The Exhibition of Benches
Have you ever visited a furniture gallery? If no, you are so unlucky because you missed one of the most attractive exhibitions that was opened a few years ago around the world. Joel Moskowitz who is the founder and president of Tools For Working Wood, Gramercy Tools, and Brooklyn Tool & Craft (BT&C) wrote an article for Core77. "The benches in the show are for sale, but—true to the concept of the show—the benches are offered as "small gatherings" of at least three. And this is genius. Think of it in the context of a home. A single bench up against a wall or something is a plebeian piece of functional furniture handy for sitting when you're taking your boots off. A "small gathering of benches" in a den or living room begs to be sat on, rearranged and made into a social focus of an area. For me, the most important takeaway from the show is how the way furniture can make people interact. I'm usually so focused on the details of a piece that it's pretty easy for me to forget the context of how the end users will use the furniture when it's in situ."
During the article, Moskowitz gave more details about exhibition. This unique exhibition was based on Cape's book that is titled Utopian Benches from The Shakers To The Separatists of Zoar. Cape gives very significant knowledge about the history of benches while he is writing design details of them. "For all the enlightenment in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries, Europe was pretty inhospitable place for small religious sects, and many migrated to the United States in search of religious freedom. Many of these groups were highly communal, and the simple, backless bench, was a sign both of piousness, and equality. Except in a very cursory way, this thin volume doesn't explore the beliefs of any of these groups. Instead, it investigates the construction, and reasoning behind different styles of bench. Each chapter deals with the basic history of a community and provides a measured drawing of a communal bench that would have been typical of the community."