Monday, July 5, 2010
I do so miss writing my Furniture Addict postings. Alas, my accelerated acquisition activities, coupled with frenetic shuffling of furniture from Point A to Points B, C, D, n, have required every bit of energy I can muster. While I have tons of addict-related events and treasure discoveries to relay to my Dear Readers (who must by now be doubting my dedication to this Blog), time and exhaustion have prohibited me from putting pen to paper, so to speak.
But today, I am taking a much needed (yet brief) respite from my vintage furnishings hunting and moving. Sitting by the pool in beautiful Rehoboth Beach Delaware, surrounded by the July 4th vacationing hoi polloi, I am sufficiently rested to relay at least one episode of décor drama.
Recently, I was contacted by Barry, of Butch-and-Barry – a most interesting and fun couple to whom I was introduced years ago by Sig-O. B&B, being inveterate collectors of some of the finest vintage home furnishings, have decorated their lovely Arlington Virginia townhome with an extremely well-edited collection of furniture, china, and objects d’artes. So, I was quite intrigued when Barry called to ask if I might be interested in an extensive collection of – wait for it! – RUSSEL WRIGHT DINNERWARE!
Yes, Russel Wright! Now, for those of you who, admittedly or not, are unfamiliar with the glories of Russel Wright, allow me a pedagogical moment. Mr. Wright, along with his wife Mary, was among the earliest home décor lifestyle gurus. While they also designed beautifully streamlined furniture, they are perhaps best known for their iconic American Modern ceramic tableware, whose definitive sleek and simple styling is nonetheless imbued with organic shapes – the perfect marriage of Form and Function.
My first encounter with the design ingenuity of Russel Wright was during a trip to NYC more than eight years ago. The not-so-sig-o of the time suggested a side-trip to the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, which most fortuitously was featuring a Russel Wright restrospective. I was immediately enamored with the gracefully simple curves and subtle yet bold colorations of the dinnerware designs, especially the pieces comprising the American Modern collection, produced by Steubenville Pottery 1939 to 1959.
Our friend Barry had become the caretaker of a beautiful batch of Russel Wright American Modern collected over many decades by his mother. Desiring to pass the collection along to someone who might be interested in acquiring the set in its entirety, and being aware of the newly formed "As Luck Would Have It” vintage décor business endeavor, Barry most fortuitously thought of yours truly.