Leslie Rankow Fine Arts

INTERNATIONAL ART ADVISORY SERVICE

Jennifer Brown, respected friend and expert on Diversity and Inclusion, is offering a six week on-line course

To Friends, Colleagues and Followers,

You are probably already aware that there is a growing need for businesses and personnel to pay attention to diversity and inclusion.

Diversity and inclusion has real impact to the bottom line of your business.

Organizations that lead in diversity and inclusion have:
22% lower turnover rates

27% higher profitability

22% greater productivity

39% higher customer satisfaction

I’d like to introduce you to my friend and esteemed colleague, Jennifer Brown. Jennifer Brown is an award-winning entrepreneur, speaker, diversity and inclusion consultant, and author. She is the successful founder, president, and CEO of Jennifer Brown Consulting and bestselling author of Inclusion: Diversity, The New Workplace and The Will to Change and her new book, How To Be An Inclusive Leader: Your Role in Creating Cultures of Belonging Where Everyone Can Thrive.

Jennifer Brown Consulting has made it their mission to help companies create a culture of belonging in which everyone can thrive. This means having an acute attention to diversity and inclusion at all levels of every business. It requires us to be in the know. The time is now to expand this knowledge base.

DEI Foundations is a 6-week introductory course that aims to provide those who want to integrate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) into their own professional roles with the tools to do so.

Upon completing this course you will be able to:

  • Describe what it means to be a great DEI Practitioner
  • Build your DEI knowledge and acumen
  • Leverage the power of your unique DEI story – and we all have one!
  • Explain the value of building a culture of inclusion in your organization
  • Begin to develop skills to communicate the business case for building and supporting an effective DEI program

 

The first step is to click here to learn more about DEI Foundations. The next course session begins October 1, 2019.  Enter the Coupon code INCLUSION345 to get $100 off to the course when you enroll.  As an extra incentive, I am donating my compensation for each individual who signs up using my coupon number to STRONGER FOR LIFE, the documentary on Ilaria Montagnani, founder of Powerstrike, international athlete and breast cancer survivor.

I am a huge believer in the importance of DEI and feel it is important to expose you to this important global initiative. Whether you are a corporate manager, independent coach, or interested in beginning the journey to become a professional DEI practitioner, you can expect to come away with a robust set of tools that can be integrated into your duties and goals.

You won’t want to miss this opportunity to join the October 1st cohort.

Best,

Leslie

P.S. Click here to watch Jennifer’s Ted Talk, Finding Your Voice in the Workplace, or click here for a 30 minute introductory course to Diversity and Inclusion.

 

The importance of the new technology in the art market as analyzed in the Bank of America Private Bank survey

THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION HAS DRASTICALLY AFFECTED MANY INDUSTRIES, CHANGING THE WAY WE COMMUNICATE, ACQUIRE AND SELL PRODUCT. ONE OF THE INDUSTRIES THAT HAS, SURPRISINGLY, BEEN IMPACTED LESS THAN ONE WOULD THINK, GIVEN ITS BASICALLY VISUAl NATURE, IS THE ART MARKET AS SEEN IN THE RECENT PIERCINGLY INFORMATIVE AND COMPREHENSIVE BANK OF AMERICA PRIVATE BANK REPORT.

  • ART AND TECHNOLOGY
  • The art market remains one of the few industries still largely undisrupted by technology. We’re seeing innovation, but it’s still at the fringes. While online transactions are increasing, the growth of online sales has slowed, growing at 9.8% in 2018 versus 12% in 2017.
  • Internet-native art companies are trying to help. In June, private equity firm Cove Hill made an investment in online marketplace LiveAuctioneers, aiming to accelerate online sales growth for their auction house partners, while Invaluable has made it easier to source and buy lower value items. Major galleries like Gagosian and David Zwirner launched digital sales channels, but the digital revolution still eludes the art world.
  • On the transparency front, Christie’s became the first major auction house to record sales via Blockchain with the sale of the Ebsworth collection in November. At the request of the seller, Christie’s partnered with Blockchain-secured registry Artory to record its transactions. It’s an interesting development, but we’re a long way from Blockchain becoming industry standard.
  • The most significant art world technology has been the rise of Instagram. Artists market themselves, museums announce exhibits, dealers initiate sales, and collectors tout their purchases through the platform. In 2017, when the “Untitled” Basquiat sold at Sotheby’s for over $110 million, Yusaku Maezawa posted his photo on Instagram to let the world know of his acquisition. Younger collectors, artists, dealers and auction specialists are increasingly using Instagram to enhance their personal and professional brands. Expect the new status loop to fuel a herd mentality for some artists and more price volatility. So collector beware.

 

  • AS AN ASIDE, ARTISTS ARE CREATING WORKS THAT REPRODUCE EFFECTIVELY ON INSTAGRAM IN TERMS OF COLOR, DIMENSIONALITY AND SURFACE WITH THEIR AESTHETIC PRESENCE IN PERSON SOMETIMES TAKING A BACK SEAT.

 

  • ART LENDING

    Our art lending business grew by 20% year-over-year, as you all continue to unlock capital from your art to build hotels, buy sports franchises, expand companies and even buy more art, just to name a few. The four most common situations we’re seeing are:

    1. The balance sheet arbitrage: With historically low interest rates, more of you are unlocking capital from your art to redeploy into higher-return areas of your financial life, like private equity.

    2. Working capital line: During the current economic expansion, more of you are using art loans to fund the growth of your privately held companies.

    3. Monetizing a collection: The passage of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated the 1031 Like-Kind Exchange, making it more expensive to sell art. Instead of selling art and dealing with paying the 28% federal tax + 3% health care surtax + state taxes + sales commission, many of you have chosen to leverage your art via an art line to generate liquidity.

    4. Guarantees: We’re seeing more of you using art facilities to back guarantees at auction (but we advise caution).

    We estimate that total U.S. art loan commitments stand at $16 billion. We’re proud to have a significant portion of those loans, and we remain staunchly committed to the space. Given our forecast of continued low interest rates, stratified wealth creation, and expansion of the collector base, we expect continued growth in the space.

    Top five artists we lend against, by value:

    1. Willem de Kooning

    2. Andy Warhol
    3. Constantin Brancusi

    4. Paul Cezanne

    5. Roy Lichtenstein

    AT THE CLOSE OF THE SURVEY, BANK OF AMERICA PRIVATE BANK TARGETS THE OPPORTUNITY ZONES AND THE EFFECT OF CAPITAL GAINS TAX INCREASES AND THE REPEAL OF THE SECTION 1031 LIKE-KIND EXCHANGES PROVISION. THIS IS INVALUABLE INFORMATION FOR ANY ONE INTERESTED IN THE ART MARKET: DEALERS, GALLERISTS, AUCTION SPECIALISTS, AND MOST OF ALL COLLECTORS.

    PLEASE JOIN US!

     

A comprehensive report on the current art market from the Art Lending Services division at U.S. Trust

U.S. TRUST, AS DO MANY OF THE MOST HIGHLY REGARDED BANKING AND FINANCIAL ADVISORY INSTITUTIONS, OFFERS EXTENSIVE ART SERVICES. AS ART IS NOW CONSIDERED TO BE AN ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT, AND NOT SIMPLY AN AESTHETIC PLEASURE, BANKING HAS ENTERED VERY FORCEFULLY IN THE COMPETITION TO PROVIDE ART LENDING SERVICES TO HELP BOTH COLLECTORS AND INSTITUTIONS HELP NAVIGATE THE COMPLEX ART WORLD.

RECENTLY U.S. TRUST, THE PRIVATE BANKING ARM OF BANK OF AMERICA,  PUBLISHED AN EXTREMELY COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS ON THE STATE OF THE CURRENT ART MARKET. IN A TIME OF TURMOIL AND CHANGE, GENERAL REEVALUATION AND A GLOBAL SHIFT IN THE ART MARKET, IT IS PARTICULARLY RELEVANT AND THE LRFA BLOG IS PLEASED TO SHARE IT WITH YOU. WE ARE DELIGHTED, AS WELL, TO REPORT THAT DANA PRUSSIAN, VICE PRESIDENT AT U.S. TRUST ART LENDING SERVICES, WILL BE CONTRIBUTING TO THE LRFA BLOG IN THE MONTHS AHEAD.

PART ONE

“We feel that you should not buy art purely as an investment. Buy it for love, desire, legacy, culture, pleasure, addiction,

status, and community.”

Art Services Market Update

At Bank of America Private Bank, we maintain a sharp focus on the art market and on the collectors, dealers, auctions specialists and institutions that make it function. We work closely with many of you across four pillars: art lending, art planning, consignment services and institutional arts endowment management. This update features our observations on the current state of the art market from a business perspective.

The Market

  • Current low interest rates, solid equity markets and more stratified wealth creation worldwide continues to drive capital toward art. The maturation and globalization of the art market has expanded the collector base and transformed the art market from a niche lifestyle into a $60 billion global industry.1 Still, overall art market growth in terms of total art sales has stalled since 2012, even as the S&P 500has currently more than doubled since that time.
  • If the Federal Reserve (Fed) continues its dovish policy, we expect collectors’ continued allocation of capital to art. When interest rates fall, the opportunity cost of holding non-interest-bearing assets like art goes down. The art market is driven by sentiment, so the greatest risk we see is a geopolitical event that impedes the global flow of capital and credit prompting collectors to pause.

• We anticipate that financial returns for contemporary art will be lower in the next decade than some may expect. The market has absorbed a lot of art since the turn of the century. An exceedingly large percentage of those works may be worth close to zero in a generation or so. And because we’re in a more mature and efficient art market, there may be fewer upside surprises than in decades past. We feel that you should not buy art purely as an investment. Buy it for your passion, enjoyment, legacy, culture, status or community.

The Auctions

• During the New York Spring Auctions, the market absorbed over $2 billion of art at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips, handily above the $1.6 billion pre-sale estimate. It was the first auction season defined by large estates of postwar
and contemporary art. Eye-catching results such as the $91 million Koons “Rabbit”, the $110 million Monet “Haystack” and the rapidly growing market for KAWS belie a more modest 5.1% annualized return2 achieved for repeat sales during the season. Given the recent performance of London auctions and the lack of clarity around a Brexit deal, New York will continue to be the premiere sale site for high-end postwar and contemporary art for the foreseeable future. Fresh-to- market works, typical of the artist’s oeuvre, in good condition, with strong provenance, continue to perform strongest at auction. Works by female and black artists also continue their rise.

• You likely saw that in June, Sotheby’s accepted a $3.7 billion buyout offer from French media entrepreneur Patrick Drahi. Interestingly, Bonhams was also bought out earlier this year. Going private will allow Sotheby’s more flexibility to compete for top lots, which will benefit major collectors, and will provide time and space to evolve its business model, which, like Christie’s, is challenged. Competition for top pictures has become a race-to-the-bottom: China isn’t the growth engine everyone hoped it would be, and online sales have yet to deliver meaningful scale or margin expansion. With business margins at around 10% for the industry, auction houses are officially on the hunt for new revenue streams.

• Look for the auction houses to continue to expand into art advisory, financial services, brand licensing and even investment research as they look beyond their supply-constrained auction business. As a collector, you may see better terms when consigning top works at auction, but expect higher commissions for lower- value works. Buyer premiums will continue to expand at all levels. Finally, get ready for more convenience. Virtual reality will change how you view upcoming sales, and artificial intelligence will soon be sending you an endless array of Netflix-style lot recommendations across all categories based on what you’ve perused across the internet.

Salthaus, on top of the wellness mountain, with co-founder Amber Berger

HEALTH REFERS TO THE ABSENCE OF ILLNESS. WELLNESS REFERS TO NOT JUST PHYSICAL HEALTH BUT EMOTIONAL AND SPIRITUAL . IMPROVING YOUR ‘HEALTH AND WELLNESS’ GENERALLY REFERS TO PROMOTING GOOD HEALTH AND REDUCING RISK OF DISEASE WITH A HOLISTIC APPROACH WHICH TAKES INTO ACCOUNT MANY FACTORS INCLUDING PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL ISSUES. IN AMERICA TODAY, TO COUNTERACT THE EFFECTS OF A 24/7 LIFE AND WORK STYLE, AN OVERLY OBSESSIVE PREOCCUPATION WITH KEEPING UP WITH SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE INHERENT RESPONSIBILITIES OF A CAREER, FAMILY AND SOCIAL OBLIGATIONS, THERE ARE A HUGE AMOUNT OF PROGRAMS TO ADDRESS THESE ISSUES THAT INCLUDE YOGA, MEDITATION, TREATMENTS AND MASSAGE, TO NAME JUST A FEW.

A RELATIVE NEWCOMER TO NEW YORK IS HALOTHERAPY, AN INNOVATIVE BUT ANCIENT CONCEPT OF THE BENEFITS OF INHALING SALT.  IMPECCABLE IN DESIGN, AND VERY MUCH A HANDS-ON OPERATION, SALTHAUS IS AN EXCEPTIONAL WAY TO RENEW ONE’S BODY AND SPIRIT TO GO OUT AND CONQUER THE WORLD.

TODAY, WE ARE DELIGHTED TO HAVE AMBER BERGER, CO-FOUNDER OF SALTHAUS, HERE TO DISCUSS HER PLANS FOR PROVIDING HALOTHERAPY TO ADULTS AND CHILDREN NOW AND IN THE FUTURE. THE LRFA BLOG HAS NO DOUBT SHE WILL SUCCEED IN HER MISSION.

https://www.salthausny.com/

 

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF HALOTHERAPY?

The benefits of Halotherapy are profound which include:

reduces stress and anxiety

strengthens immunity

relieves skin conditions

regulates sleep

boosts athletic recovery

Halotherapy benefits adults and children alike as well as athletes and animals. It is a 100% natural treatment and is very beneficial for overall wellness by removing the toxicity from the respiratory system, improving the function and appearance of the skin and boosting the immune system. For general respiratory hygiene, once or twice a week sessions will enhance the lung capacity, boost the immune system, reduce stress and aid in better sleep.

YOU HAVE AN IMPRESSIVE TRACK RECORD ALREADY IN MARKETING AND BRANDING SALTHAUS?  WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS SO FAR?

You are too kind. I am learning as I go! Market awareness is our greatest challenge since we are solely relying on Instagram and word of mouth. It is amazing to watch how the word starts to spread. We want to help people feel their best through the power of salt and once you come, it is an experience not to forget. Our bodies are craving tranquility now more than ever and the salt allows you to relax and detox as never before.  We have wins every day when people come in off the street curious about Halotherapy.

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?

Our goal is to be where you live, where you work and where you travel. I hope you will see Salthaus and immediate think of it as your  weekly happy place to feel your best.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT HEALTH AND WELLNESS?

I firmly believe in leading by example. I hope that my kids take away from me that you are in charge of your health and that it does not always come naturally. The best things in life take work and it could not be more true when it coms to your health. Health is #1 and should always be your top priority. Adding self-care practices into your daily routine is a great place to start. Start with baby steps and then one day you turn around and see how far you have come.

BEYOND AN ECONOMIC SUCCESS AND EXPANSION, WHAT DO YOU HOPE SALTHAUS WILL PROVIDE OTHERS WHO SHARE IN YOUR PASSION FOR NATURAL PRODUCTS AND WELLNESS?

I hope that Salthaus will be shift people’s view of taking care of themselves. Salthaus is making wellness fun and playful,  weaving it into your daily lifestyle. We aim to empower people to take charge of their health and connect to their body’s needs rather than outsourcing it and opting for medication when it may not be the necessary first step. Salthaus allows you to engage in efficient wellness where you can do two things at the same time like a yoga class or a meeting so you don’t have to sacrifice wellness in order to get it into your day.

AMBER, THANK YOU SO MUCH! THE LRFA BLOG WANTS TO ENCOURAGE EVERYONE IN NEW YORK TO TRY HALOTHERAPY AT SALTHAUS. PRESENTLY IN NEW YORK ON THE UPPER EAST SIDE, AND SOON EVERYWHERE!

SALTHAUS     1220 LEXINGTON AVENUE (between 82nd and 83rd Street, 2A, Telephone (646) 692-8286

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG POST,  WE PLAN TO PRESENT AN OUTSTANDING CURRENT SURVEY OF THE CONTEMPORARY ART MARKET, COURTESY OF U.S. TRUST, A FIRM THAT TAKES A COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH TO WEALTH MANAGEMENT, ESTATE PLANNING  AND PHILANTHROPY FOR EVERY GENERATION AND OFFERS AN INNOVATIVE AND FAR-REACHING ART LENDING SERVICE PROGRAM.

PLEASE, KEEP READING!

Salthaus, an ancient therapy in a modern format, with co-founder Amber Berger

Stefanie and Amber
Co-Founders Salthaus

THE CALMING AND DETOXIFYING EFFECTS OF HALOTHERAPY CAN SUPPORT THE IMMUNE, NERVOUS AND LYMPHATIC SYSTEMS. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS ARE REDUCED STRESS AND HEADACHES, INCREASED ENERGY, AND BETTER SLEEP PATTERNS. SALT IONS PURIFY THE AIR AND MAY INCREASE LUNG CAPACITY AND REDUCE PHYSICAL AILMENTS FOR ADULTS, CHILDREN AND ATHLETES. TREATMENTS ARE RECOMMENDED TO HELP KEEP THE BODY HEALTHY DURING FLU OR ALLERGY SEASONS.

an excerpt from an article by Steven Novella on June 13, 2018

INTRODUCED TO THE LRFA BLOG BY AMBER BERGER, HALOTHERAPY HAS BEEN IN EXISTENCE SINCE ANCIENT GREEK TIMES BUT WAS A COMPLETELY NEW WELLNESS CONCEPT TO ME UNTIL AMBER OPENED AN IMPECCABLY SMART, INVITING AND BEAUTIFULLY CONCEIVED SPACE CALLED SALTHAUS ON LEXINGTON AVENUE BETWEEN 81 & 82 STREET, HOPEFULLY, THE FIRST OF MANY. IT WAS INSTANTLY POPULAR WITH ADULTS AS WELL AS CHILDREN, A GATHERING PLACE FOR FRIENDS AND FAMILY, ONE OF THE SALT ROOMS DESIGNED AS A WONDERFUL PLAY ROOM TO FURTHER ONE OF AMBER’S STRONGEST GOALS, THE WELL-BEING OF HER CHILDREN AND ALL CHILDREN, TEACHING THEM SELF-CARE AND WELLNESS FROM AN EARLY AGE. AMBER AND HER BUSINESS PARTNER, STEFANIE,  CONTINUALLY ORGANIZE SPECIAL EVENTS AT SALTHAUS TO KEEP THEIR CLIENT BASE COMING BACK FOR MORE – MEDITATION CLASSES IN THE HALOTHERAPY ROOMS, SOUND HEALING, TAROT, MASSAGE, JUST TO NAME A FEW.

SALTHAUS
1220 Lexington Avenue
New York City

AN ENTERPRENEURIAL SPIRIT ALWAYS ACCEPTS AND WELCOMES A NEW CHALLENGE. THE LRFA BLOG IS HONORED TO HAVE AMBER SHARE HERS WITH US.

AMBER, WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST BUSINESS VENTURE AND WHERE DID IT LEAD?

I first launched a jewelry business called 27 Facets with a friend when I was 26 while working as a buyer for Henri Bendel. We created the business while both working full time jobs and after 6 months, left our jobs to take on the business full time.  This later led me to consulting for a start-up called Hautelook.com (which later sold to Nordstroms) where I ended up working for three years while launching a jewelry concierge concept called Astarr on the side.

Salthaus
Sound healing

WHAT PROMPTED YOUR SHIFT FROM JEWELRY CONSULTANT TO CO-FOUNDER OF SALTHAUS?

I started my jewelry business to help people get the most for their budget on special occasion gifts from engagements to birthdays. I loved creating special moments for my clients while offering transparency on pricing so I could source the perfect gem for each client. With the industry shifting to instagram/you tube channels I was not interested in taking the business to the next level in order to stay relevant. I am always up for a challenge and wanted to break out to try something new that led me to create Salthaus. 

Meditation and Halotherapy at Salthaus

HOW DID YOU MAKE A DECISION TO OPEN SALTHAUS?

Wellness has been a part of my lifestyle since I was 15. I did not realize how much valuable information I inherently knew until I became a mother and I started to become the go-to person on what to take naturally when trying to recover from a cold etc. The jewelry industry was changing and was no longer inspiring to me so I knew I needed a change. I wanted to shift my focus to the other part of me which was holistic and all about wellness. I was trying out everything in the wellness market, which led me to Halotherapy. The benefits were profound and there were limited resources available to receive the 100% natural treatment. I saw an opportunity to modernize the treatment and bring greater awareness to this incredible treatment, which mimics the microclimate of natural salt caves that exist in eastern Europe.

Salthaus entrance
1220 Lexington Avenue, NYC

 

HOW DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT SALT ROOMS INITIALLY?

I had been hearing about Halotherapy from friends in Florida. I happened to be visiting family with my husband who had a winter cough that would not go away. It was perfect timing to try out this treatment and after one session, his cough cleared. We were both taken aback and it was a light bulb moment for me that this was something special and more people needed to know about it. In the months that followed, the social wellness concept started to pour out of me.

Halotherapy Room
Salthaus

WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF SALT THERAPY ALSO REFERRED TO AS HALOTHERAPY?

The use of salt as a health remedy has been around since the Greeks, when Hippocrates recommended salt inhalation as a respiratory treatment. In 1843, Polish physician Felix Boczkowski discovered that men working in the salt mines at Wieliczka suffered fewer respiratory problems than the general population. As the workers were mining the salt, micro-sized salt particles were being disbursed into the air. Additionally there were ideal conditions below the Earth’s surface where air pressure and circulation, and humidity and temperature affected the quality of the environment. In this environment, miners were receiving many natural health benefits by breathing in the salt particles. Considering that mining jobs were usually recognized as dangerous to life and health, salt miners seemed to thrive on good health. They rarely had any respiratory issues and also looked younger due to great skin appearance.

In 1964 the world’s first facility of its kind, the underground “Kinga” Allergy Treatment Spa, was created in the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine in Poland, focused on helping people with mostly respiratory conditions as well as exploring other overall health benefits proven to be successful and spreading to neighboring salt mines and caves in Europe as well as to former Soviet Union states. In 1968, the first speleo-hospital was opened in the Solotvyno salt mine in Ukraine.

Salthaus

Having the attention from the medical community, the need for more convenient access became a necessity, in order to conduct specific studies and do more specific research. In 1985 in Odessa, Russia, the Institute of Balneology, in collaboration with the salt cavers from Uzhgorod, developed the first Halotherapy device. This was a device that was replicating the grinding and crushing of salt that would disperse the particles into the air. One could say that Halotherapy was “born” in the medical environment, in former Soviet Union. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the knowledge of the halotechnology and established Halotherapy protocols became accessible to the rest of the world. Soon Halotherapy claimed its place in more commercial and wellness settings outside of the USSR in Eastern and Western Europe, Canada, Australia and finally the United States.

Get Salty
Salthaus

IN OUR NEXT LRFA POST, WE WILL LEARN AMBER’S PLANS FOR  SALTHAUS. PLEASE BE SURE TO JOIN US.

Amber Berger, the profile of a young collector

AMBER BERGER, CO-FOUNDER OF SALTHAUS, AND HER HUSBAND CAME TO NEW YORK TO ENJOY THE ENERGY AND OPPORTUNITY THAT THE CITY CAN OFFER. ONE OF ITS GREAT DELIGHTS IS THE WEALTH OF ART THAT IS AVAILABLE TO VIEW AND TO ENJOY, ON EVERY LEVEL, FROM MASTERPIECES IN OUR NUMEROUS MUSEUMS TO ART FAIRS AND STREET FAIRS, ESTABLISHED GALLERIES AND EMERGING ONES.  THE LRFA BLOG IS ALWAYS INTERESTED IN UNDERSTANDING WHAT AND WHY PEOPLE COLLECT AND AMBER HAS OFFERED TO SHARE HER PERSPECTIVE AND POINT OF VIEW IN TODAY’S LRFA BLOG.

AMBER, WELCOME BACK!

WHEN DID YOU FIRST DEVELOP AN INTEREST IN ART? DID YOU VISIT MUSEUMS AND/OR GALLERIES GROWING UP, WITH YOUR PARENTS? WERE THEY COLLECTORS?

My mother is a fine artist so art has been a big part of my life since I was young. I grew up biking with her around the neighborhood and watching her paint nature scenes. We always went to museums in our own city as well as any city we visited.  I loved learning about the different techniques and have always admired oil on canvas, the texture just speaks to me.

Daniel Dens

WHAT PROMPTED YOUR FIRST PURCHASE AND WHAT WAS IT?

My husband and I bought an apartment together before we got married which began our personal interest in art. Living in the NYC there are so many incredible galleries, museums and art fairs to attend that helped us get a sense of what style we liked. Walking on the city streets, street art was our first love.  My husband could not get this one artist out of his mind that he saw in Soho on the street years ago so when we were ready to purchase art for our apartment we tracked him down, named Daniel Dens, and went to his loft in Williamsburg. It was a memorable experience going through rolls of art in his studio until we found the perfect one. It was a blue painting of Bridget Bardot with bright yellow writing on top that said “Merci beau-coup, Ciao I’ll call you later.”

WHO ARE THE OTHER ARTISTS YOU COLLECT?

Craig Allen, Julien Vos Andres, Jonas Sunset, Jonathan Robles, Curtis Kulig, Tanc, Bob Taber, Ole Aakjaer

Craig Allen

HOW IMPORTANT IS THE POTENTIAL INVESTMENT VALUE OF A WORK TO YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND?

We mainly go with our intuition, interested in pieces that move us and evoke a sense of emotion. Of course, we check with friends who are our advisors to make sure we are not making a poor investment but as young collectors we are not as concerned about the potential investment if it made us feel something.

HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE THE STYLE OR GENRE OF WORK THAT YOU HAVE ACQUIRED SO FAR AND WHAT DIRECTION ARE YOUR PURCHASES TAKING?

We love emerging artists usually in modern art and landscape photography. We have been into street art since the beginning and it has been amazing to watch how much that market has exploded over the last 10+ years.

Tanc

DO YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND AGREE ON YOUR PURCHASES? DO YOU NEED TO OR IS IT COLLECTING DRIVEN BY ONE OF YOU MORE THAN ANOTHER?

My husband and I luckily have very similar tastes so it has not been an issue to date. He actually has a great eye for art and we bounce ideas off each other all the time. We never set out to purchase art, it usually just happens when we come across a piece we want to bring into our home.

HOW DO YOU FEEL THAT YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND LOVE OF THE CRAFT OF JEWELRY HAS INFLUENCED YOUR TASTE IN ART?

Both industries involve craftsmanship so I truly treasure the fine details and understand that even when something may appear easy and simple, it is usually just the opposite.

WHO ARE SOME OF THE ESTABLISHED ARTISTS THAT YOU PARTICULARLY ADMIRE AND WISH YOU COULD COLLECT?

I love color so Jackson Pollack always brightens my day and butterflies are symbolic for my family so I have a natural soft spot for Damien Hirst. As for more recent artist I have been watching RETNA for years and still kick myself for not purchasing it years ago when he first came on the scene.

Curtis Kulig

DO YOU INTEND TO CONCENTRATE ON EMERGING ARTISTS AND HAVE THE FUN OF SEEING WHICH OF THE ARTISTS YOU’VE PICKED BECOME ESTABLISHED?

Yes I think that is my passion. We love watching people rise into stars so tracking the artists we have purchased or admire and watching where they land is a thrill.

THE THRILL OF THE CHASE AND OF THE HUNT AND THE REWARD OF HAVING A GOOD EYE ARE INTEGRAL TO THE HEART AND MIND OF EVERY COLLECTOR WITH WHOM I SPEAK. IT IS GREAT THAT YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND HAVE THIS SHARED PASSION AND CAN EXPLORE THE ART MARKET, GALLERIES AND MUSEUMS BOTH HERE IN NEW YORK AND WHEN YOU TRAVEL.

IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG POST, THE LRFA BLOG WILL FEATURE SALTHAUS, THE REMARKABLE HALOTHERAPY CENTER THAT AMBER FOUNDED JUST OVER A YEAR AGO. IT IS AN OASIS OF WELL-BEING AND THOUGHTFULLY DESIGNED, IMPECCABLY DETAILED AND AN UNEXPECTEDLY WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE. I WENT WHEN IT OPENED JUST AS A SIGN OF SUPPORT AND I WAS ASTONISHED AT HOW EFFECTIVE IT IS AND HOW RELAXING AND SEDUCTIVE AN EXPERIENCE!

https://www.salthausny.com/

UNTIL THEN!

 

Introducing Amber Berger, founder of Salthaus, wife, mom, entrepreneur, collector

Amber Berger,
Entrepreneur, wife, mom,
contemporary collector

AMBER BERGER IS A YOUNG UPPER EAST SIDE WIFE, MOTHER AND BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR. SHE AND HER HUSBAND ASKED FOR GUIDANCE A FEW YEARS AGO WHEN THEY DECIDED TO START TO COLLECT EMERGING ARTISTS AND I RECOMMENDED A GOOD FRIEND AND EX-GAGOSIAN DIRECTOR, CHARLIE MANZO. SHE LAUNCHED HER FIRST BUSINESS AS A FINE JEWELRY CONSULTANT WHEN SHE CAME TO NEW YORK AND HER CURRENT BUSINESS  LAST YEAR, A GEM OF A SPACE CALLED SALTHAUS, A MODERN SALT ROOM ON LEXINGTON AVENUE AT 83RDSTREET, THAT REFLECTS HER INNOVATIVE SPIRIT AND COMMITMENT TO WELLNESS FOR EVERYONE OF ANY AGE.

https://www.salthausny.com/

THE LRFA BLOG HAS LONG ADMIRED AMBER’S TASTE, HER WARM AND APPROACHABLE NATURE, HER DEDICATION AND DELIGHT IN HER YOUNG CHILDREN AND HER MARKETING AND BRANDING SKILLS. TO DATE, SALTHAUS HAS RECEIVED A VERY HEALTHY AMOUNT OF PRESS, PODCAST AND PRINT INTERVIEWS. AMBER  REPRESENTS THE PROFILE OF AN INDEPENDENT AND CONTEMPORARY ENTREPRENEUR AND COLLECTOR WHO BALANCES HER PROFESSIONAL LIFE WITH A DEEP ENGAGEMENT WITH HER FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

THE LRFA BLOG IS PLEASED THAT SHE HAS AGREED TO CONTRIBUTE HER PERSPECTIVE. AMBER, WELCOME. YOU HAVE SO MUCH TO JUGGLE. I AM VERY PLEASED YOU HAVE AGREED TO TAKE THE TIME TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE LRFA BLOG.

 

WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL BACKGROUND? WHERE DID YOU GROW UP AND WHAT WERE YOUR PRIORITIES AT THAT TIME?

I grew up in Miami Beach, Florida and always lived a very active lifestyle. I get my energy from my parents who have always been avid tennis players. I feel my best when being physically active from swimming to biking to dance and was a competitive dancer as a child. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at 15 which turned out to be the biggest blessing in my life.  While managing a disease as a child was definitely challenging, it taught me to be resilient and not give up. I took a non-traditional approach to wellness, going all-natural against doctors orders, and healed myself through the power of food. It was transformational for me and my families, learning about the power of food along with self-care practices. There are so many people in our lives we have helped thanks to the education we gained due to my illness.

Astarr Jewelry Concierge

WHERE DID YOU ATTEND SCHOOL AND WHAT DID YOU MAJOR IN?

I attended the University of Florida, majored in Finance with a minor in Economics.

WHAT WERE YOUR FIRST PROFESSIONAL INTERESTS AND EMPLOYMENT?

I grew up in a family jewelry business called Mayer’s. They manufactured high and low end fine jewelry so jewelry was definitely my first love when it came to work. I worked on all sides of the business from design to sales and was always interested in creating something and then selling it to retailers.

WHEN DID YOU MOVE TO NEW YORK AND WHY?

I moved to NYC right after college, as I was enamored with city living.  New York’s energy and work ethic was palpable to me since I was young and I could not wait to live it.

AMBER’S FIRST COMPANY WAS FEATURED IN 2011 IN A POST BY TARYNTHEWIFE THAT DESCRIBES THE THOUGHTFUL AND ALL-INCLUSIVE SERVICE AMBER HAS ALWAYS PROVIDED HER CLIENTELE IN EACH OF HER COMPANIES.

ASTARR JEWELRY CONCIERGE

AMBER BERGER, FOUNDER

For any busy wife who runs a household or holds down a career and a household could certainly use the services of Astarr to make your life easier.  Astarr is executive jewelry concierge service… Think of them as personal shoppers, they can provide you with the utmost service, personalized selection and unmatched value. Astarr can satisfy each client’s desire from bespoke jewels to engagement rings, wedding bands, designer watches, and other exquisite gifts for Bridal Parties, Anniversary, and Push Presents. No request is too demanding, as their goal is to leave no wish unfulfilled.

Conveniences:

  • Customize ‐ Fine Jewelry, Designer Watches and Costume Jewelry
  • Bespoke ‐ Bridal Salon
  • Monetize ‐ Fine Jewelry & Watch Resale
  • Refresh ‐ Jewelry & Watch Repair
  • Borrow ‐ Jewels on Loan Program
  • Value ‐ Discrete Appraisals
  • Package ‐ Complimentary Gift Wrapping

As a full service personal Jeweler, Astarr  aims to exceed every customers’ expectations when it comes to some of life’s most memorable moments captured by the gifting of jewelry. With unique style, invaluable experience and an impeccable reputation, take comfort in trusting the AStarr team to handle everything. The Husband should also add Astarr to his rolodex for special occasions! 

PLEASE JOIN US IN THE NEXT LRFA BLOG POST TO SEE AMBER’S PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL PRESENCE IN NEW YORK, ABSOLUTELY CAPTURING THE WORK ETHIC AND ENERGY THAT CHARACTERIZE THIS CITY!

 

Timothy Macdonald, CEO of Timothy Macdonald Incorporated, today and tomorrow

TIMOTHY MACDONALD INCORPORATED
Artworks by Carmen Herrera and Jason Martin

MANY DESIGNERS HAVE AESTHETIC CRITERIA THAT EMBODY THEIR VISION OF DESIGN. ONE IMPORTANT 20th CENTURY INFLUENCE ON TIMOTHY MACDONALD WAS THE EXCEPTIONAL FRENCH MODERNIST DESIGNER AND FURNITURE MAKER, JEAN-MICHEL FRANK.

Jean-Michel Frank

Jean-Michel Frank was not a minimalist. This statement will shock admirers who view the most influential designer of the 1930s as the maître of understatement: walls of rye-straw marquetry, sofas of creamy glove leather, screens dressed in mica. But as enduring as those hallmarks remain, echoed by designers from Jacques Grange to the late Jed Johnson, Frank was surprisingly multidimensional.

To study Frank interiors published between 1928 and 1941—when the forty-six-year-old designer jumped from a Manhattan building, a refugee desolated by the Nazi occupation of France and a love affair gone awry—is to be amazed by his confectionary palette and catholic furnishings. “White was his favorite color,” says the designer’s niece, Alice, who recalls her uncle’s apartment at 7 rue de Verneuil as a suave composition of travertine, sanded oak, vellum and blanched leather. But the rooms of his clients embraced the glitter of Boulle as well as the glamour of the silver screen.

Axel Vervoordt

TODAY, THE LRFA BLOG IS DELIGHTED TO WELCOME BACK TIM MACDONALD. TIMOTHY MACDONALD INCORPORATED IS A LONG ESTABLISHED RESIDENTIAL DESIGN FIRM BASED IN NEW YORK THAT HAS REALIZED SUCCESSFUL PROJECTS IN AMERICA, SOUTH AMERICA AND EUROPE FOR A GENERATION OF CONTENTED CLIENTS WHOSE CHILDREN RETAIN HIS DESIGN SERVICES NOW AS WELL.

HIS PHILOSOPHY EMBRACES THE AESTHETICS OF THE DESIGNERS HE ADMIRES SUCH AS JEAN-MICHEL FRANK AND AXEL VERVOORDT AND OF THOSE WITH WHOM HE WORKED, ANGELO DONGHIA AND VAL ARNOLD. THE FIRM DOES NOT OFFER A  “MACDONALD LOOK” BUT RATHER REALIZES A PROJECT THAT BEST SERVES THE CLIENT AND ARCHITECT AND FULFILLS THE FIRM’S DEDICATION TO QUALITY.

TIMOTHY MACDONALD INCORPORATED
Artwork by Thomas Scheibitz, Ursula Von Rydingsvard, Dale Chihuly

 

TIM, WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIALS FOR RUNNING AN EFFICIENT FIRM? THERE ARE DESIGNERS WITH TALENT BUT WHO NEVER MEET A DEADLINE OR STAY WTIHIN A BUDGET. HOW DO YOU ALWAYS MANAGE TO DO BOTH?

When working out of town, or out of the country, a “team” becomes more important than ever. A good, professional general contractor is essential to keeping the project on track in terms of cost, time and quality. We rely on the contractor to identify the best local craftsmen and artisans. The architect is also a key player. Often the architect has already worked with the contractor or in the area, so they are always critical to a good result.

Recently, we have been doing an unusual amount of work out of town; in Florida (both coasts and in the middle), Arizona, Nassau and the Caribbean.

DO YOU HAVE A GENERAL CLIENT PROFILE? DO MOST OF YOUR CLIENTS COME FROM THE WORLDS OF REAL ESTATE, FINANCE, POLITICS?

Many of my early clients followed me from Donghia and today I would say most of my clients are from the world of finance. For several years, I have begun working for the children of my clients. In one case I finished a loft in Chelsea for a lovely young woman, who was so pleased with the results, she referred me to her parents who have engaged me to help with their country home and two apartments in New York City.

TIMOTHY MACDONALD INCORPORATED
Commissioned artwork by Teresita Fernandez

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE PROJECTS THAT INCLUDE GREAT ART COLLECTIONS THAT CLIENTS BROUGHT WITH THEM?

Nearly all of my clients have an appreciation for art. It makes sense that if one is interested in interior design, they would be interested in how art fits into the completion of the interior design. Some clients arrive with little art and a thirst to learn and create a collection.

HOW DID YOU INTEGRATE THE ART INTO THE CONTEXT OF THE DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURE? DID THE ART COME FIRST AND YOU CREATED A BEAUTIFUL BACKDROP OR VICE VERSA?

I am lucky to have several who already had assembled collections and we had the great pleasure of designing the interiors with an eye towards creating a suitable background for their art. We will sometimes print elevation drawings of each space with the art shown on the wall, in color and to scale. This is also very helpful when designing the appropriate lighting for an important collection.

TIMOTHY MACDONALD INCORPORATED
Tribeca Loft 
Photo by Hiroshi Sugimoto

WHO ARE SOME OF THE DESIGNERS OF THE PAST THAT YOU INSPIRE YOUR WORK THE MOST?

I have always had an affinity for the work of Jean Michel Frank. The simplicity of his furniture designs and interiors, together with the richness of the materials he used, informs much of the best contemporary furniture design. Today, someone who’s work I admire (and furniture I often use) is Christian Liagre. Axel Vervoordt is also a great inspiration.

HOW DO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY CHOOSE TO LIVE?

I have created some wonderful homes for me and my family. We had a grand 19th century apartment in the Osborn House apartment building in New York which was featured in Architectural Digest and a wonderful early 19th century bank barn country home in New Jersey. They were both extensive restorations; gratifying challenges with terrific results.

TIMOTHY MACDONALD INCORPORATED
Florida home

WHAT IS THE DREAM PROJECT THAT YOU HAVEN’T REALIZED YET?

I look forward to designing a house (not a restoration) for my wife and me, for our children and grandchildren to visit.

THANK YOU, TIM, FOR SHARING YOUR HISTORY, PRESENT AND FUTURE WITH THE LRFA BLOG. IT IS ALWAYS A SPECIAL TREAT TO SPEND TIME WITH YOU.

IN OUR NEXT LRFA POST, WE LOOK FORWARD TO INTRODUCING AMBER BERGER, ENTREPRENEUR, INFLUENCER, WELLNESS EXPERT, MOTHER OF TWO, AND YOUNG COLLECTOR.

PLEASE JOIN US!

New York, New York with interior designer, Timothy Macdonald

 

Tim Macdonald
Mary Tyler Moore’s Upstate NY house

THE SON OF A TAILOR, AT THE AGE OF 18 ANGELO DONGHIA LEFT VANDERGRIFT, PENNSYLVANIA FOR NEW YORK CITY TO STUDY INTERIOR DESIGN AT PARSONS SCHOOL OF DESIGN. UPON GRADUATION, HE JOINED THE DISTINGUISHED FIRM OF YALE BURGE INTERIORS. WITH BURGE AS A MENTOR HE HONED HIS CRAFT AND DEVELOPED A PERSONAL STYLE. IN 1966, ON THE RECOMMENDATION OF BILLY BALDWIN, MR. DONGHIA DESIGNED THE OPERA CLUB AT THE METROPOLITAN OPERA HOUSE AT LINCOLN CENTER WHICH, WITH SILVER FOIL CEILINGS, BLUE CHANDELIERS AND BLACK UPHOLSTERY, WAS MET WITH GREAT ACCLAIM. HE WAS SOON MADE PARTNER OF THE DESIGN FIRM, THEN RENAMED BURGE-DONGHIA.

WITH A PENCHANT FOR BUSINESS, MR. DONGHIA’S DIVERSE TALENTS WERE CONVEYED NOT ONLY IN THE WIDE RANGE OF INTERIORS HE DESIGNED BUT ALSO IN THE MANY PRODUCTS THAT CARRIED HIS NAME. SAID DONGHIA, “I KNEW THAT WHAT I HAD WASN’T ENOUGH AND THAT MY GROWTH HAD TO BE THROUGH MEANS WHICH WEREN’T THE DECORATING BUSINESS.”

DONGHIA’S DESIGN PHILOSOPHY, A LESS IS MORE APPROACH, EXTENDED TO ALL HIS PROJECTS. “HE STARTS WITH A CONCERN FOR LIVING,” STATED THE LATE GRACE MIRABELLA, BOTH A CLIENT AND EDITOR OF VOGUE. IN HIS INTERIORS HE CREATED TOTAL ENVIRONMENTS – NOT JUST ROOMS – ON THE TENET THAT “YOU SHOULD FEEL AT ALL TIMES THAT WHAT IS AROUND YOU IS ATTRACTIVE . . . AND THAT YOU ARE ATTRACTIVE.”

Angelo Donghia

ANGELO DONGHIA WAS AS INNOVATIVE IN BUSINESS AS IN DESIGN. HE WAS THE FIRST DESIGNER, TO MY KNOWLEDGE, WHO CREATED AND PRODUCED THE FURNISHINGS, THE FABRICS AND WALLCOVERINGS THAT HE INCORPORATED INTO HIS RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL DESIGNS.  HE OPENED DONGHIA SHOWROOMS THAT CONTINUE TODAY TO BE THRIVING ENTERPRISES IN DESIGN CENTERS IN A NUMBER OF AMERICAN CITIES.

https://www.donghia.com/angelo-donghia/

WHEN TIM ARRIVED IN NEW YORK, HIS FIRST (AND LAST) JOB WORKING FOR ANOTHER DESIGNER WAS WITH THE EXTRAORDINARY ANGELO DONGHIA.

TIM, PLEASE TELL US ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE! ONCE YOU MADE THE DECISION TO RELOCATE, WHAT IS THE ARCH OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL HISTORY?

Within a few weeks of arriving in New York, I interviewed with the legendary designer Angelo Donghia. I had followed and admired his work for years as it appeared in all the design magazines. Angelo’s design philosophy encompassed a broad range of styles. A Fifth Avenue townhouse would of course have a very different aesthetic than a Key West, cypress wood octagonal house. He loved 18th century English wood furniture as well as classic art deco rattan and wicker pieces. But most of all, he was a master of upholstery. He demanded that all upholstered furniture be beautiful and, above all, comfortable.

Within a couple of years, Angelo had put me in charge of his residential design firm, where I managed a staff of ten and worked with all the top clients. We had a who’s who of clients at the time: Diana Ross, Mary Tyler Moore, Ralph Lauren, Barbara Walters, Neil Simon, Donald Trump and in 1980, I had my first big client on my own, Liza Minnelli. The results were presented as the first fold out cover of Architectural Digest and the biggest selling issue to that time.

Ralph Lauren apartment, New York

EVERYONE LOVES AN INSIDER’S VIEW INTO THE WORLD OF CELEBRITIES. WHO WERE SOME OF YOUR CELEBRITY CLIENTS AND IN WHAT WAYS IS IT THE SAME AND IN WHAT WAYS IS IT DIFFERENT THAN WORKING ON A REGULAR PROJECT?

For a number of years Architectural Digest sponsored guest programs at The Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. Together with a few other designers, I was invited to present a slide talk on what it is like working for celebrities. Bottom line, they are no different than other clients. Every client is unique and each brings their own point of view. Ralph Lauren wanted an environment which was devoid of color and pattern, other than natural wood, velvet carpeting the color of natural wood and lush green plants. We wanted to give him a place of visual serenity after hours of looking at color and pattern.

Liza Minnelli, growing up in Hollywood, the daughter of a film director, thought of home as a movie set and wanted her apartment to include references from her father’s films, such as the distinctive “Minnelli” red in Gigi. We had a ball working together.

Liza Minelli
New York apartment
by Timothy Macdonald Incorporated

WHEN DID YOU LAUNCH TIMOTHY MACDONALD INCORPORATED AND WHAT PROMPTED THAT DECISION?

In 1986, Angelo Donghia passed away and I left Donghia to start my own firm. I remember the day I met with his lawyers and realized I needed to leave. I went home and told my wife, “I have some news.” She said, “So do I.” I said, “You first.” She said, “I‘m pregnant.” I said, “I’m unemployed.” So Timothy Macdonald Incorporated was launched. Within a month I started with a secretary, a typewriter, a draftsman/designer and a phone number.

For the past several years, TMI consists of myself, my business partner, Robin Berg, my design partner, Greg Kundsen, an assistant designer, an administrative assistant and a draftsman.

OFF TO AN AMAZING START, WITH THE IN-DEPTH EXPERIENCE OF REALIZING FIRST-TIER PROJECTS AND DISCERNING CLIENTS, TIMOTHY MACDONALD INCORPORATED LAUNCHED.

TUNE IN NEXT WEEK AS TIM SHARES HIS LIFE AS CEO AND PRESIDENT OF ONE OF THE MOST ESTABLISHED AND ON-GOING NEW YORK BASED INTERIOR DESIGN FIRMS.

A warm welcome to Timothy Macdonald Incorporated, a New York based design firm

Tim Macdonald
Founder & President
Timothy Macdonald Incorporated

TIMOTHY MACDONALD INCORPORATED IN A LONG-ESTABLISHED INTERIOR DESIGN FIRM BASED IN NEW YORK WITH PROJECTS THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES, LATIN AMERICA, AND EUROPE. THE STYLE IS ECLECTIC, RESPONDING TO EACH INDIVIDUAL CLIENTS’ AESTHETIC AND LIFESTYLE. HIS DIALOGUE WITH THE ARCHITECT AND THE CLIENT IS ALWAYS COLLABORATIVE AND ONE OF HIS PRIORITIES IS TO HONOR THE CLIENTS’ TIME FRAME AND BUDGET.

TIM MACDONALD HAS BEEN A COLLEAGUE AND A FRIEND FOR MANY YEARS AS HE HAS GENEROUSLY REFERRED CLIENTS TO ME WHO ARE INTERESTED IN ACQUIRING ART OR ALREADY HAVE ESTABLISHED COLLECTIONS THAT NEED FINE TUNING. HE STUDIED FINE ARTS IN COLLEGE EXTENSIVELY AND HAS A GENUINE RESPECT FOR ART AND ITS VALUED PLACE IN THE CONTEXT OF A RESIDENTIAL OR COMMERCIAL DESIGN.

IT IS A PLEASURE AND A PRIVILEGE TO HAVE TIM CONTRIBUTE TO THE LRFA BLOG.

Taliesin
(Spring Green, Wisconsin)

Leslie, thank you so much for inviting me.

THANK YOU, TIM. I KNOW YOU GREW UP IN THE MIDWEST.

WHAT ELEMENTS OF YOUR CHILDHOOD AND EARLY ADULTHOOD LED YOU INTO ESTABLISHING A DESIGN FIRM IN NY?

I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin and my early interest in architecture was encouraged by my mother. Frank Lloyd Wright had a strong presence in the area and his buildings certainly affected the way I experienced design and space. In fact, I nearly went to his school in Spring Green, Wisconsin, interviewing with his widow, Olgivanna.

Frank Lloyd Wright
Fallingwater

I attended high school in Winnetka, Illinois where I was able to study art under Jon Almquist, who had studied with Joseph Albers at Yale. I flourished. Visits to the Art Institute were frequent and my interest in art was encouraged both at home and in school.

Ultimately, I attended the University of Pennsylvania, with the intention of studying architecture. But, greatly missing the art studio and drawing, painting, sculpture and photography; I transferred to The Boston Museum School to study art.

AND AFTER SCHOOL, WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB IN THE DESIGN WORLD?

After college, I moved to San Francisco in the summer of 1972. I realized with my education in art, I could either be a fine artist, or teach art. Neither appealed to me, so I considered how I might apply my knowledge to a practical career. A friend worked for a large space planning firm in San Francisco and encouraged me to explore the field of interior design. It seemed a good way to marry my love of architecture with my education in art.

I got my hair cut and put on a sport coat (I was a hippie at the time) and started the job interview process. I visited decorating showrooms and got an offer the first day. But what I really wanted to do was work for a designer and learn the business from the bottom up. I was lucky to land an interview with one of the top interior designers in San Francisco, Val Arnold.

Val Arnold
Architectural Digest, 2007

TELL US ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE AT VAL ARNOLD. YOU MUST HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH!

Val had a small office; two designers, one assistant designer and an office manager/bookkeeper. I was hired to be Val’s assistant and my job consisted of doing anything to help around the office. This might be organizing the sample room, shopping for materials, or getting the car washed before a client site meeting. The office manager left for a trip to China shortly after my arrival and after she was gone two weeks, she wired Val she would not be returning. So I became office manager. That was the beginning of my education in the business side of design. In short order I was also helping to create furniture plans and elevations, pull together schemes and even present to clients. I helped out on special photo shoots for Architectural Digest. It was total immersion. I loved it and I was good at it. Our clients were movie stars and the crème de la crème of San Francisco society.

Val was very good to me and begged me to stay with him, but in 1975 he decided to relocate to Los Angeles and I decided to move to New York.

Angelo Donghia
Architectural Digest, 2007

AND SO TIM’S PRESENCE IN THE INTERIOR DESIGN WORLD IN THE COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE OF NEW YORK WAS LAUNCHED WITH THE LEGENDARY FIRM OF ANGELO DONGHIA.  STAY TUNED NEXT WEEK FOR THE DETAILS!

THANKS SO MUCH FOR FOLLOWING THE LRFA BLOG, AND THANK YOU SO MUCH, CONTRIBUTORS, FOR YOUR LABOR-INTENSIVE SUPPORT.