Following up on the idea of “finding” from my last post, I want to show my most recent purchase – a true unexpected find! I have long had a butterfly fetish and have been stomping my feet in frustration the last few years at their trendiness. I think I may have even complained about it in earlier posts and I am sure long time collectors of silhouettes and intaglios feel the same way I do right now. I won’t recreate the wheel by showing the plethora of interiors featuring butterfly art as there are already tons of posts out there.

I will, however, mention the more recent trend of some wonderful butterfly installations, different from the more typical 19th century prints or taxidermy mounted ones we usually see. The first to catch my eye was Myra Hoeffer’s all white California house, with its stream of butterflies mounted high on the wall as if they had come to roost there.

The butterflies are by artist Paul Villinski, made from recycled beer cans no less, who currently has an amazing looking installation at the Morgan Lehman Gallery in NYC. His work is utterly thrilling so if you have a moment, I would recommend paging through his website.

You might also remember the black butterflies on Serena’s wall in the TV series Gossip Girl. Those were his too…

And then there was that gorgeous butterfly box in the Celerie Kemble designed apartment in the newest Lonny. Obviously this room was irresistible to me as it is lavender, but I thought it was the perfect combination of pretty and functional too. And by the way, there is also a stuffed peacock in that apartment, talking about another trendy item right now, but one that definitely holds less interest for me…

What does any of this have to do with my newest finds? Not much really, other than the butterflies. This past weekend I had the opportunity to purchase two early Chizuko Yoshida butterfly prints from the 1970s. Yoshida is from one of the most distinguished families of Japanese woodblock print artists, and I had long admired her work. About five years ago, the CWAJ Print Show had a retrospective exhibition for its 50th anniversary that included one of her pieces, which had actually been the cover print of the show catalog in 1976. (Lower left corner of the catalog page below). I loved it, but unfortunately it was not for sale. With the 56th annual show coming up next week (watch for an upcoming post), I have had Japanese prints on my mind.

So imagine my surprise at stumbling across 2 of her seminal butterfly prints, one from 1977 and the other from 1978, already framed by the best gallery in town some 35 years ago. Perhaps they were her print show entries for the next two consecutive years after her cover print? I don’t know and have not had time to research it yet because I am too excited to wait to share them with you. Sorry in advance for the lousy photos, but the glare on the glass made it impossible to get a good shot, at least not without special equipment and more fussing on my part.

Here are some close-ups with detail, but I will have to show them on the wall in a later post. Click the image for a large view.

Definitely a little magic in the air…

Image credits: House Beautiful April 2011, photo credit: Francesco Lagnese, 2-3 via Paul Villinksi, 4. Lonny September/October 2011, photo credit: Patrick Cline, 5. 50th CWAJ Print Show Catalogue, page 152, 6-9. me.

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Butterflies in Japan and New York…Sori Yanagi’s 1954 Classic Plywood Stool at MOMA