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Art Immersion

Judith Turner-Yamamoto Home & Design
Architect George Stavropoulos replaced the traditional square stairway in the foyer with an innovative staircase that forms a gracious sculptural arc in glass and chrome.

Architect George Stavropoulos replaced the traditional square stairway in the foyer with an innovative staircase that forms a gracious sculptural arc in glass and chrome.


Architect George Stavropoulos reapportions his client's Georgetown penthouse to showcase her growing collection of art, books and artifacts



Kathryn Gleason’s lifelong passion for collecting began at age 19, when she purchased her first Mary Cassatt in a Georgetown gallery. Over the years as she immersed herself further into learning about modern art, her tastes evolved. She acquired 20th-century European masters—Chagall, Miró, Braque—and such American 20th-century artists as Jim Dine, Andy Warhol, John Baldessari, Richard Serra and Keith Haring, moving on to the artists who are shaping the art world today. “I’m currently eyeballing a Damien Hirst,” says the self-educated collector who owns a massive art book collection. Wherever she travels, be it Paris or Phoenix, the practicing attorney makes a point of spending a day in her destination’s contemporary galleries. “Collecting art allows the other side of my brain to open up and expand,” says Gleason. “The more you collect, the more of a challenge it becomes. You’ve got to allow pieces to dialogue, and the more you have, the more difficult that dialogue becomes. You need to make choices, put some pieces in storage, and not purchase others.”

Previous spread: Architect George Stavropoulos replaced the traditional square stairway in the foyer with an innovative staircase that forms a gracious sculptural arc in glass and chrome. Far left: A painting by Jim Dine and a vintage ceramic foot by Fornasetti hint at the depth of Kathryn Gleason’s collection.

This Spread, left: Stavropoulos opened the living room to the breathtaking city and river vistas virtually ignored by the original plan. High-gloss black bookcases beneath the windows house Gleason’s art book collection and display artifacts.

When she and her husband, a New Jersey businessman, began to think about a new home in the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Georgetown, she wanted to be able to experience and display her extensive art collection in a seamless way. “I wanted to be able to take pieces out of storage, show them in a better venue—I had a Chelsea gallery white cube in my mind. I wanted open space but more walls. I wanted clean lines and the allowance for changing art. I wanted, in short, a touch of loft.”

Gleason took her wish list to Georgetown architect George Stavro- poulos, who proposed a complete gutting and layout change in the conservative three-bedroom penthouse to create a sense of expansion and circulation that would allow the art collection to breathe while enhancing entertainment space and flow. His plan would also provide access to the breathtaking city and river vistas virtually ignored by the original plan. “When you entered the apartment, you couldn’t see anything,” recalls Stavropoulos. “There was a small entrance, the kitchen was at the front of house, the living room was reached by a circuitous route and the eye was blocked at every turn by narrow rooms and corridors.”


Stavropoulos opened the living room to the breathtaking
city and river vistas. High-gloss black bookcases beneath
the windows house Gleason's art book collection and d
isplay artifacts.

Stavropoulos replaced the traditional colonial square stairway in the foyer with an innovative staircase that forms a gracious sculptural arc in glass and chrome; each riser is a different size. The plane of the living area was totally opened to provide views from one side of the penthouse to the other, with the living room expanding into what had been the dining room and the new dining room relocated to a former bedroom at the opposite end of the space. The adjacent full bath was converted to a powder room, and access to the bathroom adjacent to the guest room was changed to make it private.

Removable black grids installed in the windows create a simple window treatment that doubles as a display system. High-gloss black bookcases beneath the windows in the living room house Gleason’s art book collection and display artifacts. A simple black granite fireplace echoes the judicious use of black throughout the home.

Gleason acquired her furnishings, like her art collection, over time. With a great love for the icons of mid-century modern design—“pieces that play perfectly off modern art”—she is drawn to furnishings in a neutral palette that provide a stage for the color coming from the walls. In the living room, two pairs of black leather Barcelona chairs anchor modular palette that provide a stage for the color coming from the walls. In the living room, two pairs of black leather Barcelona chairs anchor modular furnishings in white leather from Artefacto. Low, unobtrusive tables in white and glass offer a neutral palette that allows her books to be presented as their own form of artifact. An Eames lounge chair in white forms a sculptural counterpoint to a circular canvas in black and white by Canadian painter Richard Halliday. A brass scale found in Provence reflects Gleason’s love for old instrumentation—she has built a massive collection of old occupational measures used in all the American trades. To one side a Philadelphia gentleman’s bar displays her collection of antique glove molds from the early 1900s.

The urban gallery experience carries into the stainless-steel and glass kitchen, where all cabinetry was designed by Stavropoulos & Associates. The black granite island flanked by chrome Bertoia stools is highlighted by a colorful craft sign by Boris Bally framed in a shadow box. Accessories in red-orange, including an espresso machine, take their color cues from the art.


An Eames lounge chair in white forms a sculptural
counterpoint to a circular canvas in black and white
by Canadian painter Richard Halliday in the living room.

Upstairs in the media room, a playful air prevails. Pierre Paulin’s “orange slice” chairs provide a colorful counterpoint to the white cowhide “zebra” rug. A media center by Antonio Citterio for B&B Italia displays the collection of antique children’s banks that Gleason amassed in her 20s. Her ongoing penchant for pop-influenced objects is revealed in a massive antique ball of string found in France and a giant French wine bottle.

“I like the imperfect alongside the lofty,” says Gleason, whose collection bears the imprint of a rich personal story and historical meaning. “And sometimes it’s just intuition,” she says. “You can’t break the rules if you don’t know the rules.”

Art historian, fiction and features writer Judith Turner-Yamamoto is based in Washington, DC. Photographer Anice Hoachlander is a principal of Hoachlander Davis Photography in Washington, DC.

In the living room (left), two pairs of black leather Barcelona chairs anchor modular furnishings in white leather from Artefacto. Low, unobtrusive tables in white and glass offer a neutral palette that allows Gleason’s books to be presented as their own form of artifact. An Eames lounge chair in white forms a sculptural counterpoint to a circular canvas in black and white by Canadian painter Richard Halliday (above).

“I wanted to be able to take pieces out of storage, show them in a better venue,” says Kathryn Gleason.
“I wanted open space but more walls. I wanted clean lines and the allowance for changing art. I wanted, in short, a touch of loft.”


Removable black grids in the dining room create a simple window treatment that doubles as a display system for a piece by Regina Saura and a photograph by Chris Foster. A work from Keith Haring’s Flower Series hangs on the wall. The dining table and chairs are by Antonio Citterio for B&B Italia.

Stavropoulos & Associates designed the stainless-steel and glass cabinetry in the kitchen (right). The black granite island is flanked by chrome Bertoia counter stools. A custom-made credenza (above) and accessories in red-orange, including an espresso machine, take their color cues from the art.

In the media room (above), Pierre Paulin’s “orange slice” chairs provide a colorful counterpoint to the white cowhide “zebra” rug. A media center by Antonio Citterio for B&B Italia displays Gleason’s collection of antique children’s banks. Love Bite, a photo by Robert Dutesco; a large bronze apple sculpture by Robert Kuo for Baker; and an abacus by Greg Hannon embellish the master bedroom (opposite).


Removable black grids in the dining room create a simple
window treatment that doubles as a display system for
a piece by Regina Saura and a photograph by Chris Foster.
A work from Keith Haring's Flower Series hangs on the wall.


RESOURCES

FOYER
Old Tower Clock:
America, Lambertville, PA. Bronze Ball Sculpture: By Robert Kuo, Baker, Washington, DC. Chairs: Roche-Bobois, Washington, DC. Domus Book Pedestal: Taschen, New York, NY. Platinum Ceramic Vase: Jonathan Adler, New York, NY. Still Life, Untitled 9 (on floor): By Zach Smith, Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta, GA. 19th-Century Hall Table: Greenbrier Antiques, Greenbrier, WV. Vintage Ceramic Fornasetti Foot: Italian, c. 1940s-1950s, Darrell Dean, Washington, DC. Silver-Edged Alabaster Bowl: By John Hardy, Neiman Marcus, Washington, DC. Silver Balls Inside Bowl: Studio, Washington, DC. Vases: Le Page New York, New York, NY. Small Antique Silver Artifacts: Owner’s collection. The Venus Dances: By Jim Dine, Palette Contemporary Art & Craft, Albuquerque, NM. Chandelier: Gloria Capron Interiors, Kensington, MD. Rug: ABC Carpet, New York, NY.

LIVING ROOM
Couches, Ottomans, Living Room Tables & Off-White Cowhide Skin Rug: Artefacto, Washington, DC. “Barcelona” Chairs: By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Design Within Reach, Washington, DC. Antique Philadelphia Gentleman’s Bar, Mid-Century Three-armed Italian Tripod Lamp, Old Bank Clock, Small Oil of Chair & Klismos Chair (Covered in Carolyn Quartermaine Fabric, London): Owner’s Collection. Book Shelves: Stavropoulos & Associates, Washington, DC. Single Dancer 3 & Single Dancer 4 Prints: By Robert Longo, Conner Contemporary, Washington, DC. Antique French Scale: Marston Luce Antiques, Washington, DC. Etruscan Woman: Italian, Neiman Marcus Gallery, Short Hills, NJ. Four Woodcuts: By Dale Chihuly, Holsten Gallery, Stockbridge, MA. Zebra Photography: By Nine Francois, Stephen L.

DINING ROOM
Table and Chairs: By Antonio Citterio, Adlon, Washington, DC. Chandelier: Gloria Capron Interiors. Rug: ABC Carpet. Flower Series Painting: By Keith Haring, Fine Art and Artists, Washington, DC. Fresh Pond Reflection (Digital Photography on Canvas): By Chris Foster, Bravura Gallery, Southampton, NY. Vase: By Brian Becher, Columbus, OH. Pedestal: Sansar. Butaca Painting: By Regina Saura, Caldwell Snyder, NY. Bowl: David Levy, Seattle, WA. Antique Chinese Credenza (in foreground): Carling Nicholos, Washington, DC. Leather Bench (in foreground): Design Within Reach.

KITCHEN
Kitchen Design (including Cabinets, Countertops & Orange Credenza): Stavropoulos & Associates. Indian Series Lithograph: By Leonard Baskin, Owner’s Collection. Chairs: By Harry Bertoia, Design Within Reach. Glass Urn: By David Levy. Apple Sculpture: By Robert Kuo, Baker. Decanters: Owner’s Collection. Familia Print: By A. Mitchell, Artful Home (The Guild), Madison, WI. Vintage Telephone Trade Sign: c. 1920s – 1930s, New York Design Show, New York, NY. Wooden Pot for Orchid: Anthropologie, Short Hills, NJ. Long Orange Tray: Gore Dean, Washington, DC. Silver Bowl: Christofle, Neiman Marcus. Small Orange Tray with Apples: Keith Lipert Gallery. Craft Sign: By Boris Bally, Baltimore Craft Show, Baltimore, MD. Shadow Box: Owner’s design.


A custom-made credenza and accessories in red-orange
take their color from the art in the kitchen.

MEDIA ROOM
Couches: Artefacto. “Orange Slice” Chair: By Paulin, Apartment Zero. Coffee Table with Wheels: Mobili, Washington, DC. “Zebra” Rug: Plantation, Los Angeles, CA. Dining Table: By Eero Saarinen, Vitra, New York, NY. Dining Chairs: Cherner, Cherner Chair Company, Westport, CT. Entertainment Center: By Antonio Citterio, Adlon. Chandelier: Flos Fuscia, Y Lighting, Marina del Ray, CA. Metal Ball: Martha Sturdy, Vancouver, Canada. Large Ceramic Bowl with Oranges: Jonathan Adler. Large Antique Ball of String (French): Marston Luce Antiques. Large French Wine Bottle: South of Market, Charleston, SC. Abacus: Greg Hannon, Washington, DC. Trumpet Print: By Karl Apel, Creighton-Davis Gallery, Washington DC. Vintage French “Livres et Journaux” Sign: Interieurs, New York, NY.

BEDROOM
Love Bite from Sable Island Horse Series: By Robert Dutesco, Chelsea, NY. Large Bronze Apple Sculpture: By Robert Kuo, Baker. Abacus: Greg Hannon, Washington, DC. Side Table: Moebius, Design Within Reach. Suede Lounge Chair and Ottoman: By Harry Bertoia, Vitra, New York, NY. Mongolian Sheep Pillow: Distant Origin, New York, NY. Kelvin F Floor Lamp: by Flos, Y Lighting. Rug: Christopher Farr, Los Angeles, CA.

Clark Gallery, Austin, TX. Ceramic Sculpture (on books): By Fred Stodder, American Hand, Washington, DC. Italian Alabaster Urn: Urban Art, Miami, FL. Ebony Pedestal: Sansar, Bethesda, MD. Large Blue Tension Horizontal: By James Coignard, Sherry Nahan (Patinae), New York, NY. Antique Glove Molds: c. late 1800s – early 1900s, Darrel Dean. Coral-Foot Bowl (on table): By Michael Aram, Barneys New York, NY. Murano Vases (on table): Barneys New York. Handblown Martini Glasses (on table): Keith Lipert Gallery, Washington, DC. Silver Candelabra (on table): The Conran Shop, New York, NY. Chef Dorchestre: By Miró, Galerie Maeght, Paris. Old Austrian Clock Tower Hand: America. Helene III: By Manolo Valdes, Marlborough Graphics, New York, NY. Large Black and White Abstract: By Richard Halliday,
Trépanier Baer Gallery, Calgary, Canada. “La Chaise”: Vitra, Apartment Zero, Washington, DC.


Stavropoulos & Associates designed the stainless-steel
and glass cabinetry in the kitchen. The black granite
island is flanked by chrome Bertoia counter stools.


In the media room, Pierre Paulin's Orange Slice chairs
provide a color counterpoint to the white cowhide "zebra"
rug. A media center by Antonio Citterio for B&B Italia
displays Gleason's collection of antique children's banks.


Source