Ken Rivenbark

Ken Rivenbark

A Huntsville antique shop owner will discuss cabinetmaker and furniture designer Thomas Chippendale at the October meeting of the Limestone County Historical Society.

Ken Rivenbark, owner of Rivenbark and Roper Antiques, will present the program, "The Life and Works of Thomas Chippendale." The meeting is 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, at the Rodgers Center of First Presbyterian Church in Athens. Rivenbark will speak at 7 p.m. The public is welcome. 

"It is my hope that this presentation will further your interest in fine antiques and the exquisite details and artistic talent that contribute to our heirloom legacy," Rivenbark said in information supplied to the historical society.

Rivenbark taught for 20 years and served as a national education consultant on training educators in teaching writing. He wrote the book, "Poetry and Prose Prompts: A Quick Guide to Teaching Writing Style." He created and hosted from 2014-17 a cable television show, "Southern Heirlooms with Ken Rivenbark," which aired in parts of Alabama, Tennessee, Florida and Texas.


Chippendale is the most well-known name associated with antique furniture, Rivenbark said. He was England's foremost furniture designer during the 18th century and the first person who was not nobility whose name is associated with a style of furniture, he said.

Chippendale furniture is known by its exquisite and extensive carvings and lines, which reflected popular English tastes of the period. It incorporates English, Rococo, Gothic and Chinese motifs.

The upcoming presentation will introduce Chippendale's artistic contribution to the antique world. He was one of the most distinguished of all furniture designers, Rivenbark said.

Chippendale's book of 181 design plates, "The Gentleman and the Cabinet Maker's Director," was the first comprehensive design book for furniture ever to appear, and it remains the most important, he said. It allowed the creative mindset and style of Chippendale to quickly spread across the world, making this style entrenched in fine furniture through the centuries and one we continue to enjoy today, Rivenbark said.

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