At 90 years of age, Dallas socialite Betty ("Boop") Blake and arbiter of art is redecorating (reupholstering) with longtime friend and design collaborator Joseph Minton. Her mid-century modern mid-rise apartment lends itself as a showcase for notable works of art by Josef Albers, Joan Miró, Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, Claes Oldenburg, and others, as well as for perhaps more notable pieces designed by another old friend of hers, legendary British interior designer Syrie Maugham.
To hear more about and see photos of Blake's home,
In the D Magazine article about Blake's home, Minton declined to speculate about the worth of Blake's Maugham pieces (including original, never reupholstered ones), but beats around the bush by saying, "let's just say they are very, very rare." Alongside the modern art and Maugham treasures are Louis XV-style chairs around a 1950s marble-top dining table, a pair of Knoll tables beside a Maison sofa, and a smattering of grand antique hand-me-downs from Blake's mother's estate. Of this unorthodox mixture, Blake poses, "because having all of only one thing would be dull, don't you think?" A bona fide art connoisseur, Blake opened the Betty McLean Gallery in Preston Center, Texas in 1951, which was the state's first contemporary art gallery. She has also lent "tremendous support to regional artists and museums." While her relationship with the art world may explain her inclination to redecorate, she inspires us all by asking, "Is there ever a time not to enjoy good design?"