Author: Gail Davidson

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Study for the Sculpture "Autumn" for the Château de Wideville
What Do the French Aristocracy and the Couturier Valentino Garavani Have in Common?
The purchase in 1995 of the château de Wideville outside of Paris by the Italian couturier Valentino Garavani, evokes an ironic mixture of art history and the contemporary obsession with fashion and fashionistas. What has become the latest destination for a fashion shoot and a fashion museum was once an elegant country villa built by...
Illustration of Design, cover
Lockwood de Forest Teaches Indian Design
This publication was written by Lockwood de Forest during the years of his retirement from decorating after moving permanently to Santa Barbara, California.  As he says in the preface, de Forest wrote the book for design teachers so they could teach the principles of Indian design to students, helping them generate pattern through using certain...
Horizontal rectangle. A part of the hill with two groups of trees and a seated Arab is shown in the left and central foreground. In the right foreground and in the middle distance view across the Valley of Jesophat.
Jerusalem: Frederic Church and Lockwood de Forest Paint the Sacred City
The landscape painter Frederic Church built his reputation on grand exhibition paintings of awesome views that for many mid-century Americans expressed a divine presence in the world. In search of majestic scenery, he traveled to South America (1853 and 1857), Jamaica (1865), and in 1868 to 1869, he, with his wife Isabel, their young son,...
An oil sketch of antique column fragments scattered on a hill, with a purple mountain arching in the distance.
Frederic Church and Lockwood de Forest Painting on the Acropolis, Athens
While slated to become a lawyer like his father and two brothers in the family firm of Weeks & de Forest, Lockwood de Forest as a young adult aspired to a career in painting. He was related by marriage to the celebrated and very successful landscape painter Frederic E. Church and the de Forest family socialized...
On a white ground of typographic diagrams, four images of a female dancer on Pointe in a black leotard. Across the poster is yellow text that reads: FELD BALLET TECH. In lower margin: APRIL 6 – MAY 9 JOYCECHARGE: 212-242-0800 JOYCE The Joyce Theater / BBAALLLLEETTTTEECCHH.
A Typographic Performance
Inspired by Paula Scher’s work for The Public Theater, the choreographer and dancer Eliot Feld first approached her about designing an identity for his dance company in 1997, when he decided to rename the company Ballet Tech.  Scher designed an identity using a typographic family of slab serifs, overlaying the typography on top of photographs...
Print, New Urban Ground, Proposal for Rising Currents Exhibition, 2009. ARO (founded 1993) and dlandstudio (founded 2005). Museum purchase from Architecture Research Office and from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund, 2013-52-1
Rising Currents
In 2009-10 five teams of architects, landscape architects, and other professionals were invited to take part in a workshop at PS 1, organized by MoMA and Barry Bergdoll, then Head of the Architecture and Design Department, to address the problem of global warming and its impact on lower Manhattan. This was three years before Hurricane...
Drawing, "Fatehpur Sikri" Birbal's Palace, India, March 19, 1881. Lockwood de Forest. Gifted by a Private Santa Barbara Collector, courtesy of Sullivan Goss - An American Art Gallery, 2013-38-2
A Wonderful Red in the Sunlight
This sketch documents Lockwood de Forest’s trip to India. In 1880, he and Meta Kemble were married in New York and soon thereafter they departed for India on their combined honeymoon and buying trip. By this time, de Forest had already abandoned landscape painting as a profession and committed himself to design and the decorative...
Design for a Moorish Smoking Room. octagon room with two men smoking in a corner
Design for a Smoking Room
In honor of the opening of Romantic Interiors, 19th Century Watercolor Interiors from the Thaw Collection at the Beijing World Art Museum today in China, Cooper-Hewitt is featuring one of the most recent gifts from Eugene and Clare Thaw to the Museum.  Design for a Smoking Room by French architect and set designer Léon Feuchère...
Design for Streamline Sleeper Car with Two Seat Compartment - drawing with a blue two seater
High Fashion Train Interior
Of all of the pioneering industrial designers, including Norman Bel Geddes, Walter Dorwin Teague, and Henry Dreyfuss, Raymond Loewy is by far most well-known to the American public. His designs for the original Coca-Cola contour bottle and logo, the Exxon logo, and the Avanti car are icons of 1950s and 1960s design. Lesser known is...