|[Archive photo via Callanwolde Fine Arts Center.]|
Rich, dark beams contrasted against pale cement stucco define Callanwolde, once a 27-acre 1920s Atlanta estate designed by architect Henry Hornbostel for Coca-Cola founder Asa Candler's eldest son, Howard. Solid and bold, aesthetically it veers toward the masculine.
|[The recently well-renovated 1920s pool house, now known as the Samuel Goldman Retreat, is one of my favorite places on the estate and may be rented for private parties. Image via Callanwolde.]|
Maximizing the graphic punch of Gothic-Tudor-inspired half-timbering, Hornbostel also brought a modernist sensibility to the expansive main house with large, spare, completely unornamented forms.
|[Detail of chinoiserie-paneled music room. Photo by Courtney Barnes.]|
So it's a surprise to find the pastel-hued music room with delicate inset hand-painted chinoiserie panels.
Typical of chinoiserie-themed decoration in the 20s through the 40s, the room is quintessentially feminine. Entering it right off the cove-ceilinged, stone-arched, very Gothic-Tudor front hall, you can get a terrific sense of the divergent styles that were simultaneously in vogue during the era.
|[View outside Music Room. Photo by Courtney Barnes.]|
|[Photo by Courtney Barnes]|
Visits to Callanwolde can be wonderfully low-key, by the way. Today the mansion, outbuildings and remaining 12 acres function as a non-profit community arts center, offering dance, music, ceramics, photography and literary classes for children and adults. Because of Callanwolde's public role, the estate is kept very accessible. Of course, it has evolved a great deal since Mrs. Howard Candler initially donated her home in 1959 (currently in the living is a barre for young ballerinas and the arcaded inner courtyard has been glassed in for special events). But the core architectural features -- massive stone fireplaces, elaborate tracery -- and gardens are there to be studied. You can pop in at your leisure, for free, on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or during the week from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
I'm still researching the use of chinoiserie in the music room, specifically the silk panels that would have been in place pre-restoration. For now, I wanted to put the house on your radar. Chinoiserie will be prevalent in Interwoven Globe and over at Treasure Hunt, Emile continues to discuss multi-layered Chinese wallpapers designed for export to the West. Check his blog for sneak peeks at the upcoming National Trust catalogue.