Inspired by Art

We are trained trend trackers just like our design clients. To that end, we are always looking for inspiration both inside and outside our industry. When we’re not at interiors shows or working in the showroom, you can often find us in museums where we find inspiration from the art world, as trends in art often affect fashion and design.

Over the past couple of months, our team visited a number of exhibitions throughout New York. We’ve compiled our favorites here for your enjoyment. Let us know if you have visited an exhibition that stuck with you, especially if it had an impact on your design.

art1Max Hart, Web Content Manager: At the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, NY, the exhibit Extreme Materials 2, an encore to the popular debut show from 2006, highlights both everyday and esoteric materials – soap, packing tape, bicycle parts, preserved insects, pencils, which were used to create unusual works of art. The show featured a portrait relief crafted from painted screws, a dress made from condoms, and a Byzantine mosaic recreated in breakfast cereal. These objects remind us that art can be found in everything around us.

Nancy Jackson, President: The Jewish Museum of New York hosted a show called Collecting Matisse and the Modern Masters. It featured the private collection of two sisters: Dr. Claribel and Miss Etta Cone, who befriended contemporary artists from the early 20th century. This is known as one of the world’s greatest art collections. This exhibition, on loan from The Baltimore Museum of Art, featured the famous masters Matisse, Picasso, Gauguin, van Gogh, Cezanne and others.


Another gem of an exhibit (pardon the pun) was Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels featured at the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.


Beyond wanting every piece, it was fascinating to see the interpretation of trends over a century of creativity. Jewelry was shown as another artistic endeavor, creating something far greater than the sum of its parts.

It was a fantastic opportunity to see the jewels in the context of a decorative art and design disciplines and to fantasize about which pieces would work best with my wardrobe!

Nancy Jackson & Larissa Nahari, Director of Marketing: Both Nancy and Larissa were one of the 661,000+ people who visited Savage Beauty – the Met’s exhibition that honored the late Alexander McQueen.


As members of the museum, (lucky them) they were able to skip the massive line.

Savage Beauty was undoubtedly one of the most celebrated exhibitions in New York last year. It highlighted the extraordinary artistic contributions by an artist whose medium of expression was fashion. The exhibit showcased over one hundred ensembles and many signature designs.

“You’ve got to know the rules to break them. That’s what I’m here for, to demolish the rules but to keep the tradition.” —Alexander McQueen

art5George Reddick, Executive Assistant: When I first moved to the area near the Brooklyn Museum in the early 2000s, I became used to the blue partitions surrounding the building -- obscuring the grand entrance from view. Then in late 2004, the partitions disappeared and a beautiful new façade, designed by Polshek Partnership Architects was revealed, providing a much more accessible and welcoming entrance to this historical museum.

art6My favorite places to visit in the museum are the re-constructed historical homes where you can see what residential life might have been like a century ago. In some cases, modest family homes that are little more than wood cabins that feature small rooms with knobby wooden floors and dark interiors. But in other cases, extremely ornate decors are featured, illustrating the creativity and opulence of early interior design in America, such as the Moorish Smoking Room from the Worsham-Rockefeller House that features an exotic design from the early 1880s.

Always a treat, the Brooklyn Museum offers new pleasures and familiar favorite spots on every visit.

You’ve heard from our team. Now tell us which exhibitions excite you!

Posted at 1/19/2012 9:30 AM

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