Born in the extravagant tradition of classic big-screen set design, Hollywood Regency popularized the sophisticated, cosmopolitan, and flamboyant lifestyle of the stars. The style’s leading lights drew on a range of influences to create striking contrast and the opportunity for uncompromising self-expression in the realm of interior decoration….
Archives for September 2015
If you’ve ogled beautiful wallpaper or a sumptuous rug in the pages of a interiors magazine lately, you probably have Stacy Waggoner to thank. Waggoner and her business partner, Kate Reynolds, are owners of Studio Four NYC, a showroom full of irresistible, custom textiles, rugs, and wallpaper as well as the studio’s in-house line of custom textiles. The showroom celebrates exquisite craftsmanship and materials, so it’s no surprise that Waggoner’s Manhattan apartment is rich with beautiful pieces. Here, the design lover shares glimpses of her space and the stories that go with it.
Let’s start at the beginning: Where did you get your love of design?
Definitely from my mother, who was an artist and an amazing goldsmith. She created beautiful intricate jewelry, including woven gold that she made by hand. She would literally melt gold coin, draw it into wire, fuse it into rings, and weave it. Professionally, my dad was a banker, but he was really a Renaissance man; he loved and appreciated art and antiques, loved to travel, and had a great eye. One sister is an interior designer, and another is a painter, who also made amazing jewelry with my mom. And I have a brother who isn’t in an artistic field, but he has a great eye, too. I think we were born with artistic bents that were well nurtured. My parents loved collecting—furniture, objects, art, jewelry—and they passed that on to all four of their children.
Art Deco: History of Design In The Machine Age
Art Deco emerged in the 1920s out of Art Nouveau, the Bauhaus school of design, and Cubism. It was in part a product of the post-World War I economic boom–rapid expansion and accelerating modernity–and in part a reaction against it. It was a refreshing reworking of austere modern forms through traditions from the Far East, Africa, Egypt and indigenous America.
The first use of the term Art Deco is attributed to Le Corbusier, who penned a series of articles in his journal L’Esprit Nouveau under the headline “1925 Expo: Arts Déco”. He was referring to the 1925 International Exposition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts, where a number of what we now consider the first works of the Art Deco style were shown….
Art Deco began in Europe, particularly Paris, in the early years of the 20th century, but didn’t really take hold until after World War I. As the world let its hair down after the hell of WWI, Deco truly reigned until the outbreak of World War II. This particular era of decorative arts seems more nostalgic than most. Perhaps because it yielded such creativity, or maybe because it is reflective of a time where so many things happened on the historical time line.
A sampling of this active time in history: the Empire State Building “scraped the sky”, assembly lines were created, Edison invented the first talking films, Lindbergh forever changed aviation with the first solo flight across the Atlantic, Penicillin was discovered, Pluto was discovered, Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered, the “unsinkable” Titanic fatefully set sail, jazz was born, the Charleston and the Tango were the rage, Cubism was the hip art style and Picasso was leading the way….
Looking for some design inspiration? Or maybe just a little afternoon wanderlust? Whatever your fancy, we’ve got a good place to start with five of our favorite dealer Instagram feeds. Follow them and show some love!
New York’s Lowy Frame & Restoring Co. is kind of a big deal. The company, founded in 1907, has been called upon to frame projects for the reopening of the European wing of the Metropolitan, an El Greco for Museo del Prado, and more. But President Larry Shar is just as passionate about working with private collectors as he is about the world’s most remarkable museums.
Both you and your father, Hilly Shar, started working for Lowy at a young age. Tell us about your family history with the company.
My dad went to work for Lowy as a teenager. He was doing all the inside operations, including hands-on restoration and framing. He then left and set up a competitor company, Shar-Sisto, in 1948. In 1956, the principals that were left at Lowy asked my dad if he would be interested in a merger, and he agreed.
I got involved at my father’s side as a young man, going in on weekends and holidays when it was Shar-Sisto, and then I came onboard full-time in 1970 after graduation from college. At that point, we started buying out the Lowy principals, and the firm became ours, my dad’s and mine….
Folk art, by definition, develops outside the mainstream. Its artists are self-taught, and they create without regard for the tastes of critics, curators, or wealthy collectors. This lends a freshness to the work, which bears the promise of aesthetic integrity unspoiled by intellectualism and over-schooling.
But it’s exactly this authenticity that makes folk art such an attractive influence for the mainstream. And indeed established artists have been appropriating and incorporating the styles and themes of untrained artists since the turn of the 20th Century.