American World War I spy serves as inspiration for Hickory Chair

Lounge Chair from the new Traditions Made Modern Collection (photo courtesy of Hickory Chair)

Traditions Made Modern from Hickory Chair is a new case and upholstery collection consisting of unique pieces inspired by artifacts from the Museum of International Folk Art and the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe. These world class museums are but two of the four museums that comprise the Museum of New Mexico, one of the largest state-run museum systems in the United States.

One of the many unique pieces in the new collection is this Lounge Chair inspired by Sylvanus Griswold Morley. Morley was a man famous for two reasons: primarily as the foremost expert on Mayan archaeology and secondarily as the greatest American spy in World War I. Due to his archaeological work in the Yucatan and his familiarity with the region, Morley was asked by the US Naval Intelligence Office to determine if, and where, the Germans might be trying to establish submarine bases along the Caribbean coasts in the region.

During his time in Guatemala, Morley came to own many pieces of Spanish colonial furniture. The original piece that inspired this chair’s distinctly carved wood stretcher is a large ornately carved armoire believed to have come from a church in Antigua, Guatemala, the ancient Spanish capital of Meso-America. The original armoire is part of the collections at the New Mexico History Museum. The chair measures 33.75 inches high, 29.5 inches wide and 31.25 inches deep.

For more information on this new collection from Hickory Chair, give us a call at 770-251-4557.

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