Charles Sumner Greene
Breakfast table, 1899
Douglas fir, cedar, oak, mahogany, and birch
Wedding present for his wife, Alice
Photograph courtesy of Sotheby’s, New York
Composed of stock molding, boards, and veneers and simply assembled with glue and nails, this functional table was designed and built by Charles Greene as an engagement gift for his fiancée, Alice White. This is the earliest known example of the Greenes’ skill in furniture, partly a result of their education at Calvin Woodward’s Manual Training School at Washington University in St. Louis. The table demonstrates an understanding of and appreciation for good craftsmanship. These attributes would bear fruit in the much more challenging designs the Greenes created over the next two decades, and in the unique collaborative relationship they developed with the woodworkers they employed.