17 December, 2011

A Tale of Two Drawing Rooms

Given the fact that Villa Turicum was never inhabited, there are hardly any photographs of it's interiors. In fact, if it were not for the The Architectural Record (March,1912) and the American Landscape Architect (June, 1930) articles, next to nothing would exist. My guess is that the image of the drawing room below was taken in conjunction with the 1934 auction and one of it's affiliated catalogs.

(I am fortunate enough to own one of the catalogs, The Collection of Mrs. Rockefeller McCormick, produced by American Art Association & Anderson Galleries Inc. of New York city.) The photo taken below is part of The Architectural Record article:

Each was taken from the same perspective, which is facing East. The doorway at the end of the room leads to the library. In the photo above, we have a vista all the way to the windows of the adjoining library that face Lake Michigan. The windows to the right face the south garden, and the three archways on the left are the advance to the Pompeian room.

Bear in mind, I know this house like the back of my hand. I've spent many late nights pouring over photos and comparing them to the blueprints. The photos above give us an infrequent glimpse of the house that was never a home.

Clearly the first photo is "staged" for auction; all of the carpets, tapestries, and some of the furniture have been removed. The second photo is more indicative of how Villa Turicum existed for nearly two decades; at the ready, everything in order waiting for the chatelaine who barely, if ever, materialized.

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