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The University of Texas at Austin

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Texas Furniture Research Project

As part of its mission, the Briscoe Center sponsors research projects based on its collections to advance scholarship and deepen our understanding of the past. Recently, the Briscoe Center sponsored a significant research project, led by two widely known experts in the field of material culture, Lonn Taylor and David Warren, that served as the foundation for the recent publication of Texas Furniture: The Cabinetmakers and Their Work, 1840–1880, Volumes One and Two.

In 2007 Lonn and David approached the Briscoe Center with their vision for a long-awaited sequel to the classic Texas Furniture: The Cabinetmakers and Their Work, 1840–1880. That book, universally recognized as the authoritative publication on the subject of nineteenth-century handmade Texas furniture, relied heavily on Miss Ima Hogg's Winedale collections, now an integral part of the Briscoe Center's holdings in material culture. Taylor and Warren wanted to do more than simply reissue the original book; they also wanted to create a second volume to feature additional pieces that they had encountered in their subsequent years of scholarship. The "new"  discoveries Lonn and David sought to document were examples of handmade furniture scattered throughout private collections and homes across the state.

Taylor and Warren have spent years identifying the best possible examples of the types and forms of furniture produced by the hundreds of local cabinetmakers who worked in Texas in the years before factoryÔÇÉmade furniture from the East and the Midwest was available to all Texans. For the new version of the book, they located, documented, catalogued, and photographed dozens of artifacts, gathering an extensive amount of information about these rare objects. The Briscoe Center welcomed the opportunity to facilitate and sponsor this new research, and to have the records of that work become a permanent part of its archival holdings.

Taylor and Warren's new research and the resulting book underscores the importance of furniture as historical evidence and brings more visibility to a significant component of Winedale's collections. Given their position as the foremost experts on Texas furniture, the authors have created yet another dimension to our understanding of Texas history and culture, bringing to the project their expertise, meticulous attention to detail, and rich cultural understanding that made the first book a landmark piece of scholarship.

The Briscoe Center and the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum are planning an exhibit, curated by Lonn Taylor, featuring some of the best examples of nineteenth century Texas furniture from the Winedale division. The Briscoe Center is also honored to be the home of Lonn Taylor's professional papers.
 

Special thanks to the donors whose generosity made
the Texas Furniture Research possible.

Miss Ima Hogg Legacy Donors

William Hill
Lora Jean (Jeanie) Kilroy
Helen Schupbach, in memory of her father, Ted James
The Summerlee Foundation, Dallas

Texas Furniture Book Circle of Friends

Linda A. Anderson
Mary Hastings Arno
John and Jane Cook Barnhill
Sharon G. Dies, in honor of Winifred W. and Paul R. Grimm
Nick G. Dokos, in memory of Clara Hermes Dokos
In memory of Virginia and Robin Elverson
Burdine and Lester Giese
Carol S. and Thomas M. Hatfield
Mr. and Mrs. Albert F. (Boo) Hausser
Bill Haynes, in memory of his wife, Patricia Carole Chorn Haynes
Allison Holmgreen Hughes
Jill and James Metzger
Herbert G. and Martha B. Mills and the ExxonMobil Foundation
Kenneth Lee Russell, in memory of Marjorie Haw Russell
John R. Sauls
Patricia G. Steves
Glen and Peggy Treibs
In memory of William Kelly Young

Additional Support

Carolyn and Charles Baer
Paul Gervais Bell
Julie Sanders Edwards
Suzanne and Edward Ellis
Kate Kirkland
Jerre Paseur
Carolyn Wolfer
William P. Wright

With Special Thanks to:

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department staff
The late Dr. Peter C. Marzio, former director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Marise McDermott, president and CEO of the Witte Museum, San Antonio

 

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