Thursday, November 8, 2012

The White Mountain Breakfront

The White Mountain Breakfront with the doors closed.

Here it stands, the sum of all the parts that were in the previous post, The White Mountain Breakfront.
A collaboration by Furniture Master David Lamb and artist James Aponovich, a work that draws on the unique talents of each individual yet, the result of this pairing brings forth a spectacular piece of furniture.

A Visual Tour

 The doors open...
 revealed is an Aponovich painting, a still life set against an almost mythical White Mountain landscape that spans four seasons featuring winter in the central panel.
On the lower case there are four painted ovals that represent what Aponovich & Lamb refer to as the 'aspects' of New Hampshire, more about that shortly.

 As mentioned in the previous post, An Artistic Collaboration, David Lamb's attention was drawn to the designs created by frost on the windows of his house.

The beautiful exterior of the four upper doors is a translation in wood of that vision using crotch birch inlay to create the frost like fractal patterns that David kept noticing during the cold winter months here in New Hampshire. The  birch was selected for its natural patterns, color and the fact that it referenced the furniture making of Portsmouth, NH. over the past centuries. Lamb, the skilled cabinet maker  he is, was able utilize  all this character from the wood in creating these astonishing doors.

The doors of the Breakfront open and fold back to this remarkable Aponovich painting, a triptych with winter once again taking a starring role.
The left panel is warm with  the summer color  of daylilies from our garden, and a lush green landscape that transitions into autumn with apples russet oaks.  The central panel  takes us into winter white  and snow punctuated by the colorful basket of fruit. Here even the cloth takes on the white of winter and the sugar spilling from the sugar bowl brings to mind snow. Continue to the right and spring begins to emerge with  a vase full of lilacs and a landscape that begins to transition from early spring
 and return us to  summer.

Looking up, the carved frieze that spans the crown of the Breakfront is David Lamb's version of the 'aspects' of New Hampshire. The frieze is carved in both high and low relief.  Images that represent the mountains, seacoast, industry, agriculture, and Native Americans of New Hampshire are generally in low relief and the flora of the state that meander throughout are carved in a high relief. Above, pine cones of the  majestic White Pine are centered on the carved frieze where, from that point, the eye  travels across the Breakfront's crown.

James painted the 'aspects' on the four ovals that are inset on the lower doors of the Breakfront. The morning glories are set against  a seascape of the NH coast.
  Dating back to the China trade, the harbor of Portsmouth was, and remains, important to the economy of the state, with commerce, ship building and tourism all part of the mix.

Another oval  depicts the industry of the state, here the mills of Nashua that once gave rise to a textile industry and brought growth to the towns and cities along the Merrimack River.
A third oval represents the agricultural aspect, with a crop covered field and a farm. The fourth, a look to the mountains, so important to the economy and identity of New Hampshire.

So, there it is, a very brief story of two collaborators and The White Mountain Breakfront.
If you are in New England between now and January 6th, you might want to
 make a trip over to The Currier Museum of Art to take a look at this unique and incredible piece of American furniture created by two masters, who by the way, were both born and bred in New Hampshire.

But wait, there is a third collaborator in this story.

The third collaborator is the patron and in this case patrons, Tom and Shannon.
James painted this oval for the crown of the Breakfront to symbolize the four individuals with four maple leaves that came together to realize this project.
Tom and Shannon are true patrons that took the leap to make this happen.

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