Gentlemen’s Lounge Restoration
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!
Architectural Resources Group
Assessment of Historic Finishes
Donna & Eric Colson
Period Hunzinger Poker Table
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Period Pool Table
Artistic Pieces & Tiffany Lamp
Willem Racké Studio
Redrawing the Wallpaper
Faux Wood Paint Finishes
David A. Wollenberg
Matching Gift in Honor of Filoli Volunteers
Marcie & Jim Bertram
Connie & Mark Bowles
Unice Chang & Harvey Fong
Norma Joy Ettin
Don & Nancy DeFever
Cynthia & Noel Fitzgibbon
Carol & Don Hardesty
Betsy & Stephen Hawley
Susan & Derek Hine
B. Jean Kosh
Naomi & Bennett Kuhn
Greg & Sue Mellberg
Maureen Morley & Robert Perkins
Glenda & Tom Murray
The Oshay Family Foundation
Suellen & Don Rottiers
Susanne M. Seebauer
Laura & Richard Simonds
The Studio Shop
Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture
Ann & Steven Terwilliger
Mary & Kevin White