Garden Furnishings Throughout History

July 14 Talk by John Danzer at Boscobel

Rarely has a person thought more deeply about extending good design to the outside of the American home — and into its surroundings — than John Danzer, founder of Munder-Skiles, a firm specializing in the production of both historically-inspired and original designs of garden furniture and related products.

John Danzer

John Danzer

Twenty years ago this October, Danzer abandoned his Wall Street career to concentrate full-time on a lifelong affinity for garden decoration, researching here and abroad. He then began to lecture on its disappeared history, pulling images from his extensive library of books, catalogues and collection of 9,000 slides taken from gardens and settings all over the world. Danzer has been a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and has lectured on garden furniture at the Cooper-Hewitt (now the National Design Museum), the Museum of Garden History in London, Sotheby’s, the New York Botanic Garden, the Parrish Art Museum, the St. Louis Antiques Show and the Dallas Museum of Art. He regularly addresses decorative arts, design and horticultural groups across the country.

John Danzer’s lecture at Boscobel House & Gardens, sponsored by the Friends of Boscobel, is titled Beyond the Adirondack Chair, The True History of Garden Furniture Design and will be an in-depth historical look at garden furnishings through the years. Danzer will examine and discuss how furniture works within the landscape. He will address appropriate choice of design and materials and look at how placement within the garden affects the overall look and feel of the site. Images from Danzer’s extensive library of slides from all over the world will illustrate the talk. A portion of the presentation will include highlights of Reinventing the Garden Seat, a 10-year retrospective of Munder-Skiles held in 2000 at the New York School of Interior Design.

Munder-Skiles has recently opened a showroom in Garrison and was recently featured in both Elle Décor and Architectural Digest magazines. They offer more than 80 designs of the finest quality garden furniture and objects, and in 1994, their “Taconic Chair” won the Roscoe Award for the best designed American chair (the first time ever a garden seat has been so honored).

The lecture at Boscobel takes place on Saturday, July 14, beginning in the Carriage House at 10:30 a.m. It is followed by herbal refreshments in the Herb Garden and finishes with a self-guided Rose Garden tour. Space is limited, so purchase your tickets in advance either in person, over the phone or online at Tickets are $12/person or $6 for Friends of Boscobel members.

For more information, visit or call 845-265-3638.

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