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Jansen Furniture (20th Century Decorators) Hardcover – September 1, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


A must-have for any library of the decorative arts, or for any person fascinated by the history of interior decoration... --Veranda

About the Author

James Archer Abbott is curator of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Woodrow Wilson House in Washington, as well as an independent author in the fields of design and the applied arts. He has previously held the positions of Curator of Decorative Arts for the Baltimore Museum of Art and Curator of Collections and Coordinator of Education for Boscobel Restoration, Inc. Mr. Abbott is the author of Jansen and is the co-author, with Elaine Rice, of Designing Camelot: The Kennedy Restoration of the White House.

A graduate of Vassar College and the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, he is a lecturer in the field of decorative arts, specializing in the history of presidential taste and 20th century design.

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Product Details

  • Series: 20th Century Decorators
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Acanthus Press; 1st edition (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0926494457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0926494459
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 8.9 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,133,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As a companion to Mr Abbott's previous book JANSEN which gives a wonderful overview of what is probably the most influential design firm of the 20th century, this book JANSEN FURNITURE provides an extensive catalog of the custom furniture produced by the company from about 1905 through the 1980s. Along with exact reproductions of 18th and 19th century antiques, there are extraordinary inventive adaptations of historic models for modern use. In addition to the classic French 18th century styles, all the trends from the late 19th century to mid-20th century are represented. Although there is some descriptive text, the majority of the book is devoted to images of the furnishings with hundreds of photos and drawings in both black & white and color showing the pieces either in isolation or in the finished setting. Chapters are "Historical Seating" which includes canapes, banquettes, sofas, a Roman-style daybed, and an incredibly chic Art Moderne Egyptian-inspired child's high chair in addition to countless other types of chairs; "Modern Seating"; "Historical Tables" which includes consoles as well as dining tables; "Modern Tables" which also includes bureau plats as well as the famous folding dining table of gunmetal steel and ormolu; "Case Furniture" which includes secretaires, bookcases, commodes, and the famous wardrobe for Jackie Kennedy's White House Dressing Room; "Occasional Tables" including card tables, low cocktail tables and the much-copied petite telephone table on casters; "Lighting"; "Metal Work"; and "Upholstered Pieces and Draperies" which also includes carpets. Clients as diverse as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, President and Mrs John F Kennedy, CBS founder William and Babe Paley, the Cuban Countess de Revilla de Camargo, and the Shah and Shabanou of Iran, clearly they all appreciated truely great style and had the financial means to express it. This book is a wonderful reference resource for all interested in the history of interior design.
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Format: Hardcover
Individuals who admire Maison Jansen design may enjoy this book. But beware! This is not a complete summary of Jansen furniture, as the author states "somewhere" in the book. The author wrote the book
based on information provided by the last Maison Jansen president. Maison Jansen's complete array of furniture will not be found here. A large amount of space is devoted to modern furniture, manufactured when the firm chose to take a completely different turn, and consequently, the final era in which they did business.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A good photograph album of individual pieces of furniture by the great Paris firm of Jansen. Pictures are mainly from the Jansen archives and from promotional materials the firm produced in the early 70s. Apparently this is a distillation of photos because the Firm had many more pictures in their archives than are reproduced, including some interesting pieces that the author seems to have missed.
The examples shown are mostly reproductions of period furniture and not especially interesting except that Jansen made them. Some more original pieces are twists on period styles and there are some attempts at more contemporary designs in the 1970s using steel and glass.
Nevertheless, a valuable book for collectors and dealers.
You could have purchased the archives themselves fairly cheaply as they were sold at auction in the past few years.
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