MDS INTERVIEWS- PART 2

JAMES SANSUM CONTINUED

i tell you what, i got more email and notes about part 1 of my interview with james sansum, I haven’t had this kind of response in a long time…nothing of it had to do with the interview itself, it had to do with james’ thoughtful and from the heart responses- he values what matters, such a breath of fresh air!

it was so enduring to here james talk so lovingly about his grandparents, his mother and his partner, markham roberts. also, his love of his home in port townsend, washington, and his weekend get-a-way in clinton corners, new york. one comment from a reader said, “THANK YOU SO MUCH, MARK, FOR INTRODUCING ME TO JAMES. HE IS ALL YOU SAY HE IS AND MORE. HIS WARMTH, HIS SENSITIVITY, HIS VALUES MAKE HIM A TREASURE.” that about sums it up, i couldn’t agree more, it’s so nice to get to know someone who is real and grounded, especially in this design world we are so much apart of. 

i found out a few new things about james as well (i always do in these interviews, that’s one of the reasons i love doing them), one being that we share a common dream. i have been talking about bringing the magazine house & garden back for a several years now, my friend sarah bartholomew can attest to this. i literally about fell on the floor when james mentioned wanting to do this as well….now i know who i can do it with. i’m kind-of kidding, but who knows, because i believe that dreams do come true!

please enjoy part 2 of my interview with james….such a joy and honor to get to share his favorite things with all of you!

 

Sansum at Versailles

 

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MDS INTERVIEWS

JAMES SANSUM

MDS- What is your favorite Color?

JS- Pink … There is a climbing rose in Clinton Corners with the most beautiful dark pink blossoms … and the most heavenly scent … My boxers are pink, and I would wear a pink Oxford shirt everyday if I weren’t concerned about perceived hygiene issues … Our dog Harriet’s pink tummy just reinforces my choice.

Pink Roses Clinton Corners

Pink Roses- Clinton Corners

Lilacs Clinton Corners

Lilacs- Clinton Corners

 

MDS- What is your favorite Flower?

JS- I love flowers that appear to be uncultivated … In Port Townsend, there have always been masses of Sweet Pea that grow along the bluff, intertwining with the white picket fence … We cut bits of it for the house … There is also a swath of Shasta Daisies that has sprung up in front of the sun porch … Not fancy in any way, shape or form, but these seem so perfectly suited to the house and the landscape … In Clinton Corners, there are century old thickets of Lilac … and, we plan our Spring travel to make sure that we are there to smell the heavenly scent.

Lilacs Clinton Corners

Lilacs- Clinton Corners

Sweet Peas Port Townsend

Sweet Peas- Port Townsend

Shasta Daisies Port Townsend

Shasta Daisies- Port Townsend

 

MDS- What is your favorite Book?

JS- Well, aside from Markham’s Decorating: The Way I See It/buy here, I have to go back to a book from my childhood … Louisiana Plantation Homes by Darrell Overdyke … Odd, I know … but it sparked my interest in old houses, the history that is told through architecture, and my place within that history … More recently, The Hare with Amber Eyes was incredibly good … tracing the progress of Japanese netsuke through generations of one family during some of the most turbulent periods of modern history … the hidden life of objects.

Louisiana Plantations Homes by Darrell Overdyke

Louisiana Plantations Homes by Darrell Overdyke

The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal

The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal

 

MDS- What is your favorite Restaurant?

JS- New York is, of course, known for its ever changing tide of restaurants … But, keeping up with dining trends … much like keeping up with the Kardashians … is frankly exhausting … Nevertheless, I really do love to go to a couple of very good restaurants near our place in the Hudson Valley … Mercato in Red Hook and Market Street in Rhinebeck … both always delicious, with inventive but simply prepared food, supplied by local farms, in cozy and charming settings … and I can get a table at 8 o’clock.

Mercato

Mercato

 

MDS- What is your favorite Accessory?

JS- My gold Rolex … oh, wait … I have a plastic digital watch …

It must be my handsome mate … and Harrie too.

Harrie at Gallery

Harrie at Gallery

Harrie Clinton Corners

Harrie- Clinton Corners

Markham Roberts Haddon Hall

Markham Roberts- Haddon Hall

 

MDS- Gift to give or to receive?

JS- There is no one that I love giving a gift to more than Markham … and these are usually works on paper … drawings, watercolors and gouaches … often of birds … I’m bad at waiting for occasions … and sometimes just call it a “Had a Lousy Day?” gift …

He gives me the gift of travel … and, there is nothing as fun as discovering a beautiful place on a perfect day with someone of like mind and heart … We went to the Villa Panza en route to skiing in Switzerland … With site-specific Flavins and Turrells amidst a perfect Lombard Barocchetto setting, it utterly knocked our socks off and remains an indelible memory.

2.6.A (1)

A Bird by Pancrace Bessa, circa 1815

A Bird by Pancrace Bessa, circa 1815

2.6.A

Villa Panza

Villa Panza

Villa Panza

Villa Panza

Dan Flavin at Villa Panza

Dan Flavin at Villa Panza

MDS- Who is your favorite Artist?

JS- Difficult … to say the least … But, my favorite painting remains “Paris Street, Rainy Day” by Caillebotte … It perfectly exemplifies the sophistication and subtle power of gray … The odd angularity offers a Hitchcockian perspective and sense of foreboding … But, it remains utterly beautiful … and strangely modern … top hats and all.

Paris Street, Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte

Paris Street, Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte

 

MDS- What is your favorite Indulgence?

JS- Owning a house three thousand miles away that I only use for a few weeks a year is definitely indulgent, I suppose … But, there is one true indulgence that I miss at times … For several years, I used to speak on the telephone for an hour every Wednesday morning to the most lovely, wonderful, kind, insightful lady in Paris … She is a gifted channeler … Whatever that means, I am not sure … but she really helped me delve into the larger meaning of life and existence … It was utterly self indulgent, like most wonderful things, and I loved it.

James Sansum Galley

James Sansum Gallery

James Sansum Galley

James Sansum Gallery

James Sansum Galley

James Sansum Gallery

James Sansum Gallery

James Sansum Gallery

 

MDS- What is your favorite Store?

JS- I really love to see a gallery that truly expresses the particular sensibilities of the owner … and, I do feel that my own shop does this … As for others, Kugel, in its palace on the Seine, is mind blowing … created by generations of learned and refined collectors with access to the best of everything … Cove Landing in New York completely satisfies my obsession with unusual objects … Angus Wilkie has a perfect eye and is a perfect gentleman … While, on the other end of the spectrum, I must admit that I do love a big disorganized antiques mall or random estate sale … where, with ample time, energy and focus, one can hopefully find that needle in the haystack … I have found a few.

Cove Landing

Cove Landing

Galerie Kugel

Galerie Kugel

 

MDS- What is your favorite Vacation spot?

JS- While I’d love to see the inlaid marble palaces of Rajasthan, the perfectly manipulated gardens of Kyoto, and the sandstone ruins of Petra, for true rest and utter separation from the world, I will always return to Port Townsend, where our days are filled with long walks along the rocky beach, past the lighthouse at Point Wilson and up through old Fort Worden … or, boat trips in the San Juans with friends … or, on more adventurous days, vigorous hikes in the Olympic Mountains … and, at night, we make simple dinners and watch old movies or play hearts.

Petra

Petra

Port Townsend Dawn

Port Townsend Dawn

Port Townsend Roses

Port Townsend Roses

Port Townsend View

Port Townsend View

Port Townsend Living Room

Port Townsend Living Room

Port Townsend Living Room

Port Townsend Living Room

Port Townsend Living Room

Port Townsend Living Room

Port Townsend Dining Room

Port Townsend Dining Room

Port Townsend Living Room

Port Townsend Living Room

Port Townsend Dining Room

Port Townsend Dining Room

Port Townsend Bedroom

Port Townsend Bedroom

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