Friday, November 30, 2007

Jeremiah Goodman at Belvedere



Last night was a big night in Atlanta- our resident design maven Julia-Carr Bayler hosted a wonderful party at her store Belvedere to celebrate the recent release of interior illustrator Jeremiah Goodman's book. Not only was it a thrill to see his magnificent paintings in person, but it was even more exciting to get to meet the legend himself. Mr. Goodman, who looked quite dashing in his bow-tie, was extremely gracious and charming. I know I'm gushing, but I can't help myself. I've admired his work for so long that it was a real honor to get to talk to him.


If you're in Atlanta you should try to stop by Belvedere today to view the exhibition of his paintings. Works include the rooms of Diana Vreeland, the Duchess of Windsor, Rose Cumming, and Cecil Beaton. Or, visit 1st dibs for an opportunity to purchase one of Mr. Goodman's paintings.


(For those who visit the shop in person also be sure to check out Justin Giunta's Subversive Jewelry line as well as his paintings, also available on 1st dibs. The baubles would be a perfect holiday gift- to receive, of course!).

Image at top: "Diana Vreeland, Living Room" (aka Garden in Hell) by Jeremiah Goodman. Available for purchase from Belvedere/1st dibs

40 comments:

  1. How exciting! So glad you met him. Must have been wonderful to see his work in person.

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  2. The painting must be wonderful to see in person - what a treat.

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  3. It's always nice to find out that someone you've admired is a nice, down to earth person.

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  4. Two words PoC, wow and jealous (not really, ok, just a little) Love the Cecil Beaton, that is the one I want.

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  5. Anonymous1:06 PM

    Oh my gosh, he's pretty much my only living hero.

    I hope an Atlanta newspaper covered this. Would love to see a photo of what JG looks like now. He was a dashing young man.

    -pt

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  6. Beauty- That one is amazing. LOVE the Vreeland- that's a bold piece!

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  7. PT- Me too! I don't think the paper did. I wanted to take a photo but it didn't really seem the thing to do!

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  8. Anonymous3:23 PM

    As eomeone who was once in Vreeland's living area, Mr Goodman's marvelous painting is atmospheric, though not accurate. Vreeland's L-shaped combination living-dining room had the Spanish-made red flowered chintz only on the chairs, the sofa, and the approximately 8-foot stretch of wall behind the sofa. Nowhere else. Nada. Zip. The rest of that space was painted white. (Proof: Look at the famous photograph of a grinning Vreeland on that sofa and see the reflection of the remaining space in the mirror behind her -- white walls, some low indifferent bookcases, and lots of pictures hanging willy nilly.) It is amazing how that room seems to appear in everyone's mind's eye, but yet that dream does not conform to reality. Says something for the power of legend, no?

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  9. Anonymous5:56 PM

    You saw it only once, so I'm curious how you know the room has always been exactly the same.

    By the way: Belvedere's 1stdibs Web site does not give the prices of the paintings. Does anyone know what they are, roughly?

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  10. Anonymous5:58 PM

    I love paintings of interiors. Have you seen the work of Carl Vilhelm Hodsoe? http://www.artnet.com/Galleries/Artwork_Detail.asp?G=&gid=16&which=&ViewArtistBy=online&aid=555108&wid=424530978&source=artist&rta=http://www.artnet.com

    Any idea of how much Goodman's paintings go for?

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  11. Anon- How lucky that you got to see such an iconic room!

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  12. Anons- Re: the prices, I believe anywhere from 5K to 12K, but am not certain. Sorry I'm not more helpful!

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  13. Anonymous8:05 PM

    Dear Peak, I know the Vreeland family well. And all you have to do was compare the photographs of when that part of the room was decorated b Billy Baldwin (which were widely published in their day) and when I saw it, 30 years later. Nothing had changed. It was a not particularly large two-bedroom apartment. One stepped into the living-dining area, followed a hall back to the two bedrooms (one of which was used as Reed Vreeland's dressing room). Add in the kitchen, and that was the entire apartment. Mr Goodman's beautiful painting is an impression of the room, rather than a documentary illustration of it. Check your books and see. And check out the following photograph to see the reflection as described as the fabric as used: http://thisisloveforever.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/07/diana-vreeland.jpg

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  14. Anonymous8:11 PM

    Another view of the living area of the L-shaped room can be seen here: http://www.canadianinteriordesign.com/kwi/Diana1.jpg. The living area was about 20 by 15 feet in dimension. The flowered chintz was used on the north-facing wall, the sofa, and some chairs, as well as for curtains hanging on the east (Park Avenue) side of the room. The remaining walls of the living area were painted white; the carpet was wall-to-wall red. The dining area was in the long section of the L, and consisted of a long upholstered banquette covered in a brillant striped material and a long narrow table. As I have said, the interior did not change from the time it was decorated by Billy Baldwin until her death; this information came directly to me from her younger son as well as her personal secretary.

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  15. Anonymous8:12 PM

    I also wanted to say that Mr Goodman is one of the most charming humans on the planet.

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  16. Anon- Yes, I see. I must admit that I assumed the whole room was red.

    Two questions- Know of any magazines, from that era, which might have featured the apartment in detail? I'd like to see the photo of the dining area. Also, what is the chintz that was used?

    Yes, I was very pleased to find that he was nice and gracious- that makes me like him even more.

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  17. i LOVE this: the dueling anons!!!! hey- you guys are really funny!!! There's the one anon who always tells us about Diana's apartment, it must really not be impressive - that's how i take what he is implying. Then there's the second anon who i think knows the first anon and he likes to get his digs in. I don't know why they are always going at it on your blog, Peak, but this isn't the first time. All I can say is i'm jealous - they NEVER visit moi! :(

    love it Jennifer - great, great blog - one of the best, if not the best.
    Joni

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  18. I will have to stop by Belvedere and check it out!

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  19. Thanks Joni for the kind words! Perhaps I'm misinterpreting what Anon (the one who visited the Vreeland apt) said, but I think he/she thought the Vreeland apartment was great, but not as red as in the painting. Although, I could be wrong :)

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  20. Inspire- Yes, you must. It's pretty exciting stuff!

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  21. Anonymous4:15 PM

    I'm the third anon. My election platform:

    1. No name-dropping.

    2. Diana Vreeland is most valuable for comic material. (She's the one who once gushed: "Drug addicts have the best skin!")

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  22. Anon #3- She certainly had some real zingers!!!

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  23. djellabah7:47 AM

    It's the same Anon, I promise you (it's me, I mean, and I will now use a proper name rather than merely Anon). What I was trying to elucidate in my earlier posts is simple: A "legendary" room is often "legendary" only in context. What made the Vreeland "garden in hell" so astonishing to people was (a) its inspiration, a garden in hell, and (b) the names of the individuals associated with it, namely Vreeland and Billy Baldwin. Without them, I wonder if we had seen that room, if we actually would have been that impressed? That is what interests me about some areas of interior design, the gimlet-eyed study of a particular space and trying to figure out from whence its magic, its anatomy, so to speak. The Vreeland living area looked to me to have been executed on a tight budget, which intrigued me, given its reputation for extravagance. (The high-living Vreeland was often short on cash, as the Eleanor Dwight biography makes clear.) Only one wall was covered in the chintz (which was made in Spain, I will find out the manufacturer, which is arguably Gaston y Daniela); above the sofa was a sheet of mirror dressed to look like a small window; the red carpet was felt-like, very closely sheared, almost industrial. The art was lovely (watercolors by Christian Bérard and others, friends of Vreeland's) but indifferently framed. The white-painted bookcase that stood at a right angle to the sofa was plain, the sort of thing, perhaps, that could have been built by a carpenter rather than a cabinetmaker. The components, therefore, were nothing very special, but the combination of them, with the added allure of the lady who lived there, made the sum of the equation special. (The same furnishings elements were in place long before the chintz arrived, too, so it was an arrangement she favored.) I think that's the case with many rooms, legendary or not. It's not just the things in them, it is the person for whom they form a backdrop. As for an image of the dining area of the apartment, the only one I can remember seeing is in the auction catalogue of Vreeland's estate (Sotheby's, 19 April 1990). The cover of the catalogue (see http://cgi.ebay.com/Sothebys-Diana-D-Vreeland-Estate-Sale-1990_W0QQitemZ130137403327QQihZ003QQcategoryZ118257QQcmdZViewItem) shows the wall opposite the sofa, which was white, and the bright-red-painted door that led to the two bedrooms. Have you seen the Capote-story movie "Infamous"? Especially the dining scene at Vreeland's apartment? That was entirely invented for the film; there was no dining room with Chippendale-style furnishings at Vreeland's place; there was only that narrow dining area with a banquette.

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  24. djellabah- Thank you for the details b/c I have been intrigued by this room, but details (at least what I have been able to find) have been somewhat scarce. I do think you're absolutely right, though, that perhaps it was the homeowner's name/legend that elevated this room to iconic status. While I do think it's a fascinating and chic room, there are Baldwin rooms that were much better (at least to me). That said, I think it was the combination of the color, the fabric, the needlepoint pillows, etc. which made this room unique and full of "pizzazz" (didn't Vreeland coin this term? Or at least used it frequently?)

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  25. www.passementeries-diary.com1:49 PM

    Ooh.... Diane Vreeland - very fabulous!

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  26. These illustrations are fascinating. Thanks for sharing. Belvedere throws a great party!

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  27. The photos of Vreeland's apartment were shown in Architectural Digest, which then later included them in one of their books entitled, I believe, "Celebrity Homes". There were also Polaroids published in the now defunct Nest magazine. The explanation in Nest was that the Polaroids had been taken by Mrs. Vreeland so that the maid would know where to put things back....

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  28. Morris- Thank you!!! Now if I can only get my hands on that old issue of AD.

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  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  30. I have the copy of Nest in storage, and I will try to locate it in all of the debris (we've just finished rebuilding most of our house and building a small addition). When I do, I will scan the pages and send to you. I believe I promised you copies of the Wrightsman Palm Beach living room (decorated by Denning and Fourcade) as well--I haven't forgotten!

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  31. Morris- Thank you! You're the best!

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  32. djellabah3:34 PM

    you can see the red portion of the living area, as shown in Nest (issue number 7), at the following web address: http://www.nestmagazine.com/BACKISSUES_PAGE/toc_focus/07/0704.html ...

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  33. djellabah- Thank you! Unfortunately I never bought any Nest magazines, and it seems like I certainly missed out. Thanks!

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  34. djellabah2:14 PM

    In case anybody needs an update (or wants to do some more digging on their own): Research for a book about 1960s design has determined that the "garden in hell" fabric that was used in the Vreeland apartment was an inexpensive printed cotton manufactured by the Spanish firm Gastón y Daniela, though Billy Baldwin did purchase it from Colefax & Fowler in London. It seems likely to have been adapted from a Braquenié pattern. It was used in the red colorway in Vreeland's living area and in the blue colorway in her bedroom. The pattern apparently has been discontinued.

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  35. djellabah- Thank you!!! Yes, I wanted an update and am so glad you gave us one. It's a shame that it has been discontinued. Why do so many of the great prints end up getting the ax? I suppose trends dictate which prints stay and which get discontinued?

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  36. Anonymous10:02 PM

    I was at that party, and oh my he is amazing....... Any idea what the store near the "bar" is about it looked amazing, but by the time I went back to look through the windows it was all closed. I will have to go check it out when Im back in Atlanta.

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  37. Hi Anon! So sorry I didn't meet you at the party. Do you think that shop was next to the Mexican restaurant (further up the street)? If so, it's Owen Lawrence, a great store!

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  38. djellabah10:38 AM

    Like anything else, fabric patterns have a limited shelf life, at least most of them do. Funnily, so many great ones just don't "speak" to the average consumer, hence their eventual discontinuation. Luckily so many companies are digging into their archives and trying to resurrect highly individual designs from the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Hopefully some of these will take off again, if only for a little while. My dream would be to do just that, to dig around in archives and say, "Why not this one?", et cetera. I remember seeing a charming print by Thibaut in a 1930s magazine advertisement, a whimsical printed novelty cotton with small images of black-and-red sailors' tattoos (mermaids, hearts with "Mother" written inside them, et cetera) arranged on a white background. Utterly sweet and funny. And out of production for at least six decades now!!

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  39. djellabah- I would love to roam around in some of these archives! I think that Thibaut print should be reintroduced- I'd buy it!

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  40. Laura W.5:27 PM

    The store next door to Belvedere is Steve Barnwells store. Dont know the name but something to do with a 10. He had a party with Saks a few weeks back for some Italian jewelry designers. He should put you on his mailing list.

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