Friday, April 24, 2015

Gibson Girls and Instant collections

Maud Davis Baker was a pioneer in the world of photography. She was one of the rare American women who had her own photography studio in the 1890s in Helena Montana. At a time when women were not allowed much freedom, Mrs. Baker had a studio of her own and made a living from her art. Later in life, in the 1920's, she moved to Hollywood and was a member of the growing art crowd in LA, the Hollywood Art Association and the Hollywood Woman's Club with her daughter Viroque Baker.
I've just listed is this charming collection of portraits mounted on sepia paper and signed by Baker. It has 13 lovely women, likely high school or college graduates, most with the fad hairdo of the day, the Gibson Girl, invented by popular illustrator Charles Dana Gibson. About 1890 he wanted to draw a version of a young  American woman of the times, that wasn't a free-thinker or suffragette. The Gibson Girl is the opposite of the late 1800's "New Woman" who wanted liberty, freedom, a career, and the right to manage her own life as a human and not as a wife or second class citizen.  Gibson's girl, however, is smart, rich and enjoys her freedom. You can read more at wikipedia. 

Call it a gallery wall, or a collection, choosing to decorate your wall with a group of objects, some pictures, some frames, some paintings, and whatever strikes your fancy can really add that free-spirited bohemian aura. If the objects all share 1 or 2 similarities, it will come together as an artistic whole.

Perhaps the similarity is color or shape, maybe it is subject matter such as a grouping of  dog paintings and pictures, or maybe beach theme art and crafts. When choosing a collection to hang together add differences as well as sameness. Strive for different colors in the same family, and don't forget texture. If it is too bland, hang a few baskets, or rough weavings, or hang some antlers. Although hipsters have overdone it recently, it will come back to popularity because it is an element of casual decor that is always in style. It adds a cabin, cozy, arty look to almost any arrangement.

I've just listed an antique hand carved walnut frame. It combines patina, authenticity and gravitas to any grouping of objects. This one is at least 100 years old, and likely even older. It has no markings. It can hold a photo or painting that's 8" x 10", but I've always loved it alone, loving the grain, the patina and the texture.

Here's a few more rooms with great collections arranged with a bohemian artsy vibe in mind. These are on Pinterest, so if they are your pics, let me know and I'll give credit.