Van Day Truex (1904-79) may be the most significant interior designer that you have never heard.
I recently had the opportunity to meet with Scott Himmel to learn about the offerings in the launch of Truex American Style, a very exciting new line of furniture inspired by Van Day Truex, and his illustrious friends and colleagues including Billy Baldwin, and Francis Elkins, other important American designers of the period (and a few legendary taste-makers thrown in for good measure.)
It bears mentioning that philanthropist Brooke Astor (1902-2007) described Truex as “one of the most charming men I ever knew”, and Albert Hadley (1920-2012) said that “No one influenced American interior design more [than Van Day Truex]”.
David Williams, American (Newport, Rhode Island), 1769-1823
Patent Timepiece ca. 1815-1820, Mahogany, pine, paint, glass, and brass
Museum purchase; Bequest of Eliza Taft
Attributed to workshop of John & Thomas Seymour, American,
1738-ca 1818 and 1771-1848
Lady’s Writing Desk, 1795-1800, Mahogany, pine, light & dark wood inlays,
ivory, brass & enamel hardware, Estate of Martha B. Lisle
“Arabesque Pigeons”, Adelphi Paper Hangings
Wood block printed wallpaper – contemporary recreation of a historic wallpaper by Adelphi
For “Making It in America”, curators at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum selected artwork, furniture and objects from their collection, and with the collaboration of New York decorator Thomas Jayne, created a wonderful exhibition that illuminates connections between American ambitions and the making of art.