Art and industry

Last June the couple acquired a Tiffany Studios window made about 1898 for the Unity Church in Brooklyn (Fig. 11). Irises and lilies frame the land­scape view, a classic Resurrection scene memorial­izing the church's long-time pastor, the prominent clergyman Stephen H. Camp, who ministered to black troops during the Civil War.

A clutch of wispy chrysanthemums, painted by Louis Comfort Tiffany around 1880, joins many of the couple's best paintings in the hexagonal mas­ter bedroom, which perches atop the porte cochere. On a mantel and in a purpose-built niche nearby are bronzes by Harriet Whitney Frishmuth, includ­ing Joy of the Waters, one of the artist's most exuber­ant nudes, modeled in 1920 (see Figs. 13, 14).

"I like paintings that I can hear," the husband says. In 2000, while living in London, the couple invested in a seventeenth-century land­scape by Jacob Van Ruisdael (1628/29-1682). Drawn to the Dutch master's evocative treatment of the natural world, they later found a corollary in nineteenth-century American landscape paint­ing. An autumnal view by John Frederick Kensett entered their collection in 2011 (Fig. 17). Seek­ing advice from New York dealer Andrew Schoelkopf, they acquired two oil views by Wil­liam Trost Richards, The Otter Cliffs, a tempestu­ous Mount Desert, Maine, scene of 1866 (see Fig. 15), and Gentle Surf, New Jersey Coast of 1905. "Richards is a rare artist who is consis­tently excellent throughout his career. He had the ability to paint motion and volume into the waves. He is the greatest American seascape art­ist of that moment," Schoelkopf says.

Large scale, elaborate subject matter, beautiful light, and exceptional depth, Schoelkopf says, dis­tinguish another of the couple's recent purchases, Alfred Thompson Bricher's 1877 View on the Providence River (Fig. 16).

Dwight Tryon's 1913 pastel October depicts a bucolic autumn landscape near the artist's studio in SouthDartmouth, Massachusetts (Fig. 18). According to Newport paintings dealer William Vareika, it is a quintessential example of tonalism in American art.

The carriage house that Will Price designed for Louis Clarke now houses a 1907 Autocar built at the industrialist's factory in nearby Ardmore (Fig. 19). It more resembles a motorized carriage or a land cruising yacht than the streamlined transport of today. A work of art, it has gleaming brass lamps and a firewall of polished mahogany veneer.

"History gets rewritten through careless resto­ration. The collectors wanted the work to be correct and the results authentic," says Walter Higgins, the Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, conservator of antique and classic autos who restored the car. It was bright red when the couple bought it, but after Winterthur conservator Jen­nifer Mass evaluated the paint Higgins returned it to its original navy blue. An Amish buggy maker replicated the tufted leather upholstery, which is stuffed with horsehair. The car placed first in its class at the Antique Automobile Club of America's re­gional fall meet in Hershey, Pennsylvania, last October-a triumph for art, industry, and for this enterprising Pennsylvania couple.

by Émile Jacques Ruhlmann (1879-1933), 1926. Macassar ebony, amaranth, and ivory. Metropolitan Museum of Art. By Cynthia Drayton

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