Marble muscles ripple—the stone carver’s feat charismatic in its unselfconsciousness. Crystals dangle, their effervescence gleaming for centuries as blown baubles from the past. Mother-of-pearl inlay…View More Ateliers of Europe
I simply cannot imagine my life without books! The fact I was accused of always having “my nose in a book” as a child was a sign of things to come for sure.
The claim is still true and I am thrilled I’ve created a platform for myself that allows me to use books as windows into time and on the world. I never know when a title is going to jump out at me, and it’s not simply literary titles. I get just as excited over big, beautiful design books that capture my aesthetic imagination, as the ones that did in my diary entry Narratives that Illuminate Design.
It was the fact that Antony Clayton did such a bang-up job of presenting the gestalt of fin-de-siècle London in his book Decadent London that inspired me to build a post around it. I’ve long held a fascination for Aubrey Beardsley, whose comment to Ezra Pound, Beauty is Difficult, sent me on an aesthetical whirlwind of a study at New York University when I was attending graduate school there.
Design writer Carmen Natschke inspired a great post in which I presented her summer reading list. It’s one for the ages, especially given she keeps herself on a stringent learning curve that has her reading constantly. I read a great deal and there is no way I can keep up! In my diary entry The Difficult of Writing Well, I share a bit of dissing that went on between Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein that gave me jaw-dropping pause. I knew the two could get sideways but the snark I discovered while going through Edmund Wilson’s papers at Beinecke made me laugh aloud!
With watercolors, brushes, ink pens, and paper in hand, Dominique Mathez walked the boulevards of her home town, documenting the architectural details that make the…View More Parisian Flourishes
On the Menu at La Fortezza
In the recently released book At the Table of La Fortezza: The Enchantment of Tuscan Cooking from the Lunigiana Region, published by Rizzoli, author and Atlanta-based…View More On the Menu at La Fortezza
French Chateau Style
Catherine Scotto’s journey to discover the owners of French châteaux listed as heritage sites in locales throughout the country can be described as nothing less…View More French Chateau Style
Presidential Residences in France
Anyone who follows me here knows that an addiction to large, gorgeous coffee table books is alive and well, and I have a new favorite…View More Presidential Residences in France
The Hotel de la Marine Restored
In his foreword to The French Royal Wardrobe: The Hotel de la Marine Restored, Philippe Bélaval, the President of the Centre des Monuments Nationaux, illustrates how painstaking…View More The Hotel de la Marine Restored
Seasons at Highclere
Movie sets that have inflamed the imagination with fairy-tale encounters taking place during the great eras in which luxury ruled are plentiful. But most of…View More Seasons at Highclere
An Invitation to Vaux-le-Vicomte
In 1641, the 26-year old parliamentarian Nicolas Fouquet, who was then the Master of Requests at the Parlement of Paris, acquired the viscounty of Vaux…View More An Invitation to Vaux-le-Vicomte
Treasures According to Petrarch
This essay defining what Petrarch saw as treasures is included in my most recent book The Modern Salonnière. The 34 other essays in the book feature…View More Treasures According to Petrarch
I’ve had a long and passionate love affair with bookstores since I can remember. Some of my finest hours have been spent perusing shelves to…View More Bookstores