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Arts of North America

Art created in North America includes objects made by native cultures of the present-day United States and Canada; paintings and decorative arts produced during colonial times; 18th- and 19th-century masterpieces; and the work of contemporary artists and photographers.

 
 
 
JOHN SCOTT BRADSTREET
American, 1845 - 1914
Table
c. 1905
Cypress

27 x 29 5/8 inches

 
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Museum purchase with funds provided by
Helena Woolworth McCann and the Winfield Foundation,
by exchange

Arts of North America
 
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This entire table has been carved to resemble a lotus, an aquatic plant depicted often in Japanese art. The object has been treated with jin-di-sugi, a Japanese technique for artificially aging wood.

By the turn of the 20th century, Minneapolis was a prosperous community with its own thriving Arts and Crafts industry. The city´s leading proponent of "artistic" design was John Scott Bradstreet, whose cooperative craft center, closely modeled on the utopian ideals of William Morris, produced imaginative interiors for a select clientele. One of Bradstreet's most creative works, this tabletop is carved as a lotus blossom, with the pedestal and base as its stem and roots. The triumphant result is a combination of a traditional tea-table form, Japonisme, and American Art Nouveau design.