Thursday, March 12, 2009

1972 - Another in occasional series about walls

These walls from William Haines' living room are clad in a hand-blocked Empire wallpaper depicting Pizarro's conquest of Peru. Though nearly forty years old this room is as modern today as it was then and that has nothing to do with retro-marketing of the last few years. 

It is complex, texturally layered, mica-tinted, altogether chic and inviting and I confess is more attractive to me than all the neutered pallid rooms filled with "classics" from the early and middle days of Modernism.  I know, I know, a Barcelona chair is beautiful but it is only a chair, not an icon, and its hell on the back - on mine, at least. And don't get me started about bent plywood! 

In William Haines' room one could sit one leg over the other, cigarette in hand, a glass of smoky single malt icily deliquescing in the other, munching hors d'oeuvres and ruminating on the latest from the Nixon White House tapes, all the while wondering what Brooks Brothers was thinking when they allowed your wife to buy these socks . 

The photo is from illustrated interview with Mr. Haines in which he is deliciously opinionated: 

"American architecture is the best in the world. In Europe they haven't done anything since the eighteenth century." 

To be continued ...... about Mr. Haines, that is. 

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