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Gentlemen’s Lounge Restoration

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We’re excited to show off the newly restored Gentlemen’s Lounge! It now features a poker table, pool table, and armchairs you can relax in. Perhaps the most eye-catching change is the new wallpaper, which was recreated to match the original design of the room.

This historic photo is the only one we have of the room during the time the Bourns lived at Filoli. It shows a leather armchair in front of the original floral wallpaper, which featured large peonies and birds. With the support and artistic talent of Willem Racké, of Willem Racké Studio, the pattern was recreated and custom printed – and gives the room a whole new feel.

Though the room’s original purpose – a “gentlemen’s lounge” where William Bourn played poker with friends – reflects the gendered spaces that were common in Edwardian homes, the “feminine” wallpaper pattern reminds us to check our modern-day assumptions about gendered style.

This project also gave Julie Bly DeVere, Filoli’s Director of Museum Collections, the opportunity to create a cohesive decorative scheme for the room and showcase new acquisitions. Using the Bourn-era 1936 inventory of the House’s furnishings, DeVere worked with a donor to research and acquire artwork from the Bourns’ original collection, or in the case of prints, a copy of the same work they originally chose. Since this was a room that would have reflected William Bourn’s personal style, DeVere chose art that speaks to his identity as an Anglophile – a lover of all things English – and member of the San Francisco Bohemian Club.  

The Bohemian Club was an exclusive, male-only group of artists and wealthy patrons inspired by the British Arts and Crafts movement. They hoped to make San Francisco an artistic and cultural center on par with the great European cities. Though the club was founded by journalists and artists, its membership soon became a “who’s who” of San Francisco’s elite. (The club is still active today — and still denies membership to women.)

This newly renovated room features artwork that reflects the club’s European influence and appreciation for the dramatic California landscape. Here are three new art acquisitions now displayed in the Lounge:

Yosemite Valley and Half Dome, c. 1906

Platinum print photograph

William Edward Dassonville

Gift of Brad Parberry

Inked with William Bourn’s initials on the reverse, this photograph was part of his original collection. It showcases a style called Tonalism that embraces the muted natural colors of the California landscape’s foggy atmosphere, craggy mountains, and slate-colored sea. The style was popularized in California by the artists in Bourn’s Bohemian Club circle.

“Drives the Doves,” c.  1795

The Birth and Triumph of Cupid series

Lady Dashwood, artist; Peltro William Tomkins, engraver

Gift of Brad Parberry

William Bourn decorated his study with two drawings from this print series. They were published under the pseudonym “Lady Dashwood” but really created by Princess Elizabeth, the daughter of King George III. One shows Cupid, the Roman god of love, herding doves towards a temple, and the other shows him being born amongst the clouds.  

Pine Needle Floor Lamp, early 20th century

Tiffany Studios, New York

Gift of Brad Parberry

While we know the 1936 Bourn inventory for the Gentlemen’s Lounge included a Tiffany floor lamp, it did not identify the design, giving our donor an opportunity to find a unique piece worthy of the Bourns’ collection. This delicate floor harp lamp is an example of the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany, known as the master of lamps. The bronze base has a rich patina, and the shade is green opalescent slag glass encased in Tiffany’s “Pine Needle” design. The delicate bronze stem ends in a tripod set of lily pad feet. The base is signed and numbered, matching with its original shade.

See these and other newly acquired artworks on your next visit to Filoli!


Restoration Partners

Architectural Resources Group

Assessment of Historic Finishes

Donna & Eric Colson

Chandelier Restoration

Period Hunzinger Poker Table

National Trust for Historic Preservation

Chandelier Restoration

Brad Parberry

Period Pool Table

Artistic Pieces & Tiffany Lamp

Wallpaper Production

Willem Racké Studio

Redrawing the Wallpaper

Faux Wood Paint Finishes

David A. Wollenberg

Matching Gift in Honor of Filoli Volunteers

Donors

Anonymous

Alicia Bellinger 

Marcie & Jim Bertram 

Liza Bizzarro 

Gail Block 

Connie & Mark Bowles 

Linda Caprini 

Unice Chang & Harvey Fong 

Cris Crawford 

Catherine Davis 

Norma Joy Ettin 

Don & Nancy DeFever 

Janet Filippi 

Cynthia & Noel Fitzgibbon 

Carol & Don Hardesty 

Betsy & Stephen Hawley 

Susan & Derek Hine 

B. Jean Kosh 

Naomi & Bennett Kuhn 

Martha Larwood 

Janet McDonald 

Greg & Sue Mellberg 

Maureen Morley &  Robert Perkins 

Glenda & Tom Murray 

Maureen Murray-Fox 

Cynthia Nourse 

The Oshay Family Foundation 

Renette Robillard 

Suellen & Don Rottiers 

Phyllis Scaduto 

Susanne M. Seebauer 

Nancy Shannon 

Laura & Richard Simonds 

The Studio Shop 

Carol Surrell 

Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture 

Ann & Steven Terwilliger 

Lisa Thompson 

Marilyn Travis 

Trudi Tuban 

Mary & Kevin White 

Nancy Wilke