“A shed is the shortest line between need and shelter,” writes Howard Mansfield. Drawing on material from his recent book Dwelling in Possibility, Mansfield explores the different types of sheds found around New England and beyond: covered bridges, barns, worksheds, “worship sheds” (meeting houses), extended farmhouses, bob houses for ice fishing. In lyrical style and supported by photographs by Joanna Eldredge Morrissey, Mansfield shows the connection between the design of these structures and their roles in our lives.
“Sheds are like our lives—not the grandest building or the most graceful. Sheds are ordinary—and in that they are exalted.” Anyone who has ever traveled the back roads of America will enjoy this beautifully photographed exploration of simple, useful structures.
Read more about Howard’s book and the community:
What makes a shed a shed? by Ben Conant of The Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
The Allure of the Shed an excerpt on the sheds chapter from Dwelling in Possibility in New Hampshire Magazine
The author has gone beyond standard research to harvest comments of architects and local builders. He has probed for meanings and feelings about these shelters.
This is a beautiful book to spend an hour with . . . Mansfield is an excellent writer. In Sheds he provides just a taste of his philosophy of the soul of shelter: “Sheds are utilitarian. Sheds contain small things — wood and tools — and big: summers, winters, solitude, festivity. The smallest sheds can be liberating: a bob house on a frozen lake, a summer cabin. The can shelter dreams.”
Superbly illustrated throughout, “Sheds” is an extraordinary and unique study that is as impressively well written as it is exceptionally well organized and presented. Simply stated, “Sheds” is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library collections, and will prove to be of special interest to students of architecture as well as non-specialist general readers with an interest in the variety and utility of these relatively simple structures.
The Keene Sentinelhttps://www.sentinelsource.com/life_and_style/books/a-tapestry-of-history/article_09fece87-e6d8-590c-b473-fe127202b88d.html
The title of Howard Mansfield’s panoramic book “Sheds” holds far more persuasive power than its simple five-letter title. And Joanna Eldredge Morrissey’s supporting photographs are mesmerizing.
His sheds range from maple sugarhouses to meetinghouses. Her camera catches covered bridges to farmhouse connectors. Never a dull moment in this full-color compendium of surprises.
Part of the attraction comes from Henry James’ book design of many full-book photo spreads edited onto coated glossy pages. No e-book version could compare.
Howard Mansfield is the author of nine books about preservation, architecture, and history, most recently The Habit of Turning the World Upside Down (Bauhan 2018). He has contributed to the New York Times, the Washington Post, Historic Preservation, and Yankee. He and his wife, writer Sy Montgomery, live in a 130-year-old house in Hancock, New Hampshire.
Joanna Eldredge Morrissey has been the staff photographer at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, for the last twenty-five years.