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Bienenstock Furniture Library Unveils Sculpture Honoring Shelba Cornelison

Furniture World News


Named in honor of Shelba Cornelison, this sculpture is part of an ongoing community effort to revitalize downtown Highpoint.

The Bienenstock Furniture Library has unveiled a kinetic sculpture honoring industry veteran Shelba Cornelison.

According to Russell Bienenstock, current board chairman, "Shelba served as editor of Furniture South magazine (now Furniture World) for 22 years. An award-winning editor, she directed operations of the High Point office located on the first floor of the IHFC building. She left the publication to go with shelter
publication Southern Accents where she had a very successful career in advertising sales until the magazine closed, and is currently USA advertising manager for Bridge for Design, the international resource for interior designers.

Charlie Sutton, Board Chairman Emeritus, who has known her for a long time commented, “Shelba is a whirlwind of energy with a bright and cheery disposition. This kinetic and colorful sculpture reflects her personality and will be a permanent reminder of the contributions she has made not only to the library but to the home furnishings industry.

“Shelba is an industry icon,” said Ed Tashjian, Principal of Tashjian Marketing. For the past six decades, she has helped countless numbers of people in our industry as a mentor, friend, and a “go to person” when something needed to get done. She is not just respected, she is revered, loved and admired.”

The sculpture, was designed and created by Morganton native John Ross. When asked to comment on his intentions and inspiration, he replied, “What stands out with Machine #1 (the sobriquet he uses to label the sculpture) is the white base and the colorful geometric shapes that float delicately though the air. The purpose of this piece is to produce joy. My intention is to put the viewer in a meditative state as the piece dances with the wind.”

This monument completes The Pat Plaxico Furniture Gardens. Plaxico is a nationally recognized interior designer who envisioned this space as an oasis of beauty and respite. Plaxico commented, “It is an honor to celebrate the contributions of Shelba Cornelison. She is the epitome of those people who work quietly behind the scenes, wishing to never to draw attention, but without whom nothing can be accomplished.”
The sculpture is reminiscent of the works of Alexander Calder and Marcel Duchamp who pioneered suspended forms that move with the flow of air and suggest an animated form of paintings. Rather than a solid object of mass and weight, they continually redefine the space around them as they move, a fitting metaphor for how the Furniture Library strives to evolve to keep up with new technology and the needs of future furniture scholars. The etymology of the word “mobile” was derived from a French pun meaning both motion and motive. The motive of The Furniture Library is to provide a worldwide center for research, design, and collaboration. The motion of The Library is to stay relevant to the needs of the people it serves.


More about Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library: The Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library is a worldwide center for research, design, and collaboration.  It holds the world’s largest collection of rare and significant books on the history and design of furniture, with more than 5,000 volumes.

The Library is in High Point, NC and is open to members of the home furnishings industry, students and the public. The Library was founded in 1970 with an endowment from Furniture World Magazine and the Bienenstock family. It is supported by a board of directors from nearly every facet of the home furnishings industry. It is devoted the advancement of knowledge about design, furniture, interiors, architecture, textiles, finishes, and constructions.

The Library’s rare book collection contains volumes published since 1543.  A special climate controlled room houses these rare volumes.  It is a treasure trove of inspiration for anyone interested in home furnishings and interior design.  

The Library’s facilities include the Vuncannon Seminar Room, the high-tech Hadley Court Center for Design Collaboration and the Pat Plaxico Sculpture Gardens.  These areas are available for seminars, classes, events, meetings, design collaborations, networking and design retreats for a small honorarium.

In addition, the Library operates a specialty bookstore selling significant contemporary works, out-of-print, and hard-to-find volumes. For more information visit www.furniturelibrary.com or contact Karla Webb, Library Director at info@furniturelibrary.com or 336-883-4011. The easiest way to stay up to date on the developments of the library is to “LIKE” its Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/BienenstockFurnitureLibrary.

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