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This survey course begins with the Egyptian period and covers furniture and architecture from 2800 BC through the mid 1700ís. The goal of this course is to enhance your critical comprehension of historical styles. Major emphasis is placed upon chronological stylistic developments, visual characteristics of the period, regional idiosyncrasies of these styles, as well as terminology germane to period furniture and architecture. Field trips to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts will reinforce information gained through the weekly slide lectures.
This is a college level course developed for Interior Design majors in a FIDER accredited institution.  Although we welcome continuing education students who might be taking this course for personal interest, all students are expected to work to their fullest potential and grading will be based upon averages of test scores. Chronic lateness, poor attendance, including missed field trips and lack of class participation, will adversely affect the final grade. Students are marked late 15 minutes after the scheduled beginning of class and absent after 30 minutes. Three missed classes will result in failure of this course. Note: Students are responsible for obtaining lecture notes for missed classes from other student, not the instructor. It is suggested that if you know in advance you will not be able to attend a lecture, make arrangements with a classmate to tape record the lecture, photocopy their notes and review slides and books in the NESAD library. Make-up tests are not typically given unless there is a documented medical emergency.
The Complete Guide to Furniture Styles by Louise Boger               (noted as Boger on the assignment schedule)
Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture by Cyril Harris 
A Concise History of Western Architecture by R. Furneaux Jordan  (noted as Architecture on assignment schedule) 
Our library is one of the best resources for researching historic furniture and architecture. Plan on spending some time going through the stacks to familiarize yourself with this wonderful collection. Many of the most important slides from each lecture have been duplicated, placed in a binder and are in the school library. Each page corresponds to a particular period style. Please put the slides back in the order which you found them.
This is a college course and covers a lot of information. You will need to be organized and focused to do well. Typically, an " A" student will spend between 5 and 8 hours a week reading, taking notes and doing library research. Set aside a specific time each week to focus on this homework, realistically evaluate the time you have to devote to this course and strive to earn the best possible grade. Keep in mind that  the grade is less important than what YOU get out of this course in terms of understanding and appreciation of period style. Hopefully you will even enjoy the learning process.

Read over the assignments and familiarize yourself with the Articles of Furniture section in Boger, (both the written information and the pictures), BEFORE class. Although the book will may seem confusing at first due to the amount of detail, the lectures will clarify the important elements I feel you need to know.  After the lecture, review what I stressed in class and re-read those sections in the book for better understanding of the subject. 

When reading, look up unfamiliar words in the Illustrated Dictionary of Historical Architecture, the glossaries handed out in class, or a good dictionary to clarify information. If you are confused by something you have read, bring your questions to class. Try to spend some time looking over our library collections to become familiar with the stylistic characteristics.

Try to establish a study group or telephone support system. Share information, talk about stylistic characteristics and stylistic connections. You will be surprised how helpful a twenty minute phone call can be.

Know how you best study. Most people in the visual arts are visual learners, (this tip from the Bellotti Learning Center helped me to develop a personal study style). Unless you have a photographic memory or easily retain verbal information, try this: When you take notes on the reading, use the outline form. Next to proper terms and specific design characteristics, trace, sketch or paste-up a photocopy of that item. In this way, you always have a visual tool to reinforce the written information. Use the library to find sources which illustrate the period style.

The tests are mainly slide identification, designed to test your ability to identify period and styles, specific terms, visual characteristics, surface decorations, and motifs which are highlighted, pointed out, reiterated, gone over, and otherwise drummed into your head during the lectures. If I do not go over it in class, it will not be on the test.

Each period has a vocabulary list which is linked to its Web page. These are due on the night of the test for that period. Each chapter's vocabulary list is worth two points toward any wrong answers on the test. No other extra credit assignments will be given.

Time Line  of Study 
History of Furniture & Architecture I
PERIOD Ancient Styles    Italy
Style & Date
 Style & Date
Style & Date
(Colonial Styles)
Style & Date
3200-341 B.C.

Greece & Rome 
2nd century BC-1st century A.D.

350-1453 A.D.



Romanesque           1000-1150/1200

Gothic                          1150-1400/1500

Early    1400 - 1500
High    1500 - 1550 
Late    1550 - 1600/50


Francois I  1515 -1547
Henri II     1547 -1589
Louis XIII 1589 -1643
           "Age of oak"

Elizabeth I   1558 - 1603
James I       1603 - 1625
Charles I     1625 -1649
Cromwell    1649 -1660

1620 - 1690



Louis XIV  1643 - 1715

Regence    1715 - 1723

       "Age of walnut"
Charles II   1660 - 1685
James II     1685 - 1688
William & Mary 
                   1688 - 1702
Queen Anne1702 - 1714
George I      1714 - 1727


William & Mary
1690 -1730

Queen Anne
  1720 - 1755/60

     Louis XV 
       1723 - 1774
         "Age of mahogany"
Chippendale  1745-1770
reign of George II 
   1745/50 -1790

Major Elements of Study:
PERIOD: Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo
STYLE: Gothic, Louis XVI, Queen Anne, etc.
COUNTRY: France, England, America, etc.
TIME FRAME Historical and stylistic dates
INFLUENCE BEHIND THE STYLE: Stylistic developments transferred from one country to another or from one style to the next
HISTORIC EVENTS OR (MOOD OF THE DAY): Political events which affect style such as political or religious unrest, trade, economics, etc. 
SURFACE DECORATION: (verbs) Carving such as turning,  inlay such as marquetry, applied decoration such as painting, etc.
MOTIFS: (nouns)  Acanthus leaf, geometric, shells, bow knots and ribbons, repetitive motifs such as dentils, egg and dart, guilloche, etc.
MAJOR VISUAL CHARACTERISTICS: Distinguishing elements specific to a period or a style, such as feet, legs, case-good construction and surface decoration on furniture and architectural elements that define a period or style 
ARTICLES OF FURNITURE: Most common furniture forms in use, proper terms used to describe these pieces and the visual characteristics that illustrate the period and style.

Egypt, Greece, Rome, Romanesque, Gothic, Byzantine Renaissance Baroque Rococo American Colonial Contact Marg