09 September 2013

wall to wall


when today's POP of COLOR just isn't enough,
Celebrating COLOR with CONFIDENCE-

like Mr. and Mrs. Gardner Cowles did in their New York apartment, c.1971-with the assistance from architect and designer Paul Rudolph-

where Picasso, Stella,Twombly, Dine, Lichtenstein and Warhol make up the COLOR-full canvases- so new and different in 1971.

Mrs. Gardner Cowles-Jan-in front of a pair of mirrored shutters reflecting the spacious Living Room.

 Just off the entry-a long gallery opens up with a Picasso on the wall-amongst other modern works of art.

In the Living Room modular pieces abound and are done up in a white matte silk-while an imposing Stella hangs on an aubergine wall-

and a Twombly dominates the stark fireplace wall.

The curved Library Wall is amassed with book shelves and a chocolate suede sofa is fitted into the curve. The floor is covered in a sable colored cowhide square rug. The room was designed to cater to Mr. Cowles'-founder and publisher of LOOK magazine, needs. This collection of photographs was shot by HORST for Vogue's October 1, 1971 issue- also the month LOOK ceased publication.

Dining Room walls go to a deep brown-with three glass tables surrounded by side chairs in a cinnabar lacquer-this room and Mrs. Cowles' rooms were decorated by Mark Hampton.

Parquet floors were painted white to create a modern sweep from top to bottom in Mrs. Cowles room-and soft petal peach walls warm the space filled with Warhols.

Jan Cowles' own Andy Warhol

image from here

Daughter-Virginia had a modern room with stark white walls-deep canary yellow shag carpet and pink accented tulip chairs and white ball chairs by Eero Saarinen.

A glamorous dressing area and bathroom for Mrs. Cowles is set off by a red robe from Jim Dines' Bathrobe series.

The apartment was the talk of the city that fall-as was the art the couple collected. Their collection continues to draw interest forty years later.
 Read more about the recent selling of Jan Cowles Collections
at Blouin Art  here & here
Warhol sells- here
Gardner Cowles- NYTimes here
Jan and Charles Cowles- at the Real Deal here and at Curbed here
take a tour of the 1971 apartment with designer William Pahlmann in the Toledo Blade here

all images are photographs by HORST, the original article in VOGUE was written by Valentine Lawford, and published in VOGUE October 1, 1971. images from my own original VOGUE.


  1. some rooms are completely timeless.......Seriously......timeless for me.

    some are not.

  2. What an amazing collection of paintings--some of these were very very big. Mrs. Cowles was gifted with an enormous" instinct" in the acquisition of modern art. I am speechless.

  3. I wouldn't be the designer to paint parquet floors (though I might bleach them).



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