E-Museum of Pyrographic Art

Antique Art Hall


to the Salon of
Harriet Keith Fobes

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Chest with Decorative Studwork
By Harriet Keith Fobes

Pyrography and studwork "cloutage" on a wooden chest

Settee / Table
By Harriet Keith Fobes

Pyrography and color on a wooden settee that can convert to a table

Leather Tablecloth with Tulip Design
By Harriet Keith Fobes

Pyrography on a round leather tablecloth

Frame for a Hall Mirror in Grapevine Design
By Harriet Keith Fobes

Pyrography, wood stain, and relief carving on a wooden hall mirror frame

Exhibition of the Woman's Art Club

By Harriet Keith Fobes

NY Times Article Excerpt

Announcing lectures given by Harriet Keith Fobes and others for a meeting of the Woman's Club

Mystic Gems
(Book, signature, and title page)

Signed copy of a 1924 book by Harriet Keith Fobes

Advertisement for Burnt Work and Other Classes
(Objects, supplies, and classes)

By Harriet Keith Fobes
(Note misspelling of her middle name in the advertisement.)

Harriet Keith Fobes
(portrait in newspaper article)

American artist Harriet Keith Fobes, like J. William Fosdick and William Fuller Curtis, exhibited a substantial body of burnt works at the prestigious exhibitions of the Architectural League of New York. Of particular interest is a work (one of five) displayed at the 1902 exhibition of the League that was described as a "Bellows in Burnt Work. Design: peacock feathers. Dyes burned into wood. West Gallery." The technique of 'dyes burned into wood' is the only one described in this manner. She was also mentioned in the 1909 exhibition of the National Society of Craftsmen.

The wide variety of exhibits here for Harriet Keith Fobes are indicative of her hard work, entrepreneurial spirit, and many talents. The first four works were found as a chapter on pyrography in a 1910 book by Mabel Tuke Priestman.

Harriet Keith Fobes also gave classes and sold supplies, according to the advertisement exhibited here. Her portrait picture from the newspaper article accompanies her column of advice on how best to use jewelry in one's wardrobe.

She may be best known for her book entitled "Mystic Gems" which still occasionally comes up for sale and usually at a high price. By way of biography and as a tribute to her many fields of expertise are the various newspaper clips about exhibits in which she participated.

In addition, in 1895, Harriet Keith Fobes did a monthly series of "how to" articles on pyrography for the Delineator magazine. Her series of eleven "Burnt Work" articles began with the March 1895 issue and concluded in January of 1896. As of December 2011, all of the eleven articles are now available here in the E-Museum at the following links:
- March 1895, the Art Defined; materials for decoration.
- April 1895, the tools and their uses.
- May 1895, the tools and their uses—concluded.
- June 1895, adapting designs to burnt decoration on leather.
- July 1895, simple designs for small leather articles.
- August 1895, marine and landscape work.
- September 1895, natural and conventional designs.
- October 1895, figure designs; portraits and silhouettes
- November 1895, large scale projects
- December 1895, burnt work on ivory; and
- January 1896, burnt decoration on paper; conclusion.

If you have either any questions to ask or any information to offer regarding these works or others by Harriet Keith Fobes, please e-mail the E-Museum Curator.

You are leaving
the Harriet Keith Fobes Salon

You can return to the

Antique Hall

or visit one of the following:

Pyrographic Art Exhibit Halls:

Portraits and Paintings

Decorative and Applied Art


Traditional and Folk Art

Children's Pyrographic Art

Special Pyrographic Art

The Book Store and E-Museum Library

Pyrography Tools and Techniques

Your questions and comments are welcome and appreciated.
Please e-mail the E-Museum Curator

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© 2009, 2010, 2011 Kathleen M. Garvey Menéndez, all rights reserved.
21 November 2009. Updated 23 June 2010. Updated 4th of July 2011. Updated 10 August 2011. Last updated 12 December 2011.