August 31, 2011

Shameless bragging

I spent the afternoon with Karl Benjamin.

And fell in love.

We'll show you more in our next issue.

August 24, 2011

Art and architecture tour

Kitty, Sonoma, 1891, by Charles Rollo Peters, who lived and painted in Monterey from 1894 to 1909.

This fall marks the launch of Monterey's newest cultural event, Art in the Adobes. (Full disclosure: I grew up on the Monterey Peninsula and I think it's the most beautiful place in the world, but go and see for yourself!) The festival will feature paintings and sculpture not often on view to the public. Artworks will be curated by theme and displayed in several of the city's historic downtown sites, including the Cooper-Molera Adobe, Larkin House, Casa Serrano, Colton Hall, and the Robert Louis Stevenson House.

The opening reception is on September 30th, and will allow Art in the Adobes sponsors as well as holders of the All Access pass ($65) an exclusive preview of the Cooper-Molera installation. Guests will also be treated to music, wine, and hors d'oeuvres in the adobe's restored gardens. On Saturday and Sunday, October 1–2, visitors with single-day tickets ($25) can set their own itinerary and stroll through the historic 4-block district as they wish.

The event is organized by the Old Monterey Foundation, the City of Monterey, California State Parks, the Monterey Museum of Art, and the Monterey History & Art Association.

And while you're there, visit the Monterey Museum of Art. They've got on-going exhibitions of California plein air painters and photographers, as well as a special installation organized in conjunction with the Art in the Adobes program.

Edward J. Holslag (1870-1924), Cypress, Point Lobos, 1918, oil on canvas, bequest of Beth and Mellon (Bud) Baird, 2004.56

A few Italian-inspired hints at our upcoming issue

An Ape Calessino... but this little cutie buzzes around St. Tropez.

A touch of Venice for your fingers, by jeweler Vicki Ambery-Smith.

And being the fall issue, fashion seemed a must. We'll be taking a special look at the early designs of Giorgio Sant'Angelo, but thought we'd provide some live-action history here (how is 1991 twenty years ago already?), courtesy of Yasmin Le Bon. 

August 23, 2011

Rock 'n roll history

"Advertising without posters is like fishing without worms."
- The Hatch Brothers

This weekend, the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens opens American Letterpress: The Art of the Hatch Show Print, on loan from the Smithsonian Institute. Hatch, a Nashville landmark, is one of the oldest working letterpresses in the country. It's been around since 1879 and has produced iconic posters for stars like Elvis, Johnny Cash, Etta James and Bob Dylan. Their motto, "preservation through production," keeps them going strong and designing for a new generation of musicians, including Beck, The Beastie Boys, Coldplay, Trisha Yearwood and The Strokes, all while maintaining their signature style. 

The show's been traveling the US,  and is on view in Athens until November 6th. It features 126 historical and contemporary posters and 29 hand-carved wooden blocks—some on view for the very first time.


 Check out the print shop in action: 

August 20, 2011

À cœur vaillant rien d’impossible

In our debut issue, we took you inside Château du Troncq, a privately owned and lovingly restored monument historique in the heart of Normandy. Looking back through the feature (it's one of my most favorite) I realized that we'd not shown several of the landscape shots sent to us by photographer Mireille Roobaert

The grounds of the château, which were designed by André Le Nôtre and carefully restored after the disasterous winter storm of 1999, are dotted with picturesque moments. There are stone benches, elaborate urns, a pond, an orangerie, and a sculpture of the Madonna that over time has become nearly embedded in the trunk of an ancient tree. There's also a pristine example of a 16th-century pigeonnier. The right to raise pigeons, a dietary staple of the period and a source of, ahem, fantastic fertilizer, was only granted to the nobility. (Woe be the lowly farmer nextdoor trying to sow seeds in the spring or harvest grain in the fall!) The size and scale of Troncq's example is testament to the estate's status.

The gardens are open to the public on a limited basis. To learn more about the history of the château and surrounding village, visit the community's Web site, here.  They offer a different look at the estate (the château covered in snow, for example), as well as historical documents like the plan below.

**And for those of you who have scrolled all the way down to read this, you'll be the first to know that the château's owner has also offered us her main residence. In the September/October issue, we'll be taking you inside her modernist, contemporary art-filled home in Belgium. It's every inch as chic but the polar opposite of her historic Normandy retreat.

Time for design

Plumes, a new cockerel-themed line of hand-painted Limoges plates, from Pinto Paris.

Alberto Pinto must have more hours in the day than the rest of us. On top of an international roster of projects that includes homes, jets, offices, yachts and hotels, in a matter of months, he's also launched a line of faucets with THG Paris, published a new book, and added to his growing line of ceramics and home furnishings. And if that's not enough, this October he'll open his eagerly anticipated furniture and accessories showroom, Pinto Paris, at 14 rue du Mail.
Today, from Flammarion, debuted in the U.S. this January.

Pinto's Le 11 line of faucets for THG Paris was named after his legendary office's street number on the Place des Victoires . Note the minimalist tap identifiers... tiny red and blue crystals.
The Stromboli lamp, from Pinto's Vulcaine collection

August 17, 2011

Guess where Entra's going...


A queen...


Yep, Amsterdam!

We'll be at the Via Milano New Dutch Design show at the end of September. We're super excited and looking forward to meeting designers like Gijs Bakker, Michael Barnaart van Bergen, Ineke Hans, Maarten Baas, Edward van Vliet, Marcel Wanders and Richard Hutten.

August 15, 2011

West coast readers, set your alarm clocks...

When: Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow!!

LA-based furniture designer Traci Anton's One Kings Lane sale starts tomorrow morning, August 16th, at 8am. Slender silhouettes, classic proportions and top-notch craftsmanship define her designs. Remember what your mother said: the early bird gets the Parisian-inspired worm.  

Stela Trois Side Table

Stela Anneau Side Table

August 11, 2011

A more perfect union

Founded by German writer and art historian Schnuppe von Gwinner, craft2eu offers a fantastic way to find handmade items made by craftspeople from the European Union. Pieces are generally made to order (she keeps stock to a minimum at the Hamburg shop) so count on a lengthy turn-around time. But also count on quality. Von Gwinner's collective includes emerging and established artists.

We've chosen a few favorites:

Danish artist Susanne Jakobsen (below) may have just graduated from the Designskole Bornholm, but it's her previous experience as a nurse that most directly influences her creations. Her Malumma series of tableware is based on the human body. "I work within the functional sphere of ceramics," she explains. "To give is positive, and the fact that my ceramics have a life after leaving my hands is important to me. Through a functional product, I obtain an indirect communication with people in everyday life." Cups start at about $60; pitchers start at about $225. 

Claudia Zachow studied ceramics and glass in her native Germany, and now teaches at the BBI Professional Academy in Halle. Her work is inspired by the decoration of 18th-century porcelain (she studied painting at Meissen) and by pattern books from old factories, but her forms are from an altogether different inspiration: the plastic containers that hold fruit and vegetables from the grocery store. Dishes decorated with the Purpur Indisch and Corall designs pictured below start at about $40.

Working from her waterfront studio, Copenhagen-based ceramist Pia Baastrup creates porcelain dishware inspired by the childhood pastime of making paper boats to sail on ponds and streams. "I make the models in paper, which has the same lightness and transparency as porcelain," she says. "Then the porcelain is rolled into thin plates, cut into size and marked, bended or folded like paper, and finally assembled into cups, bowls and plates. Where the porcelain is joined, contours appear." Each item is made by hand, and to order, which can take 10-16 weeks. Small dishes start at about $45.

August 10, 2011

What you didn't see...

When it came time to do our July/August feature on the Bonhams auction of Lord Glenconner's St. Lucia estate (not a subscriber? click here), we had to make tough decisions on which images to publish. Am feeling guilty about Jerry Hall ending up on the cutting room floor, so am sharing her here, photographed with Lord Glenconner. In the documentary, The Man Who Bought Mustique, he smirks and recounts that on her first visit to the island she arrived with Brian Ferry, and on her second she arrived with Mick Jagger. A veritable gift from the gods of publicity.

Ignore the Marlboroughs.

Image courtesy of Bonhams

August 9, 2011

Lovely people, lovely place

This morning we had a fantastic brainstorming session with public relations pros David Schlocker, Nancy Joseph, Rich Pedine,  Sean Yashar and Chris Anderson. Their insight, honesty and support are absolutely appreciated -- they really put some wind in our sails. We're so very fortunate to be able to call on this level of expertise for guidance. But counting our blessings will have to wait until bedtime, we've got a September/October issue to make for you!

We met at our "office", the incredible home of our co-founder and photographer, Mary E. Nichols -- it's like a trip to Charleston. As we finished up I snapped some pics with my BlackBerry so that we could give readers a little peek at where we spend so much of our time... but they came out so poorly that I'm too mortified to post them. A lone spaniel will have to do. I'll bring a proper camera next time... it's such a gorgeous place. 

August 8, 2011

From the Land of Oz

A 1950s cement Scottie holding a ball

On the cusp of celebrating their 30th anniversary, The Country Trader, founded by Geoff Clark, has set the bar high for antiques shopping in Sydney, Australia. He stocks a wide range of styles, but French pieces are a particular specialty. The shop also offers prop rentals to film studios, so a number of items are sprinked with a dusting of Hollywood history, having been borrowed for films like Oscar & Lucinda, Moulin Rouge, and (collective sigh) The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

An early-20th century child's car made from packing boxes and period pram wheels
A collection of 19th-century German pewter
A 19th-century plaster urn with mythological creatures
A 17th-century English oak wardrobe

Heading to Sydney and looking for a place to stay? Check out The Country Trader's Darlinghurst guest apartments, furnishished with items from their showroom. Rates start at about $200/night.

August 6, 2011

Faithful to Marianne

Cultivated Flowers, painted in Jamaica

We had such a good time researching our July/August feature on 19th-century British artist Marianne North, and the restoration of her gallery at Kew Gardens, we thought we'd show you a little bit more. A tremendous amount of work went into the reinstallation, not only by Kew's incredible team, but by staff from London's Plowden & Smith, conservators to Queen Elizabeth.

 (see... science can be fun!)

 (is that Hugh Grant researching a role?)