|AD 1987 Mrs. Reginald B. Lanier's music room|
Last weekend in a fit of late night boredom, I traipsed down to my basement in search of a particular magazine and, as usual, got side tracked.
My collection of 1980's Architectural Digests certainly bore fruit.
The author of the article Portraits in Style, Michael M. Thomas introduced me to the interiors painted by David Mode Payne (1907-1985).
|Mrs. Lanier's Library|
The homes are those of wealthy Newport, Rhode Island residents and New York society mostly.
Thomas insists that this sort was comfortable with their wealth, "This was, by and large, not a flamboyant society craving to be portrayed by a Sargent or a Boldini. Its life was essentially closed off from general attention, fortified by walls of privilege and discretion."
|Lanier Morning room|
|Mr. and Mrs. William Wood Prince's drawing room|
Payne recorded a veritable "Who's who" of elites of the 20th century's homes. The article in AD compares him to Edith Wharton's Walter Gay.
|The entrance hall at Beaulieu, the home of the late Wiley T. Buchanan|
I found it terribly amusing and ironic that the author's assertion that this high style of the wealthy was never meant to be ostentatious but the text of his article is a bit overdone. He uses words like refulgent and parvenus.
It illustrates a point beyond interiors and shows that social class held more weight and writing was far less casual even as recently as the 1980s.
|Home of Mrs. Lila Tyng|
The interiors, on the contrary, give us proof that classics are classics.
I would love to have any one of the items in the above room. Note the chinoiserie wallcovering.
All images (except the final image) are scanned from Architectural Digest April 1987