A solitary clergyman, pious in garb and somber in expression, glides across a frozen Scottish landscape. The subject of our painting is Reverend Robert Walker, his empty rink is Duddingston Loch, and the year is 1790. Painter Sir Henry Raeburn contrasts the minister’s elegant demeanor with the whimsy—and do we sense a touch of vanity?—of his skillful pose.
For Diana Vreeland, Vogue editor in chief from 1963 to 1971, interior design was about more than beautiful spaces. It was the people who inhabited them—with the “taste and talent and originality to create a rare ambiance in their daily lives”—that made these rooms come alive.
Known for their technical precision, Candida Höfer’s large-format images of grand, surgically lit, and unoccupied interiors inspire us as we chase after the ever harmonious layout. Regardless of her subject matter—be it an ornate library or desolate school room—Höfer prioritizes her frame and an objective point of view over any single detail. Of these starkly honest interiors, her 2005 photograph of Paris’s grand opera house, Palais Garnier, is one of our favorites.
Graphic design icon Louise Fili (who just so happened to design the logo for a certain illustrious online invitation company) created this elegant hand-drawn monogram for the ubiquitous jeweler Tiffany & Co.
“Monograms never fail to present a challenge,” Fili writes. “No matter what the initials happen to be, they always seem to be the wrong ones at the start of the design process.”
Long before we knew the joys of Instagram—perfect party photos tinted blue with a faux nostalgia that makes everyone look good—Andy Warhol wielded its early predecessor: the Polaroid Big Shot.