Harmony in Yellow and Gold - The Cloud Cabinet
- Art Funded
- 221 x 191 x 49 cm
- Haslam & Whiteway
Designed by Edward William Godwin, a leading figure in the Aesthetic Movement, and painted by the Anglo-American artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler, the Cloud Cabinet is the only known piece of furniture made by the two to survive in its original state. It was manufactured by William Watt Art Furniture of London and features both William WattÂ’s label and WhistlerÂ’s distinctive butterfly signature. Created in the Anglo-Japanese style associated with Aestheticism, the cabinet is crafted from birdÂ’s-eye maple and brass. The decorations consist of intricate carvings Â– floral, bird and geometric motifs inspired by the art of Japan Â– and painting, with stippled clouds and golden butterflies. Surviving Godwin furniture from the late 1870s is very rare, and WhistlerÂ’s decorations make this cabinet unique. It was almost certainly created for William WattÂ’s stand at the 1878 Â‘Exposition UniverselleÂ’ in Paris. Whistler gave the piece its unusual title: as with his paintings, he named his design works after musical forms and colours. Harmony in Yellow and Gold Â– The Cloud Cabinet will be one of the centrepieces of the National Museum of ScotlandÂ’s Â‘Designed for LifeÂ’ gallery, opening in 2016 and exploring European and American design and the applied arts from 1851 to 1951.
Probably acquired by the Hussey Packe family directly from William Watt; sold 1947; when acquired by Arnold Grey; by descent in the Grey family, from whom acquired by the vendor.