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The Illustrated World of Jeremiah Goodman

Luscious Works of Revered Interiors Artist Headed to Texas Design Week Houston

BY // 03.20.19

We consider artist Jeremiah Goodman the prophet of fabulous interiors. After all, his magnificent illustrations spread the gospel of Diana Vreeland’s garden in hell living room and Betsy Bloomingdale’s chinoiserie drawing room.

He painted the rooms of Carolina Herrera, Reed Krakoff, Bruce Weber, Tony Duquette, Cecil Beaton, Elsie de Wolfe, Mary Wells Lawrence and multitudes of other style setters during a career of 70 years, until his death in 2017.

His brushstrokes gave a sweeping, cinematic feel to rooms, playing with shadow and light, bringing them to life and allowing their spirit to shine.

Dean Rhys-Morgan, proprietor of Dean Rhys Morgan Works on Paper, and an editor and writer, has written a new book Jeremiah: Inspired Interiors (PowerHouse Books), with an introduction by Nicky Haslam, foreword by Elsa Peretti, and an afterword by Miles Redd.

Rhys-Morgan spent nine years working with Goodman and began this book project with him.

Goodman’s mantra for the book, which Rhys-Morgan repeated in his own mind as he finished it solo, was: “Things should look as if they couldn’t have existed any other way.”

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In the book, Rhys-Morgan asked Goodman if he knew right away how he would translate a room into a painting; the illustrator replied, “The truth is that it’s more about a private memory in my mind than the actuality of it.

“I have always felt that one’s memory of a room is more accurate than a photograph.”

He continued, “A portrait of a room should express the personality of the person who lives there, whose character has shaped it. Many people think of a room as an entity in itself, but they’re mistaken. A room is never static. It is constantly undergoing changes: it looks different by night, by day, by electric light.

“Even the people in it and what they wear, the colors, the fabrics, all affect the feeling of a room. I try to come up with a dramatic quality that befits the clients’ lives, that is their statement, not mine. That has always been the way I have thought of rooms — in terms of their spirit.”

Dean Rhys-Morgan will appear at Texas Design Week Houston, Thursday, March 28, 6:30 – 9 pm, for cocktails, an illustrated discussion of Jeremiah Goodman’s works, book signing, and exhibition and sale of Jeremiah Goodman illustrations. The exhibition will consist of exquisite, limited-edition giclee prints, signed, dated and numbered by the artist, as well as original works.

The night is hosted by Lauren Hudson of Wells Abbott, Ryan Reitmeyer, Retorra Rugs, and Karen Pulaski, Tribute Goods, at Hollywood Square, 3637 West Alabama. To purchase tickets to Texas Design Week Houston, and for complete schedule, go to texasdesignweek.com.

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