Friday, November 5, 2010

Albert Hadley Rocks Southport at Rooms with a View


Albert Hadley at Rooms with a View 2010

 Parish Hadley and Albert Hadley alums turned out in full force last night at the Gala Opening of Rooms with a View to honor Albert Hadley, effectively turning Southport Connecticut for an evening into the epicenter of premier design talent in America. For sixteen years Albert Hadley has spearheaded this charity event to benefit the Southport Congregational Church making it into one of Connecticut's most exciting design events of the year. Designers are asked to create vignettes in 5' x 8' spaces and this year Bunny Williams, Pamela Banker, Libby Cameron, Suzanne Earls Carr, David Easton, Thom Filicia, Thomas Jayne, David Kleinberg, Brian McCarthy, Brian Murphy, Nicholas Pentacost, Harry Heismann, Michael Whaley all took up the challenge as presented by Albert and Design Chair Parker Rogers.

Invitation to Rooms with a View 2010.

Pouring rain did not keep away well wishers last night. We were all there to honor Albert who took the attention in stride, ever self-deprecating and supportive of all.  The results are on view through the rest of the weekend and if you live in the area we encourage you to hurry over to see the show.  Southport is a train stop on the Metro North line out of Grand Central Station in New York and the Southport Congregational Church is within a few blocks of the station (you will walk by Albert's house on the way. See if you can guess which is his!)  Show hours are:  Friday, November 5 and Saturday November 6  10 am - 5 pm  and Sunday, November 7th  11 am - 5-pm.   Rooms with a View link HERE.

                                          Eleish van Breems at Rooms with a View 2009

Rhonda and I have exhibited and guest lectured at four Rooms with a View events over the years and were thrilled and honored to have our vignette from 2009 featured on the invitation and posters for this years event  (many thanks to Graphics Chair, Ann Franzen!). The vignette was our ode to Danish modernism and Rhonda's Dad, an artist whose works from Vienna in the sixties and seventies we love and grew up with.   Ganden Thurman, Director of Tibet House, New York graciously loaned us the precious ancient bronze sculpture of the Goddess Tara.  And we finally had someplace to put the huge Arc lamp that's been in storage!  But that was all last year. 

Take a peek via my cell phone camera at some of this year's vignettes....

Bunny Williams - Albert coming through her garden for a visit..

David Kleinberg 
 Rhonda and I fell hard for this rare corner Gustavian Settee.  $36,000.  Breathe.

Harry Heissmann - a detail.  Who wouldn't love to wake up
to Flair and Van Day Truex plates?

Michael Whaley - Brown and Amethyst

Thomas Jayne - The artisan wall treatment looks
as if it could have been inspired by Swedish kurbits!

Susanne Earls Carr

Tributes to Albert's design signatures and life were found in most of the vignettes,
whether fabrics,drawings or carpets - here Susanne Earls Carr displays
a cookbook by Albert's mother Lois Meguiar Hadley.

More personal photos of Albert (and Sister Parish)  in the vignette by Susanne Earl Carr.

David Easton at  Rooms with a View,  at the ready to sign his new book 
Timeless Elegance: The Houses of David Easton.

Today at Rooms with a View David Easton signs his new book Timeless Elegance: the Houses of David Easton.  David wrote the Forward to our book Swedish Country Interiors and we like to humor ourselves that in some small way we may have inspired his inner writer to finally come out and play.  If you have never experienced the wit and charm of this great architect and designer we encourage you to try to get to one of his book tour events this fall. You are in for a treat. Here is a snippet of my conversation with David this morning.

Swedish  Interiors (SI): Is there was a favorite project of yours in the book that we may not be familiar with? 

David Easton (D.E.):  The great problem for me was that there are so many projects that I had to leave out due to the constraints of the book form.  I just couldn't get it all in there!

SI: What are you excited about now in terms of what is happening in design?

D.E.:  I am a huge science fiction fan and what makes that genre so great is that these authors base visions of the future on our current realities.  There are going to be many more billions of humans sharing the earth then there ever were three hundred years ago.  We are very soon no longer going to be making the types of traditional houses we think of when we say "Home Sweet Home".  I believe that people are no longer going to be rooted to just one place, nor will we be rooted in possessions.  Our homes will be in our intellects - the travel of the mind is so huge.  We will be creating a different type of building. I am working on a project in Canada that is in keeping with this new direction of contemporary architecture.

     Side wall of David Easton's vignette inspired by the making of his book.

SI: Is there anything from your time working with Albert Hadley that has stayed with you - a touchstone that you find you return to?

D.E.  Firstly, that Albert is a Gentleman.  I would also have to say that Albert is an Editor. His rooms have remained timeless because with him it has never been about fabrics and decoration and more curtains.  That's why his interiors have held up and look so fresh and timeless today.  It's all in the edit.

 The Edit - entrance hallway by Albert Hadley. 

I was considering "the edit" when I found Albert in a quiet moment. I asked Albert what he thought of the show and he said he thought that it was very strong. Was that, I asked, perhaps because all of the participating designers had had similar training under Parish Hadley and Albert Hadley, Inc. ?  Was there not a certain way of looking at things? A certain symmetry?

"Symmetry is the wrong word to use." stated Albert.   "The correct word is Order.  What they all have in common is order. Each designer has used negative space to create order and have, naturally, put their own personal stamp on it.  At heart, Edie, it is really all about the Order of Things." 

So quoth the Dean of American Design. Are you taking notes?
Stop by Rooms with a View this weekend for hints and inspiration on how to
bring sublime and stylish order to your interiors or listen to Albert speak at a cocktail seminar on Saturday, November 6th  from 5 - 7 pm where he will take you on a tour of "The Design World of Albert Hadley".