One of my favorite pieces of furniture is this table made by Devon Dennett in 1932. The gateleg table is a centuries old design traditionally done with an ornate, spindle leg structure. Dennett’s simple biomorphic joinery blends a traditional table with modernist sensibilities, a Janus design.
Dennett made his living as a model maker. The Museum of Modern Art’s “Tomorrows Small House” show in 1945 featured several of Dennett’s models including the cover photo of the exhibition bulletin. In 1958 he is pictured in Architectural Forum working on the Pan American terminal at Idlewild (now JFK) airport.
As a believer and practitioner of the Arts and Crafts movement his mother taught Devon well. Learning little details about Dennett has been interesting, reading a book about his mother was amazing.
Mary Ware Dennett began work for the suffrage movement in 1908 and she was just getting started. After 3 life threatening deliveries she became an advocate for the use of drugs to reduce pain during childbirth. When war began in 1914 she became active in the anti-war movement. In 1915 she wrote “The Sex Side of Life” a sex education pamphlet for young people, in 1928 she was indicted for distributing it. Her trial would eventually help change the laws restricting information on birth control.
I highly recommend “The Sex Side of Life” by Constance M. Chen