A magnificent mocha-finish bench inspired by a famous folk art collector is among the new offerings from Hickory Chair, a line we carry at Knox and Panoply. This Gabriel Bench is part of the Traditions Made Modern collection, a case and upholstery collection of unique pieces inspired by artifacts from the Museum of International Folk Art and the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe.
In 1920, Museum of International Folk Art founder Florence Dibell Bartlett first visited New Mexico, staying in Alcalde at the well-known San Gabriel Ranch. In the 1930s, Ms. Bartlett bought the 70-acre ranch and renamed it El Mirador. An avid traveler who loved to explore, Ms. Bartlett was among those traveling in the early 1920s, when many parts of Spain had yet to be discovered by tourists. On one such trip, Ms. Bartlett likely purchased the original bench. It was well loved and used at El Mirador along with many other pieces of furniture she later gave to the Museum of International Folk Art.
The Gabriel Bench features a decorative upholstered back highlighted by a graceful wood border. The unique profile is reminiscent of Ms. Bartlett’s bench, with additional inspiration drawn from an Empire Chair artifact. The fusion of the original bench with the history of the Empire Chair results in a historically rich, modern day bench.
Hickory Chair launched its Traditions Made Modern collection at the spring furniture market in High Point, North Carolina. The objects that inspired the Traditions Made Modern collection date from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s and come from as far away as Spain and Guatemala and as near as Kansas and Chicago. As the name for the collection notes, each piece is rooted in tradition and history but interpreted in a modern way. To learn more about this collection, contact Knox and Panoply and we’ll be happy to share more information.