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Byrdcliffe Arts and Crafts Colony (American, 1902–1915). Linen Press, ca. 1904. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Friends of the American Wing Fund and Mr. and Mrs. Mark Willcox, Jr. Gift, 1991 (1991.311.1)

Once a specific design is chosen, the various parts can be worked out in closer detail. Such is the case in the design drawings for the linen press by the Byrdcliffe Arts and Crafts Colony in the Museum's collection (1991.311.1). The colony was founded by Ralph Whitehead (1854–1929), who had become impressed by the ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement while studying under John Ruskin (1819–1900) at Oxford.

Left: Attrib. to Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead (American (born England), 1854–1929). Sassafras Linen Press, 1904. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Friends of the American Wing Fund and Mr. and Mrs. Mark Willcox, Jr. Gift, 1991 (1991.311.2) Right: Byrdcliffe Arts and Crafts Colony (American, 1902–1915). Outline Drawing of "Sassafras Linen Press," 1904. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Friends of the American Wing Fund and Mr. and Mrs. Mark Willcox, Jr. Gift, 1991 (1991.311.3)

The design process of this linen press is a perfect illustration of Whitehead's idea of artists working together and combining skills to create beautiful, honest furniture. While he worked on the outline of the cabinet (1991.311.2, .3), the panels with stylized sassafras leaves were designed by the young Edna M. Walker (born 1880) (1991.311.4), who graduated from Brooklyn's Pratt School of Design shortly before joining Whitehead in 1903.

Edna M. Walker (American, born 1880). Sassafras leaves (for Sassafras Linen Press), ca. 1904. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift, Mr. and Mrs. Mark Willcox, Jr., and Friends of the American Wing, Purchase, 1991 (1991.311.4)

Guglielmo Ulrich's (1904–1977) design for an L-shaped sofa (1989.1105.8) shows the importance of artists' instructions when it comes to the execution of furniture designs.

Guglielmo Ulrich (Italian, 1904–1977). Divano, seoffale, e stipetto [Perspective of L-Shape Sofa and Storage Unit], 1933. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Giancorrado and Giacinta Ulrich, 1989 (1989.1105.8)

His notations on the side of the drawing show how he intended to cater to two different markets with one and the same design. He envisioned both an economic and exclusive version of his sofa—the former executed in artificial leather and metal, while the latter was to be made with real cow's leather and exotic Caucasian walnut wood in combination with the modern metal.