Monthly Archives: January 2016

Art is a Great Thing

Currey and Company's Fin chandelier

The Fen chandelier in the new Currey & Company product introductions.

Guess who’s doing a takeover of the And Company Said blog again? That’s right—it’s Saxon Henry here with more news as to Currey & Company’s happenings taking place during the month of January. I won’t be introducing myself going forward as I have news of my own to share: I will be posting here once a month as I highlight product introductions and event announcements, and expound upon company lore—and I couldn’t be more excited!

The Jade bench by Currey and Company

Currey & Company’s Jade Bench in Jolly Green, a Pantone-inspired hue.

 

We Celebrate Design in Atlanta and Dallas

Today, my dispatch highlights the upcoming events during the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market and the Dallas Total Home & Gift Market (Check for details at the end of the post.). During the Atlanta market, Currey & Company is celebrating design in their showroom, and participating in the Pantone Vignette Gallery, which highlights the 2016 Colors of the Year and the PantoneView® Home + Interiors color forecast.

Currey and Company Zhin II sideboard

The Zhin II sideboard by Currey & Company, in a Caviar finish, a Pantone-inspired color.

The hues are being displayed in a signature exhibition curated by talented vignettists Robert Leleux, Shaun Smith, Jamie Durie, Heather Hogan Roberts, Janie Hirsch, Michael Habachy, Kristin Alber, Michel Boyd, and Tami Ramsay and Krista Nye Schwartz of Cloth & Kind. The exhibition stays open the entire time the Market activities are underway.

Robert and Suzy Currey with their Standard Poodle Rives.

Robert and Suzy Currey with their Standard Poodle Rives.

During the Dallas Market, which begins on January 20th and runs through the 26th, Currey & Company will introduce more than 225 new products and celebrate two nominations for ARTS Awards—one for product and a second for Andrea Combet, the company’s West Coast Regional Representative. Additionally, the ARTS Awards Academy of Achievement Honor will go to the company’s founder, Robert Currey, who—along with his sidekick Suzy—has created this company with a serious sense of legacy at its core.

Currey and Company West Coast Regional Representative

Andrea Combet, Currey & Company’s West Coast Regional Representative.

The manufacturer’s product nomination celebrates Currey & Company’s talent for producing stunning chandeliers, though the quality and loveliness of the lighting is only a percentage of the consideration. Other attributes that qualified them for this award are advocating for their workforce, a commitment to philanthropy and an awareness of sustainability.

The Havana Grande chandelier by Currey and Company

Currey & Company’s Havana Grande chandelier, one of the company’s most statuesque fixtures.

Fostering a Corporate Social Vision

When reading over the narrative as to how the company maintains a culture geared toward supporting its participants, I was pleased to learn how Currey & Company pays for tuition and books for four-year college degrees for workers who want to educate themselves. The manufacturer also reimburses employees for expenses for English as a Second Language classes. Hands-on computer-skills training and Economic Wisdom seminars are also offered.

Leo Tolstoy wrote What is Art? the year this image was taken

An image of Leo Tolstoy from 1897, the year “What is Art?” was completed in Russian. Image courtesy WikiMedia and the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division.

It is this depth of the company’s commitment to the human component of its brand, combined with the refined aesthetics its designers and artisans consistently produce, that brought a book by Leo Tolstoy to mind as I was thinking about this piece. I believe you’ll see why when reading the Russian author’s thoughts about beauty I’m sharing here. They were published in his exploration of aesthetics, which he completed in 1897, titled What Is Art?

Leo Tolstoy is 20 years old in this photograph

Leo Tolstoy at the age of 20, photographed by Pavel Biryukov in 1848.

I first read his treatise when I studied aesthetics at New York University under William Packard, and I have never forgotten how Tolstoy presented his ideas. Though not all of them resonate with me philosophically, his take on beauty made an impact on my thinking. The ideas by the other writers he references enlightened me as much as his beliefs—his choice of which philosophies to include (many of them he disagreed with) illustrating the brilliance for which he is remembered.

“It is assumed that everyone knows and understands what is meant by the word beauty,” the novelist wrote. “And yet not only is this not known, but now, after mountains of books have been written…the question of what beauty is remains completely open.” This sets the tone for a weighty exploration that meanders through 167 pages, loosely at first—“what is beautiful is harmonious and proportionate” and “beauty is known only by the spirit”—and more tightly by the time Tolstoy nears his conclusion—“Art is not pleasure, consolation, or amusement; art is a great thing. Art is an organ of mankind’s life, which transmutes people’s reasonable consciousness into feeling.”

Currey and Company's Scarlett chandelier in a barnyard setting

Given his philosophical leanings, I believe Tolstoy would have applauded this photo of the Scarlett chandelier in the barnyard setting.

Humanity’s push to understand what constitutes beauty has not abated during the 119 years since he published his opinions, and few take the subject more seriously in a product-driven sense than creative directors in the home furnishing industry. Cecil Adams and his design team at Currey & Company are among these, and their explorations consistently result in some of the most aesthetically pleasing products being introduced in modern times.

Currey and Company's Trapezoid chandelier

The Trapezoid chandelier from Currey & Company was introduced at the fall 2015 HP Market and is new to Atlanta and Dallas.

I see the following statement by Tolstoy as a summing up of how dedicated the manufacturer is to the well-being of its people: “Art should make it so that the feelings of brotherhood and love of one’s neighbor, now accessible only to the best people of society, become habitual feelings, an instinct for everyone. The purpose of art in our time consists in transferring from the realm of reason to the realm of feeling the truth that people’s well-being lies in being united among themselves.”

Currey and Company's Odeon Bar Cart

This kicky Odeon bar cart from Currey & Company, introduced at the fall 2015 HP Market and new to Atlanta and Dallas, is a future icon of midcentury-modern chic!

Viewing the company through this lens, you can see why I would say its leaders practice art in every definition of the word according to Tolstoy’s philosophical viewpoint. It’s a considerate story that I am thrilled to be able to tell, and I celebrate that a company with this level of corporate social responsibility and social vision is putting its heart where its manufacturing is while also maintaining such visual beauty with its product development.

Currey and Company's Bob Ulrich

Bob Ulrich, the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Currey & Company.

About the ARTS Award nomination in the product category, Bob Ulrich, the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, says, “To be recognized and celebrated for excellence in a highly competitive and entrepreneurial environment like the home furnishings industry is very rewarding. Oftentimes we are so caught up with the daily struggle to manage and move forward that we fail to take the time to reflect, and the ARTS Award offers that moment to consider one’s achievements.”

Robert Currey in his Sparta, Georgia, garden

Robert knows his way around the garden—he’s made a veritable third-phase career of growing and trimming and producing edibles and flowers.

He adds these eloquent thoughts about Robert’s commendation: “Our industry is filled with passionate entrepreneurs. Some are like shooting stars that shine bright for a moment and disappear, while others work quietly and make significant contributions without ever being noticed. In the case of Robert, he has been a shooting star that has burned brightly for many years. His passion and commitment has been an inspiration to so many he has come into contact with over the years.”

I would like to congratulate Robert and Currey & Company for the award and nominations, all so well deserved. As I close this exploration of visual sumptuousness, I also celebrate a bit of serendipity with next week’s premier of Tolstoy’s War and Peace that will be simulcast on the Lifetime channel, the A&E Network and the HISTORY channel on January 18th at 9 pm EST. The set design and costumes at first glance look to be things of great beauty aesthetically, and I look forward to seeing Lily James (Rose on Downton Abbey), Gillian Anderson and Jim Broadbent in the series. This official trailer will likely whet your appetite if you enjoy period drama:

 

 

Details of our January Events

ATLANTA: The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market takes place today through January 19th, and Currey & Company’s special event takes over its showroom this Friday, January 15th, from 5 to 7 pm so make haste to Suite 14F10 of the AmericasMart Building One for the pre-cocktail party. The grand opening of the Pantone Vignette Gallery, at 7 pm, will follow the fête.

Currey and Company's Parlour chaise

Currey & Company’s Parlour chaise (upholstered in black leather with a Warm Pecan finish on the turned wood legs) is seriously handsome photographed in Robert and Suzy Currey’s organic mushroom factory.

DALLAS: The Dallas Total Home & Gift Market begins on January 20th and runs through the 26th. Currey & Company has myriad reasons to celebrate during this market so don’t miss the cocktail reception on Friday, January 22nd, from 3 to 5 pm in Suite 10000 at the World Trade Center!

If you attend any of these events, please give me a shout on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram when sharing pics using the hashtag #curreyco, okay?