Folk Furniture of Canada's Doukhobors, Hutterites, Mennonites and Ukrainians

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University of Alberta, 2004 - Art - 155 pages
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With over 100 colour photographs, Folk Furniture of Canada's Doukhobors, Hutterites, Mennonites and Ukrainians offers a stunning visual record of the culture and values of four ethno-cultural groups. Authors John Fleming and Michael Rowan take an interpretive approach to the importance of folk furniture and its intimate ties to the systems of belief and identity of these groups. Photographer James Chambers beautifully captures both representative and exceptional artifacts, from large furniture items such as storage chests, benches, cradles, and tables, to small kitchen items including spoons, breadboxes, and cookie cutters. Many of these pieces were saved from workshops or barns by the efforts of pickers and museum personnel who travelled the western provinces in the 1960s and 1970s and by dealers and collectors who recognized their cultural value. The authors borrowed these pieces from private and museum collections in Canada to be photographed for this book to illustrate the differences and similarities among the four ethno-cultural groups. John Fleming and Michael Rowan's extensive text provides descriptive, analytical and interpretive dimensions to these rare artifacts. Folk Furniture of Canada's Doukhobors, Hutterites, Mennonites and Ukrainians also focuses upon the unique Canadian character of the items presented. The descriptions lead into further analysis and interpretation of the physical characteristics of the furniture-focusing on material, form, style and colour-and the influences of each of the ethnic groups in these particular areas. Descendants and folk art collectors will treasure Folk Furniture of Canada's Doukhobors, Hutterites, Mennonites and Ukrainians for the exquisite colour photographs, which showcases the historic furniture and artifacts of these groups. John Fleming is Professor Emeritus in the Department of French and the Centre for Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Les meubles peints du Canada fran?ais/The Painted Furniture of French Canada as well as numerous articles on the decorative arts in Canada. Michael Rowan is owner of Michael Rowan Antiques, which specializes in folk art and ethnic furniture. He has supplied antiques and folk art, as well as appraisals, to the Museum of Civilization, the Markham Museum, and many private collections. He has published articles in various journals and magazines specializing in antiques. James A. Chambers has been staff photographer at the Royal Ontario Museum and head photographer at the Art Gallery of Ontario. He teaches creative photography at Humber College in Etobicoke, Ontario. A graduate of the fine arts programme at McMaster University, Chambers was the principal photographer for Les meubles peints du Canada fran?ais/The Painted Furniture of French Canada, Varley, Toronto in Art, and Impressionism in Canada. Front cover: Tripod Table, Steinbach (East Reserve), Manitoba, H 70.5 cm (27 3/4") X D 61.5 cm (24 1/4") Back cover: credits to come The University of Alberta Press www.uap.ualberta.ca $60.00 in Canada Book and cover design by Alan Brownoff Printed in Canada. BACK COVER EXCERPT "Folk furniture is anonymous in terms of both form and decoration. This means that within a given tradition, pieces belonging to any particular category will be interchangeable in their basic form despite stylistic variants that may reveal the hand of several makers. Although characteristic of a certain region or community, folk furniture can be both spontaneous and predictable. Such creation may also be humorous in effect when it gives, if fully realized, an immediate pleasure of recognition and novelty to both maker and observer."
 

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Michael Rowan is owner of Michael Rowan Antiques, which specializes in folk art and ethnic furniture.

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