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Steven Stolman

 

As always, the 2017 edition of the San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show has curated a stellar and unique line-up of lectures, panel discussions and book signings, featuring some of the most prominent names in the worlds of art, antiques, design, architecture, and history who share their knowledge and insight into their areas of expertise. For a complete list of events, click here.

A definite must-see will be the lecture by self-professed “serial entertainer” Steven Stolman. Steven will speak candidly about his experiences as an accomplished host and accidental party planner. From his own home-style cocktail parties and dinners to grand galas and celebrations in glamorous places like Newport, Palm Beach, and the Hamptons, Stolman's self-deprecating humor and common sense good taste will delight and inspire all, from experienced hosts and sophisticated gourmands to those of us who can't boil water. Formal gala decor and fancy foods will get deconstructed and simplified, so that even the most reluctant, inexperienced host can entertain effortlessly. 

In his own words: "For those of you who never have anyone over, for crying out loud, just open a can of peanuts and call me!"

Designer, author and observer of all things stylish, Steven Stolman was born in Boston and raised in West Hartford, CT. A graduate of New York’s Parsons School of Design, he spent many years as a “worker bee” on Seventh Avenue before going out on his own with a collection of resort wear for men, women and children. Sold from his eponymous shops in tony towns like Southampton, Palm Beach, Nantucket and Beverly Hills, his simple, unique designs cut from decorative fabrics became a cult favorite among the smart set; they remain collectors’ items to this day.

In 2011, Stolman was tapped to serve as president of Scalamandre, the renowned textiles house. During his three-year tenure, he spearheaded an extraordinary brand expansion that brought the Scalamandre name and its iconic motifs to distinctive collections of china and crystal, deluxe bedding, lighting, upholstered furniture, decorative accessories and paper goods that continue to be sold worldwide.

Now an author and brand strategist for several fashion and interior design companies, he is married to software executive Rich Wilkie, and divides his time between homes in Palm Beach, New York and Milwaukee.

Edward Lobrano

 

The Summer vignette at the entry of the show will be created by New York designer, Edward Lobrano. His design will showcase Abottsford, a stunningly beautiful hand painted de Gournay wallcovering in the chinoiserie tradition, the perfect backdrop for an unusual Victorian mirror from Carlton Hobbs. The fantastic scale, whimsical avian element and romantic floral motif all speak to a delightful summer mood.

Edward Lobrano was raised in Jacksonville, Florida. In his early 40’s, his love of design and furniture led him away from a successful career in real estate syndication, and into the world of interior design.

He began his design career in Washington, D.C. with Anthony Childs Inc. where he was exposed to great style and an understanding of French furniture. His move to Bunny Williams Inc., as her head designer, brought him into the world of casual, eclectic good taste and with it a love of English furniture; it also helped him to understand the placement of furniture and the importance of detail and quality, something that was already an essential element to him. Ed’s position at Bunny’s led him to work for David Anthony Easton Inc. which eventually created an opportunity in San Francisco to run a group for Paul Wiseman of the Wiseman Group. Ed started his own firm in San Francisco in 1998.

Through his work, he was able to build an enormous source of artisans, contacts and resources throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, and had the opportunity to work on exciting and challenging projects both here and abroad. In addition, his work and associations have enabled him to see some of the most beautiful rooms and houses and to experience the world of great decorating.

Jay Jeffers

 

San Francisco designer Jay Jeffers is creating the Winter vignette at the show's entry which will incorporate a stunning center table from New York dealer Carlton Hobbs. The table is a collage of prints by 19th century author and artist, Aubrey Beardsley. As Jay says, "I love it because the shape is simple and elegant but the collage work is at once unusual and a little naughty. It’s always fun to be a little naughty in design!"
The vignette's wallpaper he envisioned in collaboration with de Gournay is an abstract design with block shapes gilded onto a sheer slubbed organza that is mounted over a colored paper.

Named to Elle Décor’s A-List of top interior designers, Jay Jeffers is the founder of JayJeffers and the author of Collected Cool (now in its second printing by Rizzoli). Since establishing his eponymous San Francisco-based firm in 1999, Jay has designed apartments and homes in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Wine Country, Los Angeles, New York and beyond. His work has been published and included in numerous decorator show houses and interior design books. Jay opened his first retail space, JayJeffers – The Store, in 2012 to showcase a capsule collection of his bespoke furniture along with artisan designs and accessories by local and international artists. In 2013, Jay was tapped to create signature penthouses for the Ritz-Carlton Residences Lake Tahoe. In 2015, he introduced the Jay Jeffers Collection for Arteriors, a line of sophisticated home accessories for entertaining. 
Born in Dallas, Jeffers graduated from the University of Texas and moved to San Francisco, where he worked in advertising for the fashion industry while studying interior design at UC Berkeley. Jay and his husband, Michael Purdy, Director of Brand Development for JayJeffers, live in San Francisco and in their Jeffers-designed Napa Valley getaway, The Poolhouse, with their two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Olive and Kingsley.

Pamela Babey – BAMO

 

Pamela Babey is creating a dreamy Spring vignette for the entry of the show, depicting a garden sunset with cascading blossoms, on a fuchsia silk wallcovering, custom created by de Gournay. Her design will also incorporate a fantastic rococo 18th century Venetian carved giltwood, mirror glass-mounted marquise chair from Carlton Hobbs in New York. In her own words "This chair is utterly frivolous and fantastic, probably in the original fabric and every descriptive adjective made me excited. In addition, it is Venetian, which sealed the deal for me. One can see a chair or two with mirror inlay in the glass museum in Murano, but they are very rare. I can imagine it in my favorite Venetian Palazzo, Ca'Rezzonico."

Pamela Babey, with her signature fiery-red hair, boundless creative energy, and infectious laugh, is considered a visionary in the world of luxury interiors. Interior Design acknowledged her indelible legacy by adding Pamela to its Hall of Fame; she is also a member of Hospitality Design’s Platinum Circle. Pamela earned her architecture degree from U.C. Berkeley and built an impressive resume designing for SOM, James Stewart Polshek & Partners, and the Pfister Partnership. Since cofounding BAMO in 1991, Pamela has traveled the world designing luxurious hotels and residences.
Adept at marrying color and pattern in unexpected ways, Pamela is passionate about sourcing unique pieces made with care. Inspired by a rich community of artisans worldwide, Babey infuses each space with elegance, expression, and enjoyment. Her work has been featured in national and international books, newspapers, and magazines. Pamela’s portfolio includes Four Season Hotels in Milan and Bora Bora, The Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli, a residential compound in Beijing, several homes on The Peak in Hong Kong, and a superyacht built by Benetti.

Kendall Wilkinson

 

The San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show is thrilled to be once again partnering with de Gournay on the four designer vignettes that will grace the show's entry. Benefiting this year's Flower Power theme, each vignette will focus on one of the four seasons. San Francisco designer Kendall Wilkinson will create the Fall vignette, entitled Secret Garden. Her design for de Gournay was inspired by a Valentino dress with autumn-colored flowers, so they are hand painting flowers onto an iridescent silk wallpaper. Kendall will also incorporate wonderfully crusty stone garden elements from Finnegan Gallery in Chicago. We can't wait to see the result!

Though she is a San Francisco native, Kendall’s passion for interior design started while studying abroad in Paris after leaving the movie industry. In Paris, Kendall became enamored by French architecture and antiques, and began traveling abroad extensively. With a respect for tradition and a passion for the modern, Kendall’s true expertise lies in her ability to artfully mix authenticity and contemporary design to match her clients’ tastes. She has helped several clients create “Healthy Homes” in addition to focusing on sustainability and green-living. Her clients include industry leaders in technology, finance, retail and hospitality. 
Kendall is regularly featured in leading design and lifestyle publications and has been covered in multiple design blogs. Kendall has also appeared on local and nationally syndicated television programs including HGTV’s Homes Across America, High Tech Home, and Sensible Chic. In the spring of 2016, Kendall launched her first collection with Fabricut, featuring indoor/outdoor fabrics in a sophisticated mix of neutrals, bold colors and innovative patterns.

Flower Photography

 

Flower Photography

The medium of photography seems to be the absolute perfect medium for capturing the fleeting nature of blooms and blossoms. It is no surprise that as early as the late nineteenth century, that process veered into an artistic interpretation of nature's most precious gifts.

Karl Blossfeldt (1865 – 1932) worked as a photographer, sculptor, teacher, and artist in Berlin, Germany. He is best known for his close-up photographs of plants and living things, published in 1929 as, Urformen der Kunst. He was inspired by nature and the ways in which plants grow and believed that the plant must be valued as a totally artistic and architectural structure. He even developed a series of home-made cameras that allowed him to photograph plant surfaces in unprecedented magnified detail.

Imogen Cunningham (1883-1976) occupies a singular position in the history of American art of the twentieth century. For over half the history of photography, she explored- with innovation and a new perspective- all the major traditions associated with the medium as fine art. She is most widely acclaimed for the photographs made during the 1920s and 1930s, particularly close-up images of plants and nudes. She also made portraits which are now considered classics in photography, including images of Alfred Stieglitz, Spencer Tracy, and Martha Graham. Cunningham was a member of the California-based Group f/64, known for its dedication to the sharp-focus rendition of simple subjects.

Irving Penn (1917 – 2009) was an American photographer known for his fashion photography, portraits, and still lifes. Penn's career included work at Vogue magazine, as well as independent advertising work. In 1967, art director Alexander Liberman commissioned him to shoot a still life series of flowers for the December edition of American Vogue. Using his signature compositional clarity, the influential image-maker eschewed the sentimentality so commonly associated with blooms, for a stark focus on structure, texture, palette and anatomical function. The result is iconic and unforgettable.

Robert Mapplethorpe (1946 – 1989) is known for his sensitive yet blunt treatment of controversial subject-matter in the large-scale, highly stylized black and white medium of photography. His floral still lifes, a series of up-close photographs of the beautiful, hairy blooms in all of their fragility and vivid power, draw on a rich and storied history of artists depicting flora – and yet, they’re also in possession of an intense and magnetic sensuality.

Renowned San Francisco gallery Modernism will join the San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show this year. Among their offerings will be the work of Robert Stivers (1975), whose successful career as a professional dancer was abruptly thrown to a halt when he suffered a traumatic back injury, shifting his artistic focus to choreography, and then ultimately to photography. Rebecca Klein from Picture Magazine writes: “Robert’s out-of-focus photography technique has separated him as a unique and innovative photographer. In the beginning, this decision to print soft focus images was a means of breaking away from conventional photography techniques. Now, it has become a way of expressing himself within themes such as loss, memory, rapture, eroticism, death and rebirth. His methodology has grabbed the attention of many, and his talent is eminent. Robert Stivers is one of the best fine art photographers living today.”

Below left:

Big Rose, 2012. Signed & dated verso, uniquely toned gelatin silver print; No. 3 of Edition: 15

Below right:

Sunflower, 2010. Signed & dated verso, uniquely toned gelatin silver print; No. 10 of Edition: 15

Wildflowers

 

The Flower Power universe is vast, and populated with innumerable species, running the gamut from humble to ostentatious, from petite and delicate to overwhelming and in-your-face. Receiving an artfully arranged bouquet and chancing upon a field of wildflowers can provoke equal delight. 
One person's weed is another person's wildflower. Yet wildflowers have a quaint and understated beauty that often plays second fiddle to larger, fancier flower varieties. Like the quiet pretty girl at the dance who doesn’t draw attention to herself, wildflowers wait patiently to be noticed, and once you do, you’ll be drawn to their delicate beauty again and again.

Poppies belong to the Papaveraceae family. One species of poppy, Papaver Somniferum, is the source of the crude drug opium which has been used since ancient times as an analgesic and narcotic medicinal and recreational drug. It also produces edible seeds. Following the trench warfare which took place in the poppy fields of Flanders during World War I, poppies have become a symbol of remembrance of soldiers who have died during wartime.
From Los Angeles Fine Art Gallery: Les Coquelicots by George Averhals, Belgian School (1906-1975)

Hollyhocks or Alcea Rosea are the epitome of cottage garden plants. These stately towers of flowers bloom for a long time in summer in a wide variety of colors. Chances are you’ve seen them alongside a barn, in front of a cute cottage-style house, or gracing the front of a white picket fence.
From Los Angeles Fine Art Gallery: Garden Scene with Hollyhocks by Leonie Mottart Van Marcke, Belgian School (1862-1936)

The English daisy or Bellis Perennis carpets the ground with tufts of small spoon-shaped leaves, which can be evergreen in mild-winter regions. Flowers on this daisy feature a bright yellow button center surrounded with a fringe of narrow petals. In floriography, daisies represent innocence, purity, and cheerfulness.
From Lawrence Jeffrey Estate Jewelers:  Black Starr & Frost natural river pearls & peridot daisy brooch, circa 1890

The edelweiss or Leontopodium Nivale, is a mountain flower that grows in rocky limestone places at high altitude. It has been used traditionally in folk medicine as a remedy against abdominal and respiratory diseases. According to folk tradition, giving this flower to a loved one is a promise of dedication.
From Lang Antique & Estate Jewelry: Edelweiss brooch with petals composed of freshwater “wing” pearls centered by a trio of small round brilliant-cut diamonds, 1950's

In the words of Lady Bird Johnson: “Wildflowers are the stuff of my heart!”

Lights, camera, action!

 

The cinematic world is certainly not immune to the effects of Flower Power. Throughout the years, various blooms have served as key plot points - both symbolic and literal - and memorable visual storytelling tools. Here are just a few examples:

One of the most iconic images in cinematic history is that of Mena Suvari laying naked on a bed of crimson red rose petals in American Beauty. This 1999 Oscar winning drama was the master work of director Sam Mendes. Its title had a double meaning. The American Beauty is one of the most famous cultivated roses in history, a creation of Henri Lédéchaux in France in 1875. It is not only one of the best-selling rose varieties each year for Valentine’s day in the United States but also the symbol of the District of Columbia.

In Big Fish hopeless romantic Edward Bloom, played by Ewan McGregor, “tells his stories so many times that he becomes the stories.” In one of the movie's most mesmerizing scenes, Bloom makes a grand and surreal attempt to secure the girl of his dreams by planting an endless sea of bright yellow daffodils outside her window. 

Every fashionista fantasizes about being Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face, a mousy librarian reimagined as glamorous model by fashion photographer Fred Astaire. Their photoshoot at the Paris flower market is the stuff of dreams.

And who can forget Jay Gatsby's offering of a roomful of blooms to his beloved Daisy in the 2013 version of The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio? The scene is so lush, it is easy to imagine the overwhelming, intoxicating scent in the room.

The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds is a 1972 American drama film produced and directed by Paul Newman and based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same title by Paul Zindel. The title is quite a mouthful and refers both to a science experiment conducted by one of the main characters, as well as to the toxic family environment the film depicts.

White Oleander is a 2002 American drama film directed by Peter Kosminsky chronicling the life of a young teenager who journeys through a series of foster homes after her mother goes to prison for committing a crime of passion – poisoning a lover with the toxic oleander bloom.

Who hasn't sobbed their way through Steel Magnolias? The title of this 1989 American comedy-drama film directed by Herbert Ross suggests the main female characters can be both as delicate as the magnolia flower, and as tough as steel.

The Black Dahlia is a 2006 thriller film directed by Brian De Palma drawn from the novel of the same name by James Ellroy. Both are based on the widely sensationalized 1947 murder of aspiring actress Elizabeth Short, nicknamed The Black Dahlia by the Hollywood press because of her black hair, black attire and the fact that she always wore a dahlia flower in her hair. Perhaps an idea for the opening night gala?

Contain yourself...

 

Influential British horticulturist and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll wrote in Flower Decoration in the House (1907)
“There are some English words which have no equivalent in French, but then there are a great many more French words ... for which we have no English. One of these is jardinière. Even in French it does not quite rightly express its meaning, because the obvious meaning of jardinière is female gardener, whereas what we understand by it is a receptacle for holding pot-plants”.
Befitting the Flower Power theme, there will be quite a few such ornamental containers or stands for holding plants and flowers at the 2017 San Francisco Fall Art & Antiques Show, from a variety of periods and in a wide range of styles:

From Carlton Hobbs: a rare and massive pair of faïence jardinières attributed to Philippe Mombaers or Jacques Artoisenet, Brussels, second quarter of the 18th Century.

From Jesse Davis Antiques: a striking Minton majolica passion flower motif jardiniere and rare underplate, finished in a turquoise glaze ground trailed with abundant passion flower blooms and adorned with lion mask handles. English, circa 1860.

From Jill Fenichell: a pair of monumental Villeroy & Boch jardinieres painted by Warth, dated 1888.

From Earle D. Vandekar of Knightsbridge: a Chinese export large Canton rose medallion porcelain cache-pot and stand, circa 1840-1860.

From Antonio's Bella Casa: a richly carved Venetian, raised wood planter edged with cascading fronds on a matching base, circa 1935.

Floriography

 

Floriography aka the language of flowers is a means of cryptological communication through the use or arrangement of flowers. Its popularity soared in Victorian England and in the United States during the 19th century. Gifts of blooms, plants, and specific floral arrangements were used to send a coded message to the recipient, allowing the sender to express feelings which could not be spoken aloud in Victorian society – call it the Victorian version of emojis. 
(image via Feri Tradition)

Dictionaries and books on the subject became widespread and everyone was searching for the perfect flower to present in a situation according to its given meaning. Some definitions had mythological roots, others were derived from hedge witch traditions, and a few seemed completely random – and sometimes contradictory, this was certainly not an exact science...
(image via Planterra Conservatory)

In its heyday, this flower language was easily expressed with nosegays (also called tussie mussies), bouquets of flowers and herbs carried by proper women to alleviate the effects of lowly odors - as regular bathing was not yet a common practice. Depending on the flowers included in the bouquet, these could convey a myriad of concepts and desires. Not only did the individual flowers hold meaning, but the way they were arranged together could also tell a story or communicate a deeper meaning: from love, admiration and sympathy to jealousy, disgust and denial – it could all be expressed through flowers. This floral language eventually pervaded every aspect of  Victorian life, as flowers were depicted on fabric, china, stationary, jewelry, and even in the naming of daughters for whom certain expectations and characteristics were sought. Think about that next time you meet a Violet, Lily or Iris.
(image via Amino Apps)

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