autumn’s mellow prime
Trends, books, exhibits, and new stores to discover as the first leaves fall
Written and Produced by MOLLY JANE QUINN
Janus et Cie
NAHCOT TA, KELLY DAVIDSON
new dynasty • The heir apparent to
Pierre Frey’s über-successful Minton (a
1990s cotton print featuring stacks of
teacups), the cheeky stripes-and-saucers
Ming pattern is tickling our fancy this fall.
Just the right blend of tradition and humor, Ming will inject serious fun into old
New England interiors. Available through
The Martin Group, Boston Design Center;
➼ Nahcotta owner Deb Thompson, at left in photo below, stocks her store’s airy space in bustling
downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with the furniture and accessories needed for a coolly mod-
ern interior. But it’s the rotating exhibits of original fine art that make Nahcotta a destination for those
interested in cultivating their culture quotient.
Vignettes in the loftlike shop feature rugs by Portland, Maine, designer Angela Adams, furniture
from Gus Design Group and BluDot, and poured-concrete tables from Melange Studio in Kennebunk-port, Maine. All harmonize flawlessly with the walls of artwork curated by Thompson and her assistant
Abbie Chisleft, at right in photo. “I’m passionate about getting original art in the hands of as many
people as possible,” says Thompson, who left Boston for Portsmouth to pursue that goal.
Nahcotta’s “Enormous Tiny Art Show” is Thompson’s crowning production. Featuring small work by artists who otherwise work
in larger formats, the wildly successful show spawned semiannual
repeats, including one this September. The show provides new collectors a chance to pick up a mixed-media piece for as little as $40,
whereas an oil painting in a solo show produced by Nahcotta may
sell for 20 times that. In between, Thompson puts together solo
and group shows, including a new venture planned for December:
a functional art show that will include handmade textiles, jewelry,
ceramics, and, of course, furniture. Nahcotta, 110 Congress St.,
Portsmouth; 603-433-1705, nahcotta.com.
learning curve • Study up on the
golden age in the States: Victoria Mansion in Portland, Maine, hosts a half-day
symposium on the architecture of the
1850s in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the building’s groundbreaking.
Beginning at 8 a.m. on November 1, top
historians and architecture professors
discuss a range of topics, from period
New Orleans hotel style to Henry Austin
and the Italian villa look to Maine’s grand
painted ladies. Stay for lunch at the Portland Club at 12: 30 p.m., a perfect chance
to bone up on Victorian style with fellow
attendees. Symposium tickets are $25;
lunch is $20. For a symposium invitation
and registration form, contact Julia Kirby
at 207-772-4841, ext. 12.