is for Charles Eastlake (1836 -1906), a major figure in late 19th century design in Britain and America through his iconic book “Hints on Household Taste”. Eastlake took up the banner of William Morris who helped spawn the Arts and Craft movement. He trumpeted furniture designs with simple flat carving, often in oak or walnut, unpolished with natural grain and solid joinery. Many of his designs were rectilinear in form and inspired by medieval and Jacobean furniture. In true Victorian style furniture manufacturers of the day took Eastlake’s designs and slathered on the gee gaw, obscuring much of his original intent. In an interesting bit of timing, the latest release of the Work Magazine project from the folks at Tools for Working Wood features an article which takes Eastlake to the woodshed over his advise about the use of veneer. I include this in honor of Chris Schwarz who like Eastlake, is fearless about putting his ideas out and occasionally gets a butt shot full of arrows.
If you have any pictures of Eastlake furniture or details, send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to add to this profile of an important figure in furniture design.
Also worth noting, his uncle Sir Charles Lock Eastlake was an interesting figure in art history and the first director of the British National Gallery. Here’s a link to a short video clip highlighting his influence on that cultural institution National Gallery .
Chris Bame had this to contribute:
Though not my favorite period. That would be Regency, I’ve always liked Eastlake furniture.
Here’s a quick pic of a Eastlake chair I picked up in N.Y. years ago. Found it unfinished hanging from the rafters in a little general store in Owego. $10.00 bought it. Knocked it apart and put it in my suite case for the flight back to Dallas. yep that was pre 9/11. I just love the pateraes and turnings.