NYC 2010

NYC: Inspired Impressions

While touring thru the Kips Bay Showhouse in NYC last November, Michelle and I got to chatting with a student volunteer who was monitoring one of the rooms (she was sweet enough not to bust us for taking photos!).  We exchanged cards with her and when she saw that Michelle was not only an Interior Designer but also illustrated interior renderrings, she excitedly told us abut the Jeremiah Goodman exhibit over at the New York School of Interior Design and insisting we MUST go see it while we were in town.  We of course, standing there dumb struck with awe that we hadn't heard about this exhibit until now,,,, only needed to be pointed in the right direction.  Its one of those things that you couldn't have planned, but which you felt was so meant to be - the timing was perfect, here I was in NYC with who I consider to be one of the best interior renderrers in the industry today,,,,,with the opportunity to view the works of the legendary interior illustrator, Jeremiah Goodman.  Its true, the best things in life are never planned!  Since it was too late that day for us to make it to the exhibit  we planned our visit for the very next day, allowing us lots of time to soak it all in.

The school itself is located on a beautiful leafy sidestreet, on the upper east side.  The steet is lined with beautiful old brownstones.

I fell in love with the neighbourhood with its sidewalk cafes and flowers shops - despite how expensive everything is in NY,,I had never seen roses this cheap in my life.  And the colours!!!  I practically cried at the mere thought of walking away empty this day I'm still not over it.  I stare at this picture a LOT and dream of the fresh bunch of colourful roses I could have on my desk every week,,for ONLY $10.00!!!!!!  Oh,,,kay,,, so back to the exhibit...

That's Michelle, patiently waiting for me while I admire and snap photos of the streetscape.....and fantasize about how awesome it would have been to go this design school!

Inside the school student sketches lined the corridor wall outside the gallery space.

I'm sure I could hear Michelle's heart racing as we entered the exhibit space.  We were familiar with Jeremiah Goodman's work before we arrived at the school, but for those of you who aren't, I'm sure you'll recognize many of the designer spaces he's painted.  He's renderred some of the most beautiful and famous interiors of our time.

Jeremiah Goodman in his Upper East Side apartment, image via Interior Design.

For seven decades Jeremiah Goodman, now 88,  has produced his artistic interpretations illustrating the glamorous interiors of high profile decorators and their famous clients such as; Bill Blass, Diana Vreeland, Greta Garbo, David Hicks, Billy Baldwin and Tony Duquette.  Between the years of 1952 to 1967 he was commissioned to illustrate every cover of Interior Design Magazine, depicting photographs of rooms featured in the magazine.  The exhibit at the NYSID, Inspired Impressions was a retrospective showcasing 38 of his favorite interior paintings, works dating from 1947 to 2009.

His painting were considered interpretations rather than exact reproductions, he was known for improving on the original interiors, often making them more glamorous than they were in life and injecting them with personality.

The entire experience was so surreal to me,,,it was amazing to view these paintings with Michelle and hear her describing and admiring Jeremiah's technique for capturing light and shadow and how you could see his rough draft pencil lines.  From his older works to present day you could see how his technique evolved over the years, from literal to more impressionistic.

His used gouache and mixed media on illustration board for most all of his work, some are painted from life and some from photographs done while standing and working over a table, not an easel with some completed in no more than 2 hours.  Living Room, Bel Air, California 2006.

David Hicks London drawing room, 1985.

This was Carolina Herrera's NYC Living room, 2009.  She attended the opening Party of the exhibit.

One of my favorites was this more recent paintings, the New York City townhouse of Reed Krakoff, CEO of Coach, painted in 2009.
What I was impressed with more than anything when I looked at the rooms was not only how much personality each room had but how utterly timeless they were.  Without looking at the dates on the paintings we simply couldn't guess how old they were, a great reminder that that's the trademark of great design.

Only one day after returning to Toronto, I was out sourcing and stopped in my tracks when I spotted this Monograph of......Jeremiah Goodman.  And then I looked up and saw his framed renderrings hung on the walls throughout the showroom.  How strange was it that I had crossed paths with this artists work twice in one week, in two different cities?  When I told the showroom assistant that I had just seen an exhibit of his work only a couple of days ago she was shocked,,,and wanted to know all the details.  She hadn't heard about the show, even the book and the prints they had were pretty rare.  For the first time ever, Goodman's exclusive dealer, Dean Rhys Mogan, had just recently made available these signed limited edition giclee prints.  His work has never before been available in preproduction form, the book on display in the store wasn't even for sale.

The sales associate gave me a tour around the shop, telling me about each of the renderings.  It was a great to hear more about the spaces he painted becasue when Michelle and I saw the exhibit the pieces were simply labelled with date, location and homeowner, there was no one in the gallery to tell us the story about the rooms.

Framed L.E. signed giclees for sale at 12|12.

Jeremiah only painted rooms that he admired and of people that interested him, his interpretations expressed his emotional response to the room injecting mood and personality into the renderings that a computer aided drawing alone just can't capture.  Its a rare art form that I truly hope is not a dying breed (as he's described it himself), in fact I believe if anything that automation has brought about a resurgence and renewed appreciation for the quality of hand renderrings.  With talented designers like Michelle so graciously willing to share and teach others her techniques I hope this art form can live on in tandem with technology.   Thanks to all her inspiration, I'm picking up my pens and markers more than ever before and realizing how powerful this age old technique can be.

Top Photo:  Jeremiah Goodman's home studio via Interior Design


 Dromedary Sofa designed by John Derian for Cisco Home

I can't believe its been 4 months since I returned from a week long trip to New York City and I have yet to post even half of my photos!  It was such an overwhelmingly inspiring trip that I find myself looking at the photos over and over again on my computer, almost forgetting that most of them I haven't even shared on the blog yet.  Before visiting NYC I had heard so much about ABC Carpet & Home it was legendary, needless to say I had it on my list of 'must see' places.   As things turn out, on my very first day in NYC my travel companion Michelle and I ended up there late in the afternoon and even enjoyed drinks and dinner at the adjoining restaurant Pipa, with its decor designed by ABC Home.

Pipa Restaurant

Pipa has an incredible ambience with its exposed brick walls, reclaimed timber tables, candlelight and hundreds of crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling (all for sale, with price tags), they serve a great tapas style menu along with their specialty, sangria - two designers couldn't have found a more perfect place to relax, eat and drink while we got to know each other in person.  It was a stroke of luck we just stumbled upon this gem completely by co-incidence and had the place to ourselves when we first arrived but by the time we left, it was a fully packed house with a long lineup out the door.  Apparantly we were doubly lucky with our timing!

That first day walking thru ABC it was all just a blur, so overwhelming I just got a taste of everything and vowed that I'd come back for more.  Later in the week I had an afternoon to myself while Michelle was working at a clients so I headed back to the Flat Iron district and spent a leisurely couple of hours browsing all the floors of this home furnishings emporium.  Just when you think you've got me pegged as a modernist, let me tell you how crazy I was for this collection of plates displayed on the wall - it was so stunning in all its vintagey antiquey traditional gloryiousness!!

Without question my favorite find in the entire 10 floors, were these hand blown glass pendants by Cisco Home.  In fact the entire Cisco Home Collection sent my heart racing. What impresses me the most about Cisco's collection is not only how simply, utterly gorgeous it is (I dye!!) but that their product is hand made to be 100% sustainable.

Jug Lamps, hand made, blown glass.  By Cisco Home.  Each glass jug is unique, they're made in various glass colours.

Simply beautiful.  My idea of lighting perfection.  The 'stopper's at the top of the jugs are made of wood.  The smokey grey and the blue glass (shown in top photo) were my favorite.  I'm hoping to be able to use them in a project or my own home one day soon....

Cisco Home is based in California where they have eight locations in addition to one location in Florida and one location in NYC.   They pride themselves in offering petroleum free upholstered products, and state that their furniture is hand crafted and 100% sustainable.

The Cisco furniture and lighting collection in the ABC showroom. It has such a simple sophistication to it that I absolultely love.

The hand blown glass pendants on either side of the tufted headboard were the first things I spotted from this collection and instantly had me wanting to see it all.  Sadly none of this product line is available in Canada but I can only hope that will change in the near future, I can't think of any other manufacturer that's offering anything similar here.

And here's a glimpse of what I wasn't so crazy about elsewhere on the floor......there were a LOT of these deconstructed pieces on display and they weren't props - they were for sale, and they weren't cheap.  I don't get it.  if anybody gets this, please, leave me a comment explaining?


It was hard not to miss this collection! I'm not a fan of anything patchwork so obviously this kaleidascope of mismatched upholstery didn't appeal to me (understatement), but I could see how one of these pieces on their own in the right setting could make a colourful statement. Less is definitely more in this case.  I did however, love the dark grey wall and the gold gilt frames. : )

I was in heaven strolling thru the mid-century modern vendors on the 2nd floor.  The quality and selection of the pieces were superb.

This table was made of steel......gorgeous.

I've admired Barbara Barry's work since early in my career, I loved this room setting from her collection for Henredon.  I thought it was so unusual to have wall sconces installed like that on either side of a bed...

Studio pottery and porcelain is one of my biggest weaknesses, particularly when it comes to bowls!  I was totally in love with this series from MUD, Australia.  Its handmade porcelain dishware that's sold in about 30 locations in the US but only sold in two shops in all of Canada, in Toronto at Hollace Cluny.  I couldn't leave without taking a piece home with me but trying to decide which piece,,,and whether to get white or grey proved to be a challenge.  After a LOT of pondering,,,,I ended up taking home a small size noodle bowl in white (you can see on the top shelf in this photo) and it now sits on one of my end tables in my living room.  I look at it (make that stare) every single day and love it, i actually pick it up a lot because I love the texture so much.

Here you can see both the white, is actually a a soft ivory colour, and the grey.  The organic shaped dishware is made with a matte finish on the exterior and a glossy glaze on the interior.  There's something about it that compells you to want to touch it all the time.

The pieces are handmade and the irregularity you can see in the shapes is what makes it special.

I managed to make it home with my MUD bowl in one piece and hope to accumulate more from this series over time.  Now I can't stop thinking about all the other great finds I couldn't bring home with me.  Its a good thing I'm planning my next trip to NYC, I'll be heading there sometime in May - but a larger suitcase this time is a must.

All Photos:  Carol Reed