About this artwork
The English designer, architect, and writer Owen Jones (1809–1874) introduced non-Western decorative styles into mid-19th-century England with the publication of his influential Grammar of Ornament in 1856. This encyclopedia of decorative motifs through history and across cultures was lavishly illustrated with color plates and influenced the work of many designers in the second half of the 19th century.
In his early twenties, Jones traveled to Turkey, Egypt and Spain to study Islamic architecture. This prompted him to publish a series of books on architecture and design, including one devoted to the Alhambra Palace in Spain. Jones advocated looking to nature for inspiration in developing two-dimensional repeating patterns for a range of materials such as wallpapers and textiles, as well as surface patterns for furniture and other three-dimensional decorative arts.
This chair was made for Alfred Morrison, a department store tycoon and arts patron. Morrison employed Jones to design the furniture and interiors of his lavish home on Carlton House Terrace, London, as part of a major campaign to revitalize the decorative arts in Britain.
- Owen Carter Jones (Designer)
- Mahogany, purpleheart, ebony, harewood, holly, and brass
- 96.5 × 63.5 × 76.2 cm (38 × 25 × 30 in.)
- Harry and Maribel G. Blum Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Varley, and Joseph V. Vizcarra endowments; European Decorative Arts Purchase funds; through prior acquisitions of Mr. and Mrs. A. Watson Armour III, Margaret Day Blake, Mrs. Richard Ely Danielson and Mrs. Chauncey McCormick, Mr. William M. Drake, Jr. and Mrs. A. B. Dick III in memory of their mother, Elizabeth Keays Drake, Mr. and Mrs. Henry P. Isham, Mrs. Paul B. Magnuson in memory of her mother, Mrs. Leverett Thompson, Mrs. Truman Reed, Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Schultz, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Byron Smith, and Mr. and Mrs. Chester D. Tripp