maandag 19 augustus 2013

1040 Fifth Avenue. House of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis

Jackie fled Washington, DC in 1964 to escape the hounds of tourists camping outside of her door in Georgetown. With the guidance of financier Andre Meyer she found an apartment at 1040 Fifth Avenue in New York, not too far from her sister Lee Radziwill. She would raise Caroline and John here and find it a safe haven filled with her favorite books, art objects and family mementos. Those who visited her on the 15th floor found it warm and inviting, much like her private quarters in the White House.
Behind the sleek facade of spare, modern elegance was a woman who surrounded herself with boudoir femininity. The apartment, with its red and gold drapes, fauteuils cabriolet, decorative drawings, floral cache-pots, its dining table dressed in flowery fabric and chairs in chintz, already seems to belong to another era - now that Upper East Side apartments are obligatorily filled with modern art.

"The way Jackie Kennedy had it decorated, the arrangement of the rooms. It was hers, and it gave me a feeling about her. I met so many people after I bought the apartment who told me they had been there for dinner and told me what it was like to be entertained in the apartment, and I almost had a sense of history about it," said Koch in the New York Times tory.

Jackie was not a modern collector except with a keen eye for pretty things. Only a 1960 Robert Rauschenberg gouache of the presidential couple with emblems of America struck an abstract modern note. Her tastes were exotic! For a world traveller who insisted on seeing the Taj Mahal by moonlight and riding an elephant with her sister, Lee, on a trip to Pakistan was drawn to miniatures of Mogul gardens. She liked chinoiserie, scattering black-laquered cabinets and a screen with cherry-blossom tendrils among the Louis XVI ormulu. The porcelain include Chinese plates intensely decorated with birds and flowers and the discreet Davenport version with sepia traces of foliage around an empress with parasol. The terraces would bloom with crabapple trees in blue planters.

Horsey pictures filled her home, from the fine equestrian portrait over the marbled fireplace, through the charcoal drawings of horses' heads and the tally-ho Spode dinner plates of fox hunters galloping through a green landscape.
In the early 70's, she would favor fabric designed by Design Works, a textile firm located in Bedford Stuyvesant that trained people in the craft of textile design and production.


Her bedroom was modeled after Marie Harriman's Georgtown bedroom where Jackie stayed after moving from the White House - with pale green walls and bright Scalamandré silk baldachino coverings by John Fowler using a Jardin de Tuileries floral pattern. The bed a gift from her best friend Bunny Melon.
From one of Jackie's decorators - Keith Richard Langham. Source: New York Social Diary 2006

In recognition of her work with Central Park Conservancy, the Central Park Reservoir was renamed the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. Overlooked by her 5th Avenue apartment, the reservoir was a frequent jogging destination for Jackie. new-york-woman-jacqueline-kennedy

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