Here is a room from my clip files—a stark early 19th century keeping room, a romanticized version of a past that never was, glorifying the humble, beautiful nonetheless. I don’t remember where this was published, but for some reason, I think it was Vogue, about 20 or 25 years ago.  It is in the summer of home of the late Andrew Wyeth in Cushing, Maine.  I’m not a huge fan of Wyeth’s art, cultish, faux mysterious, sentimental, manipulative, but I do like the clarity of vision here—country without the cute—weathered surfaces catching the  sea light outside, uncompromising palette.  I  admire the aesthetic rigor that it takes to produce a room like this,  be it modernist, minimalist or colonialist, but myself, I’m afraid that I’m forever being seduced by a continental mirror, a pretty lamp, or my friends’ demands for comfortable seating when they visit….no Shaker-like purity for me.

Oh, Look!  Shiny object!

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