North Bennet Street School Turns 125
Every year Boston’s North Bennet Street School graduates 18 or so astonishingly accomplished furniture makers from its two-year Cabinet and Furniture Making program. Instruction at the school is based around furniture from the late 18th and early 19th centuries—not because they are period purists, the school’s staff says, but because once you know how to build that demanding stuff, you can build most anything.
More on the North Bennet Street School
North Bennet Street is celebrating its 125th year in 2010, and to take the pulse of the furniture program I spent a day there recently. This slide show features an interview with Steve Brown, the lead instructor in the program, as well as comments from a variety of former students at the school. It is illustrated with furniture by graduates of the program from the 1970s through the present—some pieces made while they were still at school, some made long after they had launched their careers in the field.
In addition to the full-time, two-year program, the school offers a host of workshops and shorter courses that might last three months, a week, or a weekend.
All four teachers in the two-year program are North Bennet Street graduates, and so is the director of the school, Miguel Gomez-Ibanez, who left a flourishing career in architecture to attend the school.