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By Way of Introduction...
I must admit that I feel a bit like Andy Rooney. Not as old as he is, but then he wasn’t as old as he is when he started doing what he does. Not young either, though, at least not young enough to have grown up with computers, which I managed to avoid entirely until 1999. And while I am still largely illiterate in the language of the computer, the computer has since become indispensable to the antiques and interior design businesses. Ebay, 1stdibs, Artnet, autocad — these are essential tools. I don’t know what I would do now without my computer, though I suspect I would get out more.
All this leads to my first salient point — blogging is a completely new experience for me. I’ve rarely read a blog, nor ever written one until now. Usually, I just go out and do things, and then do other things. Moving forward, though, I will be recording my observations, impressions, and thoughts for general consumption. To mitigate the risk of boredom, I will also take a lot of pictures. I’m guessing that as I get into the spirit of blogging, the text will start to flow in a stream-of-consciousness, à la Andy Rooney, or maybe like Hunter Thompson without the drugs or guns. If this is so, I need to apologize in advance for anything stupid or offensive that I may say. I know myself well enough to know that probably 20-25% of what I say will probably sound or actually be stupid. I will not pretend to be an expert in 20th century design. However, after more than twenty years in the field—as a graduate student in the History of Technology, a seven-fold museum intern, an owner of a NYC gallery specializing in vintage modern design, and an inveterate bibliophile, I do have some credentials to be writing a design blog. Consider me, perhaps, as a tour guide on a bus traveling a really interesting road.
Which brings up my second point—I have no road map for this blog. Certainly, it will be part travelogue, as I report about things I am doing and seeing. It will be part memoir, as I reflect upon my experiences and acquisitions as a dealer, and also part seminar, as I comment on books and articles I am reading. I am sure the blog will be serendipitous and idiosyncratic, as my attention meanders where it meanders, and I see what I see. I hope that the blog will be interactive—a dialogue rather than a monologue. When I had the gallery, I enjoyed doing research—and still do—but found that one of the best ways to learn about design was to leave the door unlocked.
Thus the third and last point– I embark on this journey in a spirit of sharing. I feel fortunate to have built a career in a field that is filled with strong (read borderline) personalities, fabulous objects, and pertinent issues; a field that is colorful, provocative, and inspiring. I can offer the reader a window into this field, particularly in the areas of interior design and vintage modern design.
As the man said, what a long, strange trip it’s been, so here we go…
Part of author’s library, with Albini chair.
left to right: I don’t know, 1970s; Antonio Prieto, 1950s; I don’t know, 1930s; Punu, old.