Call a Spade a Spade

When I was younger, one of my absolute favorite books was called “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler”. It outlines two children who take up residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Claudia Kincaid is almost twelve, a straight “A” student, only girl and eldest child of four, who decides to run away to somewhere beautiful, comfortable, and preferably indoors. She brings her brother Jamie along and they use the public restrooms by day and snuggle up to their favorite statues by night. I have always imagined sneaking into a museum and living amongst the tapestries and tea gardens!

Certain stores also fill me with a sense of yearning – to sleep in the confines of a small boutique, covered in fashion, design, and beauty! Case in Point: Kate Spade, replete with floral walls, microphones hanging from the ceiling, faux tour posters, drum kits, matchboxes, colored extension cords, and rococo ottomans! (The best part? You can buy much of the interior decor HERE, even down to the wallpaper used in-store.) Kate Spade’s new motto is “Live Colorfully”. The Spade aesthetic relies on bright, bold, and geometric shapes. Color is always accented with black. Punky meets Preppy!

(Images photographed by me, except for the Kate Spade catalogue design cover and Signature Spade pattern, done by 2×4.)

A sketch of the Kate Spade store on Fifth Avenue in NYC by Caitlin McGauley – who also designs some stationery and iPhone cases for the brand.

Kate Brosnahan Spade (born Katherine Noel Brosnahan; December 24, 1962) is the namesake designer of the brand Kate Spade. Although most known her for her boxy handbags, bow accents, and bright stationery, Spade has won numerous awards for her bedding and linens, as well as interior design. Kate’s interior designer, Steven Sclaroff, mixes his own style with Kate and Andy’s finds. Andy is Kate’s college sweetheart, they first decided to move in together while she was working at Mademoiselle. Andy is David Spade’s brother, but also a designer, advertiser, and publisher! They are long toted as one of the most creative power couples of the 20th century.

Let’s take a gander at the couple’s fabulous and timeless NYC Apartment:

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Creative Coupling

In preparation for Valentine’s Day…

Georgia O’Keeffe photographed by Alfred Stieglitz – c. 1918

Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe. Painter Georgia O’Keeffe and photographer Alfred Stieglitz wrote each other letters — sometimes two and three a day, some of them 40 pages long.  When Stieglitz and O’Keeffe met in 1916, he was 52 and famous — an internationally acclaimed photographer, with an avant-garde gallery in Manhattan. She, on the other hand, was 28 and unknown.  Stieglitz believed in O’Keeffe’s paintings during a time when his contemporaries called her “talentless” and “derivative”. Love is supporting your other half’s ideals. More about the couple and the book on NPR. 

Christo and Jeanne-Claude: lovers, collaborators, and artists. Both born 1935. Christo is an American, Bulgarian-born man by the name Christo Vladimirov Javacheff and raised in a Bulgarian industrialist family. Jeanne-Claude is an American, French-born woman by the name Jeanne-Claude Marie Denat. Raised in Casablanca by a French military family, educated in France and Switzerland. Died November 18, 2009, New York City.  They explain “All of Christo and JeanneClaude’s projects come from ideas from their two hearts, and two brains.” It seems the most important artist’s tool for the two are their hearts. More beautiful photos of the couple through the years, and their projects, on their website.

Christo and Jean-Claude, Wrapped Trees, 1997-1998

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, The Umbrellas, Japan-USA, 1984-91, Photo: Wolfgang Volz, © 1991 Christo

Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner. During his lifetime, Pollock enjoyed considerable fame and notoriety. He was regarded as a mostly reclusive artist. He had a volatile personality, and struggled with alcoholism for most of his life. In 1945, he married the artist Lee Krasner (her all-over-painting technique is not to be ignored!), who became an important influence on his career and on his legacy. Pollock died at the age of 44 in an alcohol-related car accident. Home and Estate Above.

Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner stones in Green River Cemetery in Springs, New York.

Continually be influenced and inspired by love. Love is passion, passion is art.