As I was reading through the Fall 1994 issue of Veranda last night, I came across an article on the Atlanta home of the late Sol Kent.
Now, for those of you not familiar with Atlanta, Kent was the legendary fashion director of the late, great, and much missed Rich's department store. (You remember hometown department stores, don't you? Those stores that were owned by pillars of the local community? The ones that had clothing departments, book departments, bakeries and tearooms? The stores that were gobbled up by Federated and are now forced to wear the moniker "Macy's"? I thought you would remember!) Not only did Kent have an eye for fashion, he was a connoisseur of design and antiques as well.
He adored doing needlepoint, but homespun handiwork and corny canvases were not for he! In accordance with his polish and flair, Kent became proficient in creating geometric and graphic works of needle art. In fact, Kent avoided designs that had curves and round lines in them. His refined idiom included squares, rectangles, diamonds, and hexagons. Kent knew what he liked and he stuck with it for years.
Unfortunately, Kent is no longer with us, and I have always been disappointed that I never had the opportunity to purchase one of his pillows. I do remember many years ago when my mother told me about Kent and his passion for geometric needlework, and I believe this influenced my taste in needlepoint design. When I do find the time to engage in a little needlework, I seem to only work on geometric designs. These are the designs that speak to me, courtesy of Mr. Sol Kent.
(Image at top: A few of Sol Kent's canvases. Note how a few of the canvases feature a "XIX" and a "XI"- these are the nineteenth and eleventh letters in the alphabet, which are also Kent's initials.)
Kent's home was filled with his needlework. The framed canvas above the monkey sculpture was inspired by the work of artist Viktor Vasarely.
Here is a Kent creation which featured red accents.
(All images from Veranda, Fall 1994 ; photographer Cameron Wood)