Can 18 th century furniture be revamped?

One of four Louis XVI armchair by Jean Baptiste Delaunay, 1764, recently covered in Patrick Frey silk

One of four Louis XVI armchairs by Jean- Baptiste Delaunay, 1764, covered in Patrick Frey silk by the Kraemer

French antique dealers specialised in 18 th century furniture have had a hard time recently. Most of the internet billionaires prefer to buy 1950’s furniture, with the photographs of where and when it was conceived. Hard to do with Marie Antoinette’s flat desk or the Great Catherine of Russia’s wardrobe… So the house of Kraemer, which carries pieces by very famous 17 th and 18 th century cabinet makers, has decided to revamp their furniture and the way they present it. With the help of Patrick Hourcade, who designed the exhibition of furniture at Versailles last year, and Kamel Mennour, the « it » gallerist who represents Anish Kapoor, Lee Ufan and Daniel Buren, they redecorated their huge Hôtel Particulier of rue de Monceau, located a few steps away from Musée Camondo, the epicenter of classical French furniture. I can’t say that seeing a red piece by Kapoor or stripes by Buren helped my understanding of furniture better, but I was impressed by what a piece of contemporary silk by Patrick Frey could do to a Delaunay armchair… and the place is quite amazing to visit. Do press the button at 43 rue de Monceau, you will not be disappointed…( from 10 am to 6 pm, until November 7 th)

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Cooking, Italian style

Deborah and Emanuele form a perfect team at La Perla del Mare

Deborah and Emanuele form a perfect team at La Perla del Mare

It said 6.30 to 9 pm and the idea of watching a famous young Italian chef, Deborah Corsi, cook at Hotel de Gallifet, one of Paris’ most beautiful private house on rue de Grenelle, was exciting enough. But what really happened that night went way beyond. I entered a fabulous stage, where preparing gnocchi’s became a feast as beautiful as « Babette‘s feast » and the evening ended at 11 pm after a gorgeous dinner and extensive Italian wine tasting.

Marina Valensise built the kitchen and started the Young Italian Chef program

Marina Valensise built the kitchen and started the Young Italian Chef program at Instituto Italiano di Cultura

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An American at Musée de la Chasse

1. Walton Ford

La Fontaine, 2006

To run a museum called Musée de la Chasse et de la nature is not always easy at a time when French people consider this a leisurely activity for the very rich… But Claude d’Anthenaise, the director who restored this beautiful hôtel particular in the Marais, has managed to always keep our minds excited with temporary exhibitions, on the ground floor and all around the three storeys of the building. After a playful show of Cibles (painted shooting targets) which came mostly from Germany, and Danish artist Lin Utzon last year, he surprises us once more with Walton Ford, a fabulous New York water colorist who had never been shown in France.Read More

Who is afraid of lady photographers?

Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971), Self-portrait with camera,© Digital Image Museum Associates

Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971), Self-portrait with camera,© Digital Image Museum Associates

Photography as a way of emancipation for women in the 19 th and 20 th century ? This is the theme of a marathon exhibition, set in two museums in and near the Tuileries gardens : Musée d’Orsay and l’Orangerie. Curated by Ulrich Pohlmann from the Stadtmuseum in Münich and Thomas Galifot and Marie Robert from Musée d’Orsay, it is a vast frescoe of talented and daring artists, some of which we already know well (Julia Margaret Cameron, Tina Modotti) others we discover here.Read More

Louise Bourgeois, intimate

 Louise a sa table de travail 20 th Street, 2000,©-Jean-François-Jaussaud When her husband died, she cut her desk in half

“Louise à sa table de travail” 20 th Street, 2000,© Jean-François Jaussaud When her husband died, she cut her desk in half

What an extraordinary surprise to find at 5 place du Palais Bourbon in the former Vogue Studio space, an exhibition of portraits and interiors of Louise Bourgeois by Jean-François Jaussaud. I was lucky enough to run into the photographer when I visited the show one Monday morning and he gracefully commented his visits to Louise for me.Read More

A country wedding

And the bride came riding a unicorn!

And the bride came riding a unicorn at sunset!

The date, October 3rd, was a little risky weather wise, but the young couple was eager to get married and since Felix had proposed to Marguerite, kneeling down on a beach in Cuba, last April, it seemed silly to postpone… After a civil ceremony in very trendy Cap Ferret in July, the mixed Calvinist and Catholic marriage was celebrated, in Borest, north of Paris, in the middle of the forest, on an insolently beautiful day, with blue sky and golden autumn sun.

Aymar de Lastours leads his daunter to the altar

Aymar de Lastours leads his daughter to the altar

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A gastronomic adventure

Arnaud Ulrich with his Monte Cristo pleurotes and Marjorie Charraire who created Le Comptoir

Arnaud Ulrich with his Monte Cristo pleurotes and Marjorie Charraire who created Le Comptoir eight years ago

Would you like to grow pleurotes mushrooms in your cellar with the leftover grind of your coffee machine ? Well here is the recipe provided by Arnaud Ulrich at Comptoir des producteurs, a newly decorated vegetable shop which is conceived as a showroom for three star chefs. The very pretty Monte Cristo mushrooms, have a definite coffee aftertaste and I just slightly fried them in the pan for dinner with some of the bicolor Bluebell potatoes, I had purchased at the same time.Read More

Liliane and Lily take us on a riveting journey

The author in Maine, summer 20013

The author, lily Tuck,  in Maine, July 2013

There are many good books around and reading a friend’s book is always a treat, because one feels one understands more than what is actually written. But discovering « The Double life of Liliane » by National book award winner Lily Tuck, is not only an immense pleasure, it is a poetic journey through the second half of the 20 th century, with a very special guide.

Having dinner at Auguste in Paris

Having dinner at restaurant “Auguste” in Paris

Lily Tuck, whose “nom de plume” is  her second husband, Ed Tuck’s, name, has published nine books in the last twenty years. Her style is elegant, scientific, poetic and completely original. And I had not been swept away by a book in such a pleasurable manner for a very l-o-n-g time.

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