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Rose Cumming Hardcover – September 4, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book is magnificent and is filled with stunning images of Roses' work, including her early work and well known rooms, letters, images of her original hand block prints, sample boards, sketches and my favourite- a look book of sorts in the center of the book, filled with pictures of Roses' rooms, just like it would have been given to clients way back in the 1920's & 30's. Put this one on your must read list for sure!" ~marleyandlockyer.com

"There is so much to read about Cumming in this book....just get the book and let it unfold itself to you and you'll be hooked, intrigued and just plain astounded by this lovely lady." ~Studio of Style.com

"This lovely history of one of the truly great American decorators chronicles Cumming's beginnings and presents beautiful examples of her work." ~Traditional Home

"
This monograph is no mere coffee table book, though photographs of gorgeous spaces are plentiful. Through personal letters and business correspondence, we learn about the day-to-day workings of an influential 20th-century decorating firm." ~If the Lamp Shade Fits

"..I got completely lost in the pages of sketches, hand-drawn patters, interiors and portraits." ~Posted by Kevin Sharkey for Martha Stewart.com

About the Author

Jeffrey Simpson is an author and editor. For three decades, he served as contributing editor and writer for Architectural Digest. Sarah Cumming Cecil is president and principal at the Rose Cumming interior design firm and continues the design tradition established by its eponymous founder. 
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847838463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847838462
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 1.2 x 12.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

It almost seems uncanny that not more has been known until now about this designer that has intrigued so many people over so many decades -- especially one who made her fame in New York City where there are no secrets in the design world. Rose Cumming was so unique among the peers of her day and age and befriended so many well-known people that it finally took the skills of writer Jeffrey Simpson to assemble all the bits and pieces into a book that unfolds the world of Cumming in a gentle way that builds in a very fashionable way and sews together so many aspects of the greater interior design world that so many people take for granted -- and presents so many "who knew?" moments along the way -- that the book is more than just a biography, it's a study in (dare I say?) genius that lay untold for lo, these many years. Bravo to Simpson and Cumming's niece Sarah Cumming Cecil (and to Rizzoli) for finally informing the design world that there were more pioneers in that realm than the "usual suspects" that have gone on to become household names. Hopefully, both the old and new generation of design professionals will be able to put Cumming on their lists of influences, now that Simpson has enlightened everyone about this most peculiar, lovable and truly original talent (but keep in mind that this was not talent from learned sources, but intuitive talent which is all the more exciting). Even if you're not among the design intelligentsia, you'll find this a delightful book to enjoy with a soothing cup of tea and a bouquet of roses nearby and hopefully draw inspiration from. I now have this book on my nightstand (as hefty a size that it is) and love to randomly flip through the colorful pages and try to imagine what it was like to have been a part of this amazingly beautiful world conjured up by the amazing Rose Cumming.
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A spectacular book covering a little-known (today) taste-maker and driving force behind the interior design profession. One omission, I feel the "heir" to her design legacy was Frances Elkins, by way of picking up the thread Miss Cumming began and carrying it further into the 1940's and beyond. In any case, a must-have for any aficionado of interior design, antiques and early New York society behavior. Thank you for a fascinating book!
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I have read a lot about this incomparable lady so I definitely wanted the book. A bit disappointing because, in fact, she was not a decorator and therefore, not much of interiors in this book except her own and the objects in the shop. I still recommend the book if for no other reason than to read about this style maker., which I certainly will do.
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I gave this new book five stars, for quality, honesty, beauty, timeless appeal, and excellence overall. Any young or seasoned designer would love this, whether they knew of Miss Rose or did not. Young designers need to know that these "hat ladies" started the profession, long ago. Jeffrey Simpson is to be commended for an excellent production, evoking the glamour and excitement of the period in which Rose Cumming and her sisters lived and worked. Great gift for the holidays!
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This book is a nice historical reference about a woman who was truly unique and ahead of her time. I was a little let down with the photos, some of them not good at all. There are other photos that are repeated a few times, also a let down. Rose must have been a real force to reckon with, but this book is a little lack-luster.
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More than reason enough to buy this book would be for the many full page (and even double page) reproductions of her dazzlingly beautiful fabric and wallpaper designs, with their colorful birds, flowers and fantastical patterns. You might even buy it for the endpapers, with the Chinese birds, butterflies, and peonies. You could almost buy it for the portraits of Rose herself, who was a very beautiful and original looking lady. If you yearn for something other than the white on white world we live in now, this might be your book. (Rose famously said: "White belongs to Syrie.")

The rooms of her house in New York were incredibly beautiful, with the most luxurious and exotic of everything, yet still inviting and comfortable. If rooms could have landmark status, these would deserve it, except that they are already gone. Some readers have been disappointed that many of the pictures are black and white, or sepia, and have a grainy quality. For me that just enhances the dreamlike, unworldly quality of these rooms. Even when I look at books with bright modern color illustrations, I often realize these rooms are no longer in existence, as the people who owned them have died and their houses have been sold and remodeled or demolished. In fact this book does have nice color photos of her most spectacular New York rooms, as well as full page reproductions of watercolor paintings of some of them. The facsimiles of old newspaper and magazine articles just further emphasize that we are looking at a world that no longer exists. And I haven't even mentioned the papier mache chinoiserie chandelier or the French gilded dragon (?) sleigh!
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I was familiar with Dorothy Draper & other designers from that period but not Rose Cumming, who was her contemporary (there is a picture in the book of a cocktail party showing both designers). The pictures are great and inspiring.
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