The New York School of Interior Design is starting its iconic lecture series this week, in its Arthur Satz Auditorium. The first event, entitled “Timeless Design: Vladimir Kagan & Amy Lau” will bring together two of my favorite personalities in the NYC’s design world. I first fell in love with Vladimir Kagan’s furniture long before I decided to become a design historian. I was 25 and living in New York, when I was invited to a dinner party in a house in Sands Point overlooking the Long Island Sound; the living room was fully furnished with pieces designed and made by Kagan-Dreyfuss, the company he founded with textile designer Hugo Dreyfuss in 1950. While at the time the name Kagan was not familiar to me, it was clear, I remember, that his sculptural, distinctive, powerful pieces had the potential to transform spaces, to make you feel differently. They took my breath away. I have never fell out of love with Vladimir Kagan’s designs, but have since recognized that his furniture has become an integral part of the canon of American design. Amy Lau has worked with Kagan for years on remarkable custom-made furniture for her dazzling interiors, and this legendary partnership has produced not only interiors that we regularly see in the world’s best design magazines (above), but also a remarkable friendship. The conversation will be moderated by Suzy Sleisin, founder of Point Leaf Press, who has recently published a revised edition of his book A Lifetime of Avant-Garde Design. An event I highly recommend, and tickets are only $12.
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