Friday, July 30, 2010
My background before working in the antiques and design world was in contemporary art. I was living in New York and working as an art handler which allowed me to have a lot of free time which was spent between the New York Public Library studying art and design books, and hoofing it around the city visiting different art galleries and design shops.
Anyways I tend to ramble so let me get back to the show at Russell/Projects. This show was top notch. Through the years I've seen my fair share of art, both good and bad. This was an outstanding show. The artist who showed were Peregrine Honig, Susan Jamison, Aaron McIntosh, Claire Stigliani, and Helena Wurzel. I have always admired Susan Jamison's work and I added her as a Facebook friend a few days before the show and she invited me up.
For the last few years I've been concentrating on my business and now I'm at a level where I can relax and catch up with what's going on back in the art world. I like to keep interested in what's going on in both, as I feel as they both influence each other. Anyways it ends up that Susan Jamison has a museum show at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, VA, and the artist Peregrine Honig is on the Bravo TV show "Work of Art: The Next Great Artist". The works in the show seemed to compliment each other, and there were a few pieces I wouldn't mind having for myself. We will see! :) Anyways I wanted to post some photos and links to the artist website and to Russell Projects, and if you get time to make it there it's definitely worth it. If you see something you're interested please call the Gallery.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
By Darleen Nichols
Oxymoron is the word that comes to mind when describing Lewis Trimble Decorative Arts and Antiques in Kilmarnock. Owner Lewis Trimble describes his inventory as “modern antiques.” This term applies to high-end pieces crafted by well known designers between the 1930’s and 1980’s. Among the prestigious designers and decorators represented in Trimble’s collection are Henredon, Wormley, Dessi and Draper, just to name a few. The array of decorative pieces is quite eclectic. The model for John Risley’s sculpture “Someone is Watching” is joined by a late 19th century life-size anatomical model. A 1930’s Italian gold-plated tea set has an Egyptian Revival ibis stool as a neighbor. The gallery also houses a fine collection of Murano glass.
It would be a mistake to describe the Lewis Trimble Gallery as a local enterprise. It has clients all over the world: London, Paris, and even Dubai make the short list. Lewis is also known for supplying pieces to decorators in New York, Miami, Los Angeles and even Hollywood (for photo and film shoots). Of course, some visitors enter the shop thinking it is still a used furniture store – although once inside, they quickly realize their mistake. That’s because in a past life the space housed a “used furniture store” of sorts. The Tides Inn of Irvington rented the building to offer their furnishings for sale when the Inn was re-decorated.
The family history is as interesting as the art and antique offerings. Lewis Trimble is a third generation art and antique dealer. For more than fifty years his grandfather, Donald Sykes Lewis, owned and operated the Auslew Gallery in Norfolk, one of the largest galleries in the southeastern United States. He was also a painter, as is Lewis. Some of their work is on display in the Kilmarnock Gallery. Lewis’s mother, Leigh Lewis Trimble, is an artist and used to do art restoration as well. She did restoration work for the Auslew Gallery. Uncle Don Lewis is a painter of landscapes and still life. Brother Chris owns and operates a shop in White Stone which offers 18th century antiques and hand-crafted furniture. And not to be left out, grandmother “Bebbie” is the official greeter of visitors.
D. Lewis Trimble was born in Norfolk and attended schools in Virginia. At Virginia Tech he majored in Art and Art History. On September 11, 2001, Lewis was living and working in New York on 57th Street in the heart of the art world. He had the misfortune to see the second plane hit the World Trade Center and then watch as both buildings crumbled. In the aftermath of this tragic event many galleries closed, and work in New York became hard to find.
Lewis returned to Virginia, where he and his mother joined forces to form the current enterprise. A polio survivor since the age of 4, Leigh is now suffering from post polio. However, this doesn’t hold her back from joining Lewis on “shopping trips” to obtain new pieces for the gallery.
At age 34, Lewis Trimble was invited to join 1stDibs.com., the home of beautiful work crafted by some of the top designers and decorators across the country. If a client has a particular piece in mind, Lewis will attempt to locate it. An invitation to join 1stDibs.com is quite an honor for an antique dealer. Lewis decorated one of the bedrooms at Walesa Point, location of the Historic Urbanna Holiday Homes Tour in 2009. This exhibit displayed a daybed by Maison Jansen, who designed for President John F. Kennedy, among many other pieces from the 1930’s through the 1990’s.
Asked why he elected to open a shop in a town where antique stores abounded, Lewis said that the more options available to prospective clients, the better for all of the shops. Lewis and Leigh travel extensively to bring exciting decorative art and antiques to an extensive list of clients but there is always room for more who appreciate beautiful things. A visit to this shop is a “must” on your trip to Kilmarnock.Lewis Trimble Decorative Arts & Antiques
15 North Main Street
Kilmarnock, VA 22482
Telephone: (804) 435-7771
Hours: 10 am – 5pm Mon-Sat • By Chance on Sunday
Friday, July 23, 2010
We have other animals. For the horse lovers a pair of andirons, straight from the Kentucky hill sides. We have an Mexican copper and brass parrot by Sergio Bustamane.Sergio Bustamante 1942- has become quite famous and his prices have skyrocketed his work has been copied so look for real quality in any piece that you think is done by him.
Below is a 19th century copy of the painting Young Bull by Paulus Potter which hangs in the Hague in Amsterdam.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Today is my Dad's birthday, Donald Sykes Lewis Sr.. He would have been 91 today. He did a lot of wonderful things in his life. Not the least being bringing up a daughter and a son who loved him very much. His love for art has enriched all our lives.
Dad brought beauty and the understanding of good design to everything he touched. He established Auslew Gallery, in 1952 in Norfolk Va. Against the better judgment of all the rest of our family. As a child I remember everyone telling him that there had never been a successful art gallery in Norfolk. Richmond was the capital and maybe he would be better there. He persevered. In the beginning he ran two businesses at once. He still maintained an adding machine business while my mother ran the newly formed art gallery. The first summer my little brother and I went to work with her so the business could get off the ground.
The Gallery became one of the largest in the southeastern states. Dad specialized in American Art. He had only a few years of College letting his older and younger brothers go in his place, but when it came to art his thirst for knowledge was insatiable. He studied books on art and read every bit of information he could get on American art. Without a degree in his field he became recognized as an authority. He could spot a great painting even under layers of old varnish and dirt. He both cleaned and restored paintings. He was good friends with local College professors Charles Sibley, artist and professor at Old Dominion , and Parker Lesley, Art History Professor and adviser to the Queen on renaissance jewelry. He was deeply respected.
Dad was also an inventive artist in his own right. He came up with something he called "cloutage". This was a process of using found metal pieces and combining them with paint to produce some wonderful pieces of art. An example of one hangs in my living room next to the large one by his grandson Lewis's large painting (1st photo). When I was in college he had a show of his work some where on Madison Avenue in New York City. The show was successful. Leo Castelli wanted to handle his art, but told him he must do much larger pieces. His work was done on board with metal and was extremely heavy as it was. (One of his paintings is in the photo above and to the left.) My brother and I were both in the middle of our education. Dad was worried about supporting the family. After showing in New York he felt that somehow he had made it. Little did he realized what Leo Castelli could do for an artist's career.
Dad never pursued his art career any further. The Gallery thrived he bought estates of artists, one of the largest being that of Herman Herzog. He had paintings by most of America's well known Artist of the 19th and early 20th centuries. One of the last estates that he purchased was the Eliot Candee Clark estate.
At one point he sold a Renoir to the Norfolk Museum. My mother brags about having slept over Monet and Renoir. Dad had them on consignment and he worried about their safety. So, he stashed them under their bed at night. In fact, when they left for a trip my husband and I were entrusted with their keep and we also slept over both a Monet and a Renoir. We carried the Renoir around with us wrapped in our dog's blanket. Later it was put on display at the Virginia Beach Board Walk Art Show, as art having been donated by the school children of Norfolk. There was a guard and ropes to keep people back. If only they had know.
My Dad was the caretaker of our family. He was the middle child but he was the one the whole family looked up to even his older brother. Our house was where they all gathered.
Before he died he was intent on making sure that his family was taken care of. He worried particularly about me and my sons. Being a divorced mother of three sons, he worried about how we would survive without his support. He purchased the building, that houses our shop, thinking that we could have an art gallery. There were not enough paintings to fill 8,400 sq feet. But antiques and art go together. Two of my sons got their start in very good businesses from that building. How pleased he must have been. We all feel as though he is still taking care of us. Scott my middle son has his own auto repair business thanks to a loan from Dad's trust. Chris, Lewis,and I feel as though he watches out for us giving us nudges in the right direction toward finding our treasures. I personally miss being able to ask his advise, but know that somehow, with his guidance, I'll make the right choices. He spent his life teaching us.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Over the years we have gotten more and more pieces from the early to mid twentieth century. I can not tell you how many times people come in and ask if we are only carrying Decorator items. Yes, a lot of decorators use the pieces by furniture designers of the twentieth century, but many people don't realize that there are special pieces that command respect for their design and their quality. Just like anything there are differences between pieces made for the masses, and those special pieces made for the rich, and or people with discriminating taste. Their sleek lines and beautiful materials lend them to blending with some of the more classic older pieces. Recently we listed a pair of 18th century Italian bedside tables on the website 1stdibs.
These compare well with pieces such as the Paolo Buffa piece that we just listed from the twentieth century.
These are exceptional for both style and quality of workmanship. We also listed a pair of Grosfeld House display cabinets. That are also very nice pieces from the twentieth century. They may be used with a mixture of periods and styles. All these pieces have substance and integrity.
I just read a great article about American pickers back in the early 1990's and their interest in Deco 1920's thru 1960's. We are not alone and they were ahead of us by a long shot. Back in the the 1970's they were selling to of all people Andy Warhol. They said to Warhol "I get stuff you like." Andy said,"Bring me stuff." He was buying 1950's stuff in the 1970's. He would buy trailer loads of Deco at a time. Andy was a compulsive buyer. I remember hearing tales about his estate where they found bags straight from stores that he had never even unwrapped when he got them home.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
I talked about how the Northern Neck of Virginia is a Manhattan in Mayberry. We have become an artistic center. People up and down the east coast are drawn to the area because the pace is slower and the pressure is off. One can have a clear mind to create.
We have writers and musicians and all sorts of media artist. Yesterday an art associate of my brother and mine came into the shop. Over 20 years ago we were all in a show at the twentieth century Gallery in Williamsburg Va.. Dorothy Fagan has continued her artistic endeavors over all these years. Both she and her husband make their living on their art.
My brother Donald S. Lewis Jr. shows some of his work at our shop. He gets some of his inspirations here as well as Va. Beach and Highland County Va.
Bradley Stephens Our local Folk artist lives in Irvington Va.. He collects folk art and creates his own art. He also is a Playwright.
Lewis and I are artist, as well, when we have the time to paint. The two paintings of fruit are mine. Some times during the slower months we'll actually create in the shop. Maybe that's one reason that we have trouble keeping the shop neat. Creative minds are rarely neat, too many fun ideas roll around in our heads. Oh well, who wants to be boring!
There are people in the area that make their own furniture like my son Chris Trimble, who makes tables and restores furniture and Bill Jenkins, who made many of the windsor chairs that were in the John Adams Movie. There are many others in the area as well.
In the shop next door is the Rappahanock Art League here you will find art displayed by an assortment of local artist. This gives people a chance to practice their art and to sell it.
Across the street from our shop is Amos & Randolph gallery.
Friday, July 16, 2010
CAKE GREEN PISTACHIO
1 BOX WHITE CAKE MIX
1 CUP CLUB SODA
1/2 CUP OIL
1 TEASPOON ALMOND EXTRACT
2 PKGS PISTACHIO PUDDING
MINI CHOCOLATE CHIPS TO TASTE
USE PAM IN BUNDT PAN
PREHEAT OVEN 350
55 MINUTES TEST WITH TOOTH PICK
USE POWDER SUGAR SPRINKLED OVER PAPER DOILLY
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Last year we took several photos of the shows at Brimfield. I just discovered them in my Photo file. This is some of the variety seen at a show. As you can tell there is lots and lots of variety. Everything from junkique to very fine antiques.
I guess that I 'm obsessing over the Brimfield experience, because Chris and I actually did the shows for years since the late 1990's. The first time that we set up was a cold and rainy May. There seemed to be mud everywhere. We shared a tent with some friends. I thought we'd be able to spend the night in a motel. Oh no, it was the van that night. We awoke at 4:00 am with customers poking into the tent. Somehow we found coffee, the elixir of life. After a few very good sales that first morning, I began to feel better about the whole affair. All the vendors in our area became our friends. We looked forward to seeing them each show. We took our Golden Retriever, Samantha, who would sit patiently under a table waiting for her walk. She loved to walk down one lane and up another sniffing other dogs as they passed. She made special friends too.
Lewis was working in New York City then. He would take the train up to Waterbury Conn. where we would pick him up. At this point Lewis was more into the art world than antiques. He found a nice piece of pottery that he purchased at a bargain price. Afterward he found out that it was a piece done by the first abstract artist, George Orh. He ended up making money on the piece. He was hooked. Once a treasure hunter always a treasure hunter.
This is only a little of the variety seen there. We have friends and customers who go up for the food. They have lobster rolls, fabulous pies, and a Pilgrim sandwich, which is a thanksgiving dinner complete in a bun. Chris must have a Pilgrim sandwich to have a completed Brimfield experience. When the weather is hot there are lines for the fresh squeezed lemonade and ice cream. When it's cold peolpe line up for Chili and clam chowder.
You see everything from mom's pushing strollers, to electric wheel chairs and scooters. Regular wheel chairs might be too much of a challenge, but I can tell you from personal experience that either scooters or the electric type work just fine. They even have handicapped portable restrooms. You should have seen me in my chair walking Samantha on a leash around Brimfield. We both did great. So much for experiences at Brimfield, if you go enjoy, and if you meet Chris give him our best.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Chris set off Sunday morning early to go to the July Brimfield Show. His 20'x 20' blue and white tent stashed in the back of his van. He sets up front and on the center road in the Meadows Field in booth 158. If you are in the area please stop by and say hi.
Last year Chris, Lewis, my Mom, and I went up to buy. Fortunately the weather last year was with us. The temperature was moderate to cool. Mother had broken her knee in March and she was able to sit in the van when she got too tired. We had a grand time searching for those hidden treasures. We had just purchased our large van and we also had my mini van.Nothing matches having fields upon fields to search. Oh, the thrill of the hunt! We came home loaded with all our finds.
Chris was way excited. He found a REAL VA PRE-CIVIL WAR BUCKLE in PA on his way up to Brimfield. Chris is my oldest son he grew up in and around Williamsburg and fell in love with history particularly the 18th century. It works out very well with two of my sons into antiques that they have interest in different centuries. Where they agree is in the integrity and quality of the piece.
Kilmarnock is normally one of the most honest little towns in the U.S., but I regret to say crime has come to town! Saturday one of the favorite "Dogs About Town" has gone missing. Molly had been sitting by the fire hydrant next to Noblett's on the corner of Main Street. Flash our Super Hero Dog Is frantic. Molly disappear without a trace. So far she had received the most bids of all the dogs. This is doubly disappointing because these Dogs were being auctioned off for charity. All moneys going to rescue dogs and cats. Also the value that she represents places this at a higher crime level. Hopefully this is just some kids pulling a prank, and Molly will reappear. Chris Trimble, the artist, who painted and fabricated Molly will try to duplicate her for the Animal Welfare. The whole affair stinks. Please return Molly!
Saturday, July 10, 2010
We are always studying the designers of the 20th century. We are aware of the influence of architectural design, the modernist trends in the art world, the innovations of the ceramicist, and the glass makers, as well as the ever growing section on 20th century items in the back of the Miller's yearly guide to antiques. We watch for trends.
The furniture of the mid-century was of two kinds. There were the mass produced pieces that you found in most furniture stores and then there were the special pieces some of which were individually hand made, or they were the top end produced by companies like Widdicomb. Recently a chair by a 20th century designer, Eileen Gray, sold at auction for more than other chair had ever sold for 28 million. Robsjohn-Gibbings wrote a book years ago called, "Goodbye Mr. Chippendale." Now Modern designers such as Eileen Gray have out sold Chippendale. Robsjohn-Gibbings has become highly sort after. His Klismos chairs and tables are extremely elegant.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Sunday, July 4, 2010
We are celebrating seven years of business. It seems like yesterday and yet a life time ago too!
Over seven years ago my Dad called to say he had found a likely spot to start a business. My Mom called asking me to talk my dad out of buying this place. I went in open to both their ideas, but it did not take long for me to realize that my Father was right again. The building was huge 8,400 square feet. The roof leaked. The floors were filthy, and it was very cold inside and dark. We could only see the far back room with a flash light. It was in February. The plot span from Main Street to School Street. There was room for parking and a drive in the rear. There were two display windows. The roof had to be replaced, as did the heating and air conditioning system. All the walls needed paint, the electrical system needed checking. The floors were a mess. But what a space, and a prime location in our little town.
Dad had been in the art business for almost fifty years. I had been in the antique business for several years. The only immediate answer was to open an antique mall with a Gallery section up front. Dad only lived a year longer, but he fully enjoyed being in business again. My Mom has been with us the whole time acting as our official greeter. We are truly a family business.
We were strict requiring our dealers to actually have antiques. We followed this plan for six years. Last year after occupying more and more of the mall, we took the final plunge and made the decision to really become one large shop. It might not have seemed like a good idea in a poor economy to enlarge, but when times are tough sometimes are the best times to change. And change we did.
We got a loan. Lewis had studied the market, and was wise as to what his generation wanted. We jumped in buying with both feet. We had been on the web site Bond and Bowery for almost two years with our own items. This had worked fairly well for us allowing us to sell to people and designers across the country.
There was a flaw however, our name. We called ourselves Main Street Fine Art & Antiques. That was a great name for an Antique Mall, but not for an individual shop on line. So after much thought and consideration we changed our name to our names. My maiden name Lewis and our last name Trimble. Then we needed a catchy logo that's when our moon face came into being. In November we went with the prime web site 1stdibs and here we are thriving!!!!
Saturday, July 3, 2010
The creative juices just started running, and Lewis ran along with them. All it takes is seeing something and an idea is sparked. Then the next step is running with that idea. Lewis and his friend John Latell found a bunch of old forged ship chain during one of Lewis' trips. With John's know how and Lewis' design they launch head long into the making of these lamps to be.
Lewis said they needed to look like they are hanging from their base. John took on the task of welding each link in the proper position. John said it felt like it took months, but in reality it took a little over a month from conception to the rough stage they are in now.
I will post new photos as the lamps progress.