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Posts Tagged ‘botanical prints’

OK, no joke. These are what I found at the Tomioka Hachiman shrine sale today! Amidst all the lovely usual things – the textiles, the porcelains, the vintage tools and the general junk – I got these three framed fern botanicals.

IMG_0675 IMG_0678 fern botanical 3

They aren’t particularly valuable, but they are extremely decoratively pleasing. Add them to the herbiers and the katagami stencils and I could open a garden shop!

This story is only humorous if you have read these two recent previous posts:

Botanicals…Eternal History and Science in Art and Decor
An Unexpected Find…Japanese Herbiers

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In Visible Empire: Botanical Expeditions & Visual Culture in the Hispanic Enlightenment (University of Chicago Press 2012), [Daniela] Bleichmar uses this vast (and gorgeous) archive of botanical images assembled by Spanish natural history expeditions to explore the connections between natural history, visual culture, and empire in the eighteenth century Hispanic world. In beautifully argued chapters, Bleichmar explores that ways that eighteenth century natural history expeditions were grounded in a visual epistemology where observation and representation were powerful tools for negotiating both scientific and imperial spheres. The “botanical reconquista” spanned fields, shops, gardens, and cabinets across the New World and the Old. Botanists, artists, and others employed images for collaboration and competition, developing distinct styles and practices for observing and representing the natural world.

-Carla Nappi in New Books for Science, Technology and Society

Does that sound as divine to you as it does to me? I haven’t actually had a glimpse of this book, other than the pages I have managed to see on the internet, but it has sent me dreaming…Dreaming of the images themselves and to quote Carla Nappi who interviewed Daniela Bleichmar here, the “possibility of doing history with images, of images, by images.” Looking at Bleichmar’s accomplishments has me dreaming perhaps of all the “might have beens” in my life as well. Krista over at Cloth & Kind wrote a really personal blog post the other day about showing more of herself on her blog and it made me think a lot about mine and myself too. I majored in history – which was the right choice – because the department allowed the most cognates and I could squeeze in all my art and language courses. But the might have beens stack up after that – what if I had actually pushed to write my thesis on a topic that really engaged me and not my advisor? what if I had actually gone back to grad school after my daughter was born and now had all the right academic credentials after my name? what if…

Instead I have found an outlet through this blog and my personal relationships with friends, clients and readers in which we bond over visual and material culture. Sometimes there is meat in the conversation and other times it is a lot of candy. I’m not always sure whether you all want more nutrition or just snacks, but I think I need a balance of both. And perhaps the best part about what I do is not the academic part, but the actual finding, touching and using the art and artifacts I find along the way and sharing that adventure through stories and sales with you all.

There are some folks out there – Steven Gambrel being one of them – that have the link down pat in the interiors they design. In probably one of his most popular rooms ever (does anyone not have this one pinned?) featuring a slew of traditional botanicals framed and hung in a grid, Gambrel creates a space with just the right mix of science and art.

S Gambrel botanicals

Gambrel pushes the envelope and succeeds in the bathroom of his 1810 house in Sag Harbor, lined with pages from a reprint of Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, a famous tome of detailed engravings commissioned by the 18th century Dutch naturalist Albertus Seba.

Steven Gambrel Cabinet of Curiosities ED pc WW

Katie Leede uses the same book to paper the walls in her beadboard clad bathroom, a standout in her standout home featured here. This much science seems to need a vintage home to feel right.

Katie Leede World Travelers Abode curiosities bathroom

A version of this on a grand scale, scientific teaching tool charts, both original and reproduction, are a huge trend right now.

botanical poster twin beds organic block prints via loft and cottage

botanical poster art

Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home used them so prettily in her old home – I am curious to see if they resurface in her new one?

Botanical marsh marigold Lauren Leiss

botanical prints oversized lauren liess repros

Steven Gambrel used traditional botanicals in the room at the top of the post, papers a bathroom as a cabinet of curiosities and also manages to get in on the wall chart trend. He always has fun using unexpected works on paper in many projects – you can see some other choices here.

Steven Gambrel botanical chart ED pc WW

Fern prints are another kind of botanical that never seem to grow old to me, whether in this fairly recent Markham Roberts designed hallway (in my mind’s eye I had remembered it being Gambrel as well, which would have been more fun for the synchronicity of the post)…

Markham Roberts fern prints HB1008 pc Francesco Lagnese

…or this forever room from Jeffrey Bilhuber, featured in a 1997 issue of House Beautiful. I went looking for this image digitally, but of course no luck, and as my scanner is out of commission, I’ll have to make do with this photo of a photo.  There is also a short video featuring this room of Bilhuber’s, among other of his notables, here.

Jeffrey Bilhuber ferns HB 0697

Japanese katagami, or fabric printing stencils, are usually pretty thematically Japanese as they were used predominantly for kimono fabrics.  But I recently found this extraordinary set – I am not sure what they printed and/or what it was for – that approximate very closely a traditional Western fern botanical.

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I am thinking of sandwiching them in modern plexiglass frames and hanging them I have no idea where!

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Herbiers, the pressed live botanicals which I have so recently written about, are just a way for average folk to get in on adding science to their own art collections if you ask me. Of course right after I wrote that post the new February House Beautiful featured this gorgeous herbier covered bedroom by Will Merrill

Will Merrill-HB0213-herbiers pc Simon Watson

…and in researching another post I remembered writing about this Victoria Hagan project here from a 1999 House Beautiful, that also showcased herbiers…

Victoria Hagan HB 06-99 pc William Waldron

…which led me to this farm sink/bridge faucet combo on that same project. As an aside, remember that this project is almost 15 years old  - so those sinks are definitely not a trend.  And the whole space still feels fresh and I’ll be featuring another room from this project in an upcoming post.

Victoria Hagan HB 0699

Getting back on tangent, I also happened to be reading The Coral Thief by Rebecca Stott (gotta love that cover!). The story of the novel didn’t catch me, but the back drop of the history of evolution playing out against the politics and mores of the time did.  It makes me want to read another of her books – Darwin’s Ghosts - which chronicles those they came before and influenced and inspired him.

The Coral Thief61212-review.jpg_full_600

Which made me think this might need a re-read…

Angels & Insects

…and a re-watch. Although it is moths and butterflies, not botanicals. But I could write a whole post about those too!.

angels-and-insects-1995

The more I worked on this post, the more I realized how many botanical prints and works of art I had, from 18th century European to modern-day Japanese.  These are late 19th century Japanese from the Antique Jamboree and the now defunct Nogi Shrine sale:

framed Japanese botanical prints

I think that may be why I am drawn certain hanga artists  – for their botanical accuracy – such as Shinji Ando…

…and Rise Hirose.

rise hirose

In the beach house I’ve gone with more traditional 18th and 19th century botanical prints, gleaned from the local New Jersey antique shops I am always raving about, like this one below (can’t remember what folio it is from) which I bought as much for the French mat and frame as anything else. I’ve got two others framed the same hiding in the closet because I have no room for them!

botanical print bennison roses swedish

Remember that pair of sister Maund prints I found last summer?

Maund Prints

They are each safely ensconced in the correct sister’s room.

Maund printIMG_0350

So the questions for you are the following…More meat and potatoes? Or lots of cotton candy? And do you also sometimes dwell on the “might have beens”?

There are more related posts than I can possibly list – the links to them are found throughout the text wherever the subject is mentioned.  But if you liked this post you might want to read the one below.

Related Posts
The Life of Objects…Stories of Paintings, Pottery and Netsuke in Edmund de Waal’s “The Hare With Amber Eyes”

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Last year both House Beautiful‘s February color issue and Pantone pegged pink as the color of the year. This year, Pantone chose tangerine for 2012, but the magazine has struck out on their own with a green issue, so I am going to use this as an excuse to write about the color for me personally. One of my most popular posts features moody deep green rooms, but I have also been tracking soft green spaces as inspiration for my guest room in the New Jersey beach house.

One of my earliest tear sheets, I carried the image below in my minds eye, knowing I would try to employ its best features one day. It seems fitting that the room that started my journey towards a simple but elegant country bedroom painted green – not sage, not mint –  but that elusive color in between which didn’t seem to exist until Farrow & Ball, comes from the same magazine, although an issue that is almost 20 years old now. I love the dragged effect on the walls too and have it as a “possible” on my own checklist. The “definites” on that list include the white framed windows, simple sheers, wooden furniture, lace-edged white bedding, a duvet covered in green and white ticking, some tiny prints as shown on the wallpapered screen and a comfy antique chair in the corner. A cloth-covered table is a possible too. Some of the details are pre-existing, like the sloped ceiling and bare wood floors, both of which I have in my guest room.

A more recent photo with the same appeal adds some other requirements. Again there are the lovely soft green walls, simple white bedding (matelesse in this case), wooden furniture and corner chair, but a matched set of herbiers, pressed botanicals, has been added.

This room punches the wall color up a few notches, but manages to make what is normally an eyesore – the ceiling fan – look good, something else I am attempting. As much as I wish I could take mine out for aesthetic reasons, a summer house just needs ceiling fans for practicality and being green – the other kind of green that is. In particular I love the botanical prints and their pyramidal arrangement here.

No doubt about it, groupings of small vintage prints are a must!

This oft blogged about photo from Martha Stewart Living is more elegant and formal than my house can pull off, but I do so love it!

I’ve pulled this bathroom photo because I love the ebonized aesthetic movement cabinet against the green. The ornate quality of the cabinet is lessened by the austerity of the space. My plan is similar, but I am using an amazing grouping of antique faux bamboo furniture from the same period instead.

Not painted but wallpapered, this room just charms the pants off of me! I love the contrast of flowers with the plaid rug (plaid being another pattern I would like to add), the lines of the chairs, the Victorian magazine stand, and the wisp of a ruffled valence.

Drumroll please…and a disclaimer on the photos. I do promise to do a proper job this summer, using all the great techniques I am learning from Camille at The Vintique Object. But in the meantime, please excuse these quick point and shoot versions.

I have made quite a bit of progress, although the lamps look anemic without their long-awaited lampshades. The room is small, with two windows, a closet and a sloped ceiling on one side. We have painted it Farrow & Ball Green Ground and I am still considering doing a dragging technique on it to give it a little texture. Check mark to the white lace and matelesse bedding and antique botanical prints, a local bargain find. I am working on the ticking duvet cover by sewing one from a fabric shower curtain, but in the meantime I have added a vintage plaid woolen blanket for warmth, both literal and visual.  You can see bits of the faux bamboo furniture peeking out and the strings hanging from the ceiling fan (Oh, I had not noticed that tassel – gotta get it off).

Tiny prints include the patterns on the custom lamp shades (the color looks off in the photo below) still to come and valances made of Kathryn Ireland’s Diamond Batik fabric.

The vintage chair in the corner is out at the upholsterer’s getting redone in the linen floral shown draped over it – unfortunately the name of the pattern escapes me right now. You can see the edge of the mirrored dresser which functions as both storage and a dressing table, so useful in a guest room without its own bath. I am working on layering up the artwork, but want to let it evolve naturally as I find things.

There is still much to do, but I think most of my guests last summer found it quite comfortable!

Related Posts:
Gorgeous Green…Rooms Inspired by a Bamboo Forest
Ume Blooming…Maybe Pantone Should Have Called Their Color of the Year Plum Blossom?
O-Hanami Decorating…Pale Pink Bedrooms for Cherry Blossom Season

Image credits: House Beautiful February 2012, photo credit: xxx, 2. House Beautiful December 1994, photo credit: xxx, 3. Country Living January 2006, photo credit: David Prince, 4. Mary Cooper, no credit, 5. via Chiarabelle’s Flickr photostream, 6-7 Martha Stewart Living, 8. photo credit unknown – please let me know if you have any information on this, 8-9, 11. me, 10. via Kathryn Ireland.

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