Bringing Art To Life

Emma Chrichton-Miller, The Financial Times: How To Spend It, September 1, 2015

Further east, in that great architectural city Chicago, Suzanne Lovell trained as an architect and today specialises in the intersection of fine art, architecture and interior design. Often required to contribute to the design of a building, her team’s area of expertise is in ensuring that every interior detail – soft furnishings, furniture, lighting – serves to enhance the collectors’ relationship with their collection. Lovell will also source fine artworks to complement a collection if required. She has had projects all over the United States, from apartments on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago to pieds-à-terre in New York City, from a beach-front house in California to Florida penthouses. One client, Dr. JoAnn Eisenberg, lives in a rare, historically listed house in Chicago dating from 1866. Nine years ago, she and her husband decided to renovate it for the second time. Enthusiastic collectors of art deco furniture, rare books and Hungarian photography, they had also been accumulating Native American artefacts – textiles, ceramic vessels – for nearly 30 years. This collection had never been on display in this, their main home, and instead had been split between storage, various museum exhibitions and their other homes. Lovell immediately saw its potential: “We were struggling to create an entrance foyer in a narrow house, so we created a 16ft-long cabinet of goatskin and bronze with spaces for the Native American items. And we displayed a large portion of the Edward Curtis photographs in the powder room. This brought the house alive.” Dr. Eisenberg adds, “Suzanne showed us how to live with our Native American things and our art deco pieces. She made it coherent.” Lovell used a soft palette of colours and menu of textures to create warmth throughout the home, while little details – the horizontal graining of the carpentry echoing the horizontal weaving of the Native American textiles – draw attention back to the art. “The whole project was so intellectually stimulating; I learnt to look at each object as an individual work of art, not just part of our collection,” says Eisenberg.


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