They are good. Do you remember Lee's own Greenwich Village apartment, with arch window step down living room? It was his break-out work--published everywhere from HG to WOI, and used for a gazillion print ads. It was terrific and new at the time.
I certainly did remember those windows and the step-down living room for I had only found them again the previous week and put them aside for a later post - today's post, in the event, and a continuation of an occasional look at the array of 1980s interior design, beyond that of the lost generation.
What I also remember is the impact the photos of Mr Mindel's apartment had on me over twenty years ago. We were living at the time in Amsterdam and I was never able – however much I spoke the language, made friends, enjoyed the culture, the history, and the beauty of that country, low-lying under epic skies – to shake off the feeling of being marooned beyond the edge of the English-speaking world. I sit now at my table looking at similar skies, similar except that I'm at above the level of the treetops rather than meters below sea level, a storm is rolling in, I cannot see that arc of heaven from horizon to horizon, or witness a sky stripped to metallic blue by winds from Siberia so chill that the canals froze and people, gliding on skates, for a time inhabited a Brueghel world.
Odd though it might seem, I imbued these photos with such personal symbolism, for they represented for me the world from which I felt isolated.
Beyond that, I was absolutely charmed by this apartment: the simplicity of the architecture, the gridded paneling, comfortable upholstery, light floors, the Thomas Hope chair and other classical furniture... the luminosity and clarity of it all. Now I see that Mr Mindel's apartment encapsulated what I have come to realize is a definite preference of mine - a clear mixing of classicism and modernism. This interior had none of the etiolation of Post Modernism and neither did it subscribe to the values of that most unhappy of unmarried couples, Lancaster and Fowler. Here was none of that English, dust-laden, tea-stained, dog-haired, precedent-ridden, aristocratic pursuit of chintz, mahogany and Chickendale so popular with many decorators of the time. Here was vitality, intelligence, youth and freshness.
Photos by Dan Cornish from The World of Interiors, July/August 1987.