Thursday, December 15, 2011

WHERE: Winterthur

Almost 60 years ago, collector and horticulturist Henry Francis du Pont (1880–1969) opened his childhood home, Winterthur, to the public. Today, Winterthur (pronounced “winter-tour”) is the premier museum of American decorative arts, with an unparalleled collection of nearly 90,000 objects made or used in America between about 1640 and 1860. The collection is displayed in the magnificent 175-room house, much as it was when the du Pont family lived here, as well as in permanent and changing exhibition galleries.

Through January 8, Winterthur will host several events that celebrate the season and highlight some of the best pieces of its extensive collection of American decorative arts and furnishings.  If someone you know loves American decorative arts, treat them to a day at Winterthur!

For more information, please visit, where you will find detailed itineraries for trips of a couple hours or an entire day, plus a full listing of special events, educational presentations and activities. 

Info and image courtesy Winterthur.

WHEN: Art Deco, 1920s - 1930s

"Ruhlman" by Florence Camard is "The most comprehensive and authoritative monograph to be published about the prolific master of art deco interior design. Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann (1879–1933) was one of the most celebrated art deco interior and furniture designers. Known as "The Master of Art Deco," Ruhlmann created opulent, exquisitely designed furniture, homes, and showrooms for the Parisian beau monde in the ’20s and ’30s, and was known for his use of rare woods with exquisite ornamentation provided by ivory, tortoiseshell, lacquer, mirrors, silk, and tooled metals. In addition to his interiors, Ruhlmann also designed lamps, rugs, wall coverings, cigar boxes, and unusually shaped beds and divans. Today, his objects are highly sought by collectors and connoisseurs. Encompassing examples from all areas of Ruhlmann’s output, this book expands upon the author’s previous work, originally published in 1984, and contains much new information, sketches, and drawings, and additional archival material never previously seen. This volume is the product of more than twenty years of research, and the author worked closely with the Ruhlmann family, art dealers, collectors, and curators in preparing this truly comprehensive and exhaustive monograph."

For more information, please visit

Image and info courtesy Rizzoli. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

WHAT: “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

If you have $5.85 million to spend on a gift, may we suggest 169 East 71st Street?  The fa├žade is familiar as Holly Golightly’s apartment building from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (though the interiors were shot on a sound stage).  This 3200-square-foot, beautifully finished building was just listed with Corcoran in New York. 
If the townhouse is just out of reach, breakfast with Tiffany’s can be had for a more modest $150 – the price of architect Frank Gehry’s Rock Dish in bone china.  At just over 11 inches long, it can hold approximately two danish. 
For more information, please visit
Image courtesy

WHO: Elsie De Wolfe

Elsie De Wolfe’s well-cultivated popularity and outsize persona coincided with a rise in interior design in the early 1900s.  She wrote The House in Good Taste, and The New Yorker credited her with inventing the profession of interior design.
The House in Good Taste is full of timeless advice such as, ”I believe in plenty of optimism and white paint, comfortable chairs with lights beside them, open fires on the hearth and flowers wherever they ‘belong,’ mirrors and sunshine in all rooms.”  The book is a thoughtful gift for anyone who is curious about the history of interior decorating.
To purchase a copy of The House in Good Taste, please visit
Image courtesy

WEEKLY Ws: Gift Guide – Part One of Two

‘Tis the season for gift guides, so here’s the first of our two-part series.  This week we present gifts for those who love tradition and the classics.  Next week we’ll show you some of the best gifts with a modern theme.  Happy shopping!