May 8, 2008

Maison Jansen Lecture

I had an interesting e-mail exchange with the Peak of Chic today after a comment I had made about the alleged reprinting of one of Billy Baldwin's books. I thought I had seen that Rizzoli was reprinting it, but it wasn't in their catalogue. She mentioned that someone named James Archer Abbott was writing a book about Baldwin, and that Abbott had Baltimore connections.
I said that I had heard of Mr. Abbott, but didn't know him, but something buzzed in the back of my mind, and I googled him. Damn if it wasn't the gracious Jim Abbott, Curator of Evergreen House, whom I had met when we'd visited a few weeks ago!
After a bit more poking around, I found that Mr. Abbott will be giving a lecture at Evergreen later this month about his book Maison Jansen, published by Acanthus in 2006. The lecture is entitled, "Fit for a King: The Furniture and Design of Maison Jansen." Evergreen’s House Beautiful lecture series explores 20th-century tastemakers whose work promoted the idea that life could be improved through artful design of everyday objects.
Here's a word about the book: JANSEN is the first comprehensive study of Maison Jansen - the most celebrated decorating house of the 20th century. the book documents the evolution of this legendary Paris-based company from family firm to global enterprise. It showcases over 30 of the firm's most alluring commissions, including rooms for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the Shah and Shahbanou of Iran, and President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy for whom Jansen renovated and redecorated the White House. Over 300 illustrations in color and duotone.

Tickets to the lecture are available here. I've already got mine!


  1. omg - too funny! a few weeks ago, I went to a lecture on Jansen (be sure you know the correct way to pronounce it - Inside the Loop and I thought they were speaking Japanese at first!) - anyway - Abbott was ill, so his Editor filled in for him, Mitchell Owens, editor at Elle Decor. There was a slideshow and it was a fun evening - you'll love it!

  2. Please tell us all about it when you've been!! ( and pics of course :-)!!!

  3. I wish I could head up your way and join you! That is sure to be an excellent lecture!

  4. Any word on if they he might be coming to San Francisco? I would love to go!

  5. What an incredible opportunity. Can't wait to hear about it. Also, I LOVE the quote by Thomas Jefferson - that is what I have been trying to say for years - I am just not even close to being so eloquent!

  6. Back to the original comment - I have seen several places that the Billy Baldwin book was going to be re-released. I just wanted to let you know it wasn't a design fantasy.

  7. Mrs. B... I saw it in a couple of places, too. But details seem elusive.

  8. What a lovely idea for a lecture series, a better world through tasteful design... Beats taking to the barricades on May 13th....

  9. ^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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