Tag Archives: Furniture

Christmas at Niels Petersen House

Standard
Christmas at Niels Petersen House

I first visited the historic Niels Petersen House in Tempe, Arizona, in the early 1990s. When I stepped into the kitchen, I was hit with a wave of déjà vu. I realized it reminded me of the farmhouse my Uncle Hughie grew up in. (Click the smaller images to enlarge and to view captions.)

 

I recently visited again. In December, the house is decorated for Christmas.

 

 

Niels Petersen, the original owner of the house, was born on October 21, 1845, in Denmark. He served in the English Merchant Marines from 1863-1870, allowing him to travel the world until he decided to immigrate to the United States.

 

In 1871, Petersen arrived in the Salt River Valley of central Arizona, where he staked a homestead claim and begin farming. Four years later, in 1878, Petersen became a United States citizen and subsequently filed a homestead entry, the next step in permanently establishing himself in the valley. The final action in this process was the filing of a homestead proof, providing evidence that improvements to the land had been made by the claimant, which Petersen filed on May 12, 1883. By the time of his final homestead filing, Petersen had built two small adobe houses on the property and maintained 140 acres in cultivation.

 

Petersen acquired more property surrounding his homestead claim. His ranch grew to more than 1,000 acres and Petersen emerged as one of the area’s leading producers of cattle and grain.

By the 1890s, Petersen emerged as one of the Salt River Valley’s wealthiest and most revered citizens. In 1892, he made the decision to construct a new two-story brick home, in the Queen Anne Victorian style, hired Architect James Creighton to design it. Petersen’s house was widely considered one of the most elegant homes in the region.

 

Petersen married twice. His first wife died in childbirth and their son died in infancy. His second wife did not bear any children.

 

After Petersen’s death, the property passed to a distant relative, Rev. Edward Decker. He modified the house somewhat, including adding its one and only bathroom.

 

Only one more family ever lived in the house. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. The city of Tempe acquired it in 1979 and restored it.

 

The Niels Petersen House will be open to the public this weekend, December 15 and 16, 2018, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. For more information, click here.

fullsizeoutput_ba8

Photographs by ARHuelsenbeck.

Creative Juice #72

Standard
Creative Juice #72

Fourteen servings of beauty and creativity:

  1. Animated photos.
  2. These houses are for the birds.
  3. Beautiful quilts by Diana McClun.
  4. Two-dimensional reclaimed wood portraits.
  5. An interesting glimpse at Da Vinci’s genius, and two more books I want to read.
  6. A sculptor talks about the Period Room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  7. Oliver Sacks said imitation and mastery of form precede creativity.
  8. Embroidery beyond the hoop.
  9. Nonfiction reading list.
  10. Illustrators celebrate Christmas.
  11. This Christmasy blog post is just so pretty I had to share it.
  12. A quick trip around the world in photographs.
  13. Some lovely menorahs.
  14. An artist’s (slightly twisted) process for writing a Christmas book.

Creative Juice #27

Standard
Creative Juice #27

Fifteen inspiring articles to uplift you:

Creative Juice #21

Standard
Creative Juice #21

It’s hard to be creative with the holidays looming, right? Here are a dozen articles to get you in the mood:

Video of the Week #77: Carving Santa’s Throne

Standard
Video of the Week #77: Carving Santa’s Throne

Shaker Design 

Standard
Shaker Design 

In 1774, an Englishwoman named Ann Lee traveled to America with eight followers to found the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, commonly referred to as Shakers due to the dancing that characterized their worship.

the_ritual_dance_of_the_shakers

Adopting celibacy, the Shakers traded traditional family life and personal ownership to live as brothers and sisters in a community where everyone was considered equal and all property was owned communally. Believing that “Mother” Ann Lee was a manifestation of the returned Christ, her followers strove to live a life of perfection in service to others. Their movement grew to six thousand adherents by 1840, all converts. Today, their number has dwindled to a mere handful of members at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in Maine.

640px-sabbathday_lake_dwelling_house

The dwelling house at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester, Main. Photo by TimPierce.

640px-shakertown_bedroom_2005-05-27

Dormitory-style bedroom in the Centre Family Dwelling of Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, Kentucky. Photo by Tom Allen.

The Shakers trusted that God was evident in the excellence of their craftsmanship. The furniture they made by hand was world-renowned. Becoming prosperous by supplying quality goods, they shared generously with the less fortunate. They even invented such useful items as clothespins and the circular saw, and shared their designs.

shaker_box_maker

Shaker man crafting a round box.

Simplicity and utility were the hallmarks of Shaker life, and also of their designs. Probably the quintessential item of Shaker furniture was the ladderback chair. They were made with horizontal slats on the back, which facilitated hanging them from a peg rail to free floor space when they weren’t in use. (Click on smaller photos to enlarge and see credits.)

Today, interior designers still employ the simple lines of Shaker style cabinetry. Copies of Shaker furniture abound, though actual examples of pieces handmade by Shaker artisans are highly sought and prized.

640px-shaker_student_desk-photo-by-doug-coldwell

Photo by Doug Coldwell.

Do you like Shaker furniture? Are you interested in the Shakers? Here are some related articles:

Video of the Week #56: The Intersection of Sculpture and Utility

Standard
Video of the Week #56: The Intersection of Sculpture and Utility