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A New Book By Designer Charlotte Moss and Friends Reflects On The Meaning of Home

A Portion of Profits From "Home: A Celebration" Go To No Kid Hungry

BY // 11.17.21

Novelist Edith Wharton wrote about the lives and morals of New York’s aristocracy during the Gilded Age and, in 1921, was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Literature, for The Age of Innocence. Her writing often focused on the significance of home and her characters’ relationships to it — but before the literary accolades, Wharton was a society matron with a penchant for interior design. The Decoration of Houses, her 1897 book co-authored with Ogden Codman Jr., was a manual of good taste that paved the way for interior design as a profession.

But, as it turns out, Wharton’s take on the home was nuanced; in 1916, Wharton edited The Book of the Homeless, a successful fundraising effort to aid refugees and children during the First World War. It featured a remarkable collection of essays, poetry, art, and musical scores by the era’s luminaries, including Sarah Bernhardt, Jean Cocteau, Henry James, Igor Stravinsky, and W.B. Yeats.

214 Charlotte Moss COVER HomeACelebration_cover
A portion of the profits from Charlotte Moss’ “Home: A Celebration” go towards No Kid Hungry.

Designer Charlotte Moss has taken up Wharton’s mantle with a book of her own, Home: A Celebration: Notable Voices Reflect on the Meaning of Home (Rizzoli, $50). Deriving inspiration from Wharton’s tome, Moss has dedicated a portion of her book’s profits to No Kid Hungry, which feeds more than 11 million children who live in food-insecure homes in the United States. A wide range of contributors — 125 in all — reflect on the essence of home, including Annie Leibovitz, Martina Mondadori, David Netto, Joyce Carol Oates, Gloria Steinem, Alice Waters, and three living in Texas — Douglas Friedman, Donald Robertson, and Curtis & Windham Architects’ William Curtis. As Joyce Carol Oates writes in a poem she contributed, “HOUSE is emptiness waiting to be filled by HOME.”

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