This essay about a legendary safari tracker is included in my new book The Modern Salonnière, which is available on Amazon. The 34 other essays…View More The Camera Becomes King on Safari
Documentaries are great sources for inspiration and I avidly watch for new ones to debut so I can use them in my diary entries.
Case in point was my excitement when Bill Cunningham New York finally came out. It was such a heartfelt look at the man on the bicycle wheeling around town photographing fashion on the street like it had never been done before. “The best fashion show is on the street,” he declared. “Always has been; always will be!” As he combed Manhattan’s sidewalks to tease out trends, it impressed me immensely that he never bought into the material world, even as he lived to capture its spirit.
And though it would appear there were two versions of the photographer—the one in his duct-taped poncho on the street and the dapperly dressed gentleman at black-tie fund-raisers—he was genuinely no different regardless of the garb. I watched the documentary for a second time the night before I went to see an exhibition of his photographs at the New York Historical Society Museum and Library because his spirit and authenticity that shone through in the film made the photographs feel so much more alive.
As I walked through the rooms holding his images, I heard the emotion in his voice during his acceptance speech for the National Order of the Legion of Honour of France: “It’s not work, it’s pleasure. It’s as true today as it’s ever been—he who seeks beauty will find it.” I have featured a number of documentaries on the blog so click on over if you’d like to experience more!
Vigée Le Brun’s Passion for Painting
A Passion for Painting Billowing ruched fabric, pointy toes of dainty shoes visible from beneath flounced skirts hemmed in gold fringes and ornate trims. A bejeweled…View More Vigée Le Brun’s Passion for Painting
This Side of Paradise
I looked forward to meeting Michael Berman during the Spring 2016 High Point Market when he was there to debut his Califolio collection for Theodore…View More This Side of Paradise
Peggy Guggenheim Visits Oculus Gallery
In 2009, I trekked to Venice with my dear friend JoAnn Locktov, the founder of Bella Figura Publications whose newest book Dream of Venice Architecture…View More Peggy Guggenheim Visits Oculus Gallery
Celebrating Shakespeare The 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death is April 23rd, the date he passed in 1616 at the age of 52 believed to…View More Celebrating Shakespeare
Furnishing Pastimes of Henry VIII
As I mentioned in my last Improvateur article presenting a brief history of Hampton Court Palace, I launched into a furnishings fantasy when I heard…View More Furnishing Pastimes of Henry VIII
Decorating Hampton Court Palace
The premise of this article and the next one I’ll post here on The Diary of an Improvateur (next week) began with a rather capricious question:…View More Decorating Hampton Court Palace
The Tides In Our Veins
The Tides in Our Veins One of the most evocative trips I can remember taking as a young woman was a four-day escapade to Carmel,…View More The Tides In Our Veins
Insiders in Outsider Art
There’s a backbone of stubbornness running through the south. It skirts along the undulant edges of Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains toward the foothills of the Cumberland…View More Insiders in Outsider Art
He Who Seeks Beauty
He Who Seeks Beauty In the documentary Bill Cunningham New York, a passionate observer is shown to viewers as the film crew trails him, sometimes…View More He Who Seeks Beauty