Edward Durrell Stone designed the ugliest building in New York City, at 2 Columbus Circle (since modified), but an exhibit of his furniture that opens today at his alma mater, the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville [editor's note: completion of this sentence omitted from original post] should be fascinating. The exhibition, curated by Catherine Wallack, includes his Ozarks-inspired chairs and tables — hence the name, "Ozark Modern." From the UARK news:
Workers making Stone’s designs had previously made farm implements — such as wagon wheels and plows. That aesthetic carried over into the furniture design, like in the plow-handle chair, which features chair legs and a partial base resembling unfinished plow handles. The fellow stool was made from fellow pieces — the curved segments that make up a wagon wheel. Instead of being connected in a circle to form a wheel, the short arcs were placed side by side to create a concave, or sunken, seat.
Stone’s furniture designs also called on the region’s basket-weaving tradition, with pieces such as the sensuously curved chaise made from woven oak strips by members of the Gibson family. The Gibson family has been handcrafting baskets locally for generations.
The exhibit will include farm implements, like a plow handle and a wagon wheel, to show the comparison and design inspiration to Stone’s furniture. Pieces of furniture, as well as photographs of furniture, will be displayed.