Style Court

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


Around the World and Back

[My screengrabs are from the Fuller + Roberts video about Burnham Design's window installation.]

Today's brief post involves two beach-gravitating blondes with discerning tastes: Doris Duke and Betsy Burnham.

Honolulu, Hawaii was the home-base Duke ultimately chose for herself, but she enjoyed life-long wanderlust and never stayed put for long. A new exhibition, Passport to the World: Doris Duke the International Traveler, on view now at Rough Point, the Duke family's Newport, Rhode Island house, explores the countries she traveled to with special emphasis on what she brought back -- the art, decorative objects, handmade crafts, and clothes she purchased trekking across the globe.

Whether found near or far, Betsy Burnham appreciates diverse styles, too. When asked to participate in this week's much buzzed about Legends of La Cienega 2012: Windows to the World event (taking place May 9-11), she turned her focus to the U.S. Although interior designer Burnham is based in L.A., she travels back with her family each year to the East Coast, specifically to Quogue, N. Y. (the un-fussy Hampton, as she calls it). In this terrific time-lapse video, she explains how some fabulous 1920s wicker chairs jump-started her Old School, Americana-infused installation at Fuller + Roberts. Look out for details including graphic color on the floor and in an abstract painting on one side wall. 


Emile de Bruijn said...

I wonder whether there was any conscious irony in calling the - no doubt rather luxurious - Duke mansion 'Rough Point'? Presumably they used the traditional name of that part of the coast, but still. There seems to be a bit of sophisticated rusticity - or American wabi, perhaps - at work there :)

Style Court said...

Emile -- I love that thought. The idea of American wabi. I'm guessing it does have to do with the very rocky coast, but still, as you say, the contrast happens to sort of fit with Doris Duke's eclectic taste, as she evolved. I need to fact check and see if her father named the place or if "Rough Point" pre-dates him.

Style Court said...

Update -- Rough Point was originally built for Frederick Vanderbilt in the 19th century. It was then the grandest house Newport had seen -- English manor-inspired.

Style Court said...

And I came across this from landscape historian Lucinda Brockway on Rough Point's webpage about the Olmstead-designed gardens:

"...the property remains an attractive mixture of luxury and 'rustic simplicity,' honoring the natural features of the site and acting as a strong counterpoint to the ostentatious formality of Bellevue Avenue’s other summer chateaux and palaces.”

Emile de Bruijn said...

Definitely American wabi, then :)