Posts tagged New York

Nothing Like a Good Barn Sale

Welcome everybody to a new addition of Middleburg Folk Art Studio called The Barn of Middleburg “Barn of Middleburg!”

This new Etsy shop will feature vintage and antique items for your office, garden, and home! One of the most interesting pieces we have gathered is a Tammis Keefe ladies’ handkerchief from the 1950s!

Designed by Tammis Keefe, this handkerchief is adorned with sunshine yellow birds in their aviary, faded gray feathers, all in front of an ice skating rink against a royal blue background at New York City Central Park Zoo with a gray outline.

The handkerchief is 100% linen.

When we first purchased the handkerchief, we thought it’s hip retro colors and its’ “artsy” illustration were enough for us to love it, but we have been doing some research…

Apparently, it is a piece in a collection that’s over 200 pieces by a talented New York City 50’s textile designer Miss Tammis Keefe.

Originally born in Los Angeles, CA back in 1913, Tammis Keefe travelled to New York City to help run a new textile studio her employer was opening in the mid 1940s. Well, we all know that even today making it in the “Big Apple” isn’t easy, and while Keefe was there, she began to pick up freelance work from big department store names like Lord and Taylor and Kimball. At first she was commissioned to design just ladies scarves. Pretty soon though, Keefe found herself designing linen kitchen towels, tablecloths, cocktail napkins, and handkerchiefs. Keefe passed away in 1960 after an long term illness, but is considered one of the most prolific textile designing women of the 40s-60s.

Many of her designs contain animals and nature, but it’s the obvious attention to color that truly makes each one individual and stand out. Looking around on some Tammis Keefe blogs/bloggers, and a flicker page, we have found several designs of: owls, butterflies, horses, flowers, plants, holidays, and cities.

“Whenever possible I like to introduce the three dimensional in prints. I like “depth” in a fabric. I also like the introduction of current objects treated artistically. Warm colors are my favorites – beige, tan, brown with the addition of some cool color for relief.”

Tammis Keefe, 1948, quoted in American Fabrics

Although, Keefe did extensive traveling throughout Europe, there are a lot of wonderful handkerchiefs representative of American cities like our “New York City Central Park Zoo”. Among its cousins are “Washington D.C.’s Smithsonian Institution (as it titled back in the 1950s), “New York’s Greenwich Village,” “New York’s Washington Square,” “New York’s Rockefeller Center,” “San Francisco’s Grant Ave/Chinatown,” “San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf,” “California’s San Gabriel Mission,” etc. Another thing that speaks about the palettes of Miss Keefe are that there are several color ways of the same image.

What’s unique about ours, is that we have not been able to locate a “Central Park” handkerchief in the same color way, which we believe, makes it pretty rare.

We think it would make a splendid pillow top cover or a decorative framed wall hanging somewhere in your home!

Be sure to check out our new items daily, as we will be posting more and more!

Some great resources to learn more about this wonderful designer.


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My work is going to the Guggenheim


My work is going to the Guggenheim

Okay- not really. But it did make me smile yesterday, when I had a lovely etsy order and the customer asked for it be shipped to her office at the Guggenheim. I’ve had so much fun with etsy. My work has gone to: England, France, Finland, Spain, Singapore, Germany, Canada, Switzerland, and of course all over the US. It’s so fun to imagine its journey to another country or place, your work in a little box going so far. I take a mini- vacation every-time I get an order.

But I must share my elusive Guggenheim story. Back in the ‘Art-Director’ days, I was scouted by a company who sent me to New York for an interview. Well being the little overachiever I am, I scheduled three interviews for the same day. After all I was going to be there, why not make the most of it? So I flew in and did the first interview with the company footing the bill, which turned into three it self (after you meet with the VP, the VPCD and final the ECD.) Then off in cab to the other side of Manhattan to the next interview. After a sit down lunch at this cute restaurant (which I can’t remember the name, but it served comfort food) I had seared tuna and some lovely wasabi mash potatoes (mashed potatoes is comfort to me!) I grabbed another cab for my last interview. Finally arriving at my hotel at a convenient 4:00p.m. I checked-in and went right to the concierge to get info on the Guggenheim. I was in luck. It was late night, so the museum was going to be open long enough to take it at a leisurely pace. Let me preface this all by saying the ‘Guggenheim’ is my nirvana. Design by Frank Lloyd Wright (I could give the tour at his house in Oak Park, I take every ‘out-of-town’ guest we have there and pour over every inch of the house and studio), filled with the best modern art that money could by (and did), sitting smack dab in the middle of sky scrapers, this beauty all white and organic. There’s a line from the movie “Gone in 60 Seconds” where Nick Cage refers to a car as his ‘Eleanor’ (I can’t believe I just quoted that movie, but anyway) and the trouble is it’s the one car he can never manage to ‘boost.’ But now, unlike Cage, the Guggenheim is mine! After the chat with the concierge, I quickly popped up to my room, dropped the bag and portfolio, and made a quick shoe change (heels all day if you can imagine). The bed looks inviting, my feet hurt so what could the harm be in just laying down for a minute. Well the harm was I didn’t wake up until 12:30 am the next day! I jumped out of bed and yelled “my Guggenheim!!!!!!!!” My flight was leaving the next morning around 7:00am so no time in the ‘a.m.’ I missed it. And other times when I’ve been back to New York, it has always been a quick in-and-out. Never to just stand and marvel alone, my ‘Eleanor,’ my ‘Guggenheim!’

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