An Exotic Journey: The Furniture and Paintings of Lockwood de Forest

  • NEW YORK, New York
  • /
  • February 09, 2015

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Lockwood de Forest (1850-1932) Ramesseum at Thebes, Egypt, circa 1876, oil on canvas, 37 1/8 x 29 2/8 inches
Debra Force
Carved Teakwood Armchair, circa 1885, teakwood with an upholstered seat. 45 1/2 x 26 x 25 inches, Designed by Lockwood de Forest; Carved by Ahmedabad Wood Carving Co., India; Assembled in New York 45 1/2 x 26 x 25 inches
Debra Force

In celebration of the renewed interest in Lockwood de Forest (1850-1932) and in honor of the reopening of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, Debra Force Fine Art is pleased to present An Exotic Journey: The Furniture and Paintings of Lockwood de Forest.  The artist, a distinguished figure in the American Aesthetic Movement, is recognized for his painting, craftsmanship, and interior design.

Focusing upon the artist's travels to the Middle East and Asia in the 1870s-1880s, the current exhibition celebrates the Exotic and features three rare major paintings of Egypt. Several small works document the artist's experiences in Greece, Syria, and India, and include paintings of the ruins at Philae, Egypt, the Parthenon in Greece, and an ancient temple in Kashmir. Views of the Nile, the desert in Syria, and landscapes in Asia are also included.


This period also marked productive furniture design for de Forest. Inspired by a trip to India in 1881, he quickly became enchanted with Saracenic architecture, its wood-carved ornamentation, and the traditional handicrafts. Later that year, he established the Ahmedabad Wood Carving Company, a workshop staffed by highly skilled Hindu artisans, who he commissioned to craft exquisite and unique motifs in intricate, hand-carved teakwood. De Forest's sometimes-collaborator, friend, and then-interior design associate, Louis Comfort Tiffany, featured the Ahmedabad panels in his designs. Furniture pieces in the exhibition include an elaborate mantelpiece, a highly carved wine cabinet, several chairs, a bench, and an unusual iron fire backboard.

Carved Teakwood Mantel with Mirror, teakwood, mirror, and copper, 120 x 120 x 22 ½ inches. Designed by Lockwood de Forest; Presumably carved by Ahmedabad Wood Carving Co., India
Debra Force

On view through March 13th at Debra Force Fine Art, Inc. 13 East 69th Street, Suite 4F, New York, NY 10021. Please contact the gallery at 212-734-3636 or for additional details.

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