Worth Reading: on barrel chairs and taste

November 19, 2007

This piece in an old Washington Post Style section cracked me up.

Taste, guilt and barrel chairs are beasts preying on couples shopping on 14th Street. Perhaps they should seek counseling from Jennifer Marshall, a Stanford art history professor who specializes in 20th-century American aesthetics. Marshall listens to a description of the chairs. She says they sound like they were “made in a home workshop . . . completing the picture of a guy’s dream den.” She says the chairs may be part of the Do-It-Yourself age. In such cases the very garishness of an object is what makes it appealing.

After seeing a photograph of the chairs, she states: “Okay. Those are pretty ugly.” Then again, she doesn’t have to live with a man who loves them. [“Before You Have a Seat, Take a Stand“-WaPo]


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