Patricia Phillips Marshall
Synopses & Reviews
"Day's incredible story is exhaustively researched and deftly illustrated. . . . A fascinating study of both the entrepreneur and his craft. . . . [With] eye-catching photographs and engrossing text. Highly recommended."
-Library Journal "An excellent book about the craftsman's remarkable life. Building upon decades of research, the authors have produced the most comprehensive publication on this figure to date. . . . The photographs . . . are abundant and of high quality."
-American Craft "Exhaustively researched . . . with . . . gorgeous full-color photographs of more than 160 pieces of furniture and architectural woodwork that Day produced between 1835 and 1861."
-Raleigh News & Observer "Give[s] hints of the artisan's hidden inner life. [Day] came across as subservient in his newspaper ads, promising that commissions 'will be thankfully received and punctually attended to.' But he sent his children to an abolitionist boarding school in Massachusetts and wrote them that he longed to leave 'the Oppressive South.'"
-The New York Times "This beautifully-illustrated book offers exceptionally skillful and sensitive readings of the artifactual and textual evidence. It is recommended for academic libraries, museums and large public libraries, and for all collections that support programs in African American studies and American cultural history more generally."
-Art Libraries Society of North America "Comprehensively researched and delightfully written. . . . The authors successfully advance the body of knowledge of free African American craftsmen in the antebellum period, while painting a vibrant image of the world in which Thomas Day operated. . . . Will be indispensable for all collections that focus on art history and the decorative arts, African American history, the antebellum era, and regional collections. . . . Essential."
-Choice "This long-awaited book . . . is the first significant scholarly examination of Day and his work. . . . The product of decades of research. . . . Is a foundation on which future scholars can build the often-forgotten story of North Carolina's free black community, and it is also a call to scholars in other states, North and South, to search out similar stories that puncture the myth of a monolithic antebellum society."
-North Carolina Historical Review "This fascinating study explores the vital legacy of Thomas Day. . . .The authors have produced a highly detailed−and highly readable−study of Day's career."
-The Magazine Antiques
Thomas Day (1801-61), a free man of color from Milton, N.C., became the most successful cabinetmaker in North Carolina--white or black--during a time when most blacks were enslaved and free blacks were restricted in their movements and activities. This beautifully illustrated book provides information on Day's life and career and features more than 160 pieces of furniture and architectural woodwork that he produced for 80 structures between 1835 and 1861. Oversized, with 20 color and 239 b&w photos.
Thomas Day (1801-61), a free man of color from Milton, North Carolina, became the most successful cabinetmaker in North Carolina--white or black--during a time when most blacks were enslaved and free blacks were restricted in their movements and activities. His surviving furniture and architectural woodwork still represent the best of nineteenth-century craftsmanship and aesthetics.
Patricia Phillips Marshall and Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll show how Day plotted a carefully charted course for success in antebellum southern society. Beginning in the 1820s, he produced fine furniture for leading white citizens and in the 1840s and '50s diversified his offerings to produce newel posts, stair brackets, and distinctive mantels for many of the same clients. As demand for his services increased, the technological improvements Day incorporated into his shop contributed to the complexity of his designs.
Day's style, characterized by undulating shapes, fluid lines, and spiraling forms, melded his own unique motifs with popular design forms, resulting in a distinctive interpretation readily identified to his shop. The photographs in the book document furniture in public and private collections and architectural woodwork from private homes not previously associated with Day. The book provides information on more than 160 pieces of furniture and architectural woodwork that Day produced for 80 structures between 1835 and 1861.
Through in-depth analysis and generous illustrations, Marshall and Leimenstoll provide a comprehensive perspective on and a new understanding of the powerful sense of aesthetics and design that mark Day's legacy.
About the Author
Patricia Phillips Marshall is curator of decorative arts for the North Carolina Executive Mansion and the North Carolina Museum of History. Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll is professor of interior architecture at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
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