Friday, April 30, 2010

trouvée: treasures

From a group of photographs I found last week at an antiques mall in Weimar, Texas (along with an 1830 Irish sterling silver serving spoon!). Ahhh...treasures. No inscription or date, but if a picture can be worth a thousand words, I certainly think this one is. {click to view larger}

Some things:

* Muybridge!
* a Louis Faurer film rediscovered
* a Jasper Conran book: Country
* and The Duel (looks interesting)

Happy weekend! Hurrah!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

at bayou bend

Sitting on a lush, green bend of the bayou in Houston is an extraordinary house and collection: Bayou Bend, once home to the inestimable Ima Hogg, whose collection of American furniture and decorative arts rivaled that of the Duponts. The Spanish Colonial revival mansion, oak trees, and verdant gardens seem right at home in Texas. But step inside and one feels transported back East ~ to old Boston, Newport, New York, and Philadelphia. The house showcases some of the best American craftsmanship from the 17th through the 19th century. You may see a few of the rooms here, but for a more in-depth study, there are two wonderful publications: America's Treasures at Bayou Bend (with gorgeous color illustrations), and American Decorative Arts and Paintings in the Bayou Bend Collection (a full scholarly catalogue of the collections).

(more photos on flickr in the Texas set)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

in san antonio

Along the riverwalk in San Antonio. So abundantly green ~ an urban oasis. Oh, and the McNay Art Museum is beautiful (its buildings, collections and people)!

I started a Texas set on flickr (with more to come!).

Monday, April 26, 2010

on the road again

"Goin' places that I've never been / Seein' things that I may never see again…" Down in Texas for a work trip, somewhere on the road between San Antonio and Houston with Willie Nelson running through my head.

The wildflowers are spectacular this year. Even the locals say they have never seen anything quite like it. The bluebonnets have mostly passed, but the fields are full of Indian blanket, primrose, poppy, and Texas paintbrush. It is the sort of scene that makes you want to weep it is so beautiful.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

historic house tour: bacon's castle

Set on a remote tract of land along the James River in Surry County, Virginia, is an extraordinary gem of colonial architecture ~ Bacon's Castle. A rare survivor. Built in 1665 by a wealthy landowner, Arthur Allen, it is the only extant brick Jacobean house in the United States. Featuring unique brickwork, three-part chimneys, and curvilinear gables, the exterior of the original house has changed little in almost 350 years. The most notable modifications include the replacement of the leaded glass windows and the relocation of the main entrance to a 19th-century addition. The first wooden addition was built around 1815, replaced in 1854 by the current brick version.

The name Bacon's Castle is one that emerged in the 19th century, in reference to the role the house played in the 1676 uprising lead by Nathaniel Bacon, known as Bacon's Rebellion. For many years, the house had been referred to simply as "Allen's Brick House" ~ likely a nod to its contemporary significance as a brick dwelling.

While the house has survived, its original furnishings have not ~ with the exception of a baby's cradle that has remarkably never left the house. The interior is now furnished with period pieces, based on Allen inventories from 1711 and 1755. The house retains the original hand-hewn beams, and some beautiful Georgian paneling installed in the early 18th century by Elizabeth Bray, the widow of Arthur Allen III.

For the garden enthusiasts, it should be noted that Allen's garden has been partially reconstructed based on archaeological investigations.

(more photos here)

Friday, April 16, 2010

trouvée: the daisy field

This photograph is one of several I purchased recently on eBay. Taken in the environs surrounding Bala Cynwyd and Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, the photograph came from a album once belonging to the family of the artist Grace Thorpe Gemberling Keast. Keast was born in Philadelphia in 1903, studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and exhibited in the Salons of America and Corcoran Biennials. (Stay tuned in the coming weeks for a few more from the Gemberling album!)

Lots to mention this week:

* the White House spring garden tours
* some notable Pulitzer Prize winners: Tinkers (fiction) and The First Tycoon (biography)
* and the Bibliography of the History of Art (now available free of charge via the Getty!)

I am headed out of town for a week, but have scheduled a few goodies for you in my absence.

Enjoy...and happy weekend!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

on crabapple hill

Last tuesday, the gentleman and I took a trip to Dumbarton Oaks ~ the wisteria was in full bloom and the scent of spring blossoms hung gently in the warm air. We sat under a canopy of crabapple trees, and watched as the evening sun began to cast long shadows.

"Will you marry me?" he asked.

Yes. Of course.

After a while (and a half bottle of pink Champagne), we looked at the garden map to orient ourselves: Crabapple Hill. Somehow that seemed perfect to us.

So, forgive me for being absent from here. I have been a bit distracted!

Monday, April 12, 2010

bits and pieces

I loved reading all of your Williamsburg memories! Thank you for sharing them. Sorry I have been absent lately...the past week has been a whirlwind! And there so much more to share from Virginia (and beyond). In the mean time:

* a Philip Johnson house is remade
* and I secretly adore the loser lettuces! (so glad to know that I am not the only one)

See you wednesday! xo

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

april in williamsburg

Red bud trees, blue skies, and soft breezes. I really think Virginia is at its best in the spring.

A Willamsburg set on flickr (with lots yet to come!).

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

trouvée: a boy and his bunnies

A recent eBay find (from Germany!). No inscription or date. The photographer obviously had an artistic eye ~ I love the dark rich tones of the cabbages and the bright white of the bunnies. {click to view larger}

Some spring things:

* a reason to go to Winterthur (as if you needed one)
* a interesting book: Mrs. Adams in Winter
* and zucchini blossoms (yum!)

Happy Easter...happy Passover! Happy SPRING!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

april food day 2010

Once again, Meg at Pigtown*Design and Chris at Easy & Elegant Life are hosting April Food Day, uniting bloggers in an effort to raise money for Feeding America, an organization dedicated to feeding those Americans who are struggling to feed themselves and their families. And now, more than ever, Americans are feeling the pinch. So, if you can, please help by donating to Feeding America (here), or to your local food bank. Together we can make a difference. Or at the very least put a few meals on the table.

I would also like to say that thanks to the efforts of Meg and Chris, this inititive has grown to include more than 150 bloggers. Thank you both for the call to action.

I will keep the donation link (at right) up through the month of April, so if you can't get to it today, click on over any time!