Style Court

Eight Years of Textiles, History, Art, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes

1.21.2011

The Heart of Her Home

[Henri Matisse’s large-scale ceramic La Gerbe (The Sheaf) (1953), installed in the Brody house. Photo is from the archives of Frances L. Brody. The piece is now part of LACMA's permanent collection.]

Thinking about collecting couples, like the Vogels, my mind wandered to Sidney and Frances Brody of L.A. Different in terms of means and lifestyle, both couples enjoyed remarkable journeys as part of the 20th Century art scene. In case you missed this in 2010, LACMA's senior curator and department head of Modern Art, Stephanie Barron, wrote a great blog post about the late Mrs. Brody's gift to the Museum -- Matisse's monumental La Gerbe Commissioned by the Brodys in the early 1950s for the large patio of their mid-century A. Quincy Jones-designed (and Billy Haines-decorated) house, the piece remained, according to Mrs. Brody, the heart of their home for more than 50 years.

[Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1944, Henri Matisse, Vence, France

There's a wonderful transcript of Mrs. Brody's detailed recollections of the entire process -- conceptualizing the commission, visiting the octogenarian artist in France, communicating the vision, working out the incredible logistics of shipping and installing the precious ceramic pieces -- made available by LACMA here.


For background on the Brody art collection, check out this Christie's video. Further details can be found here.

11 comments:

quintessence said...

I did not see Ms. Barron's post about the Brody gift. I will have to pop over there to check it out. How amazing that they were able to commission a piece from Matisse!

quintessence said...

OK - had to stop back after reading Barron's wonderful post - how amazing. Seeing the piece on the crane hovering over the trees reminded me of that scene in Fellini's Dolce Vita with the statue! Without the Italian crowds of course.

Style Court said...

Stacey -- I know! The whole thing is amazing. Glad you had a chance to check it out. I'm adding a link to a Christie's video about the Brody collection.

The Devoted Classicist said...

That courtyard is one of the most fabulous things I have ever seen!

Cyn said...

Frances Brody (nee Lasker) and my grandmother, Peggy Fulenwider (nee James), traveled the world together with her family when they were quite young. My grandmother, who passed away this past September at age 95, kept her travel journals from that trip. When we were cleaning out her house, we found a huge picture of this Matisse in the courtyard that Frances sent my grnadmother....So lovely.

I hope they having fun together in heaven....I miss them here!

Style Court said...

Cyn --

What a wonderful part of your family history. And what a treasure that picture -- and the journals --must be! So glad you shared.

Courtney

Style Court said...

The transcript of Mrs. Brody's memories -- her own words -- really is terrific. Apart from the rich story, her strength, vision and flair comes through well.

Jessica Turnbow said...

Matisse is such an inspiration!
Come visit my blog, I am doing a painting giveaway and would love to have you enter!
http://bonjourfrenchie.blogspot.com/

anita said...

Hi Jessica, i agree with you. inspiring me also

EFT Therapy said...

What a very fantastic art collection.

angie said...

So inspiring, talk about outdoor living. I absolutely love the Brody space with the Matisse installation.