The lobby area of The Chatwal

The Old Familiar Faces

…I have been laughing, I have been carousing, Drinking late, sitting late, with my bosom cronies, All, all are gone, the old familiar faces… These three lines of verse illustrating Charles Lamb’s feelings of loss for the pals who brought intellectual stimulation into his life couldn’t be more meaningful to kick off this #DesignSalon post. […]

Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen smoking cigarettes at Cranbrook.

The End of an Era

Now I am quietly waiting for the catastrophe of my personality to seem beautiful again, and interesting, and modern. A voiceover of Don Draper reciting the lines leading this post while thumbing through a copy of Frank O’Hara’s Meditations in an Emergency bring one of my favorite episodes of Mad Men to a close. He’s […]

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 the […]

Beautiful hand-painted majolica plate

Poetry and Ceramics in Savona

The 16th-century poetry that sprung from Savona made a strong impression on Thomas William Parsons when he found verses inscribed on a statue of the Madonna near the town’s lighthouse during a tour of Italy in the 19th century. He was so moved, the American poet penned the sonnet “Savona: Vespers on the Shore of the Mediterranean” that […]

Rolf Sachs Camera in Motion on Saxon Henry's blog

A Definition of Fleeting

“O nature, merciful and cruel mother, when do you have such power and such contrary wills, to make and unmake things so charming?” —Petrarch Petrarch, one of the best-known Italian poets of the Renaissance, built a legacy around the ephemeral emotion of grief. He once lamented that everything pleasing in the world was to him […]

Madame Cezanne with Hotensias is a study by Paul Cezanne

Mme Cezanne at the Met

“For nearly seventeen years, Cézanne would conceal his affair with Hortense from his father…” —Philippe Cézanne As I studied the sketches and paintings in the Madame Cézanne exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I was compelled to ask the sullen woman peering back at me, “What would it mean to live with you hovering […]

The Delano Desk by Currey and Co

Rooms of Their Own

A private place in which to write… As someone whose life is spent working with words for at least a part of every day, I find myself obsessively scouring the biographies I read for mentions of the rooms in which lauded writers made their magic. Descriptions of them exist more often than visuals do so I […]