Some interesting wood stuff at Boston Museum of Fine Arts


I was in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston a few days ago. We mostly went for the Ansel Adams exhibit (obwood: lots of tree pictures), but also saw a few things that might be of interest to readers of this group, so I figured I mention them.
1) Chinese Furniture exhibit. Mostly wood. Tables, beds, chairs, chests, etc. Really beautiful work, this should be of interest to anybody who's into wooden furniture. There's a small hands-on exhibit of chinese joinery. I was playing with a combination mitre-tenon joint that I could barely understand even after I took it apart and put it back together again a few times. Many of the pieces are designed to be assembled with no fasteners of any kind, and knock down into their component parts for easy transport. Amazing stuff.
It's interesting to contrast the European wooden furniture (which the museum also has) with the Chinese of similar periods. The Europeans used the wood just as a base material, and piled on paint, fabrics, gilt, etc. The Chinese seem to be much more into letting the wood do the talking (whether plain or with exquisite carvings).
2) Scattered around the various galleries are an assortment of chairs and benches for visitors to sit on, but which are also works of art in their own right, and part of the collection. In the Japanese scroll room, I found a Sam Maloof armchair. I never thought I'd ever get my butt into an original Maloof. Even with the sign next to it encouraging you to sit on it, it felt kind of weird to be doing so.
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You're saying you're attitude is not sufficiently, "mmmm aloof" for you to feel comfortable sitting there?
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I've sat on chairs there by Sam Maloof, Tage Frid, and both a bench and a Conoid by George Nakashima. I did the measured Conoid drawings of the from that one, to build my own from it.
I also had supper in a gallery there one evening, but that's a perk of speaking at museum conferences 8-)
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wrote:

They have a roughed out Maloof arm chair at Highland Hardware in town here. I have sat in it several times and found it not too ergonomically correct . As opposed to the antique chairs where everything seems to suit the body very well, the arms on the Maloof chair seem way too low, to me at least....
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wrote:

he talks about the low arms as being more like handles to scoot the chair in and out at the table/desk/whatever with. for a chair you're lounging about in armrests are a good thing. for chairs you sit in to do stuff, armrests get in the way.
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wrote:

Then why the arms ??? if they are simply to scoot the chair around tyhen put a handle on the cresting rail and castors on the legs
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mike hide wrote:

They also act as stretchers... there are none below the seat. See this month's issue of Fine Woodworking for an interview.
-John
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Then you 'sing' for your supper.
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