Cincinnati Art-Carved Furniture and Interiors

Edited by Jennifer L. Howe

“The outstanding accomplishment of Cincinnati Art-Carved Furniture and Interiors is its added insight into the art-carving movement and its primary figures.”

Bradley C. Brooks, Winterthur Portfolio

“Jam-packed with valuable information…Worth its weight in gold for any serious student or collector of Cincinnati Art-Carved furniture.”

Paula J. Lambert, Ohioana Quarterly

“This book is a wonderful introduction to this fascinating topic and offers by far the most comprehensive treatment it has yet received.”

Ellen E. Roberts, Studies in the Decorative Arts

In the early 1850s three British expatriates—Henry Lindley Fry, his son William Henry Fry, and Benn Pitman—settled in Cincinnati and launched one of the most important manifestations of Aesthetic movement furniture in the United States, the Cincinnati art-carved furniture movement. By the early 1870s the Frys began offering private instruction in woodcarving, and Pitman initiated classes at the School of Design (later the Art Academy of Cincinnati).

The majority of the woodcarving students were affluent women seeking suitable artistic pastimes, although some students enrolled to learn a marketable skill. The Frys and Pitman and their female students gained national acclaim and recognition for their woodcarving through their display at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition of 1876. National art journals featured Cincinnati woodcarving throughout the late 1870s and the 1880s and published articles by Pitman, a prolific writer and philosopher of the movement.

Cincinnati Art-Carved Furniture and Interiors is the first book devoted to the study of this nationally significant artistic movement. Edited by Jennifer L. Howe, with contributions by noted scholars, Cincinnati Art-Carved Furniture and Interiors situates the movement within the context of the city’s rich cultural heritage, documents the careers of the Frys and Pitman in England and America, explores their domestic and ecclesiastical interior commissions, and examines the central role women played in this movement.

The book includes a catalog of the Cincinnati Art Museum’s impressive holdings of Cincinnati art-carved furniture. An appendix presents biographical information on more than one thousand of the Frys’ and Pitman's woodcarving students, and numerous color plates and period photographs.

Associate Curator of Decorative Arts at the Cincinnati Art Museum, Jennifer L. Howe is a scholar of nineteenth-century American decorative arts with a focus on Cincinnati furniture and metalwork. She has contributed to numerous publications, including The Cincinnati Wing: The Story of Art in the Queen City.

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Antiques and Collectibles · Art · Ohio and Regional