Courtousy of Jennifer Sergent
I love being in the know about fabulous places to shop that most people don’t know about.
So, courtesy of Designer Sally Steponkus, I’ve now joined the club of “anybody who’s anybody” who knows Evelyn Avery, an art dealer/consultant/framer from Atlanta who comes to town twice a year for a month each time, and sets up a boutique in her sprawling suite at the Willard. She’s here right now, through the beginning of October.
Evelyn Avery stands among her tables of frames, in front of some of the artwork that covers every wall in the suite.
Avery sells mainly 19th-century and early- to mid-20th-century paper and oils – all in frames that were handmade in her shop. “You usually see frame shops with art in them, but you don’t normally see an art collection of this latitude and longitude,” Avery told me this morning, as a bevy of interior designers swept through her rooms, cooing over the art while they sipped on soda and coffee.
“She could frame a napkin that you drew on, and it would look amazing,” Steponkus told me. Indeed, when she wants really important art framed for her clients, she will fly to Atlanta for Avery to do it instead of using a local source.
Sally Steponkus stands in front of Avery’s framed intaglios – a favorite item.
More intaglios – these are placed against convex antique mirrors inside a tortoise-shell frame.
Here, Avery purchased 18th-century drawings and placed them in frames which she had purchased damaged, and then fixed up. “It really makes a museum statement,” Avery said.
Designer Gloria de Lourdes Blalock, who ventures to the Willard every time Avery is in town, also praises her skill with framing. “Nobody frames like she frames. She gets the corners right consistently,” which is the best mark of craftsmanship, she said.
Gloria de Lourdes Blalock stands among the frames.
Beyond the frames, the art is spectacular, too.
The main bedroom holds Avery’s 20th-century offerings
I love this “Four Seasons” series over the bed.
Barry Dixon Interiors, the work of one of Avery’s favorite clients, sits on a table beneath more 20th-century work.
I have to agree with the designers – the frame really makes the art, which hangs here in the suite’s second bedroom.
Here are some gems that caught my eye as I wandered all the rooms:
This portrait in the suite’s foyer was bought damaged, and Avery restored the canvas and framed it.
The view, of course, is just as nice as the art.
Anyone can make an appointment to shop in Avery’s suite. Just give her a call while she’s here this month and set one up: 404.307.0406 on her cell, or 202.628.9100 at the hotel.