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American History, Art and Culture: a festschrift for Jonathan Fairbanks

Pictured: Jonathan L. Fairbanks at the Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, Massachusetts. By courtesy of Wicked Local.

A festschrift honoring Jonathan L. Fairbanks, the distinguished American decorative arts expert, who served as longtime curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and most recently as Director of the Fuller Craft Museum, will be published in June 2018 by Fuller Craft Museum. Entitled "American History, Art and Culture: Writings in Honor of Jonathan Leo Fairbanks," it has been edited by Pat Warner and Gerald W.R. Ward and features contributions by more than thirty friends and colleagues of Fairbanks, who celebrate his achievements across various disciplines. "The contents of the book reflect Jonathan's wide-ranging interests," says co-editor Ward, "from Native American art, to sculpture, to furniture, to studio crafts, to architecture, etc." Jonathan Fairbanks is also an avid genealogist and has been an active board member of the Fairbanks House museum in Dedham, Massachusetts.

Ward explains that the book will include numerous essays as well as some "testimonials --mostly by artists -- that are personal, very short, statements about Jonathan rather than academic-style essays." The contributors, he offers "are all colleagues of Jonathan in some way, and include professors, curators, and other museum professionals, including many former staff members at the MFA and Fuller, as well as artists, craftsmen, and others. They include Edward S. Cooke, Jr., Jane Nylander, Betsy Garrett Widmer, Beverly K. Brandt, Robert P. Emlen, Robert F. Trent, Brock Jobe, Phil Zea, Toots Zynsky, John Cederquist, Tom Loeser, and, of course, D. Brenton Simons."

"The book will be well illustrated, and is designed by Cynthia Randall, who has done a lot of work over the years for the MFA and the Fuller. My co-editor, Pat Warner, is a collector and museum volunteer par excellance who volunteered at the MFA for many years, especially on the show 'Glass Today by American Studio Artists' in the late 1990s, and on 'The Maker's Hand: American Studio Furniture' a little later. She subsequently moved on to the Fuller when Jonathan took over the reins there."

Gerald W.R. Ward, who is The Katharine Lane Weems Senior Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture Emeritus at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is currently preparing a book on the treasures of the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

"American History, Art and Culture: Writings in Honor of Jonathan Leo Fairbanks" will be avialable through the Fuller Craft Museum.

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