24 Mar 2013

Painted Furniture, Painted Rooms

During my more recent trips around the "blogs of the word" I have found this painted armoire preserved at the Folk Art Museum in Innsbruck. It's been posted by Elsbeth  She is a Dutch quilt-maker and a folk art aficionado. One admits quilting and painted furniture go together so beautifully well...
Interestingly enough, earlier today I was speaking with a colleague of mine who is leaving for the Maritimes (Canadian East Cost..) and regional art stuff like this. I was telling him about the, Mr. and Mrs. William Croscup's Painted Room, c. 1846-1848
The naive painting style that adorned houses of the Atlantic coast in Both Canada and US. The Croscup's walls miraculously resisted the pressures of changing decor trends and battled wear and tear.

Mr. and Mrs. William Croscup's Painted Room
Restored parlour at the National Gallery of Canada

This room has been purchased bu the Gallery in 1976, dismantled and restored, and is now a part of National Gallery of Canada permanent exposition. A small book, documenting the project has been written by the NGallery's curator, Victoria Baker whom I had pleasure of meeting during the preparations for the Egyptomania Exhibition, years ago.
I admit to be not only once critical of the NG, but this is a wonderful initiative that led to preservation of an important cultural and artistic heritage.
and its frontispiece
"The Crosscups' Painted Parlor" cover
"...while directly or indirectly inspired by such patterned wallpapers, the murals are unique in content and style. (...)  Recognized today as one of the outstanding examples of Pre-Confederation Canadian interior decorative painting" (...)

The painting above and on the cover of the book is the most Canadian-related scene, it shows Halifax Harbour. Other scenes, especially that on the left of this wall, is much more "grandiose".
Here is some shots I took from my book, published bu the NG in 1990 and written by the above mentioned curator, V. Baker.

"Varying in degree of realism and formal accomplishment, they depict different European and local Maritime subjects, incorporating scenes of contemporary life painted after wood engravings from the "Illustrated London News" with remembered and purely imaginary images."

Although the rooms of the rather modest home are not very spacious, the "grand" vedutas like this ---->
must have made the owners pretty happy!

For you patient interest, you are awarded with a vid from the awesome Tyrolean Folk Museum in Innsbruck, Austria.
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