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Exhibition Catalogues

Curule: Ancient Design in American Federal Furniture

David L. Barquist and Ethan W. Lasser

In the early years of the 19th century, Americans became fascinated with the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome. In the decorative arts, this fascination manifested itself in a taste for Classical Revival elements. Curule: Ancient Design in American Federal Furniture focuses on one aspect of this style—seating furniture that followed the design of the Roman sella curulis, a folding stool with S-curve legs that hails from sixth-century b.c. Rome. The publication explores how this style was transmitted from the Old World to the New and traces the meanings attributed to it over the centuries and in various contexts. The wide array of objects discussed includes coins, drawings, furniture, and furniture design books, all adding up to a compelling, never-before-told story of a style that had endured some 24 centuries—from roughly 500 b.c. to 1740.

50 pages / 8 x 9 3/4 inches / 12 color and 10 black-and-white illustrations / 2003
  • Paperback ISBN 978-0-89467-957-5
    Price $10; Members $8