Preserving Craftsmanship

Contemporary Litchfield County Furniture Makers

Tommy Simpson
On April 13, 2007, the Litchfield Historical Society opened its latest exhibition, Preserving Craftsmanship: Contemporary Litchfield County Furniture Makers with a members only opening reception. The exhibit focused on furniture makers working in Litchfield County today and showcase their craft through the display of a piece from their workshops. Ten years ago, the Historical Society hosted the exhibit A Continuing Tradition: Litchfield County Craftsmanship Today. The exhibition allowed the museum to illustrate the progression of work from some of the same furniture makers showcased in the previous exhibit as well as display pieces from new craftsman in the area.

Daniel Gugnoni
Litchfield County, Connecticut has maintained a long tradition of furniture design and production dating back to the 18th century. Craftsman like Silas Cheney, Joseph Adams, Bates How and George Dewey established shops in the region after the Revolutionary War and advertised their wares in local papers. The prominence of the trade to the area continued in the mid to late 19th century with the operation of the Hitchcock Chair Company. Today, Litchfield County continues to host a thriving population of furniture craftsmen.

Andrew Pelko III

The exhibit showcased fifteen area furniture makers working in communities such as Litchfield, West Cornwall, Bethlehem, Woodbury and Goshen. The exhibitors included Jean Bouteiller, owner Jean D. Bouteiller; Patrick Griffin, owner Griffin Woodworks; Daniel Gugnoni, owner Troy Brook Visions, Inc.; Laurence Hendricks, owner Pinnacle Design; Ian Ingersoll, owner Ian Ingersoll Cabinetmakers; John LaGattuta, owner of Northwest Corner Woodworks; Guy Livolsi, owner Livolsi Woodworks; Woody Mosch, owner Woody Mosch Cabinetmaker; Walter Pascoe, owner M2 Company; Andrew Peklo III, owner Peklo Design & Joinery; Wesley H. Quigley III, owner WHQ Woodworks; Tommy Simpson, owner Tommy Simpson; James Schriber, owner James Schriber Furniture; Barry Strom; and Clint Thorn, owner The Open Talon. See examples of some of their work on this page.

Clint Thorn

High Chest
Ian Ingersoll

Dressing Table
Woody Mosch

John LaGattuta

Lilly Extension Table
Jean D. Bouteiller
The styles of these furniture makers range from Shaker to traditional late 18th and early 19th century aesthetics to contemporary twists on more traditional forms. The goal of the exhibition is not only to illustrate the continued prominence of furniture craftsman in the region but also to illustrate the wide array of styles and techniques employed by the individuals working in the industry.

This year will mark the first of three years of exhibitions surrounding the traditions of furniture making in Litchfield County Connecticut. In 2008, the Historical Society opened a new two year exhibition on Litchfield County furniture produced from 1770-1810. This exhibition will be accompanied by a catalog and symposium on the topic. The Historical Society plans to borrow a number of pieces from other institutions as well as private owners. Many of the pieces will rotate over the two year exhibition period encouraging visitors to return to the museum both years.

Wes Quigley

Chair and Ottoman
James Schriber

Rocking Chair
Patrick Griffen

Preserving Craftsmanship: Contemporary Litchfield County Furniture Makers ran from April 14 through November 26, 2007.