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This is an article about items in a room. For information about the UK band, see Furniture (band).
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Furniture is the collective term for the movable objects which may support the human body (seating furniture and beds), provide storage, or hold objects on horizontal surfaces above the ground. Storage furniture (which often makes use of doors, drawers, and shelves) is used to hold or contain smaller objects such as clothes, tools, books, and household goods. (See List of furniture types.)

Furniture can be a product of artistic design and is considered a form of decorative art. In addition to furniture's functional role, it can serve a symbolic or religious purpose. Domestic furniture works to create, in conjunction with furnishings such as clocks and lighting, comfortable and convenient interior spaces. Furniture can be made from many materials, including metal, plastic, and wood.

Cabinetry and cabinet making are terms for the skillset used in the building of furniture.


[edit] History of European furniture

Furniture has been a part of the human experience since the development of non-nomadic cultures. Evidence of furniture from antiquity survives in the form of paintings, such as the wall Murals discovered at Pompeii; sculpture, examples of which have been excavated in Egypt; and extant pieces, such as those found in tombs in Ghiordes, in modern day Turkey. The furniture of the Middle Ages was usually heavy, oak, and ornamented with carved designs. Along with the other arts, the Italian Renaissance of the fourteenth and fifteenth century marked a rebirth in design, often inspired by the Greco-Roman tradition. A similar explosion of design, and renaissance of culture in general, occurred in Northern Europe, starting in the fifteenth century. The seventeenth century, in both Southern and Northern Europe, was characterized by opulent, and often gilded Baroque designs that frequently incoporated a profusion of vegetal and scrolling ornament. Starting in the eighteenth century, furniture designs began to develop more rapidly. Although there were some styles that belonged primarily to one nation, such as Palladianism in Great Britain, others, such as the Rococo and Neoclassicism were perpetuated throughout Western Europe. The nineteenth is usually defined by concurrent revival styles, including Gothic, Neoclassicism, and Rococo. The design reform of the late century, introduced the Aesthetic movement and the Arts and Crafts movement. Art Nouveau was influenced by both of these movements. The first three-quarters of the twentieth century are often seen as the march towards Modernism. Art Deco, De Stijl, Bauhaus, Weiner Werkstatte, and Vienna Secession designers all worked to some degree within the Modernist idiom. Postmodern design, intersecting the Pop art movement, gained steam in the 1960s and 70s, promoted by designers such as the Italy-based Memphis movement.

[edit] Shaker furniture

Shaker furniture is distinctive style developed by the Shakers, a religious sect, in the late 18th century. Shaker furniture was inspired by their ascetic beliefs and widely admired for its simplicity, innovative joinery, quality, and functionality. Shakers made furniture for their own use, as well as for sale to the general public. Many surviving examples of Shaker furniture include such popular forms as Shaker tables, chairs, rocking chairs, and bed frames.

[edit] Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau in architecture and interior design eschewed the eclectic historicism of the Victorian era. Though Art Nouveau designers selected and "modernized" some of the more abstract elements of Rococo style, such as flame and shell textures, in place of the historically-derived and basically tectonic or realistic naturalistic ornament of high Victorian styles, Art Nouveau advocated the use of highly-stylized nature as the source of inspiration and expanded the "natural" repertoire to embrace seaweed, grasses, and insects. Correspondingly organic forms, curved lines, especially floral or vegetal, and the like, were used.

[edit] Arts and Crafts

The Arts and Crafts movement originated in mid-nineteenth-century Britain, with art/designers such as John Ruskin and William Morris. It reached the height of its popularity in the last years of the nineteenth century and the early years of the 20th century in both Britain and the United States, where is was also known as American Craftsman, or Craftsman style. The Arts and Crafts ideology promoted the role of the craftsman, and looked to Gothic and Medieval styles as an antidote to the superficial, fussy, and eclectic look of Victorian-era design.

[edit] Art Deco

Art Deco is characterized by use of materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, lacquer, inlaid wood, sharkskin (shagreen), and zebraskin. It also features the bold use of zigzag and stepped forms, and sweeping curves (unlike the sinuous curves of the Art Nouveau), chevron patterns, and the sunburst motif. Some of these motifs were ubiquitous — for example the sunburst motif was used in such varied contexts as a lady's shoe, a radiator grille, the auditorium of the Radio City Music Hall and the spire of the Chrysler Building.

[edit] Bauhaus

The Bauhaus movement's goals of fine design and mass production are well represented in furniture design. The Cantilever chair by Dutch designer Mart Stam, which relies on the tensile properties of steel; the Wassily Chair designed by Marcel Breuer; and the Barcelona chair by German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe are well-known examples.

[edit] Gjernes

Gjernes style follows the methods and aesthetics of Liv Mildrid Gjernes, and primarily popular in Scandinavia.

[edit] Selected bibliography

  • Gloag, John. A Short Dictionary of Furniture. New York: Holt, Rhinehart, and Winston, 1965.
  • Hayward, Charles H., Antique or Fake?: The Making of Old Furniture. London: Evans Brothers, 1971.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links


cs:Nábytek da:Møbel de:Möbel eo:Meblo fr:Meuble gd:Àirneis it:Arredamento mk:Мебел nl:Meubilair ja:家具 pl:Meble pt:Mobiliário ro:Mobilier ru:Мебель simple:Furniture sl:Pohištvo fi:Huonekalu sv:Möbler zh:家具


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