Wright On The Inside


 Frank LLoyd Wright, Meyer May House, 1908, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Photo Courtesy of Steelcase,

Frank Lloyd Wright has long been renowned for his work in the decorative arts as well as in architecture. For Wright, the two were inseparable. Furniture, fabrics, tiles, glass and even tableware were all integral contributors to a building’s design. While the entire building as a work of art was a widely shared ideal among arts and crafts and modernist architects, few were as prolific as Wright in a spectrum of media or as enduring in their pursuit of innovation in the decorative arts. This was a commitment that would leave a lasting impact on the avant-garde in the decades following World War I as well. Grand Rapids, Michigan, one of the nation’s great centers for the design and production of furniture during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is a fitting location to gain fresh insight on Wright’s remarkable output in the decorative arts during this year’s conference, ‘Wright on the Inside’October 16-20, 2013. In addition to daily speaker presentations, the conference will feature tours of at least nine Wright structures, including the beautifully restored Meyer May House  in Grand Rapids.

For information on the conference, conservation endeavors and more, download the conference brochure and see the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation & Saving Wright.


In a phenomenal career lasting from 1887 to 1959 -seventy-two years- Frank Lloyd Wright completed some five hundred buildings as well as an equal number of unbuilt projects. His legacy includes world-famous designs from Fallingwater to the Guggenheim Museum plus hundreds of houses that grace the often-modest streets on which they stand. Presenting the best-loved interiors from all of Wright’s prodigious architectural achievements, 50 Favorite Rooms by Frank Lloyd Wright by Diane Maddex focuses on what he viewed as the most important: their rooms inside.

These spectacular rooms show Wright’s trademarks, the techniques he devised to revolutionize architecture. Here, in more than fifty dramatic color photographs, are buildings that grow naturally from their sites, that rely on natural materials used as nature intended, that feature open plans to increase their sense of spaciousness. Wright simplified room arrangements with built-in furniture and created furnishings totally in harmony with the architecture. He made the hearth the center of family life, integrated all ornament, and tied everything together with a powerful mastery of geometric forms. His instantly recognizable art glass windows and doors brought nature right inside.

Fashionable & Sustainable


Join like-minded individuals in New York City, for the 2nd Annual Sustainable Fashion, Health & Beauty Symposium at the Fashion Institute of Technology, July 10-12, 2013, to learn how designers and manufacturers are taking the idea of conscious design into account as they progress into sustainability and the challenges they all face on fashion’s newest frontier, as the fashion, beauty, and health industries strive to make a positive impact on people’s lifestyles, the environment, and the economy.

The event is a forward-thinking three-day symposium for sustainable designers, entrepreneurs, industry workers, and students, that includes 

workshops, demonstrations, panels, an eco-fashion show, and a sustainable fashion tour around Manhattan. Milan-based Giusy Bettoni, co-founder of C.L.A.S.S., an international eco-platform that promotes environmentally friendly products and Livia Firth’s -Creative Director of EcoAge, co-collaborator on the Green Carpet Challenge, will provide the keynote address entitled, “Welcome to the Third Dimension, Where Design and Innovation Meet Responsibility.”

Levi Lore

Birth of the Blue Jean, To celebrate the 140th anniversary of the iconic 501 jean, Levi Strauss & Co. have created a video which documents its story as a “beloved icon of culture and style around the world.” The short film uses original black-and-white photographs to highlight the major evolutions in the 501’s design since its inception in 1873, as well as showing its influence on culture throughout the decades. “From old to young and punk to prep, the 501® is one of the most democratic fashion items ever created, defined by the people who wear it.” A symbol of individuality and universality, the 501 jean is the ultimate expression of personal style, worn by the pioneers who shape our world, generation after generation. Levi Lore.

Ideal Book Shelf


Patti Smith’s Ideal Bookshelf featured in the My Ideal Bookshelf book, Jane Mount illustration, 2012.

Some believe that the books we choose to read, covet, and display, communicate quite a bit about who we are, and how we view ourselves. In the new book My Ideal Bookshelf, one hundred modern-day cultural figures, including writers Malcolm Gladwell, Jennifer Egan, David Sedaris, artists Oliver Jeffers and Marilyn Minter, musicians Patti Smith and Thurston Moore, chefs and food writers Alice Waters and Mark Bittman, and designers Pamela Love and Coralie Bickford-Smith, reveal the books that are most meaningful and influential for them -their ‘favorite favorites’ from the eclectic to the classic. The ones that resonate best with their interests, dreams, and ambitions in the world, and in some cases, have changed their lives from the ‘first read’ ever forward.


Original paintings by  Jane Mount -who began the Ideal Bookshelf project in 2007, showcase the selections, with colorful, artfully illustrated hand-lettered book spines and occasional objets d’art from the contributors’ personal bookshelves. The paintings are accompanied by first-person commentary drawn from interviews with editor Thessaly La Force (from the Paris Review), which touch on everything from the choice of books to becoming a writer to surprising sources of inspiration. Providing rare insight into the creative process and artistic development of some of today’s most intriguing and iconic creative writers, innovators, and visionaries.


James Franco’s Ideal Bookshelf featured in the My Ideal Bookshelf book, Jane Mount illustration, 2012.

Everything about this book is great -the lush, landscape format; the crisp, and generous white space; the thick, varnished pages; and of course the great illustrations and insightful commentary. A feast for the eyes, mind, heart, and soul. And just when you think it couldn’t get any better, the end pages feature a drawing of ten book spines, so that you can add your own Ideal Bookshelf. Love this. Mount does portraits on commission and will paint your books, or you can buy archival pigment prints of her work. What a great gift for the book-lover-avid-reader-aesthetic-savvy-bibliophile-with-great-taste. Visit the Ideal Bookshelf to get yourself/send out some Book Love!

Victorian Avant-Garde


Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Lady Lilith, Oil on canvas, 37 1/2 x 32 in, 1868, © Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington. Combining rebellion and revivalism, scientific precision and imaginative grandeur, the Pre-Raphaelites constitute Britain’s first modern art movement. The upcoming exhibition at the Tate Britain12 September, 2012 – 13 January, 2013, will bring together over 150 works in different media, including painting, sculpture, photography and the applied arts, revealing the Pre-Raphaelites to be advanced in their approach to every genre. And will highlight the ambition and broad scope of their revolutionary ideas about art, design and society. Led by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and William Morris, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB) rebelled against the art establishment of the mid-nineteenth century, taking inspiration from early Renaissance painting.

The exhibition will establish the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood as an early example of the avant-garde: painters who self-consciously overturned orthodoxy and established a new benchmark for modern painting and design. It will include many famous works, and will also re-introduce some rarely seen masterpieces. In contrast to previous Pre-Raphaelite surveys, this exhibition will juxtapose paintings with works in other media including the applied arts, showing the important role of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in the early development of the Arts and Crafts Movement and the socialist ideas of the poet, designer and theorist, William Morris. Bringing together furniture and objects designed by Morris‘s firm, of which many Pre-Raphaelite artists were part, it will show how Morris’s iconography for British socialism ultimately evolved out of Pre-Raphaelitism.

Silencio Paris

I have the feeling that I have coaxed out some of the atmosphere and the characters from my films, and even from my music. Silencio is something dear to me. I wanted to create an intimate space where all the arts could come together. There won’t be a Warhol-like guru, but it will be open to celebrated artists of all disciplines to come here to program or create what they want. ~David Lynch

David Keith Lynch

“I’m 65 years old. They say that when men go into their 50’s they dream of building gigantic towers to prove their virility. I have directed films, composed music, made all sorts of objects, works that had a beginning and an end. Now I want to make something solid. First, I started with painting. For the last three years I have been working in a lithographic studio in Montparnasse that Picasso and Miró used, drawing on the same stones where they painted. Then I started working on Silencio, which has taken the last two years. Looking at what we have done, I feel myself almost immortal.” -David Lynch

Okay, all of my Parisian (nightlife) dreams have come true. This week, director David Lynch, with owner Arnaud Frisch, the man behind popular Parisian nightclub the Social Club and music label Savoir Faire, opened the ‘Mulholland Drive’ themed haunt called “Silencio.” A 1920s-like Parisian salon, which includes a concert hall, restaurant, library, and cinema. All reserved for an exceedingly exclusive clientele composed of an international who’s who of artistic professionals. Only members will be allowed to attend nightly events such as movie premieres, concerts, and literary conferences before Club Silencio opens its doors at midnight to a non-member, but still very elite and carefully selected Parisian crowd.


Silencio, exterior, 2011, Paris, France


David Lynch, Mulholland Drive, 2001, Film Still

The hitherto fictional night-spot was the setting for a key scene in Lynch’s 2001 masterpiece Mulholland Drive, hailed by critics as one of Lynch’s finest films. Mulholland Drive charts the adventures of a young Hollywood starlet and an amnesiac femme fatale. Their journey leads them behind the red velvet drapes at ‘Club Silencio’, where they are assured that a multitude of mysteries -the significance of the blue key, the whereabouts of Aunt Ruth- will be explained. Silencio being a liminal, occult-charged zone wherein Naomi Watts and Laura Harring’s characters learn a little something about the art of illusion from a sinister, moustachioed compere, then experience emotional release witnessing Rebecca Del Rio’s breathtaking Spanish rendition of Roy Orbison’s “Crying”, before finding the blue key that will help unlock the secret of their confused identities -well, sort of.

Part old-school cabaret, part metaphysical threshold, Silencio is a truly memorable construct. And so is the real-world incarnation in Paris where everything from the toilet bowls -black on black- to the saltiness of the nuts on the bar have been decided on by the master. Personally sculpting the interior and designing the furniture to “induce and sustain a specific state of alertness and openness to the unknown.” The space also includes a ‘Buddhist cocktail bar’,’bijoux cinema’, ‘dream forest’, and a ‘golden tunnel of mini-mandalas’. Quite Lynchian.


Furniture designed by David Lynch in collaboration with designer Raphael Navot


Furniture designed by David Lynch in collaboration with designer Raphael Navot

Silencio, interior, 2011, Paris, France


Silencio, interior, 2011, Paris, France


David Lynch is the Renaissance male of complicated American filmmaking, a multi-faceted and enormously prolific creative powerhouse, an acclaimed and at large important writer/director as well as radio producer, professor of film, painter, photographer, cartoonist, composer, musician, and striking artisan -furniture designer and the like. Walking the tightrope between the mainstream and the fashionable with conspicuous skill, Lynch brings to the shade a curious, dim and unfortunate perspective of reality, a calamity world punctuated by defining moments of impassioned violence, obscure comedy, magnified realism, and bizarre beauty. More than any alternative arthouse filmmaker of his era, he has enjoyed substantial mass acceptance and has helped to redefine blurb tastes, honing a surrealistic culture so idealist and deeply personal that the word ‘Lynchian’ was coined simply to report it.