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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A New and Native Beauty, Gamble House


The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston recently hosted an exhibition of the works of Greene and Greene, the architects and brothers whose careers culminated with the construction of "Ultimate Bungalows" (the exhibit can be found on-line here).  The most famous of these uber-bungalows is Gamble House in Pasadena, California.  "Drawing on the skills of outstanding craftsmen, as well as their own polytechnic training, formal architectural education, and natural artistic sensibilities, Greene and Greene created legendary living environments that were both beautiful and functional."   In 1901, Charles Greene honeymooned with Alice White in her native England.   Did they study the works of William Morris? 

My favorite piece in the exhibit is the breakfast table Charles made for Alice as an engagement gift.  I was inspired by the romantic gesture and the table's rustic simplicity.  The table used stock moldings and oak boards no different from those found in the flooring aisle at Home Depot.  In fact, it looked just like a minature "floor".  While looking for the a better picture I discovered that the table was auctioned at Sotheby's in 2004.   I wonder how much it went for?  Does anyone have an artnet subscription?

Darrell Peart of Seattle is an insanely talented carpenter dedicated to keeping the artistic legacy of Greene and Greene alive.