October 10, 2013

More Bunny Mellon!

Since the announcement that Bunny Mellon’s former house in NYC has gone on the market for $49 million, with some of its original interiors intact, it’s been whizzing around the internet, and is also in the most recent issue of World of Interiors.

I remembered that Vanity Fair had published a number of pictures of her garden rooms in her Virginia house, so I scared them up for you to oooh and aaah over. I know I am reveling in their perfection.

The greenhouse in the garden of Bunny Mellon’s Oak Spring estate, in Upperville, Virginia, which features trompe l’oeil murals by Fernand Renard.bunny-mellon-ss01

More detailbunny-mellon-ss05

An arbor of pleached Mary Potter crab-apple trees leads to the garden entrance.bunny-mellon-ss02

The arbor as seen from the greenhouse. Notice more trompe 'l’oeil painting on either side of the doors.bunny-mellon-ss07

Mellon’s vegetable garden.bunny-mellon-ss06

A teahouse with reflecting pool.bunny-mellon-ss08

Mellon’s basket house (!), with a painting by Georges Braque.bunny-mellon-ss11

Rachel (Bunny) Lambert Mellon, photographed by Henri Cartier-Bresson in her Oak Spring garden, 1962.bunny-mellon-ss12

The accompanying article is really worth reading, as she had just turned 100 and was involved in a rather large scandal. Here’s the full article.

20 comments:

  1. Wearing Balenciaga while pruning...with what appears to be the same shears as In the trompe l'oeil! Just to sit under her magnificent Rothko in her Library while perusing a 17thC tome on the medicinal aspects of Cornflowers, Dianthus and Pansies...ohhh, a Dream!

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  2. Please tell me that you’re going to keep this up! It’s so good and so important. I can’t wait to read more from you. I just feel like you know so much and know how to make people listen to what you have to say. This blog is just too cool to be missed. Great stuff, really. Please, PLEASE keep it up!

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  3. I don't think we'll see this level of living again.

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  4. I so agree, it is good to be a Mellon. Great post. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  5. Such sophistication, class, taste and breeding. The ultimate chic!! I have admired her style, painted floors, and topiary collection for so long! Some of my friends and clients have personally toured her estate in Upperville. One of them said Mrs. Mellon had her butler bring down lunch with wine in a vintage French wicker basket for the researchers in the garden library. Thanks for sharing the photos of her former NYC apartment. Hadn't seen those before. Divine!!

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  6. Now I see the similarities of Martha Stewart and Mrs. Mellon. Both own several estates, garden , entertain lavishly, own a basket house and others I dare not mention....

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    Replies
    1. I think that the differences between the two are greater than the similarities.

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing this. Your blog has always been enjoyable but it seems to be getting even better - great substance. We should know and appreciate the things that Mrs. Mellon and her family have done, most of which they chose to keep "behind the scenes." What I wouldn't do to see the library in Upperville! For now I think I will settle for just digging in the dirt.

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  8. There is a wonderfully comprehensive posting on the Mellon/White house by the Devoted Classicist
    which puts things into sharp perspective:
    http://www.tdclassicist.blogspot.com/2013/10/mellon-white-townhouse-another.html

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    Replies
    1. thanks, Toby! huge fan of TDC. He's a great guy!

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  9. Fab post and wonderful article - thanks for posting the link! I haven't even painted the door to my attic (it was replaced six years ago) and this woman had sun-dappled shadows painted on her floors.... 8-)

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