Tomb of Heloise and Abelard 1814

Calamities of the Heart

  It’s winter and the Père Lachaise Cemetery is awash in grays. The sky, the bare limbs of the trees, the pavers and the stone cladding the tombs coalesce into one monochromatic composition as I climb the hill. I walk along a path made knotty by the roots of trees as they attempt to nudge […]

Michelangelo on the facade of National Arts Club

The Italian Reformation and Gifting

  Peering back into the mists of time to ascertain how relationships between men and women played out has its challenges, particularly when the era limited contact between the opposite sex of a certain rank such as during the Italian Reformation. Last week, I took readers on a literary design adventure that found the Renaissance master […]

Karman Deja Vu Nu

Date Night in Florence Italy

  What if the Renaissance master Michelangelo and the Marchesa di Pescara Vittoria Colonna suddenly found themselves revived and in modern day Florence? Though scholars are resolute that their relationship was platonic, that hasn’t stopped plenty of voyeurs from engaging in the art of innuendo that paints them as friends with benefits over the years. […]

DXV Design Panel detail by Justin Shaulis

A Room with a View x 2

  When I saw the expressive twin spaces Justin Shaulis created as one of American Standard’s 2015 DXV Design Panel participants, I knew I had to feature him for two reasons: the sensual storytelling he achieved within the spaces he designed and the novel he chose as his inspiration, A Room with a View by E.M. […]

Exterior Sculpture on the Duomo di Milano

Shelley in Italy

Soon after he embarked upon a four-year Wanderjahr through Italy with his beloved wife Mary—a trip that would turn out to be an end-of-life journey—the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley found himself in Milan. While there, he would make his way to the cathedral in the center of town to sit within its shadowy vaulted interior […]

Study for plate XIV of the Différents vues de Pesto

Love Among the Ruins

  How would it feel to spend your life so absorbed by crumbling architecture and disintegrating stone you could bring them vibrantly back to life with chalk and a pen? Giovanni Battista Piranesi knew, his talent for accuracy in imagining the details that flirted at the edge of the decaying world so astute he became […]

A rendering of Michele De Lucchi's La Passeggiata

Michele De Lucchi: A Conversation of Soul

  The Greek philosopher Plato likened thought to “a conversation of the soul with itself—a philosophical communication.” It isn’t unusual for me to attend thought-provoking events but the Salone del Mobile press conference on January 15th brought me a deeper experience than I would have expected thanks to the presentation Milanese architect Michele De Lucchi gave […]

Interior view of the Jewish Museum in Berlin by Libeskind.

The Age of Genius

  “Ordinary facts are arranged within time, strung along its length as on a thread,” writes Bruno Schulz in his short story The Age of Genius. “There they have their antecedents and their consequences, which crowd tightly together and press hard one upon the other without any pause. This has its importance for any narrative, […]

Roger Crowley Dream of Venice

Dream of Venice

  When JoAnn Locktov asked me to contribute a poem to the book she was planning to publish in collaboration with photographer Charles Christopher, I didn’t hesitate. When she gave me access to the photography so I could choose an image to use as my inspiration for the piece, which would be paired with the […]