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Desk: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Gustav Stickley hired Harvey Ellis in June 1903 to create illustrations of Arts and Crafts homes for his publication the Craftsman. Ellis produced imaginative drawings for possible interiors in the July and August 1903 and in January 1904, the month of his death. For these interiors Ellis depicted of furniture resembling Stickley's current production pieces made by Craftsman Workshops, as well as other pieces with European-inspired inlay. The resemblance of extant Stickley pieces to some of these sketches led for many years to Ellis furniture attributions for such pieces as this desk. Recent scholarship, however, has strongly suggested that Ellis probably did not cross over from the Craftsman architecture department into the furniture area, although Stickley's furniture designers may have counted Ellis's drawings among their influences for the newly elegant pieces coming out of Craftsman Workshops beginning in 1903. This rare desk, with its elegant form, delicate inlay, overhanging writing surface, and gallery top, provides a sophisticated, architectural counterpoint to Stickley's heavy, unornamented Arts and Crafts furniture.
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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: November 21, 2009