Sunday, June 13, 2010
Another wonderful surprise at the Huntington was a fan-freaking tastic exhibit of Charles Rohlfs. He was a very unique and talented furniture maker at the turn of the century, influencing Gustav Stickley among other Arts and Crafts furniture makers. He claimed that his only influence was the lines in the wood itself, although there are tidbits of Chinese, Art Nouveau, and Gothic elements in his work. He disapproved of his style being labelled, and preferred to call his furniture "the Rohlfs style" or "artistic furniture".
Why can't every artist be so dedicated to cultivating their unique artistic voice?
“My designs are my own. I evolve them. They are like those of no other period nor people...I do not read Ruskin nor anybody nor anything that might influence my ideas. I never get them from books...They are mine and into their execution I put all my heart and force and that is why they appeal.” —Charles Rohlfs (1853–1936), House Beautiful, January 1900
I am a huge fan of the Craftsmen and Arts and Crafts style, so this also was a fabulous find at the Huntington. All of these famous pieces were there on display. Fully rotating desks with the most intricately carved faces, stocky supple rockers, dark, brooding grandfather clocks....delicate shell shaded candleabras...ooo la la!!