Category Archives: Art and design

“From Paris to Providence”

514 Broadway, the Prentice House, in Providence, where Anna and Laura Tirocchi had their dressmaking shop. Now known as the Wedding Cake House, it is a chic hotel. (Tirocchi Archive) Providence was once a world leader in textile manufacturing, including … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art and design | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Better lights for Providence

Getting into the Wayback Machine, I alight on this blog post from February 6, 2015, called “Better lights for Providence,” atop of which is a beautiful photo of Benefit Street and its lovely, faux-18th century amber lights. I thought that … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art and design, Blast from past | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Stone carving jobs for youth

National Public Radio reported three years ago that the need for stone carvers to help restore the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, in Paris, following its fire in 2019, has caused schools teaching that craft to mushroom in France. These young people … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art and design | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Van Gogh, boring fr. within

This past weekend we took in the Van Gogh exhibit, called “Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience,” that has taken the country by storm these last few months. Van Gogh isn’t quite my cup of tea, but I was prepared … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art and design, Books and Culture, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The joy of hating modernism

My favorite writer of all time is William Hazlitt, the British essayist of the early 19th century and contemporary of Charles Lamb and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He was considered a “good hater” (or maybe it was “a good damner”) and … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art and design | Tagged , , , , , | 39 Comments

Atlantis: Krier’s ideal village

In February, the architect and urban theorist Léon Krier, famed for planning Prince Charles’s new town of Poundbury, sent me a video about his proposed academic village on a hillside at the island, off of North Africa, of Tenerife, long … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art and design, Urbanism and planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Garden of House of Mirth

My last quotation from Edith Wharton’s 1905 novel The House of Mirth offered one minor character’s thoughts on several fancy row houses of Fifth Avenue, including one or two owned by families friendly to Mr. Van Alstyne and his partner … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art and design | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

William Blackstone’s statue

William Blackstone, or Blaxton (1595-1675), has long struck me as the mildest of colonists, perhaps not even a colonist strictly speaking. He was a recluse, and when other colonists showed up, he exited stage left. An ordained priest of the … Continue reading

Posted in Art and design, Books and Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Blake on Corbu’s “furniture”

Peter Blake, modernist architect, critic and (eventually) apostate, writes about “functional” modernist furniture in his book Le Corbusier: Architecture and Form (1960), which I’m reading as a sort of launching pad to his book Form Follows Fiasco (the best book … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art and design, Interior Design | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Review: “Pollak’s Arm”

Pollak’s Arm, a historical novel by Hans von Trotha, is not about Pollak’s arm but about the arm his protagonist, art collector Ludwig Pollak, found, which had been missing for centuries from the shoulder of Laocoön (pronounced lay-o-coo-on), the central … Continue reading

Posted in Art and design, Book/Film Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment