As I decided which bay of the Covington Mechanical Library to post for today, I realized I’d have to first do some rearranging. Can you believe that the many Stickley books were simply mixed in to the rest of the Arts & Crafts tomes, instead of being grouped together? Likewise the books on English Arts & Crafts…and the rest. Quelle horreur! I’m a slob, but I’m an organized slob. So yes, today, we’re looking at the Arts & Crafts books. (There are a few others scattered throughout the bookcase; well get to them eventually.)
At the far left are a couple of books on the work of architect and designers Charles and Henry Greene – most of which was actually built by Peter and John Hall. “Greene & Greene Furniture” by David Mathias (Popular Woodworking, 2010) and “Greene & Greene Masterworks” By Bruce Smith (Chronicle, 1998).
Next is Barbara Mayers’ “In the Arts & Crafts” style, an overview of the American A&C movement, with gorgeous pictures by Rob Gray (Quarto, 1993).
Then it’s the general American A&C how-to furniture section, with two copies each of “In the Craftsman Style” (Taunton, 2001) and “Arts & Crafts Furniture Projects” (Popular Woodworking 2008) – compilations excerpted from those magazines. We also have “More Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture” and “Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture” by Robert Lang (Cambium, 2001 and 2002), “Building Arts & Crafts Furniture: 25 Authentic Projects that Celebrate Simple Elegance & Timeless Design” by Paul Kemner and Peggy Zdila (Sterling 1997)…and I included that subhed because it made me chuckle (which is good – it means I’ve moved past the shuddering-in-horror stage whenever I hear a title that sounds as if it came from a committee meeting).
Next there are a few general titles on buildings: “Shop Drawings for Craftsman Interiors” (Land, Cambium, 2003) and “The Chicago Bungalow by the Chicago Architecture Foundation (Arcadia 2001).
The largest number of A&C books in the collection are, no surprise, Stickley related. We have “Early L. & J.G. Stickley Furniture” edited by Donald A. Davidoff and Robert Zarrow (Dover, 1992); “Stickley Style: Arts and Crafts Homes in the Craftsman Tradition” by David Cathers and Alexander Vertikoff (Simon & Schuster, 1999); “The Furniture of Gustav Stickley” by Joseph J. Bavaro & Thomas L. Mossman (Linden, 1996); “Stickley Craftsman Furniture Catalogs: Unabridged Reprints of Two Mission Furniture Catalogs, ‘Craftsman Furniture Made by Gustav Stickley’ and ‘The Work of L. & J.G. Stickley'” (Dover, 1979); “The Story of a Developing Furniture Style” (Stickley, 1950); “Gustav Stickley’s Craftsman Farms” by Mark Alan Hewitt (Syracuse UP, 2001); “The 1912 and 1915 Gustav Stickley Craftsman Furniture Catalogs” (Dover, 1991); “Craftsman Bungalows: 59 Homes from ‘The Craftsman'” edited by Gustav Stickley (Dover 1988); and “Gustav Stickley Craftsman Homes (Dover, 1979 reprint).
In between the Stickley and Limbert sections, I stuck the reprint on “Catalog of Mission Furniture 1913” from Sectional “Come-Packt” Furniture (Yes – the IKEA of the Arts & Crafts movement; Chris used to have a piece of it. It is not good.).
Then, as mentioned, we have a few Charles Limbert-related books: “Limbert Arts and Crafts Furniture: The Complete 1903 Catalog” (Dover, 1992); “Limbert Arts & Crafts Furniture” (a collection of catalogs compiled and re-published by Turn of the Century Editions, ours is their third printing, 1997); and “Building Classic Arts & Crafts Furniture: Shop Drawings for 33 Traditional Charles Limbert Projects” (Popular Woodworking, 2013). (OK – that last title makes me shudder…I was in that meeting and remember arguing that “Limbert” should be in the main title. I lost.)
Then we’re on to the Frank Lloyd Wright grouping, which includes: “Frank Lloyd Wright” by Thomas A. Heinz (Gibbs-Smith, 1993); “The Prairie School: Frank Lloyd Wright and His Midwest Contemporaries” by H. Allen Brooks (Norton, 1972); “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House” by Donald Hoffman (Dover, 1984); and “Lost Wright: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Vanished Masterpieces” by Carla Lind (Simon & Schuster, 1991).
Then it’s on to “Byrdcliffe: An American Arts and Crafts Colony” edited by Nancy Green (Cornell UP, 2004); “Arts & Crafts Furniture” by Kevin Rodel and Jonathan Binzen (Taunton, 2003) (which should be shelved to the far left with the other general American A&C books…and now is); and “Illustrated Mission Furniture Catalog, 1912-13 edited by Victor Linoff (Dover, 1991)… which fooled me with the cover illustration. It’s another Come-Packt Furniture Company catalog, and has been moved to join its brethren.
And now my favorite A&C section, on Cincinnati’s The Shop of the Crafters. In it we have two copies of the 1983 reprint of the company’s 1906 catalog (Turn of the Century Editions) and “Oscar Onken and The Shop of the Crafters at Cincinnati” by M.J. McCracken and W. Michael McCracken (Turn of the Century Editions, 2007). On my project bucket list is to reproduce the Shop of the Crafters bookcase shown below.
Now we cross the Atlantic to the birthplace of the Arts & Crafts Movement: the United Kingdom. Here we have “Mackintosh Furniture” by Roget Bilciffe (Dutton, 1985); “English Arts & Crafts Furniture” by Nancy R. Hiller (Popular Woodworking, 2018) (that was the most fun I’ve ever had at a book cover shoot); “The Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain” by Mary Greensted (Shire, 2015); “Good Citizen’s Furniture: The Arts and Crafts Collections at Cheltenham” by Annette Carruthers and Mary Greensted (Cheltenham, 1994); “William Morris Decor and Design” by Elizabeth Wilhide (Abrams, 1991); “Ernest Gimson: Arts & Crafts Designer and Architect” by Annette Carruthers, Mary Greensted and Barley Roscoe (Yale UP 2019); “Gimson and the Barnsleys” by Mary Comino (Evans Bros., 1980); and “Edward Barnsley and his workshop” by Annette Carruthers (White Cockade, 1992).
Then we have a couple of non-furniture books: “Arts & Crafts Style” by Isabelle Anscombe (Phaidon, 1991); “American Art Pottery” by David Rago (Knickerbocker, 1997); Arts & Crafts Gardens” by Wendy Hitchmough (Rizzoli, 1998).
And finally, two books about the architect Fay Jones, who was a student of Wright’s – and his work is well-represented in Fort Smith, Ark., where Chris grew up. In fact, Chris fell in love with Jones’ work and camethisclose to studying architecture at the University of Arkansas, where Jones was the first dean of the department, and where he taught for 35 years (the architecture school now bears his name). The books: “‘Outside the Pale:’ The Architecture of Fay Jones” (U of Arkansas, 1999) and “fay Jones” by Robert Adams Ivy, Jr. (McGraw-Hill, 1992).
p.s. A general caveat for the Covington Mechanical Library: Just because a book is on our shelves does not mean that we recommend it. Some are gifts. Others are excellent examples of what not to do – in publishing, woodworking or both. And no, I’m not telling you which ones. (And just because a book is not on our shelves doesn’t mean it isn’t a good one. Or that it is.)