Friday, March 12, 2010


Daniel Cruz photo

What is civility? What is the difference in eating something from the vending machine and this...

Maison et Objet
How did we go from a cord and a socket hanging from the ceiling to carved ostrich eggs with brass ormolu fittings?

Musee des Artes Decoratifs

Is this what your office chair looks like?

Does your public restroom have these fittings?

Chicago Art Institute

What caused society to feel the need to create ornate items where simple utilitarian ones worked just fine.

Ave. Rapp Paris

What makes a door...a door?

Pont Alexandre Paris

And when did we decide to gild carved elements on a bridge exposed to the weather?
A society's advancement can be measured by its'  support (or, lack of support) of the arts. Primitive societies start with basic needs to be filled-food, shelter and clothing. Once these needs are met, it can advance or evolve to supporting the nonessentials of life-entertainment and the arts.

covered sidewalks in Bologna, Italy

As a society evolves, so does the desire for embellishment....we have seen a wane in support for the arts with the current economic conditions.  Many major interior magazines have gone under this past year  along with countless artisan businesses. I ask that you keep this in mind as a consumer....will you support the arts?  Do you feel the need for hand made decoration in your life? Will you contribute to the civility of our society?


Anonymous said...

The failure of magazines is in part the due to the same issue as the failure of many governments that devoted large sums of money to excess of ornamentation while its citizens starved.

The other part of the failure of magazines has much to do with information and entertainment being available for free on blogs and elsewhere on the internet. Therefore why spend precious budget dollars on magazines? The companies that purchased magazine advertising have also had to cut back on expenditures to survive due to slow sales from the housing crisis.

This too shall pass.

Theresa Cheek said...

I agree that blogs have had a major effect on magazine sales. I am asking you as a consumer to consider the source on your pick quality over mass produced, possibly inferior merchandise. I would rather spend twice the money one time than to keep replacing something due to planned obsolescence.

Cashon&Co said...

Agree with you Theresa!
All these items were gorgeous, but the malachite faucet literally made my heart skip a beat when I saw it.

La Dolfina said...

I'm with you Theresa... all the way!

home before dark said...

I agree with you. I also think the dialectic will swing back. From my journalism days of "hot" type to offset to computer generated type of today, man of us now lust for the hand-made, the letter press, the signs of life on paper.

One of my many regrets about fed bail-out money is that we didn't help fund the arts, the way our nation did in the 30s. A huge lack of innovation and understanding of the importance of art on our hearts.

Trouvais said...

Hi Theresa. Loved your comment on my post and what you're saying here. I am conscious that where my dollar goes will determine the "winner" and "loser" in a tough economy. And I'm grateful that, even if I can't afford it, someone is paying $4000 for a pair of 18th century shoes that they will be caretaker of for the future. There will always be those that recognize exquisite beauty and feel the need to support and safeguard it and I'm so grateful for that.

*Chic Provence* said...

Thought provoking (and beautiful) post..and I agree with home before dark...many of us lust for the hand-made, the letter press...anything done lovingly and carefully by hand takes time, and we all have precious little of that in our world today...

as former board of directors for local arts organization it is wonderful to see your perspective and thanks for highlighting the need for arts and embellishments in our "civilised" society..

great post!

My Castle in Spain said...

As a former handmade papery designer, i'm with you at 100%...Handmade is an extra luxury which i hope will never disappear. i think of all the "petites mains" working in haute couture and many more trades.
Very inspiring post Theresa !
and thank you for your valuable comment..i'm now convinced to leave the lamp as is ! :-)

Parisbreakfasts said...

I have definitely been hanging out in the wrong public restrooms as has been made instantly apparent to me by this post.
Must get on it immediately!

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