We love our customers and we love great photography. We know that you are creative and talented people. Interior and furniture photography is hard to get right – we know this isn’t easy. We challenge you to pick up your camera and snap a few photographs of your Hardwood Artisans furniture, show off your talents and maybe win some prizes!
One Grand Prize will be awarded, plus a first prize winner in each of the following categories:
Best Representation of the Furniture
Most Beautiful Interior
Best Photo Uploaded to our Facebook Page
Best Bedroom Design
Prizes will be Hardwood Artisans gift certificates in the following amounts:
Grand Prize: $1,000 First Prize: $250 (five will be awarded)
Honorable Mention: Hardwood Artisans T-shirt (10 will be awarded)
The winners will be contacted and announced on Thursday, December 20th. They will be highlighted on our web site and in our newsletter. All photos are due by midnight on Sunday, December 16th – please see our complete rules for more information.
Photographs will be judged on their representation of Hardwood Artisans furniture along with composition, clarity, creativity, color, beauty and faithfulness to each category. We are open minded about this contest and excited to see what you can come up with! Horizontal or vertical formats are fine and feel free to include people or pets. We do not recommend the use of highly manipulative filters as they will distract from the natural beauty of the furniture.
Here’s a drive-by post just to point out that the American Art Museum’s blog posted an entry about the Greene & Greene exhibition with a different picture than any of the others I’ve seen (of furniture no less!) so head on over there and check it out.
According to the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s website, “Carrie Rebora Barratt is Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, and Manager of The Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.”
Last night, however, she was the speaker at the latest edition of the museum’s Collectors’ Roundtable series: American Picture Frames: Choices by Artists and Collectors. She spent a good portion of her time discussing the renovations they have just completed or are starting at the Met, but she did go into some detail about choices that have been made regarding the frame of a very high profile Met painting: Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze.
The painting was acquired by the Met in 1897. A picture from 1910 shows the painting in a great old frame, but in pictures from 1917, that frame is already gone. That said, the curators weren’t satisfied with just their own archival photos and they decided to do some more research.
Further archival research was done to determine the sort of frame that the artist would have preferred to see on the work. The Met turned up pictures from the New York Historical Society that showed the painting the same year it was painted (just after the Civil War) and the wild Federal Revival frame the artist had commissioned for it in a fit of mid-19th century nostalgia. They have commissioned a reproduction of that frame to show in their new galleries starting in 2011. Keep your eyes peeled for this because it’s truly something else—gilded with a huge carved rampant eagle on the top. Here’s a brief story about it from the New York Times that doesn’t have nearly enough pictures.
Though Barratt touched briefly on the craftsmanship required to create such a frame and professed to appreciate frames as works of art in themselves, it seemed clear that at heart, she truly is a paintings person and not so much a craft person. After all, her focus was what the artist would have wanted to see on their picture and not what the framer would have considered most appropriate. And she was fairly dismissive of collectors who change frames to suit their interior design.
This was underscored in a conversation I had with an American Art Museum docent during the reception after the lecture. Apparently getting docents for the American Art portion of the museum is much easier than getting docents for the Renwick. I had been under the perhaps mistaken impression that craft had gained more respect in museum-world than it appears that it has, at least among scholars and docents.
The final lecture of the spring series takes place Tuesday, May 19th when Dr. Walter O. Evans, major collector of African American art will discuss Collecting Outside the Canon.
Local blog DCist has a great post about activities happening during CraftWeek DC, taking place between today, April 22nd and April 26th. Included are studio tours, lectures, a special tour by the curator of the Greene & Greene exhibition at the Renwick and any number of galas and benefits that mainly support the Smithsonian’s craft acquisition, research and education programs surrounding contemporary craft.
For fans of Etsy or Sugar Loaf, DC this weekend is going to be a veritable playground.
Having the Smithsonian in our backyard is real gift that most of us take for granted. Not only do we get great exhibitions like the Greene & Greene show I wrote about a few weeks ago, we also have a ton of educational opportunities and experts right nearby.
Take today, for instance. I got an email from a customer wondering what to do about a Nakashima dining table she needs restored. She wanted to know if we could help her with it. Now, we’re pretty good, but we’re not conservators. Though I’ve had a lot of luck having my own flea market finds refinished by our expert finishers, I think even they would hesitate before taking on a Nakashima table.
The reason I knew this was that I went to a Smithsonian program last year about American craft where they gave some auction estimates for Nakashima, Maloof and other modern studio furniture makers’ pieces. Some were, to put it mildly, astronomical and sometimes value can be hurt by refinishing.
So rather than send her the name of our standard refinishing guy and call it a day, I decided to find the phone number for the Lunder Conservation Center at the Smithsonian and see if they could recommend someone. Thanks to the Smithsonian’s Twitter person, I got a name and a phone number and met a very nice woman named Julie who put our customer in touch with their conservators. All this took less than half an hour.
So lucky me. I get to make a local phone call the little museum in our backyard and put our customer in touch with some of the foremost furniture conservators in the world.