Monday, November 12, 2012

Tasty Morsels: My Three Favorite New Cookbooks of the Season

Food for Thought: Thought for Food  Stylish, informative, and fresh cookbooks with literary-level writing have always been a passion of mine. I like cookbooks with a strong point of view—and insider expert knowledge.

I've collected cookbooks by the English writer Elizabeth David, and I devour everything by Thomas Keller, and I read Alice Waters (a David acolyte) avidly.

As my Thanksgiving ‘thank you’ to my lovely readers, here’s my pick of the three best cookbooks for fall/winter 2012. They are all instant classics, produced at the highest level of creativity and ideals.

This handpicked trio of delights (and there’s one extra, the witty Todd Selby and his ‘Edible Selby’ cookbook) is inspiring in many ways.

It’s true that I don’t cook—vibrant salads are my focus—but I’m always hungry for knowledge and insight and new ideas about food and cooking.

Come with me on a discovery of my three favorite new cookbooks. Each of them is completely different in approach and style. Great gifts, too. 

My three favorites vividly reflect the experience ideas, voice, beliefs, creativity, force, power, and sense of delight of each author. Each offers a Ph.D. in baking, Burma, and Vervoordt style, with tutorials on how to make everything perfectly.

The food, the imagery, the personal stories and the inspirations will start you dreaming.

So pour a glass of wine, make a pot of Bellocq tea, and settle into your favorite chair. I’ll open the pages of these great books, reveal their secrets, and tell you why I love them all. 

‘Bouchon Bakery’ by Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel, with Susie Heller, Matthew McDonald, Michael Ruhlman, and Amy Vogler. Photography by Deborah Jones. Published by Artisan.
I have signed first editions of all of Thomas Keller’s elegant, perfect cookbooks. Like his impeccable dishes, his books are full of flavor, wit, teamwork, good company, high ideals.

‘The French Laundry Cookbook’, the first of Thomas Keller’s five books, has sold over 600,000 copies. ‘Ad Hoc at Home’ serves up ideas for casual and fun daily food inspiration.

Now ‘Bouchon Bakery’, with classic American and French recipes, will make you fall in love with his methodical and perfectionist and romantic/logical approach to cookies, scones and muffins, confections, breads, tarts, puff pastry, chocolates, and croissants.

It’s like a private course with a top pastry chef—with techniques and tips in ingredients, an outline on how to make multi-grain bread, or a illustrated ways to make chic pate a choux swan. Lime Coconut Eclairs! Apricot Flan Tart!

Photography, by the great Deborah Jones, is elegant and infinitely helpful. 

What’s great and why you must collect and give ‘Bouchon Bakery’:

Thomas along with pastry chef Sebastien Rouxel tells you his biographical baking, the inspiring stories, childhood memories, dreams. They practically will you to create beauty and to perfect the infinitely exquisite sweet treats and hearty bread.

The team of bakers and Thomas and their cohorts describe and list, in infinite detail, principals of working with and getting the best out of ingredients like sugar or butter. They patiently spell out how to craft the bread or rhubarb tart of your dreams. 

There’s a sense of community here, a feeling of the seriousness and joy and generosity of everyone involved in the book.

Think of this book as higher learning, a gift to be savored, with ideas and concepts and pointers and comments that will not only make you a better cook, they’ll make you a better person.

‘Patience and practice,’ says Sebastien. Good to remember.

Recipes I love: Glazed Rum Cake, Olive Oil Cake, Madeleine Cake topped with fruit and flowers; Rhubarb Tart, Gougeres (a signature of The French Laundry), along with Cherry Whipped Cream Donuts, White Peach Pate de Fruit, and easy to make Witches Hats. 


‘Burma Rivers of Flavor’ with text, recipes and photographs by award-winning author/photographer Naomi Duguid (Artisan).

Brilliant Naomi Duguid is the most intrepid of all cookbook authors. In her compelling new volume, she presents fresh, complex and deliciously surprising Burmese recipes, painting a picture of a country with a unique history.

Duguid also takes readers on daring, insider, inventive, curious, and rare trips into the heart of Burma. She has been traveling there for many years, from her home base in Bangkok and she goes out into the back-of-beyond to villages, rivers, and hidden corners. 

Her vibrant and rare photography of Burmese markets, people, landscapes, local scenes, ingredients, tools, offer an intimate portrait of a vivid and unknown country. I felt rather homesick for Burma, which I visited last August.

Check THE STYLE SALONISTE ARCHIVE for Burma stories. Naomi’s book (published by Artisan) veers away from cities and lingers on dusty monasteries, pagodas, early-morning vistas and vegetables, to breath life into her dream of Burma. 

Recipes include salads (many of them thrillingly tart), soups, ‘mostly vegetables’, spicy and versatile condiments and vibrant sauces, quick noodles, rice and sweet treats (fried bananas with sesame seeds). Throughout the book she celebrates foodways, traditions, and culinary culture of Burma (also known as Myanmar).

She describes, warmly and with great insight, the country and the people, and the flavors and dishes that are distinctly Burmese. Think of the food as somewhat like Thai, but with distinctive and spectacular salads, always with explosions of flavor, and often a jolt of tart or bright acidic fruits like pomelo or green mango. 

There’s Shrimp Salad with the tartness of lime juice (a constant, along with fresh ginger, shallots, and chile), and a Green Mango Salad with toasted sesame seeds and cayenne chile. And the energetic and curious Duguid has endless pungent sauces and relish-like condiments with a kick that will enliven every dish.

Sliced pomelo fruit, and lemongrass, and Kaffir limes make perfect palate refreshers. I loved the bite and tartness when I first encountered and discovered the pleasure of Burmese food last August.

Naomi traveled all over Burma, including remote tribal districts that few outsiders ever visit. From these regions, she gathered variations on classic Burmese fish dishes, and in Rangoon she discovered a range of sweet and savory street food ideas that are easy to make with few ingredients or implements. 

DIANE SAYS: Books are an essential food group 

Books! I’ve written 21 books, and I’m working on the next ones. 

I am in love with books. I love them. I love writing them, and I love reading them. I have thousands of favorite books and I buy more every week. 

Books! No matter where you buy them, always buy them. Books are as nourishing and essential as food, as delicious as the ripest heirloom tomato, and necessary for our wellbeing and excitement and pleasure as air and water and light. 

‘Burma Rivers of Flavor’
What’s great and why you must get this book:

I traveled to Burma in August and fell in love with the country and the people, Buddhists. Naomi, an expert researcher, presents compellingly simple and flavorful recipes, and outlines all basic ingredients, tools, oils, spices and sweet treats.

She grabs her camera and takes the reader on bike, foot, boat, and train to meet Burmese people and learn about the culture and daily life in the country, closed off from the world for fifty years. Photos illustrate her ideas and cooking. Recipes are not complicated.

Highly recommend.

‘At Home with May and Axel Vervoordt: Recipes for Every Season’  Written with Michael Gardner, with Patrick Vermeulen for the recipes. Photography by Jean-Pierre Gabriel (Flammarion) 

Winter view of the castle at s’Gravenwezel (Antwerp, Belgium). 

A selection of pumpkin-based dishes is ready to be served from a tower in the cellar. 

I have long admired the design and décor and style of May and Axel Vervoordt. And I’ve been fortunate to enjoy delightful lunches and dinners with the Vervoordts and their fascinating family, and guests.

In this book, readers meet the Vervoordts, and learn May’s elegant approach to seasonal fresh food, and her concepts of healthy, natural cooking. Photos are straightforward, chic.

‘I prefer to offer a variety of dishes with subtle connections in taste and flavor, so every dish is carefully considered while always offering guests an enjoyable range of choice. The joy of cooking at home is trying to capture each unique moment of the seasonal garden by presenting the ingredients on the plate in a way that is memorable and timeless.” —May Vervoordt

I first dined with Axel and May at their romantic 17th-century castle residence near Antwerp in the depths of a dark, cold winter. I arrived at their gatehouse, plunged in darkness, and could see candles glimmering in the castle windows, across the misty moat. I’ll never forget the theatrical scene—and the pleasure of enjoying warming soups and steamed pike with the family at a table set beside the fire in the study. 

In early summer, I joined the family and friends beneath the dappled shade of a blossoming apple tree. The astringent fragrance of grass, daffodils and jonquils in parterres framed with clipped box swirled as we bit into salads made from lettuces and greens picked just moments earlier. There are images in the book showing the apple tree, with the old wooden table beneath.

The cook had gone out into the garden, picked the ripest and freshest ingredients, little leaves, tiny carrots, and created vivid salads and pretty deserts. 

Red, yellow, green, orange, and brown leaves line an avenue of trees and hedges in the park. It’s important to use the natural colors and textures of the environments we live in to offer guidance for recipes, table decoration, and food presentation. Be on the lookout for colors that offer inspiration and take clues from the weather and the season when creating menus. During autumn's slow transition into colder temperatures, May Vervoordt often turns to food that helps warm the body, such as soups and cooked vegetables and grains. A particularly useful ingredient throughout the season, lentils are a versatile choice as they easily adapt the flavor and seasoning from other dishes. They are also low in fat, and in calories, and free from cholesterol. In addition to their valuable nutritional content, May Vervoordt also loves to use lentils because they are quick and easy to prepare. 

Winter Vegetable Salad with Pumpkin Seeds. 

Butternut Squash with Winter Vegetables 

Turnips with Fresh Herb Oil 

‘At Home with May and Axel Vervoordt’
Why I recommend this book:

Followers of the Doctrine of Vervoordt will love images of festive tables at the castle, set with armfuls of red amaryllis in winter. I love the bountiful style ideas for outdoor dining the moment sunshine warms their terrace and the boxwood-framed gardens.

Photographs take readers up close with table settings, improvised dining rooms, moody lighting, table décor, and a multitude of easy-to-copy ideas. 

A rutabaga, wild mushroom, and hummus “tartlet” is prepped for a large gathering in Venice at Palazzo Alvera to celebrate the opening of an exhibition. 

Hummus, Dried Tomato, and Olive Bruschetta 

A popular choice for soups and salads, cabbage is high in vitamins A and C and has several important health benefits in terms of proper digestion. Oxheart cabbage is even said to help relieve headaches. When pickled to create sauerkraut, which is also a delicious option, the fermentation process offers helpful probiotic benefits. 

Roasted Cod Fillet with Lemon and Sage 

Dishes are presented simply and without overt styling, so that a well-versed cook could create the dish from the images.

Recipes to consider: Winter Vegetable Ragout with Pumpkin Seeds; Zucchini Tartlets with Cumin; Leek and Broccoli Soup with Cardamom; Nettle Soup; Poached Apples with Turmeric and Blueberries, along with Pumpkin Risotto, Rhubarb Tiramisu (someone make it for me, please), and Molten Chocolate Cake with Ganache, Pear, and Pear Sorbet.

“Food—like freshly cut flowers—offers an ephemeral beauty, because it soon disappears. For our family, ephemeral things are just as important as timeless ones as they give quality to life.

Cooking can be a great pleasure, and just as for the potter who sculpts clay, the skill is a craft and the creation is a work of art.”

—Axel Vervoordt

A Cookbook to Inspire, Amuse, and Get You Traveling 

‘Edible Selby
 by Todd Selby (Abrams)

Todd Selby is a witty and radical blogger ( who travels to Japan and Sweden and Denmark and …Brooklyn and Berkeley…to photograph and write about and interview the world’s avant-garde artists and designers and gurus of greens and foraging.

It’s a collation of delicacies like a starter of fresh fennel juice, fennel and celeriac (the picture is worth the price of admission), and there’s white asparagus, salty cheese and green strawberries to encounter. 

Selby offers the world of Kirk Lombard, the sea forager in San Francisco who at one point in the book is fishing in a kayak beneath a pier, and on the next page is grabbing a weird fish from a storm drain.

There are Tartine Bakery (a San Francisco treat) and the Nordic Food Lab (purple seaweed), and wild chocolatiers, gardeners, cheese-makers and lots of sketches, drawings of food, scrumptious photos (Todd), and Tuscan hills and meaty cuts.

This book will make you very happy—and inventive. There are no recipes, exactly, and Todd warns not to actually cook from them (or at least he takes no responsibility that the sketches and notes would work) but it’s so fearless and original.

Highly recommend.

Where to buy:

I like to buy books at independent booksellers. I have a great bookshop in my neighborhood, BROWSER BOOKS on Fillmore Street at the corner of Sacramento Street in Pacific Heights, San Francisco.

I go there on my way home from the gym, while doing errands (buying fresh Blue Bottle coffee), and after dinner (they stay open late) or when I’m out for a walk. I’m always buying books.

I appreciate an independent book seller’s selections. I can always find a compelling book to keep in my stacks of books-in-waiting.

Among many favorite categories, I gather travel literature, and among many books I’m currently reading are a Laotian detective series (Dr Siri Paiboun mysteries set in Laos, by Colin Cotterill).

I also picked up a new edition of ‘Jane Eyre’ because I can’t find the two copies already somewhere in my library.

Yes, at midnight, I click on and low and behold, books appear a week later. Or after a marathon of writing, I click onto in London—to order signed books by Deborah Devonshire or books on Lucian Freud.

I just ordered the new biography of Patrick Leigh Fermor by Artemis Cooper from Hatchard’s (signed copy).

Ten minutes away from my neighborhood is the brilliant GREEN APPLE BOOKS on Clement Street, where I can spend many a happy hour poking around the stacks and selections and the out-of-print shelves (old Paul Bowles) that I desperately seek for my collections.

And when I’m in London or Paris, or taking a fast trip to Los Angeles, or in Jaipur or Istanbul or New Delhi or Phnom Penh or Rangoon, my favorite destinations are the best and oldest and quirkiest bookshops where I linger, chat to the booksellers, breath the papery air, poke around dusty corners, and add more rare books to my collections.

COMING UP IN THE NEXT WEEKS: My pick of the best design books of the season.
Stay tuned.

Photo credits: 

Images from ‘At Home with May and Axel Vervoordt’ courtesy of Rizzoli.  Photographs and recipe adaptation by Jean-Pierre Gabriel.

Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2012. Photographs by Deborah Jones.

Burma: Rivers of Flavor by Naomi Duguid (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2012. Photographs by Richard Jung.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Passion for Collecting, the Joy of Discovering John Dickinson

John Dickinson’s Iconic Designs Continue to Surprise

A revolution has hit the world of antique, art, and collecting and interiors will never look the same.

Forward-thinking designers like Michael Formica in New York, schooled in classical and modern design, are putting a new spin on interiors, blurring the lines between furniture and art, and embracing bold new furniture materials. 

I was privileged to see the images in the newest issue of House Beautiful. I was so inspired. Michael Formica is an accomplished and prescient designer—and his use of John Dickinson's designs stirred my imagination. I thought of the importance of John Dickinson, and the essential nature of paying homage to the past in design and interiors.

The dramatic pair of classical John Dickinson white plaster tables, elegantly positioned in Michael Formica’s New York living room look like mysterious sentinels at each end of the sofa. living room. These unexpected tables can take an alert and curious observer on a design journey.

They can also inspire a new realm of collecting. Formica fearlessly mixes with the Wanders rope chair, a Noguchi table, and the crisp geometric Salvetti Open Box table.

For me, Formica’s living room decor renewed my admiration of John Dickinson’s highly original furniture designs, and a new appreciation of my mentor and friend.

Michael Formica has been collecting John Dickinson pieces for more than two decades with a focus on less-known late twentieth-century designers. These tables are Dickinson’s most iconic, most versatile designs, at home on the Upper East Side and in a San Francisco firehouse. 

Formica’s collecting focus—so individual and rare—can also be an inspiration to collectors beginning their search for twentieth-century iconic design that has a touch of eccentricity. John Dickinson’s work in white plaster, hand-carved wood, and galvanized metal, has this quality. 

Michael Formica has collected and been a little obsessed with John Dickinson lamps and tables and stools for over twenty-five years.

He bought a John Dickinson white plaster twig lamp many years go from New York antique dealer Louis Bofferding, and he has added to his cache of John Dickinson pieces, highly selectively.

“We now expect to see unique and unusual combinations of designs seemingly casually thrown together but in reality they’re highly studied for counterpoint and "edge",” said Bob Garcia, partner in Therien & Co., a top dealer in San Francisco for four decades. “In the world of antiques and 20th century furniture, interiors are energized by contrasting experimental one-off twenty-first-century pieces in a room with classically-inspired Italian or French thirties

Formica later discovered Dickinson’s galvanized metal tables, and now has a hand-carved wood prototype ‘Tripod’ table, inspired by African tribal designs.

Formica’s style of collecting – the best of the best, but not the expected or the tried-and-true—results in rooms that have style and drama, with vivid juxtapositions and a jolt of surprise. 

Many collectors have not yet heard of John Dickinson.

It is time to meet this genius designer, and to learn from his wisdom, his sense of refinement, his good humor, and his highly opinionated concepts of design. 

John Dickinson

Today, true connoisseurs are staking out their own territories, exploring and Mapquesting the wilder shores of design history with grit and wit.

An international roster of design stars, including trend-setters like Konstantin Grcic, the Bourellec brothers, Marcel Wanders, Marc Newson, Tom Dixon, Garouste & Bonetti, and California-born Dickinson are among the iconic talents that collectors are seeking out today as their experimental shapes and space-age materials give them an edge on tip sheets for design immortality. 

Interior of Dickinson's firehouse residence in San Francisco.

San Francisco furniture and interior designer John Dickinson worked in the seventies and eighties as almost a renegade, enjoying his 'outsider ‘ status that made him even more admirable to admirers like Andree Putman, David Hicks, and Mark Hampton.

As many of my readers know, the furniture designer/interior designer John Dickinson was a mentor of mine as I was embarking on my path as a design book author. I knew John’s work well.

Black and white photograph of John Dickinson
photographed at his firehouse residence
in San Francisco by Victor Arimondi.

Many design insiders today still consider John Dickinson the most innovative and original American interior and furniture designer of the 20th-century. Designers as diverse as Michael Smith, John Saladino, Vicente Wolfe and Gary Hutton sing his praises.

“John Dickinson’s furniture passes every test--for originality, quality and style,” said Liz O’Brien, a leading New York dealer in 20th-century design. “His design is for the ages. It’s burned into our cerebral cortex.” 

Photographs of John Dickinson and his San Francisco firehouse residence were taken by the great San Francisco photographer, Fred Lyon, and are used with permission.

"The Regency or Egyptian influence was not in my mind when I first designed white plaster chairs and tables with animal feet,” John Dickinson told me. “ I was after something mock primitive and quite surprising. The fetish-y thing is quite marvelous and it hadn't been explored at all. Designers usually have gone the other way, taking something primitive and refining it way beyond recognition. That way you usually end up with something banal. If you go the other way, as I did, you usually end up with something very peculiar looking but something quite successful. 

Interior of Dickinson's firehouse residence in San Francisco.

Darrin Alfred, formerly a curatorial associate of architecture and design at SFMOMA, once said of Dickinson, “Dickinson’s designs demonstrate his ability to both startle and amuse in a constant pursuit of originality.” A major exhibition of the San Francisco-based designer’s drawings and furniture pieces were on display at the museum in 2004.

“His designs … still look unique and fresh even after thirty years,” Alfred added. Part of the reason for this was his use of industrial materials in neutral tones.

Dickinson preferred to create drama by altering the scale, shape and texture of furniture instead of using colors and patterns, which would date with the passing of years and changing styles. Using an austere, classically inspired visual vocabulary, he drew upon historical and cultural references to define a style that appeared refined yet casual, and timeless yet up-to-date.

Interior of Dickinson's firehouse residence in San Francisco.

John Dickinson designed and lived in an historic firehouse in San Francisco.

The white-painted firehouse exterior, with its original massive doors, convoluted fretwork, elegant pediments, and noble tower, is still perfectly preserved, and decorated with the same carved wood hose with a gilt nozzle that John Dickinson designed. Many of the signatures of Dickinson’s era—brass nameplates, the white-canvas curtained portiere, and a steel fireplace—are intact.

The firehouse was de-accessioned by the City in the mid-sixties and snapped up by designer John Dickinson. He achieved instant legendary status in the design world after House & Garden published the totally original interiors in the mid-seventies.

In the soaring 25 feet x 50 feet upstairs space, formerly the fire fighters’ dormitory, Dickinson positioned his iconic plaster tables, an elegant Art Nouveau table, collections of African ‘airport art’ sculptures, and sinuous Victorian chairs covered in pale gray leather.

John set very high standards for himself, for the craftspeople who executed his work and for all his designs. He was always paring his designs down, never romancing a room with frills or what he called "fluff."

"Prettiness has nothing to do with style," John told me. "Logic precludes prettiness. If you're stripping down rooms, as I do, there's no place for it."

Perhaps because he was very inaccessible—he seldom left San Francisco—and his work and persona somewhat intimidating, there is a mystique about the man and his designs that continues to attract younger designers.

Established designers as diverse as Ron Mann, Angelo Donghia, Ward Bennett, Michael Taylor and Robert Hutchinson are (or have been) among his legion of admirers.

Like Jean-Michael Frank who said about his designs, "One doesn't work in centimetres but in millimetres", John Dickinson was a perfectionist. Nothing about his rooms was left to chance but they never looked stiff, intimidating, pretentious or on-show. Chairs were to be used and moved, pillows were to be leaned on. Lights were for reading or drawing, tables were the right height for books, drinks, ashtrays, newspapers. 

From the collection of San Francisco designer Steven Volpe, John Dickinson’s seventies draped table was crafted from sheets of industrial metal finely perfected to simulate draped fabric.

The John Dickinson 'Look'
John Dickinson's look was original, daring, witty, learned, rigorous and rather rarified. His signatures included his remarkable line white plaster tables and lamps,(no longer made but still some wonderful examples in rooms in San Francisco), natural canvas upholstery, simple scuptural shapes, classical references, white-painted wood, plain taupe or gray carpet outlined in white or black, muted colors and not too many of them, luxury in the details and in fine craftsmanship, and usually some charming eccentricity in the design.

Tables have faux primitive animal legs, lamps and mirrors sprout twigs, a console has the rough texture of hacked stone, a three-legged lamp-base was inspired by an African tribal wood stool. One chic small table he designed looked, he said, "like rough boards pegged together by a five-year-old."

Who could forgethis bedroom with walls upholstered in black horsehair with a faux bamboo four poster, and another bedroom in an 1882 Victorian with a remarkable stainless steel four-poster smack in the middle. (That bedroom, one of John's first published works, and that bed still exist.)

Dickinson loved the paradox of what Andree Putman calls, "rich and poor"--expensive upholstery details on plan canvas, an elegant slipper chair upholstered in white Naugahyde, muslin curtains done in the most "Balenciaga" way, expensive wool cord used as simply as jute twine.

Today, his designs feel more relevant than ever. 

A polaroid image of John Dickinson photographed
in 1981 by Diane Dorrans Saeks.

The Wisdom of John Dickinson: The quotes, edited from the tapes I recorded over several years

In 1979, I wrote a profile on designer John Dickinson for San Francisco magazine. John and I found the collaboration so much fun we decided to work together on a book about his interior and furniture designs. Every Sunday morning I would tape conversations with John, talking about aspects of his design. He was highly provocative, opinionated, witty, erudite, generous, thoughtful in his comments, down-to-earth and hard-working. For more than two years he talked and I taped and I redaced and edited and wrote, until he died in 1983. I transcribed the tapes, but the book project was set aside for the moment.

I still have all the tapes, plus transcriptions.

These exclusive quotes are among my favorites. These quotes were all recorded and redacted from my conversations with John. The text is copyrighted.


"Taste is a word I avoid. Good or bad, it's all so nebulous. The more you're dealing with taste, the more you're on shaky ground. Vulgarity to me is another matter. Vulgarity has great vitality."

"There's no cop-out in using pairs of things in a room. Matching chairs, sofas, lamps or tables can bring discipline, strength and balance to a scheme."

"You cannnot do a lasting room design based on a current fad or novelty. There's a fine line between being amusing and being eccentric. A whole room based on amusing things would not be a laugh."

"There are many places in a house that do not warrant expensive furnishings. It's really not essential to spend everywhere. Muslin curtains can be the prettiest things in the world if they're sewn beautifully. You just don't have to make a big production of everything in a room."

"Some of the easiest things to use as inexpensive accessories are natural objects. Seashells are heaven. The bigger the better. Coral's marvellous if you can get big pieces of it. It must be large--little pieces don't mean anything."

"I have long thought that if one has a fireplace, to feel one must out of necessity and total obligation hang something over it is absolute nonsensea. I think a blank space over a mantel is very interesting. "

"I don't like viewing my designs as sculpture. It's too pretentious. This is not art, it's decorating. It's not fine art, it's decorative art and there's a world of difference."

The new John Dickinson reproduction collection by Sutherland

Recently, David Sutherland, with permission from the Estate of John Dickinson, has produced a very elegant series of John Dickinson designs in a new material that makes them suitable for indoors and outdoors.

David Sutherland has built his company partly on his own refined design sensibility but also by partnering with the greatest artists working in the design world today.

Now he reaches to the past and the future at the same time by bringing new, vigorous life to the work of one of design history’s acknowledged masters.

The Sutherland John Dickinson Collection is available through interior designers and architects, and represented in showrooms nationwide and internationally.

To view the collection, visit or call 800-717-8325 for further information. 

John Dickinson originals:

Collectors should follow antique dealers like Louis Bofferding and Liz O’Brien in New York, as well as auction houses like Sotheby’s, in New York, and Bonham’s in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Some collectors swoop through the vintage galleries in Palm Springs hoping to score John Dickinson pieces. In San Francisco, Coup d’Etat, Darin Geise’s brilliant antiques and vintage gallery, has recently displayed several highly collectible one-of-a-kind John Dickinson pieces, including the singular ‘Skyscaper’ bookcase, and elegant animal-legged occasional chairs. Parchment-covered coffee tables and consoles are occasionally sighted.

Happy hunting! 

Photo Credits:
Michael Formica apartment photographed by Bob Hiemstra for House Beautiful. 

John Dickinson images: photography by Russell MacMasters, Fred Lyon, Victor Arimondi, and other images from the collection of Diane Dorrans Saeks. All are copyrighted.
Photography of John Dickinson Collection for Sutherland, courtesty David Sutherland.