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The Homes of Artists and Collectors we Admire

At Maud and Mabel we adhere to minimalist and zen philosophies of design and the curation of spaces to celebrate natural materials and wonderful works of art. The following three spaces are all inhabited by makers or lovers of art. They are of particular interest to us because of their careful and considered transformation of the home into works of art in and of themselves.  

 

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Abiquiú house in New Mexico

 
American painter Georgia O’Keeffe moved to New Mexico permanently in 1949 after decades of annual, extended visits to the state. The area was rich with subject matter and O’Keeffe spent the last years of her life undertaking simple daily rituals of walking with her chow dogs and painting.


Georgia O’Keeffe’s Abiquiú house in New Mexico
Image source: Architectural Digest 

Her house and studio in Abiquiú, on a colonial era compound, was in a great state of disrepair before O’Keeffe oversaw its restoration and turned it into the sanctuary - which it remains as today. She bought it as an alternative to her Ghost Ranch home, which was only suitable for her to live in during the summer. Constructed from adobe walls, the minimalism of the exterior and interior of the house in Abiquiú echoes the austere desert landscape. Adobe, Spanish for ‘mudbrick’ is a building material composed of earth and other natural materials, a technique still used today across the world.


Georgia O’Keeffe’s Abiquiú house in New Mexico
Image source: Architectural Digest 

An appreciation of Asian art, as well as the teachings of Arthur Wesley Dow, informed O’Keeffe’s minimalist aesthetic which she expressed sartorially and through interior decoration. The surroundings provided huge inspiration to her paintings of the natural world and found objects from the desert were used to decorate the ranch, which features adobe walls and fireplaces. The house is harmonious in its combination of raw, natural materials and functional objects. The animal bones and skulls that O’Keeffe rendered so beautifully in works such as From the Faraway, Nearby, (1937) and Pelvis with the Distance (1943) are placed around the house on display, on shelves and mantlepieces. Shells and pebbles are also a part of this collection of natural treasures.


Georgia O’Keeffe’s Abiquiú house in New Mexico
Image source: Architectural Digest 

O’Keeffe modernised her home through big windows set into the corners of the house, which let in huge amounts of light, and a mixture of mid-century modern furniture including a lounge chair designed by modernist Le Corbusier. Her studio is painted white and has a big picture window through which she could observe the spectacular desert landscape.


 

Potter’s House, Mallorca

 
The home of ceramicist Maria Antonia Carrio for 20 years, Potter’s House, on the island of Mallorca, is a space that balances interior and exterior spaces in harmony. After Maria’s death in 2016, Italian Garden and landscape Designer Luciano Giubbilei, who had visited the house and shared his passion for ceramics and gardens with the previous owner, purchased it. Luciano has turned the space into both a home and studio for himself, as well as the setting for annual artists residencies. This includes Maria Kristofferson, a ceramicist from Sweden, acting as the first artist-in-residence in 2019. Luciano’s intention for the residency was to provoke creativity through the different environment provided by the house.


Potter’s House, Mallorca
Image source: WSJ Magazine 

The light is filtered in through skylights and windows that are set deep into the walls, creating shadows and a shifting of light that is intrinsic to the house’s calm atmosphere. Whilst bedrooms for Luciano and artists visiting are upstairs, downstairs is comprised of a kitchen and a living room, which is used to display work. The minimal kitchen has wooden beams which complement the Chestnut chairs designed by Paul Raffier and the wooden cabinets. The garden is enclosed within the walls of the house, a courtyard bursting with life to which Luciano has introduced a multitude of plants and flowers.


Potter’s House, Mallorca
Image source: WSJ Magazine

 

Kettles Yard

 
Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge was the home of Jim Ede, who was a curator of the Tate during the 1920s and 1930s, and his wife Helen. Over the course of these years and through the relationships he developed with artists, an amazing and varied collection of art was created, and which can still be seen today.



Kettles Yard
Image source: Cereal Magazine
 
They transformed a row of derelict cottages into a house that Jim and Helen lived in from 1957 to 1973. The space balanced art, sculpture, and functional objects in harmony. The reasons for which are perfectly described by Jim, that the place should not be, “an art gallery or museum, nor … simply a collection of works of art reflecting my taste or the taste of a given period. It is, rather, a continuing way of life from these last fifty years, in which stray objects, stones, glass, pictures, sculpture, in light and in space, have been used to make manifest the underlying stability.”


Kettles Yard
Image source: Cereal Magazine 

The house remains primarily as it was left, with paintings by Alfred Wallis, Joan Miró, Ben and Winifred Nicholson, sculptures by Constantin Brancusi, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth to name a few. Artworks are immersed in the house without labels, as the space was intended for students to be able to enjoy art without the formality of a museum or gallery during ‘open houses.’