In a recent navel-gazing blog, I mentioned the loss of Wharton Esherick, James Krenov and George Nakashima. I forgot to mention Sam Maloof. He’s dead too. As of 2009. For those who don’t know or have chosen not to click through, these gentlemen were all important figures in the American Studio Furniture movement..

Tonight’s set is a actually two small sets linked only by my seeing them days apart and both being in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area. The first group is from the B & O Railroad Museum, oddly enough, in Baltimore. With all the railroad related items to see, the ones that caught my eye were the station clocks. One of those little know facts is that until 1883, there was no standard time in the US. It was whatever time you wanted it to be. It’s hard to keep the trains running on time if you can’t agree what time it is. In 1883, the railroads adopted their version of standard time. It was viewed as such a good idea that the Standard Time Act wasn’t passed until 1918. Another one of those areas where government intervention was not welcomed by all.

An 1880 railroad clock.

An 1880 railroad clock.

The second part of the set is a sample of the permanent collection from the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC, the home of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s craft and decorative art program. Don’t head out there just yet. The Renwick is closed for a major two year renovation.

When open, the Renwick has furniture from Krenov, Nakashima, Maloof and others. One of the more impressive pieces is the Ghost Clock by Wendell Castle, another one of the fathers of the American Studio Furniture Movement.

Wendell Castle's Ghost Clock. It's all carved wood. Honest.

Wendell Castle’s Ghost Clock. It’s all carved wood. Honest.

Click HERE to see images from B & O Railroad Museum and Renwick Gallery.