The whimsical midcentury modern fireplace at Field Farm

Our good friend Sue recently surprised her husband Pete with a weekend at Field Farm, a mid century home turned boutique B&B in nearby Williamstown, Mass. Pete was turning 50 – so I guess “mid century” was the theme! David and I went up to visit and of course, went gaga over the place, a 1948 Bauhaus-inspired masterpiece with a separate guest house, Folly Farm, which is its own amazing story.

Today – I want to focus in particular on the fireplace, which is so clever and wonderful. It’s quite a simple affair – one course of field tiles around the firebox, all set against fine wood paneling. But the tiles — all funny little animals of, I presume, the surrounding forest. Quite whimsical and engaging. Of course, the fireplace is a focal point – and you know me, I love that it does not take itself so seriously among all this Very Serious Modern Architecture. Wait til I show you my photos from the original little guest house – equally engaging – fine architecture, but not so much attitude. Phew! Thank goodness!

All about Folly Farm from the website of its owners, nonprofit Trustees of the Reservation:

Featuring an unparalleled view of Mt. Greylock, Massachusetts’ highest peak, the Guest House at Field Farm is a refreshing change from your usual bed & breakfast. Edwin Goodell, Jr. designed the 1948 Bauhaus-inspired house for Lawrence and Eleanor Bloedel, avid modern art and furniture collectors of the time. Modern artwork adorns the interiors, and the surrounding landscaped gardens boast thirteen sculptures, including works by Richard M. Miller and Herbert Ferber. The house itself is almost a museum of modern furnishings, featuring reproduced Eileen Gray tables and George Nelson saucer pendant lamps in the Master bedroom, and a Noguchi coffee table, Kagan sofas, and an original Eames chair in the living room.

The Guest House is situated in the middle of Field Farm, 316 acres of conserved land with four miles of trails that can be enjoyed by foot or cross-country ski.

This patchwork landscape features cropland, pastures, mixed forest, marshes, and a stream and pond. The Folly, a three-bedroom, pinwheel-shaped shingled guest cottage, designed in 1965 by noted modernist architect Ulrich Franzen, overlooks the pond and still contains furnishings designed by Franzen. Tours of the Folly are offered to B&B guests June through October upon request.

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Comments

  1. BungalowBILL.com says

    The tiles in the fireplace appear to be by Kenneth Townsend, an English artist who designed animal series and London series tiles in the 1960’s and 70’s.

  2. Femme1 says

    On the close-ups of the tile that Pam put up on Flickr, you can see the artist’s signature…looks something like “Janeway” but I can’t see it clearly. If you go down to the bottom of Pam’s blog, there are little photos of the tiles you can click on to get to Flickr.

  3. pam kueber says

    Ahhh, interestingly, I was contacted today be a research who said these tiles were made by ceramicist Carol Janeway. I googled her and she was a very talented artist of renowned…

  4. Ellis R says

    I also believe it was the work of Carol Janeway. I have a painted tile tabletop (4.5′ x 2′) composed of 6″ tiles depicting a scene of a fox chase in a style very much like the fireplace tiles.

    • Victoria Jenssen says

      To Ellis R
      I am writing a book about the art of Carl Janeway and I’m interested to know more about your table. I have few examples of her tables although I have several period photos.
      There is a foxhunt fireplace but the table would be fascinating to see.

      Vicki
      vickijenssen@gmail.com.

      • Victoria Jenssen says

        To Ellis R
        I am writing a book about the art of Carl Janeway and I’m interested to know more about your table. I have few examples of her tables although I have several period photos.
        There is a foxhunt fireplace but the table would be fascinating to see.

        Vicki

        My correct email address is victoriajenssen@gmail.com

        Read more: The whimsical midcentury modern fireplace at Field Farm — Retro Renovation

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