I don’t usually find myself in places like Sotheby’s or famous auction houses. But there was something about the collection of Bunny Mellon that called me to visit. Her estate auction titled, Property from the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon, begins Thursday in the famed New York auction house, and the preview exhibition is open to the public. As can be seen in this too-short video about the collection and Mrs. Mellon, designer Charlotte Moss beautifully sets the stage for the thread that ties the whole collection together: Mrs. Mellon’s love for horticulture. “When you have an interest, it’s like water. It finds it way into every aspect of your life.”
Bunny Mellon’s interest in horticulture wove its way through every aspect of her world, as can be seen in merely 19 photographs of the art, fabrics and everyday objects she chose to surround herself with snapped on my iPhone. Boy how I wish I had the whole day, or two or three to spend admiring her remarkable eye for beauty before everything becomes scattered throughout the world. My only other wish is to have been able to visit her home exactly as she left it before her death last March at the age of 103. As close friend, couturier Hubert de Givenchy said, “ Mrs. Mellon wasn’t a follower of taste or fashion, but held each of her interests for a reason.”*
It’s not all of the buzz or the hype that makes this exhibition so astoundingly inviting and intriguing. Rather, it is a visual account of one woman’s impeccably cultivated eye, and a life lived with the drive to fill her world with her own, uniquely perfect sense of beauty. Amen!
*Quote by Givenchy, in an article by Sarah Medford, in the Sotheby’s November 2014 catalog.