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Frances Elkins: Interior Design

Overview

The career of Frances Adler Elkins (1888-1953), sister of renowned Chicago architect David Adler, spanned more than three decades.
An avant-garde decorator and arbiter of taste, Elkins was celebrated for inspired designs that integrated various periods and styles, from country French to chinoiserie to art deco, and featured furnishings by such modern designers as Jean-Michel Frank and Alberto Giacometti. This book offers a tour of twenty-nine luxurious Elkins interiors, ...

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Overview

The career of Frances Adler Elkins (1888-1953), sister of renowned Chicago architect David Adler, spanned more than three decades.
An avant-garde decorator and arbiter of taste, Elkins was celebrated for inspired designs that integrated various periods and styles, from country French to chinoiserie to art deco, and featured furnishings by such modern designers as Jean-Michel Frank and Alberto Giacometti. This book offers a tour of twenty-nine luxurious Elkins interiors, including several collaborations with Adler. Elkins's illustrious clientele extended from coast to coast and as far afield as Hawaii, including many private and public commissions in northern and southern California and the Midwest. Generously illustrated with 160 stunning color photographs as well as black-and-white photos, the book includes a list of selected clients and a visual inventory of selected furniture, fabrics, wallpapers, and accessories favored by Elkins.

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Editorial Reviews

Gayle A. Williamson
“In this appreciation of Elkin's aesthetic, the words of her contemporaries are used to establish her great influence on modern design… Through 160 color and black-and-white photographs, readers take a virtual tour of 29 luxurious interiors.”
Carol Prisant - World of Interiors
“[L]avishly illustrated…Her subtle genius is captured by the numerous color photos”
Refurbishment Projects
“Generously illustrated with stunning colour and black-and-white archival photographs that illustrate the range of her elegant and timeless designs, Frances Elkins: Interior Design is an essential reference for decorators, interior design students and homeowners, as well as an enchanting view at one of America's grandest dames of interior design.”
Interior Design
“Salny's monograph has made an important contribution to the record. As Interior Design Hall of Famer Albert Hadley writes in his foreword, 'This book is a treasure. It is history at its best.'”
Jeff Turrentine - The Washington Post
“Salny… makes a case here for regarding Elkins as much more than a society decorator… He points to powerful influences in her work… that support the idea of Elkins as a sort of American filter for European avant-gardism, introducing it stealthily and incrementally in her designs for upper-crust clients with more traditional tastes. Though her rooms might blend Asian antiques with Queen Anne and Chippendale, a modern undercurrent could always be felt in the emphasis on order, balance and serenity.”
Julie Cole - Southern Accents
“A fascinating exploration of Elkins' career, this book and its timeless design lessons are a true delight.”
Nancy Yoshihara - Los Angeles Times
“Any design devotee would enjoy this book.”
R. P. Meden
“[A] valuable insight into the life and works of a legendary interior decorator… Highly recommended.”
California Bookwatch
“[A] splendid, authoritative treatment.”
Elizabeth Dinkel - California Homes
“I also admire…Frances Elkins: Interior Design…bent open at least once a week by someone on my design team”
Eve M. Kahn - Clem Labine's Period Homes
“[E]ntertaining as well as meticulously researched… Keep a bookshelf slot open for it in your decorative-arts section.”
Tim Forrest - Mayfair & St. James's Life
“If you seek inspiration for your own interiors then I suggest that you take a look at the new book on the notable American decorator Frances Elkins, whose stylish interiors have a resonance particularly suitable for present-day tastes.”
World of Interiors
“[L]avishly illustrated…Her subtle genius is captured by the numerous color photos”
The Washington Post
“Salny… makes a case here for regarding Elkins as much more than a society decorator… He points to powerful influences in her work… that support the idea of Elkins as a sort of American filter for European avant-gardism, introducing it stealthily and incrementally in her designs for upper-crust clients with more traditional tastes. Though her rooms might blend Asian antiques with Queen Anne and Chippendale, a modern undercurrent could always be felt in the emphasis on order, balance and serenity.”
Southern Accents
“A fascinating exploration of Elkins' career, this book and its timeless design lessons are a true delight.”
Los Angeles Times
“Any design devotee would enjoy this book.”
Choice
“[A] valuable insight into the life and works of a legendary interior decorator… Highly recommended.”
California Homes
“I also admire…Frances Elkins: Interior Design…bent open at least once a week by someone on my design team”
Clem Labine's Period Homes
“[E]ntertaining as well as meticulously researched… Keep a bookshelf slot open for it in your decorative-arts section.”
Mayfair & St. James's Life
“If you seek inspiration for your own interiors then I suggest that you take a look at the new book on the notable American decorator Frances Elkins, whose stylish interiors have a resonance particularly suitable for present-day tastes.”
Choice
“[A] valuable insight into the life and works of a legendary interior decorator… Highly recommended.”
Library Journal
Considered the first great California decorator, Frances Elkins worked between the 1920s and the 1940s, influencing interior designers such as Michael Taylor and Billy Baldwin. Salny was introduced to Elkins while he worked on a book (The Country Houses of David Adler) about the houses designed by Elkins's brother, David Adler. In this appreciation of Elkins's aesthetic, the words of her contemporaries are used to establish her great influence on modern design. She began her career with her own home, Casa Amastri, in 1918, which she decorated with the help of her brother. This collaboration led to more exposure, and she continued to decorate homes on her own in the San Francisco and Monterey areas. Through 160 color and black-and-white photographs, readers take a virtual tour of 29 luxurious interiors. Captions clearly describe the features that made Elkins's design influential. Recommended for large and West Coast collections.-Gayle A. Williamson, Fashion Inst. of Design & Merchandising, Los Angeles Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393731460
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/11/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 716,232
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 12.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen M. Salny, the author of Frances Elkins: Interior Design, lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

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