Albert the Great

0847827429.1.zoomThis book arrived last night, and I finished reading it this afternoon. I must confess, I don’t typically read all of my cocktail table books cover to cover, however, I had been waiting to own this one for quite a while and so I completely immersed myself within its pages. It is fair to say, if it isn’t obvious already after last week’s posts, that Albert Hadley is one of my absolute favorite decorators, and easily the greatest American decorator who ever lived. This book tells his story, and it is an absolute page turner. I love love loved it.

Albert Hadley 2One of the most wonderful things about the book were the quotes from Hadley himself, and not all the quotes were decorating specific. Some were just great comments on life and a love of all things aesthetically pleasing.

“A rearview mirror is intended for a careful backward glance but the focus must be on the road ahead.”

“The essence of interior design will always be about people and how they live. It is about the realities of what makes for an attractive, civilized, meaningful environment, not about fashion or what’s in or what’s out.” 

“It is all about manners.” 

astor library sketchThe book is also filled with these wonderful Hadley sketches. Pictured here is the famous Astor Library – apparently a design concept that he came up with over a cup of tea with Mrs. Astor. He was criticizing, or rather disagreeing with, another decorator’s scheme for the space, and Mrs. Astor responded with, “What do you mean? What would you do?” To which Hadley responded, “Red Lacquer and brass.” And the rest, is history.

drawings and design processNext up on the reading list, Drawings and the Design Process in order to truly indulge my love of this storied decorator and his beautiful sketches.


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