For Scarsdale gallery owner Madelyn Jordon, living with art is a full-time gig.
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The Jordons’ taste is eclectic. Pop works such as Andy Warhol’s painting "Peter Brant’s Dog" (Brant is publisher of Warhol's Interview magazine) finds a place in the family room, near a modernist portrait from the early 1900s by artist Francis Mix and a pair of Jacques Majorelle silver-point prints of Morocco from the 1920s. Eclectic furnishings offset the diverse art: two French 19th-century mahogany chairs were reupholstered in leopard-print velour and a rustic Adirondack table adorned with hemlock, tiger maple, and antlers. (Created by artisan George Jaques, it was the Jordons’ first piece of handmade studio furniture.) Beautiful Stark carpeting in deep earth tones, Schumacher grasscloth wallpaper, and beige cotton curtains by Brunschwig & Fils help create a neutral background so art pops.
“Jordon’s style is a mix of modern and classic,” says interior designer Lisa LaReau Katz, owner of Scarsdale-based LaReau Interiors and a partner at Fiorenza Decorators in Bronxville. “She has a forward eye, because she really does have a vision.”
While Jordon never has bought art to match her furnishings, she says, "I'm mindful of my spaces and don’t just buy art in a vacuum. If I have an eight-foot ceiling, I’m not going to buy a ten-foot painting. I also would never put a purple-and-yellow painting over a red couch.” Then Jordon, a true art lover, stops for a moment. “If I really loved that purple-and-yellow painting,” she says with a smile, “I’m sure I’d find another place to put it.”
MADELYN JORDON’S TIPS FOR LIVING WITH ART
Buy what you love as opposed to buying as an investment. “I know that, regardless of the investment potential, I’m still going to have something I love as opposed to artwork that just was supposed to be worth something".
Don’t purchase art to match your décor. “You should choose a piece of art because it speaks to you and because it gives you a lot of pleasure. The enjoyment of your art will outlast the furniture.”
Use a professional to help place art at its best advantage. “Placing art is an art form in itself.”
Beware of the conditions in which you place your art. Make sure not to put works on paper or photographs in direct sunlight.
Good lighting makes a difference. Properly lit pieces are tremendously enhanced.
Rotate your art so you’ll never be bored. “After a painting sits in a certain space for a couple of years, I might say, ‘I’m ready for a change. Let’s move something around.’ And we do.”
Educate your kids. “We’ve had art since my children were babies. I’ve never had a child damage anything, because I taught them early on how to respect and treat artwork.”
Work with a good art dealer. “A gallery owner can be on hand to advise, educate, and assist you in navigating the art world. We come across things every day and can keep an eye out for what would be right for you.”
Laura Joseph Mogil is a freelance writer residing in Briarcliff Manor. She is a frequent contributor to Westchester Home, Westchester Magazine, and the New York Times. You can read more of her work on her website at lauramogil.com.
Photography by Thomas Moore