It is no secret to anyone who has read my blog, that I have amassed a collection of decorative aluminum dating back to the 1930's, 40's and 50's. One of the most treasured parts of the collection are these trays made by Arthur Armour. A little history about the artist/craftsman...born in 1908, he started this unique forge in 1933 in Grove City, Pennsylvania, making his decorative work in my opinion, a specifically American craft. In the late 1990's, several years after I started my collection, I went to a "hammered aluminum" show in Allentown Pennsylvania. Arthur Armour, then in his 90's attended this show, and displayed some of his works. He was surprised to find so much interest in collecting his pieces and was actually quite humble about it. He passed away in 1998, and I was very grateful to have met him, and his family. His son, Dr. Thomas Armour has preserved his forge in Grove City.
My collection has been honed over the years. I will find pieces that I value, and sell others to make room. The big question all these years has been how to display a collection like this for optimum viewing and so it does not take over a room. Filling a dining room hutch with some of the trays has been my current decision. I can enjoy the lovely detail found on most of these works of art. This particular tray with the oranges hanging from the tree is a favorite. If you look closely, you will see a bee buzzing around the branches (click on any picture to make it bigger). There is one group of the Arthur Armour trays that have become a bit of an obsession for me. Being all of the same size, they have different motifs. I initially collected 28 of these, sold them a little while back, and then decided to find and collect them again. Originally, I had these trays hanging on railings, straight across a wall in my office, row after row, in an eye catching display. To date, I have found 18 of the trays, one of which I had never seen before, making the known count for these being 29 different motifs (to me..I am hoping that there are more that other collectors might be aware of). Now, how to keep them as a group and display? I found the magazine racks, made by the same artist will hold 8 trays apiece. This allows me to keep the collection together without overwhelming the hutch they are displayed in, or the eye of the viewer. A metamorphosis for me in roping in a collection that I hope will continue to grow, and displaying it in a way that gives it the artistic platform that it deserves. I am linking up with Metamorphosis Monday, hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch..and I thank her for hosting this weekly event.