Gerald Bland

wisdom, sister, albert, mita, susan and libby

 the brooke astor library designed by albery hadley. illustration by mita corsini bland from the book Sister Parish Design by susan bartlett carter & libby cameron.

Wisdom is radiant and unfading, and she is easily discerned by those who love her, and is found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her. He who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty, for he will find her sitting at his gates. To fix one's thought on her is perfect understanding, and he who is vigilant on her account will soon be free from care, because she goes about seeking those worthy of her, and she graciously appears to them in their paths, and meets them in every thought.

Do you love these words as much as I do? I have been reading them over and over and over since the weekend. I heard them on Sunday at mass. That's right, mass. Catholic mass. Some Sundays I go. Last Sunday this was the first reading of the mass, from the Book of Wisdom 6:12-16. I particularly like how Wisdom is given the feminine pronoun. Go back and read that first sentence again: "radiant...unfading...easily discerned by those who love her...found by those who seek her." I mean come on -- aren't you loving this? I knew I wanted to share these words with you. Aren't we all looking for her?

So I got to thinking hmmm, what image should I use to illustrate this thought. To me wisdom = books = library. It just happens that I am currently reading this book:

It is filled with wisdom from the greatest design minds, from Sister Parish herself, to Albert Hadley, Bunny Williams, Miles Redd and many many more. It's a wonderful package of inspiration. And the room illustrations are so pretty and done by Mita Corsini Bland, who just happens to be the wife of Gerald Bland, the subject of an earlier blog post.  

It's funny how the world works: I was looking for wisdom and inspiration, so I picked up this book, then heard that reading, then wrote this and immediately thought of that room in this book...full circle.

On my to do list: making myself worthy and keeping an eye out for her on my path. Wisdom.

it's coming back

Toile is coming back. I've been comparing notes with colleagues and we agree wholeheartedly. OK, for sure it never really went away, but we think it's really really really coming back. Just gaze for a while at this photo and tell me you aren't amazed. KW's ubiquitous Imperial Trellis doesn't hold a candle to this!

This is the mastery of Carolina Herrera -- the interior, the dress and the model (her daughter). I saw this recently on Habitually Chic. Visit to see whole post by clicking here. But don't miss the post on the book Sister Parish Design, click here and then don't miss the link to the house tour of the Gerald Bland home here. Remember when I was telling you about my visit to his gallery in June? The man has scads of style!

designers I admire: albert hadley

Imagine my delight when Mr. Austin and I were strolling down Madison Ave in the way that 2 professional shoppers do (that is to say, at a blistering pace, eyes darting about to spot the best shops and window displays and checking out all the bags and shoes on the Upper East Side ladies), and happened upon Gerald Bland Inc. Mr. Bland's walls are almost entirely covered with room drawings by master designer Albert Hadley. Not sure how I missed reading about this exhibit and sale before Portering to NYC, because of course it has been widely covered and I am late to the game here. The opening coincided with this year's Kips Bay Designer Showhouse, which was a salute to Mr. Hadley.

I'm quite glad I just happened upon it, since that was all part of the fun. The highlight by far was the very special very preliminary sketch for the design of Brooke Astor's library. It has to be one of the most famous rooms ever published. And there it was -- a masterpiece of modern interior design -- hastily plotted out in black ink on a cheap piece of yellow lined paper.  It's the kind of paper I used to write out a rough copy of an essay on before doing the "good" copy (Yes, showing my age here -- wrote essays by hand, even in university). Anyway, the point being that was the kind of paper you worked things out on and more often than not just crumpled up and threw away (before recycling). So glad Mr. Hadley didn't have a waste basket or recycling box nearby after that sketch. So glad I got to see it in person so many years later. So sad it couldn't come home with me. 

Not only was the exhibit a thrill, but Mr. Bland was a delight. So handsome and so beautifully dressed. His gallery features an amazing collection of fine and decorative arts. The likes of Alexa Hampton, Carolina Herrera and Daniel Romualdez are among his clients. It didn't seem polite for me to take photos, so here are some images from Gerald Bland's web site. Visit it here. And by all means, if you are headed to New York, do take it in and please bring me back a sketch -- any one will do!

A later sketch of the Brooke Astor library (not on yellow paper).


the interior of Gerald Bland Inc. shown with Albert Hadley sketches on the walls.