PaperCity Magazine

March 2020- Houston

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sagging. Mac said to her, 'Why don't you go out to Brochsteins and see what they can do.' Mac called me and arranged an appointment for Sally. So we pulled the cabinets apart and put the levelers on the panels. And it worked. And I could do no wrong after that. Anyway, that's how we got to know each other. From then on, whatever she wanted to do — we did." Walsh became part of their multigenerational family of makers, along with her greatest partner in crime, Raymond, the tenacious CEO, whom she called Bear. He was her problem solver, and later she would claim she learned everything about furniture from him. They worked on epic jobs together, museum-caliber works of decorative art. "I hate to tell you, but we haven't moved anything since she died," says Susan of Walsh's unerring placement and pitch-perfect take on furnishings, objects, nature, and art. "This has been here all this time." She points to a furniture grouping, then to the dining-room area and its dynamic painting by L.A. talent Chuck Arnoldi. "There's one problem with the house," she says. "It's too comfortable." Light dances and dapples throughout the Brochstein House, changing with times of day and seasons. Its Grand Hall still soothes and delights: the plush, jewel- tone J L Larsen carpets on the stairs and library; the Woody Gwyn canvas of palm trees from Meredith Long & Company that anchors the west wall; the aggressively robust, hand-hewn Chuck Arnoldi painting that Walsh positioned down to the half-inch over the dining- room table; and the industrial capstan entry table; down to the Gabriella Crespi for Casa Bella brass table, and three molds in the living room used to make women's hats that would be at home in The Menil Collection's Surrealism galleries — are evidence of Walsh's fearless ability to discover beauty in the everyday, and she and Raymond's shared value in the making of things and the tools of their making. Morning turns to afternoon, and Susan says, "She was a character. She never had children, but she mothered the world." Bruton adds, "Walsh chose not to focus on a practice in the domestic interior, though she could do it so beautifully. She worked precisely so that her design had the maximum impact on the maximum number of people. She believed in the public interior, understanding that high quality design affects people's lives in a way that can change things. She's inspirational to the next generation of true design progressives." "Raymond Brochstein realized this when he raised the support for the annual Sally Walsh Lecture in the 2000s, and now it's becoming time to get the word out to a new generation about the positive impact a Sally Walsh Endowed Professorship and Student Scholarships can have on Houston through design." Raymond states that Walsh brought modern design to the city of Houston — and to the country. Like an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, a note of Wynton Marsalis jazz, or a Matisse cut-out, Walsh's interiors subtlety appears effortless. It's the result of an eye, decisions, elements, and confidence. With her higher-profile commissions long gone, the DNA of Walsh, her vivid personality, and unique creativity live on most fully here, within the Brochstein House. In the den, velvet green carpet by Walsh. Eames Aluminum Group Lounge chair and ottoman. The room is home to the couple's collection of prints, including works by Thomas Hart Benton, Ben Shahn, Carol Summers, Leonard Baskin, and Agam – arranged by Walsh. Right: An upstairs vignette with a gifted artwork from Walsh, that originally hung over her fireplace. Woody Gwyn's metaphoric scene of a floating cloud represents, for the couple, Walsh looking down, while Susan and Raymond are the cliffs. The chair is by Mira Nakashima, daughter of great furniture maker George Nakashima. 87

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