Welcome to the overview section of the Lee Coleman Collection.
Lee Coleman on the Collection:
My purpose here goes deeper than simply showing you “the collection.” I hope the stories behind the objects— how acquired, or made in the shop downstairs, the links between work and home, the needs for consolation in the face of professional challenges— are at least as important as the objects themselves.
That is why I offer them in their everyday setting— the rooms of my house. Over the years, it has become increasingly difficult to find space to show it all, but I have never been happy with storing in boxes or even cabinets, things that give me (and hopefully others) pleasure. It’s all out, in every room and bathroom. A large attic is now finished, as well as additional shop space. The tools down there are not to be neglected, as you will see.
Even the back yard gets into the act, using the natural stone (rhyolite) of this area to transform the concreted- over space that greeted us in 1972 when we arrived in Berkeley. On the fence built a few years later, photos of jazz greats tell yet another story, and drinking tea out there I frequently ponder the fact that the descendants of slaves created America’s greatest contribution to the art of the world. Inside, their music fills the cabinets in the living room, and the audio gear is ready to fill the airwaves….
Please look, study, and—dare I hope?— get inspired.
As Dr. Coleman mentioned in his introduction on the home page, JD Milazzo, Andy Walcott and Falcon worked with Lee to document his life and collection. “The best way to get a sense of Lee’s collection,” Falcon wrote, in an email to his associates in The House of NyghtFalcon, “is to visually understand the role the collection plays in his life. These scenes of various rooms provide insight in to the thoughtful presentation of Lee’s collection as well as the way in which the furniture he has made enhance the experience of his collection.”
The comments that appear below are Falcon’s.
Editor’s Note: Falcon, in an email to Andy Walcott, Director of NyghtFalcon MotionImaging, wrote, “At sunset, I find the beauty of the house and the artifacts even more evident. Graceful shadows mix art, wood, rugs, into a breathtaking image.”
The foyer sets the mood for the entire house. This is the view from the living room. The front door is to the right. The stairs to the second floor to the left. The afternoon sun streams down from a large, leaded-glass window on the landing between the floors.
Taken by itself, the living room has a breathtaking collection of artifacts and rugs. This is a small sample.
Virtually all the furniture in the dining room was made by Lee. The dining room table is spectacular – the design of the slide that allows the table to expand is incredible to look at. When you consider that all the woodworking is done by hand, the pieces become even more amazing.
Looking down from the second floor, the view is amazing. Rugs and artifacts make the staircase a visual journey in and of itself. In the afternoon, the sun streams through the leaded glass window and this creates a dramatic visual experience.
This photo was taken in the late afternoon. The light from the leaded glass window on the landing above highlights all the colors of the rug.