At Currey & Company, we are constantly refreshed and inspired by reading great books. Whether we’re opening a new book for the first time or returning to an old favorite, reading has a way of opening our eyes to perspectives outside our own and widening our creative view. Our design library houses hundreds of volumes, which we use to research designs, write about product and rouse our creativity. This week, members of our staff share three books they’re reading right now…
1. From Brownlee Currey, President: Improbable Memories by Sarah Moon
“At this moment I am reading Improbable Memories, a compilation of images by photographer Sarah Moon published in 1981. It features much of her fashion work from Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and others. I searched for an English copy for a long time and finally having found one in good condition I have excitedly been spending my evenings going through it.
Sarah Moon’s work appeals to me because of her use of imperfections, defocus and grainy texture; this allows her to make images that are less specifically about the sitter or the clothes and much more about evoking a particular feel. There is an otherworldly quality to many of her images that is unique. While Sarah’s work is not as well known as Paolo Roversi, she is capable of expressing the same beauty for which Roversi is well known. And, it would appear she got there first.
The book contains many images that I have not seen before and it is always instructive to look at a single large body of work assembled together. I hope that Sarah Moon’s looseness, and ability to make the imperfect statement can rub off in some small way.
On deck, after I finish with ‘Improbable Memories’ is ‘Portraits of the Renaissance’ by Nathalie Mandel.”
2. From Cecil Adams, Creative Director: One Man’s Folly – The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood by Julia Reed
“I was intrigued when I read an article previewing this book late last year. ‘The great designer you never heard of’ is how Mr. Gatewood is described by his friend Bunny Williams whose husband is his business partner in the antiques trade. The compound of houses, follies as described by his carpenter, is amazing and unique in that all the buildings minus one came from his own imagination and are all inspired by an architectural element he uncovered while shopping around for antiques. He was able to do this on his family land in Americus, GA. Each residence is unique but each one reflects his great eye for design. He also uses very simple materials for these structures which proves if you have a great carpenter and a vision there isn’t anything you can’t do.
At 92 Mr. Gatewood is still active and busy purchasing new things and refining his vision. He is an inspiration to me and I believe everyone should be aware of this book.”
3. From Bethanne Matari, PR Maven: Mark Hampton on Decorating by Mark Hampton
“I love vintage books. Mark Hampton’s 1989 book, On Decorating, sat on my shelf for months until the day I met his daughter, Alexa at an ADAC event. The daughter of a renown interior designer, I expected Alexa to know everything about the interior design business. She was extremely knowledgeable about design but to my surprise was also, funny, down-to-earth and intelligent. I immediately came home and grabbed On Decorating so I could read more about this intriguing designer. On Decorating is not a picture book but a tome on elements of interior design with understated illustrations. The book actually contains a version of articles that Mr. Hampton wrote for House & Garden magazine from 1984 to 1987. He covers many subjects in the book that are still relevant today. There is so much to be learned from the book including an expansive design vocabulary. Used copies of the book are still available on Amazon.”