Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Chic It Up!

I try to chic it up every day (not always successfully), but one event that most definitely manages to do that is Winterthur's Chic it Up! design conference. This year's event, to take place at Winterthur on Friday, November 13, will cover 1940s design- and as you know, this is my very favorite era.

Want an idea of what will be discussed? Well, Donald Albrecht will speak on Dorothy Draper and the Greenbrier, Pauline Metcalfe will enlighten us about Syrie Maugham, and J. Thomas Savage, Maggie Lidz, and Eugene Gaddis will talk about Thomas Waterman, H. Rodney Sharp, and Chick Austin respectively. And this is only a taste of what's on the agenda. What impresses me is the breadth of the conference as it focuses on interior design, architecture, decorative arts, and collecting.

You better believe that I'm going to be attending. In fact, I've been waiting for over a year for this event. If you're in the area, or if you want to make a weekend trip of it, then by all means make your reservation so that we can all chic it up.

(For more information, click
here or call 800.448.3883)

An example of 1940's design: Winterthur's Gold & White bedroom as it appeared in 1947.

Henry Francis du Pont next to the famous Montmorenci staircase; photographed by Kertesz.

The garden at Gibraltar c. mid-1940s, another du Pont estate in Wilmington. Don't you love all of those gorgeous blues?

Historian Maggie Lidz will be lecturing on H. Rodney Sharp and his 1930s Moorish-Venetian-Spanish Florida home, The Hacienda, which is seen above. Quite a difference from his Georgian estate in Odessa, Delaware, also above, which is part of the lecture.

All images provided by Winterthur.


  1. Moorish-Venetian-Spanish! Ooh la la. Wish I could be at Winterthur. Enjoy!

  2. Wow! This event is always amazing! Wish that I could attend too... was able to tour last year with all the sales and marketing team from Hickory Chair. The legendary Albert Sack attended as well. Hickory Chair reproduces pieces from Winterthur. Pictures are wonderful but everyone should go to see Winterthur in person some day!

  3. Anonymous1:31 PM

    How I would love to attend this conference!!! Since I will not, I greatly look forward to you blogging of it - please lots of details!!!

  4. I just finished reading Maggie Lidz's brilliant new coffee-table book on du Pont family estates. I own many books on architectural history, but this one is in a class of its own. It's comprehensive and immensely readable. Maggie Lidz uses marvelous, rare archival photos that enhance her superb descriptions of the houses and their social history. As an architectural historian, I highly recommend this magisterial study. I already consider it a personal treasure.

  5. How perfect for you...and perfect for us. Looking forward to hearing about this.

  6. This is what we all love about you...You get to go where we can't and then we get to hear all about it! Can't wait

  7. Sounds amazing, and can't wait to hear all about it!

  8. I am so sorry to miss this. Of all the styles and substyles in decorating, I think my favorites are the one-step-removed versions of historic styles that were popular in the 3Os & 4Os: David Adler & Frances Elkins' approach to classic design, which recast Georgian motifs in slick Machine Age materials like Lucite, Zenitherm & Monel metal; Dorothy Draper's over-the-top interpretation of Regency & Empire and the streamlined Federal styles that defined the look of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal projects in Washington DC. Here in Chicago, Rue Carpenter's stylish Directoire-& Biedermeier Revival interiors have all the charm of the original 19th Century models, but with the added glamour that comes with the liberal use of wall-sized mirrors, colored Vitrolite & indirect lighting. Anyway, this sounds like an excellent few days, Jennifer. Take lots of notes so you can share with the class when you get back.

  9. I can't wait for your blog on this event. I love the stylish '40s as well.

  10. THis will be a great event... thanks for the preview!!

  11. DAMNIT! can't go. i eagerly await your report!!!!