For devotees of American decorative arts, Wallace Nutting (1861-1941) needs little introduction. A Congregational minister turned author, photographer and wildly successful entrepreneur, Nutting was the principal authority on early American furniture for much of the 20th century and played an important role in the development of a colonial-revival aesthetic and ideology. He collected, reproduced and marketed colonial artefacts, and the goods and experiences he offered his middle-class customers promoted his idealised notion of a time and place that he called "Old America". This is an illustrated study of Nutting's life and work. Thomas Andrew Denenberg describes Nutting's interrelated endeavours, from his varied writings (including "Furniture of the Pilgrim Century" and the monumental three-volume "Furniture Treasury") to his photography (both amateur and professional), chain of restored museum houses, renowned collection of 17th-century furniture, reproduction colonial furniture business, and advertising programme. By charting Nutting's activities, Denenberg creates a picture of an influential cultural critic who deftly combined myth and materialism, contributing significantly to both the growth of consumerism and the development of an anti-modern worldview in the 20th-century United States.
Biographies-Memoirs, Arts-Literature, Artists-Architects-Photographers,