The Art Of Photographing Artists: Portraits By Arnold Newman
by CLAIRE O’NEILL
March 28, 2013
A bentwood rocker in pretty rough shape is seen at the right side of the photo. If only I could figure out the wibbly wobbly timey whimey ways of Dr. Who, I could go back in time and perhaps trade Pablo for some repair. The seat is covered with wood (honestly so much sturdier though much less comfortable) and the back is sagging and has a couple of holes in it. If I were in Cannes in 1956, I would suggest to Pablo that he put a wet towel on the back of the chair for an hour or so. When it dries it will shrink up. Cane is a plant….it needs watering to maintain its fibers.
Bentwood rockers were made popular by Michael Thonet in the mid-1800s. If you google bentwood rocker images you can see some really crazy ones. Usually they have pressed cane seats and backs, which is a lot easier and less expensive to repair. We have worked on some laced cane rockers and they are so much harder due, not only to weaving strand by strand, but also because the holes are recessed almost 1/2 inch into the frame in a very narrow groove, which makes tying off the strands a screaming headache. We will charge appropriately!