Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Artistic table at Hillwood

Now open at Hillwood is an exhibit I think most readers of this blog will enjoy, a tabletop exhibition by well known designers utilizing the museum's collections.  While the estate may be known for its amazing fresh flowers (found throughout the house and gardens), Marjorie Merriweather Post was also a passionate collector of porcelains and silver.
Six talented designers have been asked to create tabletop displays in the Dacha sourcing items from the collection. I was there Valentine's day for opening night to see the designers reveal their creations. Hopefully this little tour will whet your appetite to visit before June 10 when the exhibit closes!
The central table was actually created by museum staff exclusively with items from the collection down to historic placecards, matchbooks and ashtrays; A treat to see how Post entertained!
 As always one had to ask if the amazing fresh flowers were real they were so perfect.
The first table inside the door is done by friend of Hillwood, Timothy Corrigan. I saw Corrigan speak 3 years ago at Hillwood's fabulous spring lecture season (read that post HERE). Timothy sourced the silver, including those incredible candlesticks, from the Hillwood collection while everything else was brought in by him in order to create a Jardin Francais.  The porcelain, fabric, and wallpaper all come from collections he has designed for different companies.
Designer Charlotte Moss took inspiration from Post's summer home, Camp Topridge, and created a woodland picnic setting. Moss used china from the Hillwood collection and added silver and fabrics she had designed.  The lush picnic is situated under a lovely tent created from fabric from Charlotte's collection at Fabricut.
Noted author and designer (and blogger extraordinare) P. Gaye Tapp took inspiration from Le Style Pauline in creating her table setting which is a younger, fresher look at how to use fine tableware. Mixed in with precious china were more informal pieces that create a more approachable tabletop.
 Artist Jimmie Henslee, who created the lovely illustrations in her book How They Decorated, provided the backdrop creating a natural setting. Don't miss Gaye next month at Hillwood where she will discuss her book (Information HERE).
Designer Josh Hildreth teamed with Hutton Wilkinson to create a 'Tea for Tou-manova' I believe in reference to the famous ballerina, fitting considering Hillwood's connection with Russia. The Duquette inspired extravaganza is a feast for the eyes laid over a malachite printed tablecloth naturally.
Barry Dixon has created a beautifully serene tabletop for 'A Little Romance' with Post's beautiful purple crystal in front of a lovely screen by talented artist John Matthew Moore (who also created the most lovely painting you can imagine of Post's jewelry for the silent auction).
Lastly, Alex Papachristidis has created a very personal table for 'Le Diner Exotique' using Post's china with his own mother's silver and dining chairs lit by one of his favorite Christopher Spitzmiller lamps. The star of the table however is the lust-worthy faux lilac centerpiece by artist Vladimir Kanevsky (who coincidentally will have an exhibition at Hillwood next year which I'm VERY excited about).
I had the pleasure of hearing Papachristidis speak at Hillwood's lecture this past Tuesday and his passion for design is inspiring. Don't miss this creatively luscious display open in the Dacha at Hillwood until June 10, 2018.