Master Craft

The essential elements of construction, material, and finish for this remarkable 18th-century desk and bookcase are explored with Robert Emlen. Emlen is a senior lecturer in the department of American Studies, university curator at Brown University, and a lecturer in the department of the History of Art and Visual Culture at RISD. Emlen is joined by Rhode Island-based furniture designer and builder Timothy Philbrick. One of just nine known examples, the block-front desk and bookcase with carved shells is associated with the Goddard/Townsend family of cabinetmakers in Newport.