Archive for the overfussy tastes Category

Shabbos “Pouf”/week 11

Posted in 19th cent., Centennial Exhibition, overfussy tastes, Philadelphia with tags on April 30, 2010 by babylonbaroque

First off if anyone knows what this type of furniture is actually called please let me know. I will describe the following as a circular leather bench, but my friends Jaime Rummerfield and Ron Woodson of Woodson & Rummerfield describe it as a pouf which I love.

This pouf loves THIS pouf.

Leather upholstered circular bench with bronze candelabrum.



approx. 1876

This magnificent pience of ostentation was shown at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876.

One of the many marvel, I plan to explore the Centennial Exhibition in more depth, but for now…

Good Shabbos

Good Shabbos chair, kinda, sorta, week 6

Posted in 1851 Great Exhibition, 19th cent., chair, overfussy tastes on March 31, 2010 by babylonbaroque

As it has been a mad mad week, and ending early as I need to spend Easter with family, I am doing a lazy man post for my Shabbos post. My EARLY shabbos, pre Easter post.

Instead of pretentious musing, how about some pretty pictures of chairs.

Unidentified (save for the State Chair from the 1851 Exhibition) and beautiful.

I will be shopping for new seating shortly, unfortunately my depleted budget allows for IKEA, I don’t remember an assemble your own State chair.

Wishing all a Good Pasach, Good Shabbos, and a Happy Easter.

Good night.

Hans Makart, the Makartbouquet, and Makartstil.

Posted in 19th cent., art pompier, Hans Makart, Makartbouquet, overfussy tastes on December 22, 2009 by babylonbaroque

I recently finished a really marvelous book “The Poetic Home, Designing the 19th Century Domestic Interior”, by Stefan Muthesius. It is an impressive tome, 350 pages of very in depth study of what made 19th century rooms so special, so loved and so reviled. I became more aware of the inwardness of domestic interiors particuarly in reaction to the Industrial Revolution. Fascinating.

One figure kept popping up, the artist Hans Makart, I knew of him only slightly. I knew I enjoyed his work, I also knew it should be a guilty pleasure. If anyone captured 19th century sentimental excess it was old Hans.I came to understand how powerful he was in the 19th century, particularly in Viennese society. Fashionable ladies flocked to his studio, Cosima Wagner remarked that his studio was a “wonder of decorative beauty”.Mr. Wagner was also great fan, an interest I am  pleased to share .

Alas so was Mr. Hitler.

I’m not so pleased to be a member of  THAT fan club ( Hitler was also vegetarian, yet another unfortunate common interest).

Not good.

Hopefully that is all we share in common. Here is a charming little moment in which Hitler is presenting “The Falconer” to one of his cronies.

It is really a rather nice painting, effective coloring, lovely woman, lively composition. Easy to see how it would warm up ANY Nazi home.

So lots of negative baggage connected to the man, Hitler, Hitler’s favorite composer, not great company. Maybe that’s why poor Hans fell out of fashion.He still is pretty wonderful in a bright eye candy way.

I really love this, wonderful decorative qualities, a masterful use of color. I understand why academics and “real”‘ artists cringe, but it does bring joy in a dark, introspective way. It reminds me of some overblown funereal bouquet.

Please send one along when I pass.

My understanding is that this cult around Makart, his paintings, his studio, his design influenced  artists like Mucha and Klimpt, society broads, and your garden variety housewife. Perhaps Mrs. Aspiring-Society-Lady wasn’t able to have a Herter Bros. pier mirror,  or a bearskin strewn couch; she could gather up some water reeds, some palm fronds, some pretty berries, and a few Japonism-chinoserie doodads, shove them into a chipped majolica jug, and there you have it, a charming little Aesthetic corner.

I thinks it’s interesting that although Makart and “Makartstile” has faded from most public memory, on some intuitive sense, I still feel his influence. My very German grandmother certainly arranged interiors and flowers in a watered down Makartstile. When I have a pile of flowers my instinct is to pile them on ala Makart. I was reminded of this as I was putting up my Christmas tree, out came the little chinois puppets, feathered curiosities, branches of this and that. Much time has passed, fashion has changed, but there is at least one silly West Hollywood queen thinking of and honoring Makart.

Just one more image,( a wee crooked sorry) a cozy little room with one ambitious Makartbouquet.