Sunday, August 16, 2009

Gentle editing of Jon's memories of Deerfield

From Maggie Christman, who actually knows this stuff (photos are of the Dwight-Barnard House in Deerfield). The main point, however, is that even reality (what we can see and photograph) has also been heavily edited. The borrowing is only obvious when a design element wanders far from home, as in the case of the Winston-Salem door...
"The Ashley House door is copied from an original I think in Stockbridge. The door on the house in Winston-Salem is a copy of the Dwight-Barnard door which itself is a Bill Gass original. Do you remember how we used to joke (with a considerable degree of truth) that there were Dwight-Barnard brick floor kitchens stretching from coast to coast. The same goes for the doorway I think, and I was really amused to find one in North Carolina. Sheldon Hawks is original. The John Williams house on the Deerfield Academy campus has the only broken scroll original."
In the book The Same Ax, Twice: Restoration and Renovation in a Throwaway Age, Howard Mansfield describes how the informally trained Gass created the Deerfield look in the 1950s and 1960s, acting in the words of one observer like a "Broadway set designer." (Thanks, Google Books!)

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