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Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:11 pm
by JChoate
Regarding different (non-Wright designed) furniture in a Wright house, I am reminded of the interesting, if not a little disparate, interiors of Kentuck Knob, where Lord Palumbo has a wide of things assembled.
Here's a random sampling showing a pretty wide range of modern furniture.

There's an Eames LCW. Can't quite identify the mid-mod black chair in the background

Here's a chair by Alvar Aalto.

Imperial hotel chair in the distance beside two plum-colored generic comfy chairs

Interesting sort of Usonian chair. (If I recall correctly, that's Mies van der Rohe's sketch book in the plexiglass cube on the table).

Hoffman chairs around the FLW designed dining room table. Exotic chair in the corner.:

Alternate Nakashima table & chairs:

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:18 pm
by SDR
Yes, that's quite a collection. I imagine Peter can readily name what we see, including the black two-piece shell.


Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:56 pm
by SDR
George Nelson, MAA chair, 1958

That living room is one of the finer post-war vessels, isn't it. The stone floor carries the "rustic" flavor fitting for this rural refuge -- furthered by the Nakashima dining ensemble ?


Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:24 pm
by Roderick Grant
Don't forget the overly fancy, uncomfortable (at a glance, anyway, since I didn't sit in it) and ugly Bugatti chair in the entry of Kentuck Knob.

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:00 pm
by peterm
Isn’t it refreshing to occasionally lose the typical grid with the random cut flagstone floors? We see that at Seth Peterson, too. I love it in both cases.

His collection of design objects is well curated. Palumbo avoids the chrome of Deco and Bauhaus (he left that behind when he sold Farnsworth...), but still manages to include some sympathetic, iconic European objects. There’s also a rare Tapio Wirkalla coffee table ... -1960-luku , a Bertoia sonambient sculpture (seen in the top photo of the Nakashima dining table) ... sculpture/ , and a Price Tower office chair.

But how about that vintage southwest Native American pottery collection?!

I liked the Hoffman Fledermaus chairs, but the Nakashima work even better.

Here’s that Nelson chair up close: ... IzBmE6dSw2

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:11 pm
by SDR
Thanks ! So that's a "swag" leg . . . used on other Nelson pieces, including maybe a desk ? Did you catch the wood escritoire in front of the window wall ? I don't recognize that one . . .

See the big G-W photo for a few baskets. They look great in Usonians, as you say, along with rugs and pottery. Wrightian pattern-making, likewise suggestive of natural or symbolic imagery ? Or must we look for content in the simplest checkerboard or zig-zag line ?

In the original Leavenworth's interior (also previous page) there's an intriguing glass-globe table lamp on the desk at right. Wonder what that is . . .


Posted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:57 am
by DavidC

Posted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:11 pm
by JChoate
another instance of modern furniture (Saarinen & LeCorbusier)


Posted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:59 pm
by SDR
For me, that pair of seating pieces exemplifies the difference between what (I think) fits with the Usonian environment, and what doesn't -- so much.
Both are venerable and respected classics, but one of them "belongs" while the other doesn't. If that's so, do we have any difficulty in saying which
is which ?

Or perhaps the case isn't quite so cut and dried. You tell me.

While we're thinking about it -- which of these two pieces would be more suitable for a typical house by


Le Corbusier















Pair one or both chairs -- or neither -- to as many architects as you wish. Or name another architect, or two, or . . .


Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:42 pm
by Roderick Grant
Since Mr. Tarantino is an architect, I believe he is ethically obliged to have a Corbu and/or a Mies piece in his home. (Saarinen is negotiable.)

Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:02 pm
by JChoate
I had a LeCorbusier chaise lounge (technically still have it -- such as it is, it's down in a basement storage room). It was the pony skin version. My kids (when little) couldn't accept the instruction that it wasn't a sliding board. So, over time the pony developed a large, unattractive bald spot.

I like the Womb chair. Saarinen -- the great architect of the curve who collaborated with Eames early on -- I like that the Womb was his version of full comfort (as requested by Florence Knoll).
A Womb chair can be a significant vehicle for color, so it's important to be intentional and coordinate the upholstery's color with the room it will occupy.

Chrome can be tough to pull off in a Usonian-type space. For me, the very thin chrome tube (1/2" diameter) fits in okay. The larger tube (1" diameter or bigger) starts looking out of place.

Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:55 pm
by SDR
The plated rod legs of certain Saarinen and Eames chairs, maybe; anything larger in diameter doesn't please me in a Usonian.

The above list of 14 modern architects (as I called them as a kid) contains more "metal" than "wood" boys, by my count -- 8 to 6, perhaps -- though the break point isn't clear-cut nor universal, by any means. Still, we have to try to categorize; we're humans . . .

I recall reading that Schindler was uncomfortable with shiny metal cabinet hardware. That's a wood guy for sure, while his buddy Neutra is clearly "metal." Eames plywood or Saarinen tulip or Womb chairs (or Rietveld) for the former (if necessary); Kandinsky and Corbu (or Prouvé) for Neutra ?


Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:03 pm
by JChoate
Metals are tricky.
I think blackened steel and bronze and brass all blend well with wood, brick, stone and other warm finishes. Brushed or polished chrome have to paddle upstream to get there. I do think there's something to the specific size of the metal piece, whether it will fit or not.

I've got this vintage Arne Jacobsen chair (it's a rare one of the Series 7 because it has arms). Its chrome frame looks to be about 3/8" in diameter, which is small enough to stay subordinate to the wood, I think. This one sits in the corner and behaves itself.


Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:28 pm
by SDR
Yes -- no problem there. Diameter is everything. And even brushed silver metal is better than chrome, for the environment we're talking about. And round would be better than square, which stands out even more ?

So, to put a Kandinsky chair into a Usoninan, it had better be satin black metal and brown leather -- eh ? Don't know if they make it that way . . . but money will buy practically anything.

Here's a note found in the large-font title to Wright's presentation drawing for the Heller house: "Floors, finish and furniture of one wood and color throughout." That's 1896, and it was a prescription that would apply to Wright's work throughout his career.


Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:46 pm
by SDR
Wright had his "metal" architecture, too, of course; the Richard Lloyd Jones house is one such, for me. Here's a late-jazz-age interior for the metallic St Mark's-in-the-Bouwerie Tower project. The colors could be
post-war -- or post-anything for that matter.