COLLECTING
Thomaï Serdari on Fine Arts & Luxury
Lyonel Feininger woodcut on European wove paper. Courtesy of Moeller Fine Art.

No one will ever find April 29, 2003 in Lyonel Feininger’s (1871-1956) approved chronology. Yet, that is the date when, still a graduate student, I took my orals exam to qualify for my PhD at the Institute of Fine Arts. Neither the refined décor of the Institute’s Oak Room nor the majestic view of Central […]

Odalisque and Slave, 1839. Courtesy of The Morgan Library.

The Morgan Library’s Moore Curatorial Fellow Esther Bell organized a small exhibit comprising 17 of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres drawings (September 9 through November 27, 2011 for details visit: http://www.themorgan.org/exhibitions/exhibition.asp?id=51). The exhibition is designed to reward the visitor with a few of the most perceptive portraits by the great French draftsman. In late Robert Rosenblum’s seminal work […]

Lacroix jacket, Daphne Guinness Collection, Courtesy of the Museum at FIT

“A true bird of paradise,” my friend exclaimed as we were both admiring Daphne Guinness going up Madison Avenue bras à bras with her companion, French intellectual Bernard-Henri Levy, on a frigid Friday afternoon late last January. I have witnessed their indulgently unhurried stroll up Madison Avenue several times as our lives cross momentarily in […]

Removing colors before the printing process

Some clients and friends often challenge my persistence in distinguishing Hermès as the ultimate luxury brand. The truth is there are just a handful of brands with a similar commitment to craftsmanship and innovation. Unless one pays attention to how the objects are actually produced there is little differentiation between luxury goods for the untrained […]

Montgomery Place, foyer

Mythologizing America’s relationship with its grand landscapes has gone a little too far. Coupled with an intense love affair with social history, both historical approaches diminish the importance that objects occupy in everyone’s life and practically erase all discussions of personal taste, style affinities, or prejudices. Not to mention Americans’ propensity for collecting luxury objects—would […]