Showing posts with label Rose Cumming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rose Cumming. Show all posts

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Travellers: Chandelier and Portrait from Rose Cumming

Rose Cumming in her antiques shop, 1964,
by Jeanloup Sieff for Harper's Bazaar.
As Devoted Readers remember, The Travellers series of posts shows how a particular piece of furniture or work of art is presented in two (or more) very different settings.  This time, The Devoted Classicist presents two particularly stylish items from legendary 20th century design icon Rose Cumming and how they are used in interior design today.

The Directoire period chandelier as it appears today
in Toby Worthington's dining room.
The first photo of the post appeared in the July, 1964, issue of Harper's Bazaar in conjunction with a theme of New York City's hosting the World's Fair.  Rose Cumming "stands amid the splendors of her antique shop", then at 499 Park Avenue.  She is wearing one of her trademark Chinese Mandarin robes, her hair dyed lavender, said to intend to upstage her rival Elsie de Wolfe who had dyed her hair blue.  In the background can be seen the Directoire period chandelier that is also shown in the second image.  Distinctive aquamarine crystals adorn the crown and there are also small cobalt blue glass beads along the ringed tiers.  The chandelier had never been wired and remains candle-powered today.

A photograph of Rose Cumming
Circa 1930, by Edward Steichen.
Conde Nast Archives.
The portrait seen behind Rose Cumming in the photo above is of Elizabeth Holkes Western by the English painter Thomas Hudson, 1701-1779.  It was bought from the New York commercial art gallery, Scott & Fowles, in 1926. 

Rose Cumming's portrait of Mrs. Western.
The New York Historical Society.
In the photo above, a better view of Mrs. Western's portrait is revealed.  Labelled only as a Drawing Room, it is thought to be Rose Cumming's own residence.

Mrs. Western at home in Toby Worthington's Living Room.
Hudson had helped set a standard for fashionable portraiture in London.  This portrait follows his characteristic elegant pose of the subject, swathed in luxurious fabrics, giving the impression of quality and wealth.  After 235 or so years, the portrait still provides a stylish contribution to the decor of a room today.

Rose Cumming's 'Banana Leaf' fabric.
The pink and charcoal colorway is the original.
The design was developed with sister Dorothy dipping leaves in pigment.
Photo by Rose Cumming Fabric and Wallcoverings
for Architectural Digest.
Rose Cumming's antiques shop was much admired by the design community and trendsetters of the day.  But the name is more known today for the fabric of her own design which was sold from her shop.  Her floral chintzes were particularly notable for their distinctive colorways, giving a fresh, contemporary twist to traditional design.  But she also designed modern fabrics that are being revived by Dessin Fournir, which now owns the rights for production and distribution.

The cover of the new book ROSE CUMMING
by Jeffrey Simpson with Foreward by Sarah Cumming Cecil.
Published by Rizzoli,
Release date September 4, 2012.
Interest in Rose Cumming is building as the release date grows near for a new book, Rose Cumming.  Written by Jeffrey Simpson with a Foreward by grandniece Sarah Cumming Cecil, it is the first book devoted entirely to the legendary design figure.  The book is available at a discount here.

Photo of Rose Cumming by Wilbur Pippin.
 Private Collection.
A chapter is devoted to Rose Cumming in The Great Lady Decorators: The Women Who Defined Interior Design by Adam Lewis with a Foreward by the great lady decorator of today, Bunny Williams.  It is available at discount here.

Previous posts in The Travellers series feature a chimneypiece, a folding screen, a sunburst clock, and a nude portrait.  Those reading a subscribed version of this post are reminded to view the full site for features such as SEARCH THIS BLOG and COMMENTS.

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