|Source Bench by Douglas Finkel|
The Georgia Museum of Art has impressive holdings of 20th- and 21st-century wood art thanks to the expansive gift of Jane and Arthur Mason a few years back. Despite its wide variety of craft, the museum did not have an example from prominent artist Douglas Finkel until a recent gift by the Center for Art in Wood.
Finkel is known, in part, for a series of benches, of which he has created 42 since 1997. French designer Pierre-Emile Legrain (1889–1929), who introduced these African forms to Western culture in the 1920s, is a noted influence of Finkel. According to the artist, “[Source bench’s] form and surface detail are inspired by Japanese architecture and, in particular, Samurai helmets.” The example recently added to the collection is an exemplary expression of this series. The recently acquired work has legs that are painted and carved, with a wire-brushed, painted and inlayed seat with kente cloth. Finkel has been both a woodworking artist and teacher for the past 21 years, and his work can be found in a number of collections, including the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian
American Art Museum.
We sincerely thank our friends at the Center for Art in Wood as well as the original donors, Bruce and Marina Kaiser, for this gift. It serves as a wonderful addition to our decorative arts holdings, filling an important gap in our collection.
Curator of Decorative Arts,
Henry D. Green Center for the Study of the Decorative Arts