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White Webb’s Intaglio at Tom Swope in Hudson

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Faster than a rumor skittering across a party line—that’s how the grapevine works these days.

Take, for example, the case of White Webb, interior designers from New York, and Tom Swope, Hudson gallery owner.  A few months ago, Rural Intelligence ran a story on Swope’s hushed new showroom, where he deals in classical antiquities and 19th-century classical-revival artifacts. 

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The designer Matthew White, who has a weekend place in Hillsdale, saw the write-up and soon traversed the county to check out Swope’s new space.  An hour after arriving, he left with a significant stone sarcophagus, richly carved with a battle scene.

Naturally, Swope was curious
about his new client, half of a design team previously unknown to him.  So he went on-line to check out their website.  Under the Products heading, Swope came across an icon labeled
White Webb’s Intaglio.  He clicked.  Photos appeared of the designers’ line of witty furnishings—life-size-enlargements of 18th- and 19th-century classical engravings applied to their 3-dimensional equivalents—a table, a mirror, a chandelier. 

Swope’s first thought: this stuff would look great in my space.  “I was looking for a way to have furniture,” he says, “to take the serious edge off.”

The opening reception is this Saturday night.

Until photography rendered it obsolete engravings were the favored method for documenting finely-detailed objects, particularly those of academic interest, such as an ancient table from Pompeii (right), a cartoon of which is in the White-Webb
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Intaglio collection (pronounced: in-TAHL-yo, and used to describe anything engraved or incised).
Swope (center) was correct, of course: the stuff does look great in his gallery, steering it toward the pragmatic but in a decidedly whimsical
way—“imaginary gardens with real toads in them.”

“I am the classicist, Frank is the modernist,” says Matthew White (far left).  “But we both love antique engravings.” 

“It was like internet dating,” Swope says.

Tom Swope Gallery
307 Warren Street, Hudson; 518.828.4399
Thursday & Monday, 11 - 4
Friday & Saturday, 11 - 6
Sunday, noon - 5
Opening reception: Saturday, May 30, 5 - 7 p.m.

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Posted by Marilyn Bethany on 05/26/09 at 09:42 AM • Permalink