Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mabel & Victor D'Amico Studio and Archive

After our tour of the Art Barge, we hopped back on the bus for a short ride to Victor and his wife Mabel D'Amico's home and studio, a sunny mid-century cottage on the beach. It's clear that Mabel was a creative force in her own right. She died in 1998 (just over a decade after Victor) and the house is just as she left it, a perfect midpoint between the amazing Eames and "Elephant" houses. Almost every surface shows off a collection or assemblage, from the window sills (colored bottles and driftwood sculptures) and the doorposts (geometric bits of wood and architectural molding) to the walls (ceramic cats and homemade masks). I have a new appreciation for pegboard. If it hadn't been for the three-hour drive back to Manhattan, I could have spent the whole day rummaging around this place. Luckily, I had just enough time, as some of the others milled around the bus, slapping at mosquitos, to duck into the tiny house hiding in the brush next door...

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