Side chair from the Robert R. Blacker House
Brothers Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene are among the leading architects and designers of the American Arts and Crafts Movement. Based in Pasadena, California, the firm primarily designed residences, and created bespoke interiors and finely crafted furnishings for their larger commissions, mainly located in the Pasadena area. Their aesthetic was principally rooted in the tenets of the British Arts and Crafts Movement—upholding ideals of handcraftsmanship and truth in materiality and construction—yet their work also demonstrates the strong influence of Japanese architecture and design. The Robert R. Blacker home (1907-09) was among the finest of their commissions for large-scale and expensive bungalows in Pasadena. Unlike their American contemporary Gustav Stickley, who eventually turned to mass production, the firm only created custom furniture and paneling for their interiors. These bespoke designs were largely produced by the Swedish-born Pasadena cabinetmakers Peter and John Hall. This side chair from the Blacker house living room exemplifies the designers’ refined fusion of European forms, Asian aesthetics, and an Arts and Crafts ethos.