Monday, July 12, 2010

What's In a Name?

Well, if the name is Hager, then it means great style. I was slightly familiar with the work of the late designer Gary Hager, a former rising star in the interior design firmament and Parish-Hadley designer, but only slightly. A few weeks back, I picked up a copy of the 1989 book The Decorator and was obviously struck by his very handsome photo. But Hager was certainly not just a pretty face. His apartment, featured in this book, seemed so quintessentially American. In one of the images below, you see a bed covered in a wool plaid blanket with a Jean-Michel Frank mirror beyond in the entryway. Might this have been an Albert Hadley influence?

There was an elegance and tailored masculinity to Hager's work. I guess it's no surprise that in the book, he lists "fussy apartments, Art Nouveau, Tiffany lamps, and period rooms" as dislikes. But this post is not entirely about Hager's work. In fact, it's about serendipity. Within a few days of buying the book and admiring Hager's design skills, I was browsing through
Chris Spitzmiller's website and found my new favorite lamp- the Hager. And then it dawned on me. Might this be named for Gary Hager? Yes, it was. And Hager hailed from Spitzmiller's hometown of East Aurora, NY, yet another coincidence. So really, this post about Gary Hager-and his name- was really meant to be. Don't you think?

Hager's first New York apartment. Note the Jean-Michel Frank mirror in the hallway, a mirror favored by Albert Hadley. And, a similar mirror (though not a Frank piece) graces Chris Spitzmiller's entryway. The coincidences keep coming. That Directoire chair is quite fetching.

The living room of Hager's apartment. Those creamy walls are the perfect backdrop for the artwork and that beautiful Regency table.

Not Hager's apartment, but that of a client. Yes, the Impressionist painting and Miro sculpture are truly magnificent, but my money is on that bergere. Perfection.

The Hager lamp in a matte natural finish. I just love that hourglass shape.

(Hager images from The Decorator by Florence de Dampierre; Hager lamp photos courtesy of Christopher Spitzmiller website.


  1. Speaking of the amazing Spitzmiller and his beautiful lamps. (The Aurora double gourd is my favorite.) He is having a seconds sale starting this Wednesday for a week. If you are in the city be sure to stop by his seconds are usually in really great shape. See his website http://www.christopherspitzmiller.comfor more details on the sale.

  2. I love serendipities like this. There are no coincidences, and you have an interesting post to prove it !

  3. Ooooops. A few years ago I sold a pair of mirrors very similar (if not identical) to the one in the hallway--and I had no idea they were Jean Michael Frank inspired (or actually JMF); now I know why the buyer was so hot to buy them. And I agree: there are no coincidences, their is definitely a divine plan in all. Great post. Mary

  4. I love when I have "aha" moments like that - although I never would have discovered this one - glad to know. That lamp is wonderful.

  5. Just ordered the Decorator and have been enjoying it. Super sleuthy smart of you to make the connection.

  6. Anonymous9:57 AM

    It's great to read about Gary Hager, who I had heard of. But would like to know more about! Thanks!