Image features tow black and white photographs of expositions at the Grand Palais. On the left: hot air balloons and early airplanes. On the right, lighting and airplanes. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
I Wish I Had Been There!!
This post was originally published on April 1, 2013. Between 1909 and 1948, the Grand Palais near the Champs-Elysées in Paris featured  remarkable decorative interiors which housed automotive, aeronautical and many other types of trade shows. For the buildings and other structures of the Paris Colonial Exposition of 1931, decorative lighting helped create a unity...
Image features three artists at work in a large studio space.
Men at Work
  In the rear of a large atelier of the French Academy in Rome, three students (called pensionnaires) are at work. One, by the window, labors over a drawing; a second stands near a bas-relief, and a third, seated, bends over a work in progress. The remainder of the space is filled with studio equipment:...
Image features wall mirror with simple rectangular frame with incised line and thumb indention-type decoration; uprights concave at top; top decorated with swags and stylized flowers. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object
Brandt in Bloom
This post was originally published on December 12, 2015. The French designer Edgar Brandt spurred a revival of interest in interior furnishings made of iron in the 1920s. His participation in the 1925 Paris Exposition won him great praise. Brandt’s ironwork was admired throughout the fair; he designed the gates of the front entrance, his...
Image features: Mantle decorated with series of broad and narrow horizontal bands in reds, pale tan, cream, pale yellow, blues, silver. A broad band across the middle is made up of ten narrow bands, with adjacent rectangles containing Inca geometric patterns and some adapted Tiahuanaco eye forms, separated throughout and edged top and bottom with variety of guard stripes. Above and below this broad central band are slightly narrower pink bands, edged top and bottom with small stepped scallops and filled with close-set mermaids and bird, fish, animal and floral motives, seemingly scattered, but actually set symmetrically on either side of two central vases set one above the other in each band and filled with flowers and fruit. Two narrow bands with attendant varied guard stripes border the mantle at top and bottom; the inner red band is similar to the bands in the center of the mantle; the outer cream-grounded band contains a series of bird, fish, and floral motives symmetrically spaced on either side of the central axis of the mantle; pink guard stripes terminate the mantle at top and bottom. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Andean Women’s Mantle
This post was originally published on December 20th, 2012. This beautiful cloth is a woman’s shoulder mantle, called a lliclla in the Quechua language of the Inca Empire, and was made during the colonial period of Peru. A perfect blend of the cross-cultural elements of the 16th- and 17th-century era of global trade, the Chinese...
Image features a decorative panel with a stag, hounds, and putti. Please scroll to read the blog post about this object.
An Illusion of the Hunt
Seated atop a seemingly wooden structure, we see a beige cherub playing a spiral hunting horn. Following his gaze downward we see, locked in frenzied combat, a large stag and a horde of hunting dogs who contort their bodies in an attempt to complete their violent action. On their right and left are two more...
Image features a print showing an allegorical figure of winter, a be-robed and bearded muscular old man, standing, leaning to his right, warming himself above the fire in a container at his feet. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Sculptures Fit for a King
The book, Recueil des figures, groupes, thermes, fontaines, vases, et autres ornemens tels qu’ils se voyent a present dans le Château et Parc de Versailles / / gravé d’apres les originaux par Simon Thomassin, graveur du Roy provides a comprehensive catalogue of the sculptures within the gardens at the Palace of  Versailles. Authored and published...
Image features a raised circular bowl with a wide rim supported by a center column composed of stylized curled leaves surrounding a cluster of grapes, all on a stepped circular foot. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Danish Design Duo
It is always surprising to read about famous designers or manufacturers who were hesitant about the career paths that turned them into household names. Danish silversmith Georg Jensen (1866-1935) was one such person. Initially, he had hopes of becoming a sculptor, but focused on silversmithing as this proved to be a more lucrative line of...
Image features: a length of woven textile with an off-white ground and scattered overlapping rectangles of different color and weave combinations in pastel shades. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Darning Sampler
Maharam’s collaborations with artists and designers over the years have produced some extraordinary textiles and wallcoverings, and according to Mary Murphy, senior vice president of design at Maharam, one of their favorite partnerships has been with Scholten & Baijings. Their love of process, sophisticated color sense, and familiarity with the making of textiles creates a...
Image features a bathroom wallpaper with red, green, blue, and gold fish swimming amongst gold seaweed and bubbles, all on a black ground. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this piece.
Swimming with Style
As your gaze gently sinks into the shimmering abyss of this composition, you notice a flurry of well-coordinated activity as fish flit across the inky black ground, with some moving so rapidly that all you catch is the golden gleam of their scales as they zip along. After a moment of being mesmerized by their...