Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


For Emma Rae (Sort of)

[1920s full articulated French painter's dummy from l Segno Del Tempo Srl.]

 [Clockwise from the left: Selected Letters of Anna Heyward Taylor: South Carolina Artist and World Traveler; circa 1920s Peal & Co of London equestrian trunk from Essex Antiquarians; New Orleans potter Mark Derby's Victorian tile-inspired tray from the Ogden Museum's Center for Southern Craft and Design.]

[Bedside decanter set from High Street Market.]

[1960s indigo-dyed embroidered African boslter from Nickey Kehoe.]

[FEED Projects natural burlap stocking.]

[Lori Vrba Braids 2010, selenium and sepia toned silver gelatin print - 16x16 print is an edition of 20 and starts at $700 unframed. Posted with permission from Jennifer Schwartz Gallery.]

 [Books at top from the Ogden, Who Shot Rock & Roll is from the Birmingham Museum of Art or Knopf and my Gili review was posted in October.]

It's a little early for year-end reviews but I've pulled some favorite pieces from past posts and combined them with new items for the fictional Emma Rae King (backstory here). The mix could be interpreted as a fanciful gift guide or a list of things to outfit a showhouse inspired by her rustic cabin.

Like I said the other day, her home has a very tied-to-the-land, traditional feel and the only nods to her independent streak are the photography and accessories. Set decorator Roberta Holinko deftly avoided equestrian cliches and theme design. So, I've probably crossed the line with a couple of choices but nonetheless wanted to include them. For example, the 1920s horse -- an artist's mannequin from l Segno Del Tempo Srl. Newer, less precious versions can still be found at art supply stores. I saw a terrific articulated dog the other day at Sam Flax. And Binders usually has these too. ( Deborah Needleman does say that a well chosen inanimate pet in the house is a great jollifier!) 

Lori Vrba's work came back to me because a new exhibition of her photography, Southern Comfort,  opens this Friday, December 2 at Jennifer Schwartz Gallery in Atlanta. Similarly, the Southern pottery shown above relates to a special December 2 Ogden Museum shopping event open to both members and the public: The Art of Giving. New Orleans ceramicist Mark Derby, represented in the Ogden's Center for Southern Craft, caught my attention because he is influenced by Victorian tiles and historic Studio Art potteries.

Nickey Kehoe's vintage African pillow would fit well on Emma Rae's cozy sofa, and FEED's natural burlap stocking is double goodness: it happens to suit the cabin's aesthetic perfectly but more importantly the $20 purchase provides a child with half a year's worth of micronutrients through the FEED Foundation's Nutrients Fund. I'd tuck in tickets to an out of town concert as well as Breaking Down Barriers: 300 Years of Women in Art (again, included artists are abstract expressionist Corrie Parker McCallum, photographer Margaret Bourke-White, MacArthur Fellow and fiber artist Mary Jackson, and adventurous printmaker Anna Heyward Taylor) and Global Patterns.

With the exception of this title, the books and other items kind of speak for themselves. However, if you're not familiar with Eudora Welty's photography, click here to learn more.

I am not affiliated with or sponsored by the galleries/museums, shops, publishers, authors, or artists included in this post.


Sally King Benedict Alert

  [White Hatch, 2010, mixed media on paper, SOLD ©Sally Benedict.]

Shifting from the fictional Grace King Bichon to the very real, Charleston-based artist Sally King Benedict, here's a quick update: one of Sally's works will be included in the upcoming special preview installation of Spotlight on Art at Saks, Atlanta, starting Thursday, December 1. 

[Ghost Ranch, 2010, ink on paper, SOLD ©Sally Benedict.]

Pictured here are past examples (sold pieces actually) of her work. You'll have to stop by Phipps (main level, Saks' interior mall women's shoes entrance) to see what is in the installation. Look for paintings, pottery, and ornaments from thirty other artists on view, too, through January 31, 2012. I'll be on the scene to survey it all, so please stay tuned. The big event -- the 31st Annual Artists Market -- takes place in February at Trinity School. (Did you know Radcliffe Bailey was a past participant?)

Also, a reminder: Hope for the Holidays opens at The Art House this weekend. Beneficiaries include CHRIS Kids and four other organizations that serve children. Click here for links to all.


Something to Talk About

 [All screengrabs from 1995's Something to Talk About written by Callie Khouri; set decoration by Roberta J. Holinko and production design by Mel Bourne. Pictured above, Kyra Sedgwick.]

Maybe you'd like a little break from anything remotely related to food preparation and family meals, but I have a few tidbits worth sharing. 

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I found myself glimpsing at Callie Khouri's mid-90s Something to Talk About as it played in the background.

While her earlier picture is my personal favorite, StTA was filmed in familiar territory -- the South Carolina and Georgia lowcountry -- and the production design conveys a really strong, authentic sense of place.

In parts of the blogosphere we've been keeping an unofficial, ever-expanding tally of iconic chinoiserie wallpaper spotted in film and throughout history.  Today, I add to the list the fictional King family dining room paper. It only appears on screen for a couple of minutes but is nonetheless memorable. We're given the sense that the classic dining room has been decorated this way for decades, if not centuries.   
For me, what feels authentically Southern is how the family is using the room in the middle of the day for a casual lunch. And I like how the bare windows and slightly rumpled rug counterbalance the lush, feminine wallpaper.

[Photo my own.]

Of course, about ten years after the movie was in theaters we saw this traditional 18th-century-inspired paper explode on the contemporary design scene, in all sorts of incarnations. (Emile de Bruijn offers a terrific look at Fromental's current mix of tradition and modernity within the realm of Chinese wallpaper.)

Another memorable dwelling in StTA is Kyra Sedgwick's chacter, Emma Rae's, rustic cabin.

Movie stills don't capture the essence of this place. The idea is that Emma Rae has commandeered an outbuilding on her parent's farm. She has hung some contemporary photography and has a few graphic textiles thrown here and there, but the integrity of the old structure -- rough walls included -- remains intact. Interesting to look at now that rustic style is back, following on the heels of the ultra glam years. When I see Emma Rae's walls, I'm reminded of Angie Hranowsky's Enoteca

These hand-block-printed kitchen towels -- some new patterns, some old favorites -- from Pacific & Rose would probably appeal to Emma Rae. (I'm slipping them in as a very budget-friendly holiday gift idea.)

And if you've seen the movie, you know that cookbooks and recipes are part of the story. Chef Sonya Jones, the Edna Lewis-trained author of Sweet Auburn Desserts and founder of Atlanta's Sweet Auburn Bread Company, will be at the independent Eagle Eye Book Shop on Saturday, December 10 at 2:30 p.m.


Beckoning Doors and Windows

[Unless otherwise noted, photos snapped by a seven-year-old and tweaked by me.]

I don't need special incentives to visit my local shops and eateries.

[Sparkle and turquoise doors at 310 Rosemont boutique on North Highland Ave. in Atlanta.]

The painted doors and creative window displays always lure me in, especially this time of year.

[Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Co.]

Many of these places are stocked with big-city-league goods and fare but the vibe is small -- in the best sense of the word.

[Below, sign-maker Doris Lindholm working on a job for Stockholm's Nordiska Kompaniet. Midcentury photo from the store's archives as seen in The World of Department Stores,Vendome Press 2011.]

Of course, I can still appreciate the grandeur of an old school (or new school) department store. That's why I'll be reading Jan Whitaker's well-illustrated survey, The World of Department Stores, over the holiday weekend. We'll delve into it during the next few weeks.

[Nathan, age seven, Swirls 2011, Archival Pigment Print, 8.5″ x 11″ unframed. Edition of 5. Pablove Shutterbugs.]

In terms of online shopping, Pablove Shutterbugs -- a very creative group of pediatric cancer patients mentioned here throughout the year -- will be selling limited edition photography prints this Friday. And BTW, if you're a photographer interested in mentoring new students in 2012 (or know a child aged seven to twelve, living with cancer, who is curious about the eight-week course), click here.


Combo Packs: Navajo

 [Photo my own]

The graphic Navajo-inspired Beacon print literally blankets Ralph Lauren's 2011 Atlanta holiday window. Watching the stylists at work, I couldn't help thinking of a few more seasonal gift pairings.

All of the textile books pictured above are from the Heard Museum. One little edition, A Guide to Navajo Rugs, is priced just under $6 so it would be a terrific stocking stuffer or pair nicely with a tribal patterned scarf or bag. It's essentially a primer that covers the major Navajo weavings with color illustrations of each style plus a handy glossary.

The other titles range between $25 and $35. Three bundled together would make a special "curated" present for a textile enthusiast, but obviously a single copy would also be great on its own.

Clockwise from the top left:

Spider Woman's Gift

Woven by the Grandmothers

Navajo Saddle Blankets

Navajo Weaving Tradition

A Guide to Navajo Rugs


Picasso and Pendleton

[Image via Pendleton]

Shifting from English Dandies (see the V & A's Head of Research, Christopher Breward, midway through a video here) to Picasso wearing Pendleton, I came across this picture recently posted by the century-old American wool company. The riot of found objects and African sculpture in the background is very familiar but the artist's plaid shirt is less expected than his signature stripes. I love it, though. In fact, in December I'll probably be asking Santa for something by Pendleton, The Portland Collection, that new much-buzzed about label offering contemporary made-in-the-U.S. goods inspired by pieces from the woolen mills archives.

You've seen the wares all around this fall. Some favorite Pendleton pics, clockwise from the top left: 2009 centennial celebration ad by Bob Smith featuring the National Parks Blankets; virgin wool and cotton jacquard blanket currently at Atlanta's Lenox Square Anthro; Canyon De Chelly scarf and Sullana mini dress based on Pendleton's iconic Harding pattern, also from Anthro; the Pendleton Sunset Stripe Blanket is an Urban Outfitters exclusive favored by Betsy Burnham.

But back to Picasso, 2011 has been a great year to see the artist's major works in the Southeast with Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris on view at the VMFA this past spring, Modern Masters from the Ferguson Collection shown at the Gibbes over the summer, and now Picasso to Warhol at the High through April 29, 2012. For related art books under $20, check out the VMFA gift shop -- the softcover Picasso exhibition catalogue is on sale -- and this title at the High.

Related past posts: Oprah, Ralph, and Some Stripes (Navajo Blankets) and A Self-Portrait.

Update 8:04 p.m.
Scout Books has a bit of background on the 40s-inspired Pendleton poster. And the company recommends books on trade blankets here.


The Gift of Beauty

[Grainy photo mine; Vogue is open to Whistler's Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl ; peacock paper via Paper Source.]

Last week I announced that another V & A organized exhibition is coming to San Francisco: The Cult of Beauty: The Victorian Avant-Garde, 1860–1900 will be on view at the Legion of Honor beginning February 18, 2012. And today, when I opened the December Vogue, I spied an Aesthetic-inspired spread with Hamish Bowles's commentary on the 19th-century artistic movement. So, predictably I'm afraid, here are my three related gift suggestions.

Ultimate: Tuck two tickets to San Francisco along with Museum passes inside Bowles's Vogue story. Wrap with symbolic peacock paper. (Well over a century ago, the stylized feather became an emblem of Aestheticism. As the V & A points out, because of Liberty's strong ties to the Aesthetic Movement, most of us today associate peacock feathers with Arthur Silver's iconic fabric for the London store but to early Victorians the motif screamed Aestheticism.)

Very Nice: Bundle the December Vogue with a copy of the exhibition catalogue.

Budget-Friendly, Fun, and Inspired: The December Vogue with an iTunes gift card for the The Cult of Beauty App for iPad. I bought it. Totally worth the $3.99. For me, highlights include: a video with curator Stephen Calloway and Financial Times style editor Damian Foxe supervising a fashion shoot in the Morris Room; the Exhibition Audioguide narrated by Rupert Everett; and the Audiographs of three pivotal Aesthetic Women -- model Jane Morris, poet Elizabeth Siddal, and actress Ellen Terry.

Hopefully many of the V & A's Aesthetic-inspired gift shop wares, like the feathers portfolio or sketch pen with designs adapted from Aubrey Beardsley drawings, will be available at the Legion of Honor winter 2012.


Giving Again

 [Photo my own]

I'm kind of jazzed because the snowy white camellias on my patio are actually blooming. 
[Tarlow vase images via LACMA]

At eight-inches tall, Rose Tarlow's ivory ceramic vase with crackle finish would mostly likely work with a longer branch -- not a single camellia stem -- but I wanted to highlight it today since it's such a great museum gift shop find.

In conjunction with the award she was given by LACMA's Decorative Arts and Design Council (DADC), Tarlow created this classic little vessel; only 350 will be made and a portion of its proceeds will be donated by Tarlow's Melrose House to the DADC. (Last year, Tarlow was recognized by DADC for her accomplishments as a designer, educator, fine furnishings maker and author.) It costs just under $90.

And more gift ideas: if you find yourself in Atlanta the first weekend in December, check out Hope for the Holidays at The Art House. Proceeds from sales of ceramics, glass, fine art and other works by more than 100 Georgia artists will benefit five non-profits that serve abused, neglected and homeless children: The Atlanta Mission, Children's Restoration Network, CHRIS Kids, Jerusalem House, and Sheltering Arms Early Education & Family Centers.



[Detail, Trade Textile (Tapih Sarasa), 1750-1800, Mordant- and wax resist-dyed cotton, Costume Council Fund (AC1996.60.1) LACMA's Costume and Textiles Department. Although not currently on view, this textile is included in Fabric of Enchantment: Batik from the North Coast of Java. LACMA and Weatherhill, Inc. 1996]

For the batik lover, I've pulled two books from past posts and one new addition from my personal wishlist.

A luxe present would be all three:

LACMA's Fabric of Enchantment: Batik from the North Coast of Java;

Sari to Sarong: 500 years of Indian and Indonesian textile exchange (in paperback here)

and Batik: 75 Selected Masterpieces

An alternative could be one book plus a date to visit a museum with a strong costume and textiles department, like LACMA, the Mint, the de Young, or of course the V & A.

[Paper images via the V & A]

Moving from women’s hip wrappers (another description for sarong seen throughout these books) to holiday wrap, the V & A is offering this terrific double-sided Snow and Stripe paper based in part on a furnishing fabric in the Museum's collection -- the 1938 hand block-printed linen, Pointed Pip, by British designer Phyllis Barron. Rhythmic geometrics are typical of her work, and considering her interest in craft (in fact, Barron designed paper too), I think this is one of the most inspired Museum gift shop wares I've seen in a while.

The V & A also sells linen ribbon.

2011 Pairings Continued

[Photo of vines on the High my own. Book image via MoMA.]

Thanks to the recent acquisition of 56 Kiki Smith prints, the High is now a major holder of her work. Smith will visit the Museum on Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 7 p.m. for a conversation about her techniques and the extensive range of imagery incorporated into her pieces. She'll be joined by Robert Brown, Printmaking Chair, SCAD Atlanta, along with the High's Director of Collections and Exhibitions, David Brenneman (always a terrific speaker) and Michael Rooks, the High's Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. Tickets are $15 for non-members and $5 for students with ID.

I was thinking that a couple of tickets paired with a past exhibition catalog would be a great holiday present for a Smith fan. BTW, the High's acquisition is currently on view in Kiki Smith: Rituals, continuing through January 22, 2012.

[Image top left: Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1944, Henri Matisse, Vence, France

Rosamond Bernier's new book, Some of My Lives: A Scrapbook Memoir, turned out to be one of my favorite 2011 reads.  It's brisk, funny, informative, and even a bit inspirational. Because of Bernier's close ties to all the 20th century art world giants, her collection of essays would also pair well with tickets to the High, specifically the exhibition Picasso to Warhol. Alternate pairings include anything Matisse or Picasso related -- maybe a DVD of one of her Met lectures. In the past, we've gone over two classic titles filled with photos of the artists at home: David Douglas Duncan's Goodbye Picasso and Matisse, His Art and His Textiles: The Fabric of Dreams. But there's also Picasso: The Mediterranean Years 1945-1962, from Gagosian's 2010 show.


Something About Mary

[Above, Mary Delany's Christmas Rose reproduced as a holiday card by the British Museum. Below, her Holly with Berries. Both are boxed together. Message inside reads 'Season's Greetings'.]

These cards should have been included in one of the previous two posts.  

Talk about second acts. At age 72, the fashionable and terribly creative 18th-century craftswoman, Mary Delany, delved into hand-cut botanical collages (she called them “paper mosaics”), ultimately completing about 1,000 works. The Yale Center for British Art describes these pieces as "the crowning achievement of her rich creative life." And across the pond, the British Museum has reproduced a couple of them as holiday cards. 

[MFA boxed cards, reproduction of 1967 (Rothko Number 1268.67), 1967 Mark Rothko (1903-1970).
Acrylic on paper mounted on hardboard panel,  Gift of the Mark Rothko foundation 1986.43.260

If you're on the lookout for something less feminine or more 20th-century, the MFA, Boston, sells a number of holiday cards based on masterworks. Many have a simple, universal seasonal greeting inside but the Rothko above is sans message.