In Plain Sight: Discovering the Furniture of Nathaniel Gould by Kemble WidmerIn Plain Sight: Discovering the Furniture of Nathaniel Gould by Kemble Widmer

In Plain Sight: Discovering the Furniture of Nathaniel Gould

byKemble Widmer, Joyce King

Hardcover | October 14, 2014

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In Plain Sight: Discovering the Furniture of Nathaniel Gould is the stunning result of happy accident and indefatigable, dedicated research. In the field of early American furniture made in Massachusetts, Nathaniel Gould has loomed as something of a mystery - believed to have been prolific, handsomely skilled, and exceptionally enterprising, yet considered elusive because of a scarcity of known works, lack of documentation, and difficulties of attribution. Accident - the unexpected discovery of Gould's day books and account book in the collection ofthe Massachusetts Historical Society - and analysis - painstaking and inductive - have produced an invaluable, multifaceted case study.This book establishes Gould unquestionably as Salem's leading cabinetmaker before and during the period of the American Revolution. He made substantial and often expensive furniture, including case pieces of bombe form embellished with carving. The number of works that can be attributed to Gould remains small, but the foundation for increasingly assured connoisseurship lies within these pages and Gould's archival records. The scale of his workshop, his impressively large, diverse clientele,and his successes in Salem's furniture export trade attest to his achievements as an entrepreneur.However, this book illuminates not only a particular individual, but the Salem/Boston/New England spheres in which Gould operated during a tumultuous time in American history. The scrupulously recorded notations in his ledgers are precious clues to emerging concepts of style and taste, cultural mores, business practices, socio-economic circumstances, and familial histories with local, regional, and national relevance.In Plain Sight presents a choice array of forms confidently assigned to Gould's shop, and makes accessible the ledgers themselves, meticulously analyzed and interpreted to facilitate present and ongoing scholarship regarding Nathaniel Gould, Salem, early New England furniture, and colonial America. In Plain Sight: Discovering the Furniture of Nathaniel Gould is the stunning result of happy accident and indefatigable, dedicated research. In the field of early American furniture made in Massachusetts, Nathaniel Gould has loomed as something of a mystery - believed to have been prolific, handsomely skilled, and exceptionally enterprising, yet considered elusive because of a scarcity of known works, lack of documentation, and difficulties of attribution. Accident - the unexpected discovery of Gould's day books and account book in the collection ofthe Massachusetts Historical Society - and analysis - painstaking and inductive - have produced an invaluable, multifaceted case study.This book establishes Gould unquestionably as Salem's leading cabinetmaker before and during the period of the American Revolution. He made substantial and often expensive furniture, including case pieces of bombe form embellished with carving. The number of works that can be attributed to Gould remains small, but the foundation for increasingly assured connoisseurship lies within these pages and Gould's archival records. The scale of his workshop, his impressively large, diverse clientele,and his successes in Salem's furniture export trade attest to his achievements as an entrepreneur.However, this book illuminates not only a particular individual, but the Salem/Boston/New England spheres in which Gould operated during a tumultuous time in American history. The scrupulously recorded notations in his ledgers are precious clues to emerging concepts of style and taste, cultural mores, business practices, socio-economic circumstances, and familial histories with local, regional, and national relevance.In Plain Sight presents a choice array of forms confidently assigned to Gould's shop, and makes accessible the ledgers themselves, meticulously analyzed and interpreted to facilitate present and ongoing scholarship regarding Nathaniel Gould, Salem, early New England furniture, and colonial America.
Kemble Widmer has applied his training and career as an industrial engineer to his examination of early furniture in Boston and Essex County, Massachusetts. Over twenty-five years, by rigorously documenting and comparing like forms, he has determined places of origin and even individual craftsmen. His research on Nathaniel Gould has di...
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Title:In Plain Sight: Discovering the Furniture of Nathaniel GouldFormat:HardcoverDimensions:284 pages, 12.13 × 10.19 × 1.06 inPublished:October 14, 2014Publisher:D Giles LimitedLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1907804331

ISBN - 13:9781907804335

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Reviews

Editorial Reviews

In addition to superb photography and detailed discussions of each piece, the book includes appendices reproducing and categorizing the contents of the Gould ledgers, making it an invaluable resource for collectors as well as scholars and connoisseurs of American antiques"-Barrymore Laurence Scherer,Wall Street Journal'Intriguing results of careful research are revealed here with large photos, indices, numerous related essays, and illustrations ? all with clear presentation"-Maine Antique Digest"Promises to keep scholars occupied well into the future"-Carol Stocker,Design New England blog'Destined to be a classic'-Gerald W.R. Ward, the Katharine Lane Weems Senior Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture Emeritus at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston"Widmer and King have firmly established the richness and value of the Gould account books"-Philip D. Zimmerman,West 86th "