Undaunted by the stormy weather on June 8, a large intrepid audience came to the Millicent Library’s auditorium to hear Enrique Goytizolo, of Georgian Antiques. Ricky, as he is warmly known, explained the history of the chair, illustrated with seven prime examples from his private collection.
The chairs, from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, are magnificent examples of different styles, woods, craftsmanship, and upholstered textiles. His talk, which spanned ancient times to the Georgian Period on both sides of the Atlantic, explored the decorative influences that are still highly prized and how they have evolved to accommodate today’s lifestyles.
The history of the world’s cultures is revealed in the history of chairs: from authoritarian hierarchies with rigid formalities to the democratization and prized luxuries of comfort, usefulness, and ergonomics.
One fascinating insight he explained was how the term “chairman” derived from the person with the most authority who was seated in the place of honor — a chair — while others sat on benches and boards, and thus the term evolved into “chairman of the board.” Later the most important person sat at the head of the table in the best chair (usually the one with arms).
The talk was especially appropriate, because the Friends completed their own chair project this year, providing the Library with 100 comfortable folding chairs and eight new tables for the community meeting room.
At its annual business meeting the Friends approved by-law changes (available on the Library’s website); welcomed new board members Janice Randall, Linda Kushner, and Mary Beth Yarmac; and elected new officers. Martha Berg stepped down as president but remains on the board as treasurer. Beth Luey was elected president; Linda Kushner, vice president; Eleanor Crowell, corresponding secretary; and Janice Randall, recording secretary. •••
Click here to download the 6/16/16 issue in its entirety: 06-16-16 OrlandoVigil