Portfolio Naples August/September 2018 - Page 47

Opposite page, above: Thomas Chippendale's original drawings for his Director. These drawings are held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and are being published by Thornwillow Press for the first time in celebration of Chippendale's tricentenary. Thornwillow that had the one press capable of printing a series of intaglio playing cards and art prints by famed playing card artist and illustrator Jackson Robinson, a process that involved using a 19th century press to print from hand-engraved cop- per plates. Another of the Thornwillow rare, vintage presses is able to print giclée facsimiles of the highest quality. This unique attribute has opened the door to a once- in-a-lifetime collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art that has been years in the making, and comes just in time to celebrate Chippendale 300. 2018 marks the tricentennial celebration of the birth of Thomas Chippendale, Britain's finest furniture-maker. To mark this tercentenary event, Thornwillow Press is publishing for the first time Thomas Chippendale’s original pen-and-ink drawings for his 1754 volume, The Chippendale Director. The project was the brainchild of Morrison Heckscher, former chairman of the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and renowned design historian. Of the 147 surviving drawings, 142 are at the Metropolitan. The drawings offer a unique window into Chippendale’s design process and the evolution of The Director. Until now, how- ever, they have only been seen by those fortunate enough to be granted access to the original drawings in the Metropolitan Museum Collection. Yet, they are essen- tial to the canon of craft and design, because Thomas Chippendale constituted a The Chippendale Director PORTFOLIO MAGAZINE 45