coles used metal leaf sealed in clear varnish to
emulate gold leaf on his dining room ceiling
(top). The walls (bottom) are painted a floral
pattern of deep greens, orange-reds, and golds to
mimic a wallpaper Baldwin admired. The artist
painted one of his jackets (left) and a chair he
rescued from a sidewalk (facing page) in the
same willowware pattern.
DRESSED IN ONE OF HIS OWN HAND-PAINTED dinner jackets, John S. Coles catches the eye. Who is this
dapper gentleman who might well be on sartorial leave from the pages of a Brooks Brothers catalog?
But let the eye rove a bit, and oops! The textile design is also painted on the walls above the parlor
wainscot, a decorative and appropriate embellishment for the freshly refurbished party room and
the natty jacket a surefire conversation starter and nifty billboard for its wearer’s prodigious artistic