Private Collector of Normandie Panels

Last updated: February 21, 2023

I was incredibly excited when my fellow Normadie lover Anna McDonald sent me this great article about a private collector in Texas who not only has two homes full of beautiful art and history but has ten of the Normandie panels on display in one of his prestigious homes.

Below is the picture of the 10 Normandie panels in the collector’s gorgeous ballroom. They look like they belong there next to that amazing 1930s piano and checkered dance floor.

Commanding one end of the ballroom in Houston is The Birth of Aphrodite, a c. 1934 verre églomisé mural comprising ten panels by Jean Dupas (1882–1964) that once graced the grand salon of the S.S. Normandie. Émile-­Jacques Ruhlmann (1879–1933) designed the macassar ebony, amboyna, ivory, and bronze case of the c. 1931 piano.

The article which you can read here talks about how his collection spans across many centuries and genres and you can definitely see from the lovely pictures included that this is the case.

In the Houston guest room are several of the Madeline paintings by Ludwig Bemelmans (1898– 1962) that were created for the nursery of Aristotle Onassis’s yacht, Christina.

I imagine that a stroll through either of his homes would be mind blowing.  The spaces look welcoming, almost like they want you to ask about the pieces they are filled with.  Imagine the conversations you could have about where each piece was acquired and how.

Furnishings in the San Antonio library include a Rhode Island sack­back Windsor chair, c. 1775–1785; a maple and ash brace­back Windsor chair made in eastern Connecticut, probably East Haddam, c. 1775–1805; and an American Renaissance revival gilt­brass chandelier, c. 1870.

One cool thing that Elizabeth Pochoda mentions in her article, is the new meaning each room in these houses takes on.  Although each room is filled with art and antiques with different histories, they somehow complement each other. A new back-story created just through placing them in the same space.

In another San Antonio room, La Seine à Chatou, a 1908 oil on canvas by Maurice de Vlaminck (1876–1958), hangs above a fireplace flanked by a pair of baroque­style wrought­ iron candelabra.

If you are interested in art in general or in the Normadie panels, it is definitely worth the read!   Thanks again Anna for sharing with this Normandie enthusiast!

At the other end of the ballroom stands a giltbronze cast of Diana, an 1892–1894 sculpture by Augustus Saint­-Gaudens (1848–1907). A version of the work, known popularly as “Diana of the Tower,” once stood atop the second Madison Square Garden, designed by architect Stanford White.

More Normadie Info

I am slightly obsessed with the Normadie Panels by Jean Dupas.  I even recently went to an amazing Sotheby’s auction to watch a few being auctioned.  You can read more about that here.

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