Uncommon Chairs

This past weekend I had the good fortune to accompany Roy Underhill and Peter Ross on a visit to a chair exhibit at the North Carolina History Center in New Bern, N.C. It is a collection of 75 turned “common” chairs from northeastern North Carolina. The guest curators, Mark Wenger and Hiram Perkinson, did a wonderful job of gathering and documenting the chairs for the exhibit.




The angled rungs on this chair are original, made to lean back. The chair is  from the Hertford County, N.C., courthouse.


This walnut chair  from Northhampton County, N.C., was my favorite. It’s appeal might be because the over bore on the right front leg reminds me of something I would do.

The exhibit runs thru Sept. 17, and is free to the public. Tryon Palace is a couple blocks away from the history center and well worth checking out, too.

— Will Myers

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Uncommon Chairs

  1. gusbus110 says:

    Any chance there is an exhibition catalog to go with this exhibit, would be really nice to see each of these chairs but I’m no where near North Carolina 😦


  2. Great post, Will.

    My favourite is the walnut, as well, from what I can see. Partially that is because they DIDN’T fix the error, not even with a long-grain plug, which I guarantee you they could have easily done.

    “Oops! Well, now you gotta look at my mistake every time you sit in that chair!”

    I love it. It’s very… real. And I appreciate the raw truth you can sometimes get (and sometimes show) from woodworking.



  3. Kurtis Jay Johnson says:

    Whoever first said “Americans are so provincial” said it after seeing that “lean back” chair. I love it!


  4. volzwgn says:

    These look very Shakerish in style and detail, from the variety of back spindles, to the seating materials and overall appearance. Are some of them Shaker or all just locally produced versions.


  5. matthewbosnick says:

    Although I was stationed at Lejeune, not too far from New Bern, I had no idea that museum existed (probably because I was too busy visiting more ‘colorful’ local venues). I’ll add that to my list of places to visit in NC, along with MESDA.


Comments are closed.