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Paperback The New Decorating with Pictures: Collecting Art and Photography and Displaying It in Your Home Book

ISBN: 0821228668

ISBN13: 9780821228661

The New Decorating with Pictures: Collecting Art and Photography and Displaying It in Your Home

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Book Overview

Plenty of books provide advice on how to collect art and what to choose, but to few focus on display techniques appropriate for the home. The New Decorating With Pictures: Collecting Art And... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

2 ratings

A rewarding book but not the last word on displaying pictures

Making good pictures is difficult, but hanging them well sometimes seems to be equally challenging. I have a growing collection of nicely framed photographs that are standing around aimlessly because I can't make up my mind as to where exactly they fit on the walls of our house. That is why I turned to Stephanie Hoppen's book (which, surprisingly, is one of the very few on the subject.) Hoppen has sound credentials to speak authoritatively: she runs an art gallery in London, writes on interior decoration and has a son, Michael, who established one of London's most renowned photography galleries. "The New Decorating with Pictures" is not about turning family pictures into kitchen clocks and shower curtains. The book has a double focus: it wants to help in building an art collection and in showcasing it tastefully in a homely setting. The discussion and examples are not limited to photographs only but to anything artistic that can be stuck to a wall (including paintings, drawings and mixed media works). There are four main parts: "Choosing pictures", "Choosing subject", "Framing" and "Displaying". Clearly, Hoppen favours a thematic approach, where pictures are collected around a given subject matter. A significant part of the book is devoted to discussing and showing examples of art around four main themes: "people", "art & architecture", "the natural world", and "leisure". "The natural world", for example, divides further into subthemes such as landscapes, animals, gardens, etc. Personally I think this approach is a fairly weak point of the book - the more so as it takes up a significant number of pages - as many people will collect art because they like an artist or a medium, and not because they are looking for a thematic thread or a narrative in their collection. Hoppen focuses the discussion in the "Framing" and "Displaying" section on two points: the material used to frame and display pictures and suitable proportions between the frame and the space around it. In terms of really practical advice, the discussion is fairly thin. Hoppen is reluctant to formulate hard and fast rules. Her main advice is: "get a specialist to help you out, or, if you want to do it yourself, try lots of things and have lots of patience." Despite these shortcomings, the book is a pleasure to browse and read. Its real value lies in the many inspiring pictures of interiors that illustrate the first and last two sections of the book. There's an excellent mix of period, modernist and contemporary interiors, with corresponding styles of framing and displaying of paintings, drawings and photographs. The settings go beyond the living or dining room and include kitchens and bathrooms as well. It is rewarding to scrutinise these case studies as they encapsulate lots of experience and learning by their owners. Personally I find it exciting to see how a real picture of, say, Irving Penn or Michael Kenna finds its place on a wall. Hoppen's captions are instructive as

Chapters are arranged for quick consultation

Plenty of books provide advice on how to collect art and what to choose, but to few focus on display techniques appropriate for the home. The New Decorating With Pictures: Collecting Art And Photography And Displaying It In Your Home is the perfect item of choice for any who would collect art and photography and display it in a home, blending Simon Upton's fine color photo examples with Stephanie Hoppen's survey of techniques and common challenges. Divided by subject, chapters are arranged for quick consultation.
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