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Madrid and the Gift of Inspiration

In Madrid, as you approach the Museo Nacional del Prado, you will notice that preparations are underway for this year’s 200th anniversary celebration. The Museo Nacional del Prado originally opened its doors in November of 1819. The museum houses many of the most cherished works by Goya, El Greco, Velazquez and Rubens and is a sight to behold.

The inspiration starts as you saunter down the street on your way to the Museo Nacional del Prado; note that a quick brisk walk is impossible due to all the architectural beauty surrounding Mardrid’s streets. Please note that even though the museum is currently renovating, they are still holding exhibitions and events in other locations in the city to mark their 200th anniversary.

One could say that the beautifully designed buildings that surround Madrid, the capital of  Spain, are akin to the masterpiece paintings viewed at an exquisite art museum. Speaking of museums, Madrid is the home of many important museums that house some of the greatest works of Western art in the world.

The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia is another museum that houses 20th-century art and is part of the Golden Triangle of Art, containing three of the most important art museums in the world. Once you read about the various exhibits and collections currently showing, you will make a beeline to the Reina Sofia just to see how a 20th-century master interrupts the world you grew up in. This is just fascinating!

The last and third in the Golden Triangle is the Thyssen-Bornemisza, which houses the most influential collections of private art ever assembled. The museum opened its doors in 1992; an agreement had to be set in place between the Spanish government and Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza. The building itself of the Thyssen-Bornemisza is the Palace of Villahermosa, and it’s considered one of the most important buildings in Madrid’s palatial architecture, dating back to the early 17th century.

You’ll come back from Madrid inspired, and that’s priceless.

From the ADG Design Studio

 Yes, we make furniture too!

Architecture Design Lighting

by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting

 

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Featured Artist: Abby Jacobs

During the course of our work, we get the unique opportunity to explore the visions of various artists and tradesmen injecting their own vision into spaces. As craftsmen in the world of lighting, we work with the intention of making a space come to light (both literally and metaphorically), and that work is often enhanced by fellow artists and craftsmen. So the question arises: does art (of any form) enhance lights? Is art an intention? How does art work collaboratively with other fixtures or objects in a room and create its own vignette?

As we explore this thought, we wanted to profile an artist that ADG has worked with in the past on a residential project. In collaboration with architecture firm Surround Architecture and interior designer Rand Kruse, we crossed paths with Abby Jacobs, an artist based out of Boulder, Colorado. ADG designed the thin-nickeled sconces, pendants in the dining room, and many of the exterior lights in the home.

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Working as an artist since a young child, Abby trained in art therapy and received her master’s degree in counseling psychology and art therapy from the Buddhist based Naropa University in Boulder.

“Art’s job is to be soothing. The eye should rest in the place you like,” Abby says. A lot of her work can be heavy and solid, or light and airy, just depending on the space.

Image5Abby has previously worked with adults with mental struggles, and believes art is a good way to get people to open up, and reflects what is going on with them. “It’s such a good way to get people to open up because there’s no intimidation of direct eye contact. They’re focused on their work, but they’re accessing emotions, and a lot of times the artwork reflects what’s going on inside.”

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Abby sells a lot of her work locally, and has used social media platforms like Instagram to sell her prints and build a community. Her work will be featured at Wonder Press, a 100% organic, cold-pressed juice and nut milk shop located in Boulder, Colorado. Learn more about Abby’s work at abbyjacobsart.com.

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Don’t Forget Pasadena When You Think of Architecture

When people think of architecture in Los Angeles, their thoughts go immediately to The Eameses, Frank Gehry, and Frank Lloyd Wright, among many others. They were drawn to the sublime light of Los Angeles and were inspired by it.

Like anything else, there are downsides to every attractive part of the city. First and foremost, the traffic! If you live in LA, you known traffic is always going to be a problem and parking is even worse. Then, you have to consider the crowds. Los Angeles is a top global destination for tourists. No matter what your site-seeing adventure in LA, there is going to be a crowd and lines. Wouldn’t be nice to avoid the mind-numbing traffic and growing crowds to take in some great design and architecture? Well, the real secret is…pay a visit to Pasadena.

Pasadena is just 15 miles northwest of Los Angeles, at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains. Incorporated in 1886, this city of 140,000 retains much of its 19th-century charm. Here are a few examples of places to visit in the Pasadena area to get your design fix:

1. Norton Museum of Art – A private museum founded in 1922 as the Pasadena Art Institute, later becoming the Pasadena Art Museum. Industrialist Norton Simon, who collected European masterpieces from the Renaissance to the 20th century, as well as Asian art spanning 2,000 years, took it over in 1974. It is considered one of the world’s finest small art museums, gaining praise for its renovations by famed architect Frank Gehry.
2. Old Town Pasadena – This 22-block historical area has kept many of its 19th century roots, thanks to historic preservation. It was designated a National Register Historic District in 1983, and remains full of Victorian, Mission Revival and Art Deco buildings that give off a European vibe with its pedestrian-friendly streets and historic alleys.
3. The Langham Huntington – This historic hotel originally opened in 1907 and was redesigned seven years later by Rose Bowl architect Myron Hunt. It added the first Olympic-sized swimming pool in Southern California in the mid-1920s and is now famous for its lovely wooden Picture Bridge, used as a backdrop in movies and TV shows.
4. The Gamble House – The Gamble House was designed as a winter residence in 1908 by architects Greene & Greene for David Berry Gamble, a second-generation member of the Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble Co. family, and his wife, Mary. It is renowned as an outstanding example of American Arts and Crafts style architecture.

No matter what your travel plans are, Pasadena has world-class design and architectural destinations that will give you a taste of the past, present and the future, all within a compact 23-mile radius.

Check out this video walking tour of Old Town Pasadena.

From the Design Studio

1920’s beach cottage project

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sketched by Gerald Olesker