Jack Lenor Larsen at his apartment
55 Park, NYC
There are influencers in life — people that connect with you, and connect you with others, that are profound change agents in your experience. I can recount a number of them — people that generously did things for me, with me, that changed me forever.
I walk back through four and more decades, in my mind, and think: who changed my life?Surely I’d count my parents as key inspirators.
In no sequence, then…try this yourself.
I remind my self of — each and every story, every encounter:
Ivan Chermayeff | NYC designer
Lloyd Reynolds | Professor / Reed College, Portland OR
Steve Jobs | Apple founder
Mircea Eliade | Professor / University of Chicago
Adrian Frutiger | Type designer (Univers) Bern | Sw.
Donald Jackson | Calligrapher to the Queen | London
Tess Gallagher | Poet / Port Townsend, WA
Sam Hamill | Founder, Poet, Translator / Copper Canyon Press / Port Townsend, WA
Jim Olson | Architect / Seattle
Dr. Richard Evans Schultes | Ethnobotanist / Harvard University / Cambridge, MA
David Kindersley | Stone cutter | Cambridge / Uk
Joseph Campbell | Myth master / NYC
Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi | University of Chicago
Hermann Zapf | Type designer / Darmstadt, Gr.
Karlgeorg Hoefer | Type designer & artist / Offenbach, Gr.
Dr. Hans Halbey| Museum director / Offenbach, Gr.
Friedrich Neugebauer | Calligrapher & bookmaker / Salzburg, Austria
E.O.Wilson | Professor / Harvard University
Elaine DeKooning | Painter / NYC
Herb Lubalin | Graphic & type designer / NYC
Milton Glaser | Graphic designer & illustrator / NYC
James Hayes | Calligrapher / Woodland Park, CO.
Idries Shah | Sufi scholar & qutb / London
Dale Chihuly | Artist / Seattle
Dr. Annemarie Schimmel | Islamic scholar / Fogg Museum / Cambridge / MA.
Villu Toots | Designer / Tallinn, Estland
Paul Brainerd | Aldus founder / Seattle
Scott Oki | Technologist & Philanthropist / Seattle
William Cumming | Painter / Seattle
Jacob Lawrence | Painter / Seattle
Ray DaBoll | Designer / Newark, AR
Pir Vilayat Khan | Sufi / London
William Burford | Poet / Dallas, TX
Kenneth Callahan | Painter / Seattle
George Tsutakawa | Painter & Sculptor / Seattle
Gordon Wasson | Banker & entheogen scholar / Danbury, CN
Pierre Dinand | Perfume bottle designer / Paris, Fr.
Harold Balazs | Artist / Mead, WA
Richard Sapper | Industrial designer / Milano, It
Tony Callison | Architect / Seattle
Guy Anderson | Painter / La Conner, WA
Roshi Harada Shodo | Zen Master / Osaka, Jp
Richard Meier | Architect / NYC
James Turrell | Artist / Flagstaff, AZ
Will Carter | Fine printer / Cambridge, Uk
Chris Anderson | TED / NYC
And Jack Lenor Larsen. These are some of the people that I’d connected with, over the past 40 years — amazing people that I’d reached to, in the interests of learning more, visiting them, being with them, talking to them, writing to them, or working with them. And some were clients. And others were teachers. And others who I just connected with — all with instances of linkage that were profoundly changing in my perspective —my sighting of things.
The keystone, to any of this, is the sense of absolutely undying curiosity. Surely there are more, many people and influencers, that I never met, that changed me forever. But these are the closer ones to my experience in the living world. And this world is mostly the space of creativity and intelligence.
What I learned from Jack was a deepening of the love of the international, the crafts scene, the character of the artisanal endeavor. And that’s when I first met him — in Portland, the Oregon School of Arts & Crafts. On the Board there, as well as Board of the American Crafts Council. I’d been commissioned to create the identity and the signing — I did them both, drawing the drawing the logotype with a brush, in all capitals, loosely packed together — almost as if an unskilled renderer had drawn the art. These were then applied elsewhere. Ceramics, weaving, paper, signing the other modern buildings — all of porcelain enamel. And since that time I stayed in touch, speaking with him, visiting now and again, being out at Longhouse, listening, learning, examining. Sharing…
Jack turned 80, it was just last weekend — a celebrity bash, I surmise. And he had a party at the Longhouse Reserve, his estate in the Hamptons:
The point to his efforts here, at Longhouse, is a kind of conceptual containment to everything that he is — a man of profound connoisseurship, in the classical if not Chinese tradition. One learned in the historical, the artful, the unassuming in a sense of scholarly understanding and thoroughness of study. So being with Jack is like being ambushed — the knowledge, the experience, the connections, it comes at you from all sides. Anywhere he’s been, he seems to triangulate on the best connections, the most interesting people, the most amazing things. He goes in, he comes out. With magic.
And the legacy of his work, his inspirations, the influences and what he’s brought to market are remarkable, detailed, fascinating and endlessly curious and diverse.
http://www.cowtan.com (see Larsen)
Yoko Ono’s contributions to the party?
Yoko Goes To Hamptons
There’s more, all ways.
And more is rarely enough.
TSG | queen anne hill