Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Carolyne Roehm's Design and Style A Constant Thread - Carolyne at Theta Charity Antiques Show 2018 - Essay

Carolyne Roehm's book “Design and Style: A Constant Thread"

"...posh hotels and restaurants in the area inflated costs.  Geezers recall when that part of downtown was an armpit..."

Carolyne Roehm's "Design and Style: A Constant Thread" - Carolyne at Theta Charity Antiques Show 2018 - Essay

Last Saturday morning I went to the Theta Charity Antiques show at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston.  The cost of going was notably higher than it used to be when I attended that show in the 1980s and 1990s, which made me wonder if all the posh hotels and restaurants in the area inflated costs.  Geezers recall when that part of downtown was an armpit.

I coughed up $25 for general admission and $50 for the lecture I attended, and would have paid more had I parked a car, or wanted booze.  However framed against the woman whose wallet was stolen during the $200 per head “preview” party, my visit was comparatively cheap.

But I was happy to spend the money to hear Carolyne Roehm discuss her design work and her newest book “Design and Style: A Constant Thread,” which I own.  For a few seconds I hesitated to haul my book to the show, it weighed a ton, and never in my life had I bothered to obtain an autograph.  But I figured what the hell, lugged my book and stood in line to shake Carolyne’s hand, and thank her for her work.  It was the second time I had the opportunity to hear Carolyne speak.

If I sound gushy, it’s because I’m grateful.  Carolyne has been a source of inspiration ever since the late-1980s when I saw her fashion designs in magazines.  Her work designing interiors, which I follow on her website and in her books, has been extremely influential.  It’s hardly overblown to say Carolyne’s exquisite taste and discerning attention to detail helped to discipline me.  Take for example the pair of eighteenth century hand-carved gilt candelabra mirrors she placed in a bedroom.  I studied them closely, researched and learned, which gave me the confidence to approach an antique dealer and make an offer on the nineteenth century hand-carved candelabra mirror that hangs in my living room.  Drinks on me, honey child, for that treasure.

Nineteenth century hand-carved Louis XV-style gilt
candelabra mirror

Donnie, of course, called my antique candelabra mirror “girlie,” but I could see he was moved by its elegant fluidity and asymmetrical form.

In the same vein, Carolyne inspired me to acquire my carved marble portrait bust at auction.  I had wanted a hand-carved marble portrait bust ever since the mid-1980s when I saw a gazillion of them in Italy, and rather impulsively purchased a marble pedestal to hold one.  The pedestal held other stuff, porcelain jars, cast figures, until recently, when I spotted a carved marble bust in an auction catalog and rushed my ass to the auction.  A nervous mess, I was afraid to bid, but thinking about Carolyne’s  marble sculptures, her Madame de Pompadour for instance, filled me with resolve, and I lassoed my marble sculpture.  I can’t remember if the gavel slammed, but I do recall I was so unsettled after I won the bid, I broke my favorite booze rule about no drinking during the day because it makes me too sleepy to accomplish anything, and downed a big Chardonnay at the auction.

My carved marble portrait bust was very heavy, and the auction dudes had to place it in my Jeep, where it remained for two days until Donnie returned home with his friend.  “What’s that?”  My carved marble bust for the pedestal.  Carolyne has some.

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Bayview Inn, Cypremort Point Louisiana, Cranking Up

Billeaud's Too, Calvin Trillin, and Jacking with Cajun Boudin

Martha Stewart Visits Lucullus Antiques - Patrick Dunne - New Orleans

Jimmy Domengeaux Chats about His Louisiana Wetlands Photography Exhibition – Interview
Notes on van Gogh’s Irises, Walter Annenberg, Louisiana Politics - Essay

A Closer Look at Christy Karll’s Painting “Swerve” –  Interview

Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits - Some Background

Michelangelo and Pope Paul III Background Story