The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, April 22, 2018

First Major Touring Exhibition of One of America's Most Virtuosic Furniture Makers Opens in Dallas
Charles Rohlfs (American, 1853-1936), Fall-Front Rotating Desk, ca. 1899 (detail). Oak and metal, 56 1/2 x 25 1/2 x 24 1/2 inches. Dallas Museum of Art, anonymous gift. Photo © Dallas Museum of Art.

DALLAS, TX.- A landmark exhibition of furniture and decorative art by the protean American craftsman and designer Charles Rohlfs opens at the Dallas Museum of Art on September 20, 2009, and will remain on view through January 13, 2010, in the Museum’s Chilton I Gallery. Based on the newly discovered Rohlfs family archives and period sources, the exhibition brings together over forty examples of furniture and decorative works from ten museums and several private collections. Rohlfs’ “‘artistic furniture’ had no precedents or peers, only imitators,” wrote the New York Times. “His designs [are] so primitive yet so new and modern that they excite wonder.”

Organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum, where it premiered in June, the Chipstone Foundation and American Decorative Art 1900 Foundation, the exhibition is curated by Joseph Cunningham; the associate curator is Sarah Fayen, curator at the Chipstone Foundation. The Dallas presentation is curated by Kevin W. Tucker, The Margot B. Perot Curator of Decorative Arts and Design.

With roots in the Aesthetic movement and an art-for-art’s-sake sensibility, Rohlfs’ style was related to the abstract naturalism of Art Nouveau, but drew on motifs from Asian and Moorish to English and Germanic designs. In turn, his work both influenced and reflected characteristics of the Arts and Crafts movement at the turn of the twentieth century. Rohlfs preferred the terms “Artistic Furniture” or “The Rohlfs Style,” which identified his designs not as part of a specific style or movement but, rather, as expressive art made by a single individual.

Charles Rohlfs (1853–1936), the son of a cabinetmaker who worked for piano companies in Brooklyn, trained in drafting and design at the Cooper Union in New York City. A successful patternmaker and, subsequently, designer of cast-iron stoves, Rohlfs changed his Brooklyn City Directory listing from “patternmaker” to “actor” in 1881 and married the novelist Anna Katharine Green in 1884. The Artistic Furniture of Charles Rohlfs for the first time credits Green as a collaborator in the artist’s work.

Rohlfs held several jobs with traveling theater companies, playing roles in different cities around the country. He was already in his mid-forties when he started to make furniture professionally, around 1897. Before his death in 1936, Rohlfs had earned entry into the Royal Society of Arts in London, sold his furniture through Marshall Field & Co., and exhibited at international exhibitions in the U.S. and in Europe. His obituary was published in the New York Times.

Featuring the finest works of Charles Rohlfs’ career as a furniture maker, the exhibition of approximately forty-five objects is organized chronologically, beginning with his earliest known personal works from about 1888. Lenders include the Dallas Museum of Art; Princeton University Art Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and several others.

Featured in the exhibition is the Dallas Museum of Art’s richly carved rotating desk of about 1899, one of the designer’s most inventive and whimsical examples of household furniture. Also included is a neatly pierced corner chair from the same year, intended as a component of a compact table and chair set. This work, with its sinuous fretwork design, is a promised gift to the Dallas Museum of Art of the American Decorative Art 1900 Foundation in honor of Joseph Cunningham.

After Dallas, the exhibition continues its five-city national tour to the Carnegie Museum of Art (January 30–April 25, 2010); the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens (May 22–September 6, 2010); and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (October 19, 2010–January 23, 2011).

Dallas Museum of Art | Charles Rohlfs | New York Times | Brooklyn | Milwaukee Art Museum | Princeton University Art Museum | Los Angeles County Museum of Art | the Metropolitan Museum of Art | the Museum of Fine Arts | Boston | the High Museum of Art | Atlanta |

Today's News

September 21, 2009

Banco do Brasil's Cultural Center Presents 123 Works Made by the Russian Avant-Gardes

El Museo del Barrio Reopens October 17 Celebrating 40th Anniversary Year

Internationally Acclaimed Painter Bridget Riley Offers Second Show at Timothy Taylor Gallery

Seattle Art Museum is the First U.S. Museum to Survey the Work of Filmmaker Nicolas Provost

Major Eadweard Muybridge Retrospective Announced at Tate Britain for Autumn 2010

Norwegian Artist Matias Faldbakken Produces New Series for the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen

International Design Museum Munich Presents The Schoonhoven Silver Award 2009

Iniva Explores Issues of Globalisation and Migrant Labour in New Exhibitions

First Solo Exhibition for Holger Niehaus at Gemeentemuseum in The Hague

San Francisco Painter Barbara Vos Presents Rhythm Vision at Cara and Cabezas Contemporary

Exhibition at Aargauer Kunsthaus Explores the Inner Worlds

The Embassy: A Multi-Disciplinary Group Show will be Held during Frieze Art Fair

First Major Touring Exhibition of One of America's Most Virtuosic Furniture Makers Opens in Dallas

American Photographer Lydia Panas Exhibits Portraits at Yours Gallery in Poland

Graffiti Gone Global: Sushisamba Presents Largest Exhibition of International Street Art in Miami

New Book by Robert Adams, Photographer of the Changing American Landscape

Artist Liz Glynn Organizes Live Super-Performance at Arthouse

Gallery Ragini Presents Juvenilia Juxtaposed through the Lens of Eight Shutterbugs

National Galleries of Scotland Celebrate Concrete Poetry with Several Exhibitions

Juilliard Unveils Its First New, Commissioned Art Installation Since Its Move to Lincoln Center in 1969

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- John Surtees' one-owner 1957 BMW 507 to be offered for the first time at Bonhams Festival of Speed sale

2.- Antiques looted in Libya by IS sold in Spain, two experts arrested

3.- The world's oldest bridge to be preserved by the British Museum's Iraq Scheme

4.- Exquisite jewels dazzle in historic Cartier exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia

5.- Now showing in US cinemas: "Hitler VS Picasso and The Others" directed by Claudio Poli

6.- New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art returns stolen idols to Nepal

7.- Glasgow starts a year of celebration as Charles Rennie Mackintosh exhibition opens

8.- Very rare Qing Dynasty bowl sells for $30.4 million

9.- Gardner Museum publishes "Stolen" book about 13 works in 1990 theft

10.- Royal Ontario Museum announces appointment of Curator, Islamic Art & Culture

Related Stories

Dallas Museum of Art's Razor by Gerald Murphy featured in U.S. Postal Services stamp collection

Dallas Museum returns Orpheus Mosaic to Turkey at DMX signing ceremony

First museum survey of contemporary artist Mark Bradford opens at the Dallas Museum of Art

Dallas Museum of Art Presents First Overview of Its Modern and Contemporary Design Collections

Dallas Museum of Art Showcases Select Works by Contemporary Artists at Cowboys Stadium

Sixty Works from the DMA Collection and Important Local Collectors Presented in a Dynamic New Context

Dallas Museum of Art Presents "Encountering Space"

New Exhibition of African Art at the Dallas Museum of Art

Installations Highlight the Contemporary Art of the Dallas Museum of Art

First Nationally Touring Exhibition of the Work of Gustav Stickley

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful