Wednesday, July 21, 2010


The Chicago apartment of Lindy and Edward Bergman has always been fascinating to me and my recollection of seeing it in the January/February 1973 issue of Architectural Digest was refreshed when I pulled that issue off the shelf at my parents' apartment recently. The Bergman's collected an important assembly of surrealist art which has since been given to the Art Institute of Chicago. The collection includes very important examples by de Chirico, Tanguy, Dali, Magritte, Marisol, Delvaux and many other artists. The decoration of their apartment was remarkable because it appears fairly modest, but a close look at the photographs published in Architectural Digest shows extraordinary juxtapositions of modern, surrealist and African art, 17th and 18th century English furniture and luxurious wallcoverings and textiles. I've never seen any other interior quite like this one. It's incredibly rich but extremely subtle.  I love the houseplants throughout. The interiors were designed by Virginia Phillips. Click on the photos to see more detail.

Library: wallcovering and curtains in pewter suede. Art by Marisol, Calder, Friedeberg, English furniture, African textiles, modern leather sofa.

Bedroom: art by Paul Delvaux, Claes Oldenburg, Joseph Cornell, Asian furniture, pre-Columbian jewelry mounted on wall; wallcovering is pink and bronze tone damask; chandelier is early 19th century gilt-bronze.

Living room: leather-covered Chesterfield sofa, hand-woven curtains by Maria Kipp, bronze table by Giacometti, sculptures by Arp, Bontecou, Cornell

Living room: batik velvet upholstery, African, South Pacific and pre-Columbian art, 18th century English secretary, paintings by Enrico Baj and Giorgio de Chirico; Picasso ceramics and coffee table made out of a Sicilian donkey cart.

Living room: art nouveau leaded glass fire screen, old English furniture, art by Picasso, Ernst, et al. Note houseplants.

Handwoven curtains by Maria Kipp, boxes by Joseph Cornell, Oceanic art, houseplants.

Foyer, wood paneling, Elizabethan wedding chest and Hamadan wedding rug, art by Miro, Marisol and Brauner.

Dining room: wood paneled walls, Liberty-style silk curtains, Georgian furniture, paintings by Magritte and Tanguy, sculptures by Miro and George Segal.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


When I visit my parents' apartment and stay overnight I sleep in the maid's room in which my mother keeps her collection of Architectural Digest magazines. I love it--it's so cozy and, of course, I could spend hours looking at the AD's which date back to 1971. My old bedroom is now my father's and my brother's old bedroom is now my father's office. The master bedroom is my mother's domain. Browsing through some of those early 1970s Architectural Digests I came across a feature on the Montecito, California, home of Wright Ludington in the January/February 1973 issue. Ludington is described as an "internationally known collector and arbiter of taste." I probably first became aware of Ludington and his collection when I visited, many years ago, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, to which he bequeathed many magnificent works of modern and ancient art. Those works of art are shown in the photographs of Ludington's villa, including paintings by Picasso, Braque, Redon, Roualt, ancient Roman, Mexican and Egyptian sculpture and 18th century European furniture. Ludington collaborated on the design of the house with architect Lutah Riggs and interior designer Leonard Stanley. I aspire to Ludington's level of connoisseurship.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Found on a recent expedition: Softly, a "mood album" of musical recordings promoting sedative Placidyl (ethchlorovynol) still wrapped in its original plastic. "Placidyl . . .and softly gentle slumber comes. Rest assured." Songs selected by Jackie Gleason: "This new album for Abbott Laboratories brings us more of the now-famous Gleason sound. . . here is surely the best that good listening music has to offer. So if you prefer music for quiet reminiscing or just plain relaxing, sit back and enjoy yourself. Then you'll know . . . HOW SWEET IT IS."

Sunday, July 4, 2010


The photos below are not from the Metropolitan Museum in New York. I took these pictures at the Metropolitan Museum of Riverside California on my recent visit there (well, it wasn't so recent but, like tens of thousands of other bloggers, I'm way behind on my posts). The museum has an interesting exhibition on "Adornment" (on view until February 2011) which includes a charmingly surrealistic section on historic hairstyles, executed by the students at the Riverside Community College, Department of Cosmetology. It really was an extremely thoughtful exhibition and the research and execution undertaken by the cosmetology students warms my mind.