“The truth is a hard apple whether one is catching it or throwing it.” David Barthelme
The Reader’s Digest Version
Hi, I’m Lynn. I blog for love and I hope that shows!
While my blog covers decorative arts, fine art and whatever is new and now in the world of design, it is really about the beauty I find in the everyday world around me.
I have worn many hats in my day–lawyer, mother, interior designer and, now blogger– but I credit the time I spent working at Sotheby’s as most influencing my point of view.
The True Story
I have always been a dreamer. I was the little kid whose mother begged her to put down her book on a beautiful summer day and go outside and play. I would take my book and climb a tree in the backyard to continue reading. As a child, I was shy and quiet. That might surprise people who meet me in real life today, because over the years, I have learned to be outgoing.
Neither of my parents, nor any of my aunts and uncles, went to college. It was all about the kids. Getting a good education was paramount. Without exception, my siblings and cousins are professionals: lawyers; doctors, nurses, teachers, accountants, successful businessmen. You get the picture.
In my family, college wasn’t something you automatically did after high school. You went to college with a plan: to learn what you needed to get a good job afterwards. Period. So what was my plan? After I read To Kill a Mockingbird as a young teenager, I decided I wanted to be an attorney.
That meant when I walked on my college campus on the very first day, I knew I was going to be a political science major and go to law school. Undecided? Forget about it. Plus, I needed to keep getting straight A’s so I could get a scholarship to help pay for my education. Yes there was pressure.
I learned that I loved looking at art in high school. I had a wonderful French teacher who introduced me to the Impressionists and other artistic movements. But that was an aside. In my parents’ opinion, interest in art did not lead to a job.
Once in college, I took an art history elective and fell in love. I wanted to change my poli sci major but my parents quickly squashed that idea. How would I ever get a job majoring in art history, they asked, reminding me that I needed to pay back my mounting student loans. Art can be a hobby they advised. Read books. Go to museums.
And so I did.
Going to museums was what I did for fun, even in my late teens and early 20’s. I always bought the audio tour and got lost in whatever exhibiton I attended. When I could afford it, I bought the accompanying catalogs. I dreamed that, hey, maybe after law school I could become General Counsel of the Met. (Turns out I came fairly close to that dream).
I graduated from law school and started my legal career as corporate attorney at a Wall Street firm. When it came time to furnish my first apartment, my older brother taught me that buying country antiques can be cheaper than Ikea (at least back then). I wouldn’t have “throw away” furniture, but things that could increase in value. I added decorative arts to my list of interests, reading up on all types of furniture, so I could recognize a “good” deal when I saw one.
Three years in at my Wall Street firm, a colleague recruited me for my dream job. I took a huge pay cut to work as a corporate attorney at the art auction house, Sotheby’s and it was so worth it. Sotheby’s wasn’t the Met, but it was damn close.
I loved working at Sotheby’s. The legal matters were fascinating. Even better I was surrounded by beautiful art and antiques everyday. I had a front row seat in the top echelon of the international art and antiques scene and it was fabulous. We were encouraged to look and learn at Sotheby’s; it was part of the corporate DNA.
Fast forward a few years, and while I retained my passion for art and antiques, I picked up a few new passions–like a husband and three young boys (2 are twins). I tried life as a working mother. I was employed part time at Sotheby’s for a few years and worked there until the twins were one.
Sotheby’s eventually wanted more time and I couldn’t give it to them. With 3 kids under the age of 3, it was too much for me. I decided to stay home full time. I embraced everything about making a loving home: cooking for my family, creating special celebrations and designing a comfortable abode. More new passions.
How to wrap this up? Many of you already know our house burned down and that rebuilding it led to my second career in interior design. What you may not know is that I began studying interior design at Parsons just for fun, years before I ever dreamed of being a designer. It was simply my break from the kids and I loved my classes in architecture and decorative arts most of all.
We have recently had a new twist in life. As I was packing up my youngest children (the twins) for their freshman year in college, my husband was appointed Deputy Police Commissioner-Legal Matters for the New York City Police Department. This job has a mandatory NYC residency requirement.
While Larry and I dreamed of returning to Manhattan after our children were grown, we didn’t expect it to happen within weeks after dropping the youngest 2 at college. I am now coming up on one year as a Manhattan resident and I adore it. The house I rebuilt has new homeowners with young children, ready to make new memories there.
Now, I split my time between NYC and Montauk NY and we are currently on the prowl for a hunting cabin upstate for my avid outdoorsmen.
I continue to pursue all of my passions and I enjoy sharing them here with you. If you read this blog, you know how much I love going to museums, how I am a design book addict, and I how you can’t drag me away from a good antique show. Now you know how I came to love those things.
Through blogging, I have even discovered a new passion: turns out I love the act of writing itself. Today, I very much enjoy being a contributing editor to several other websites as well as blogging here.
I hope you also can tell that I find life, with all its twists and turns, beautiful.
Thanks for reading.