Against the Grain: The Handcrafted Artistry of Thomas Day
June 3, 2023
Thomas Day, a free African American craftsman, was the most prominent furniture maker in North Carolina in the years leading up to the Civil War. Join us for a talk and demonstration by N.C. woodworker Jerome Bias to celebrate the CMA’s beloved Thomas Day bureau before it goes out on tour. Free.
A self-taught woodworker, Bias has been making period furnishings and studying Southern decorative arts for more than 20 years, using the work of Day as well as often-unnamed enslaved individuals as inspiration. He has worked and presented in Old Salem Museums and Gardens and Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, and most recently served as artist-in-residence at Belle Grove Plantation. Bias exclusively uses hand tools to create wooden furniture as a way of better understanding the experiences of his enslaved ancestors. In explaining the work of Day, Bias showcases the tools he uses today and demonstrates the kinds of techniques that Day himself would have used more than 150 years ago.
The Columbia Museum of Art, The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Mobile Museum of Art, and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts represent Art Bridges’ American South Consortium, a group committed to sharing works of art and producing exhibitions that explore themes that speak to our nation’s shared histories. Through a “Spotlight” loan tour, the CMA will share with these partners this bureau crafted and created by Thomas Day.
Generous support for this project provided by Art Bridges.