Wednesday, October 31, 2012

From the Getty to Venice in a single turn: Giberto Arrivabene's newest glassware

Sometimes discoveries don't come from a museum's art galleries, but from its library. While visiting the Getty last week, I stopped into the GRI to see a friend and read through a few of my favorite art and design magazines. Flipping through Ville Giardini (it was a fast flip, I don't know more than a few words of Italian), I stumbled upon the most glorious etched glassware by Venetian artist Giberto Arrivabene Valenti Gonzaga.

The magazine photographed the glasses on the balcony of the main salon at the Palazzo Papadopolithe family home where Giberto spent much of his childhood, and now a hoteloverlooking Venice's Grand Canal. The etched designs are taken from six of the most decorative palazzo facades in the city: Grimani, Ariani, Ducale, Spinelli, Ca' d'Oro, and, quite sweetly, Papadopoli. The glasses can be purchased individually or as a set of six (one of each design, as below), and are available in either a clear crystal or a darker "antiqued" crystal.

Think a little Carpano sipped from one of these would vastly improve my Italian?

The Ca' d'Oro glass, and a detail of its pretty design.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"To be happy at home...

is the ultimate result of all ambition, the end to which every enterprise and labour tends, and of which every desire prompts the prosecution." 

Samuel Johnson, The Rambler (No. 68), November 10, 1750

Sunday, October 21, 2012

T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, my hero

This could very well be my new all-time favorite image of Palm Springs: the Thomas Davis residence, 1957.

Architect: Eggers and Wilkman
Interior Designer: T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings
Landscape Architect: C. Jacques Hahn

Color me happy: Gräf & Lantz's Bierfilzl coasters

For nearly two years we have searched for attractive and absorbent coasters. Hallelujah, we found them yesterday!

We were in downtown Los Angeles strolling through the Chinatown art galleries, when we decided to pop into 5th Floor... I admit, largely because there was an irresistible Beagle-mix (?) pooch sitting in the doorway.

The shop has all sorts of fun home objects, but spying the wool-felt coasters made us lose track of everything else. They're made by the Hollywood-based firm Gräf & Lantz, and come in a fun array of brights and neutralswe opted for the later, in ash brown. 

Felt coasters have been in use in German pubs since the 19th century. They absorb the condensation, protect the table and serve as a handy glass cover, lest any critters from the beer garden should fall in while you've stepped away. It's genius; felt is durable and natural. For more info on the coasters, click here

The coasters are as suited to frosty mimosas as they are to hot coffeethey either absorb the water or disperse the heat. (That's Norah, below.)

And, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention that Olivia, the sweetie that lured us into the shop, spent the rest of our visit lounging happily on her Shaggy Shank. Yes, Shaggy Shank. How cute is that!?! A steak of one's own, made of chenille, faux fur and corduroy. Learn more about the clever design by Andrew Armstrong, here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Palm Springs Art Museum's beautiful addition to Palm Desert

Last month I visited the new outpost of the Palm Springs Art Museum, the former Palm Desert Visitor Center now completely revamped, modernized and LEED-certified. This branch of the museum, officially called the Palm Springs Art Museum in Palm Desert, is still taking shape, particularly when it comes to the garden behind the building. Summer's simply too hot to try and wrangle large outdoor sculpture, but there were markers in place for what's planned. (Can't wait to return!) The outdoor space is named for the late landscape designer and horticulturalist, Eric Johnson, who was well-known throughout the Coachella Valley. The garden features waterfalls, palms, cactus-dotted dunes, and a pathway inlaid with glass tiles, evocative of a gentle stream. The entire setting is lovely. It's a fantastic way to spend a few hours.

Because it was vacation, I didn't follow my normal routine of shooting the gallery labels; I was just lazily exploring the space and playing with a new camera phone. So, no object info. But, you can read more/see more on the exhibition, Rodin to Now: Modern Sculpture, by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fall's bounty: new designs at Room & Board

Room & Board in Culver City's Helms Bakery District

Last week I had the good fortune to preview Room & Board's newest accessories, and got to see an old friend unexpectedly, to boot. It was a hashtag-happy kind of day.

Now, I've blogged about Room & Board before (to read the post, click here), so it's no secret that I'm a huge fan. It's a smart business, and offers intelligent, well-made and affordable pieces. We actually just bought the Reese sofa (no, I don't get blogger perks; we paid full price) and are beyond thrilled. Plus, the delivery guys were awesomecareful and polite. Cute, too.

I digress.

This fall there's a wonderful assortment of new, or newly expanded lines, as well as an exciting partnership with The Shade Store for some seriously chic window treatments. The lowdown on the accessories:

Eva Zeisel prints are now being offered in a smaller and more intimately scaled size (I like thisit feels more appropriate to her work) and their range of her ceramic designs (lighting, pitchers, etc.) is expanding, too. All of this is in partnership with dynamic duo at KleinReid, who will be adding to the tabletop line in the months ahead. You can bet I'll head back for some of those.

Hennepin Made (another design duo) in Minneapolis is doing a beautiful range of hand-blown glass pieces (I was partial to the olive green vases) and will be expanding their lighting collection, as well.

There's a limited edition series of prints by New York-based photographer Roberta Allenimages of objects she's found on the beach. Allen's work is already in major collections (ahem, MoMA), so adding her to your collection now for just $499 might be a smart move. (It's worth noting that she approached Room & Board about this collaborationwalked in and suggested ityou've got to love an artist who is not only talented but fearless!)

There are new silk-screen prints that reference (for the most part) historical or retro images, cheerful limited-edition prints from Lotta Jansdotter that almost make me wish I were decorating a nursery, and... my most favorite of the new fall pieces: textile designer John Robshaw's works on paper. They're big. They're colorful. They're textural. I've been a fan of his fabrics for ages, so to see him translate his aesthetic into a different medium is exciting. The limited edition blockprints are done in India on handmade paper. I adore them... just wish my photographs did them justice! Will post one to give a sense of scale, and then a few details below. Gorgeous stuff.

Robshaw's Nurpur blockprint

From left to right: Una, Shimla, and Manali