I was in New York last week to visit friends and, well, be in New York which I think is always a good idea. I made a point this trip to build in time to see the exhibits that I wanted to see as well as stroll through the Winter Antique Show and fly through the gift show.
I am relentlessly curious about creative process and the Inventing Abstraction
exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art scratched my itch. I’ve noticed that in the ever-burgeoning world of blogging (a world that has been incredibly good to me) that sometimes people imply that visiting with designers is some kind of rare and remarkable feat, but my experience has been that decorators don’t see themselves as celebrities and are only too happy to talk with someone who is interested in their work.
Unfortunately, Picasso, Albers and Delaunay are not available for brain picking, but this exhibit explores their process and the evolution of the movement in a way that made me feel as if they were.
If you are in New York during the exhibit (through April 15th) I would recommend it. Beyond that, you might want to take a moment to watch a few videos on the site, which, if you’re anything like me, will make you want to start your own salon. Like, tomorrow.
Images, above, via moma.org. The image top is a graphic of the artists’ connections; the next is Theo Van Doesburg’s evolving studies of a cow and one of the resulting paintings, Composition VIII, (The Cow), which made my head explode just a little bit right on the spot.
Sometimes I want to keep all the good stuff to myself (you should see the things I don’t mention here) but did want to let you know that Christopher Filley has just returned from the home of one of his dear friends and is providing foster care for some of her things. (You see Faith and Charity above – Hope must be springing eternally somewhere else.)
A full-size chinoiserie bed being one of my favorites.
Hmmm…headboard, footboard and painted rails, too. “Wouldn’t it be great if you could float it in the room?” asked Christopher when I was there. Indeed.
The top. I mean, really.
And this window, which did not come from the estate, is fantastic. I’ve seen its sibling at the home of one of my favorite local designers, backed with mirror, adding depth and sparkle to her patio. Who couldn’t use a little more depth and sparkle?
45th and State Line
I drove to Tulsa, my hometown, on Saturday. I have fewer and fewer reasons to go, reunions and funerals mostly, but I had a couple of things to take care of so I made the four-hour drive there and back in a day.
“Why don’t you spend the night? See some people?” encouraged Bill, assuring me that all would be well here.
“I don’t really have people there anymore.”
I drove through my old neighborhood, by the park where I did “Walk for Mankind” and by the house of the boy who gave me my first kiss. (The last was coincidental, but the house was pretty terrific, which I did not appreciate at the time.)
And I went to Philbrook, which is one of Tulsa’s museums. It was the old Phillip’s estate and I spent some time there in junior high and high school. I didn’t take refuge there nearly as often as I do at the Nelson, but its cool, hushed halls and high ceilings sheltered me on several occasions. I hadn’t realized it before, but the house, on twenty-three acres and with seventy-two rooms, was probably the first grand house that I ever saw and I wondered if it infected my spirit for good.
Villa Philbrook was designed by Kansas City architect Edward Beuhler Delk; the gardens were designed by the Kansas City firm Hare & Hare. Funny, huh? You can find a little more on the house itself here.