Hey! Domicidal Maniac!

Thought that would get your attention:

Remember last year, when you were enchanted with the Cushing house at Newport, which was used in the filming of 'Evening', the clunker that shouldn't have been, what with starring  Meryl Streep, Vanessa Redgrave, and Glenn Close?  (Although I did love Glenn Close's spot on portrayal of a tightly constrained High WASP matron).  And you hoped to find some interior shots?  Well, here you go.  Deep in my clip files was this wonderful shot, from an old copy of Connoisseur Magazine,  of the studio appended to the back of the house, almost the a paradigm of depression era style---one has no trouble populating this room with stylish folk out of either Fitzgerald or Coward..

The room is simple---a large box plastered roughly--the only architectural decoration a good pine Georgian mantel over a simple brick surround.  But oh, what stylish things the room is populated with, casually scattered and arranged----a tan ground Chinese rug, a superb screen in red laquer, handsome overmantel mirror, and plenty of comfortable low chairs.  Much as I hate dead animals on the wall, one has to admit the horns on these are beautifully sculptural.  Accessories are a mix of wonderful and mundane.  A folding backgammon table is at the ready behind the screen.  Wonderful room, designed for living, not for show.

 The Ledges at Newport.  Photograph by Tony Cericola, New York Times
The studio was added to the house for artist Howard Gardiner Cushing (1869-1916).  He was a fashionable painter in his day, and is memorialized by the exquisite Cushing Memorial Gallery on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, an elegant controlled design by Delano and Aldrich.  In the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is a lovely portrait by him of his wife, the former Ethel Cochrane.  It was perhaps painted in this very studio, and in the background can be seen what is probably the same red lacquer screen.

 Portrait of Ethel Cochrane Cushing by Howard Gardiner Cushing.  MFA, Boston
The Cushing cottage itself, called The Ledges, is an iconic symbol of Newport,  a roomy old stick style family house on a spectacular bluff overlooking Bailey's Beach in Newport.  It is a welcome antidote to the vast palaces that symbolize that resort.   I think the place first came to fame when Slim Aarons published this photo in Town & Country in 1966. 

After the movie was released, the New York Times featured these photos of The Ledges in an article about Newport decorator John Peixanho.

above photos by Tony Cericola, from the New York Times


Scott Fazzini said...

What a sweet surprise! You're such a fantastically hospitable blogger. Thank you for all of the information and delicious photos. I'm always torn between spaces designed for living and those designed for show. Thank you!

La Petite Gallery said...

As usual a fantastic blog.

I have named you for an award.
This is yvonne in Maine an
ex designer. I have been folloeing you. please stop over
to my post and get the award.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Oh, My! Too kind of you, Yvonne. Thank you!