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April 29, 2009

Oscar P. Fitzgerald to Discuss Studio Furniture at Library of Congress on May 15

Studio furniture consists of hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind pieces, designed and created by individual artisans, far different from the factory-made, mass-produced furniture that most people own.

Oscar P. Fitzgerald, author of the newly-released "Studio Furniture of the Renwick Gallery," will discuss these works of art at noon on Friday, May 15, in the Mary Pickford Theater on the third floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

Sponsored by the Humanities and Social Sciences Division of the Library of Congress, the lecture is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed. A book-signing will follow the presentation.

In his illustrated lecture, Fitzgerald will discuss the diverse studio furniture movement and some of its artisans. In addition to examining the collecting policies of the Renwick Gallery, Fitzgerald will cast new light on workshop practices, marketing concerns and other aspects of the contemporary studio furniture movement.

The Renwick Gallery, located near the White House, is a branch of the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum. Fitzgerald’s book features all 84 pieces of studio furniture in the Renwick Gallery collection.

Fitzgerald is a faculty member of the Smithsonian Associates/Corcoran College of Art and Design master’s program in the history of decorative arts, where he teaches core classes on classic and modern furniture. Fitzgerald’s 1995 book "Four Centuries of American Furniture" is a recognized standard reference volume in the field of furniture. In 2004, he was awarded a prestigious James Renwick Research Fellowship.

The Humanities and Social Sciences Division provides reference service and collection development in the Main, Local History and Genealogy, and Microform and Machine Readable Collections reading rooms at the Library of Congress. It regularly sponsors programs in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, with nearly 142 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. As the world’s largest repository of knowledge and creativity, the Library is a symbol of democracy and the principles on which this nation was founded. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site, in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill, and through its award-winning website at www.loc.gov. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed via interactive exhibitions on a new, personalized Web site at myLOC.gov.

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PR 09-092
04/29/09
ISSN 0731-3527

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