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Rich furniture history on display in New Hampshire

A new spring exhibit, “Four Centuries of Furniture in Portsmouth” with the New Hampshire Furniture Masters, opened April 7 and runs through June 18 at the Discover Portsmouth Center in Portsmouth, N.H.

The Portsmouth exhibit features this sideboard (Portsmouth, circa 1815); side chair (New York, New England, possibly Portsmouth, 1815–30), and high chest of drawers (Joseph Davis, Portsmouth, 1735-45).

Organized by Gerald W.R. Ward and Lainey McCartney of the Portsmouth Historical Society, the gallery celebrates the history of furniture in Portsmouth during the last four centuries.

The gallery’s first floor will feature a loan exhibition of about 50 objects to interpret furniture made and used in Portsmouth as both art and history, starting with the joined furniture of the 17th century, through the Colonial and Federal periods of Portsmouth’s most notable eras of cabinetmaking and finishing with the revival styles of the 19th century.

The exhibition concludes with examples from the Arts & Crafts and studio movements, furniture used at the Treaty of Portsmouth in 1905 and a few modern examples.

Featured objects have been drawn from private and public collections, including several works from the Portsmouth Historical Society’s holdings.

The upstairs gallery includes a display of works made by 15 to 20 members of the New Hampshire Furniture Masters.

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Sergio Rodrigues exhibit

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R & Company, a gallery in New York City, hosted a solo exhibition of Brazilian modern designer Sergio Rodrigues from March 7 through April 13. The first exhibition of Rodrigues’ work since his death in 2014 featured some of the most significant furniture built during his long career.

Rodrigues started experimenting with furniture in the early 1950s and he became identified as one of the pioneers of the modern architecture and design movement in Brazil, according to the gallery.

“The exhibition illustrates Rodrigues’ extraordinary use of indigenous Brazilian materials, as he often worked with specific woods like jacaranda, imbuia and peroba. His extensive knowledge of craft and woodworking carried through each design and resulted in polished and modern shapes. Many of his pieces (above)combined these hardwoods with soft woven leathers,” the gallery said in a statement.

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This article originally appeared in the May 2017 issue.

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