Scenic Double Mirror, companion to Robert Davis’s Japanned Kneehole Desk, 2017. America, Los Angeles, California. David Wiseman (b. 1981). Bronze-casted metal, porcelain and glass. Loan courtesy of the Wunsch Americana Foundation, Inc.

Bureau table, ca. 1735. Ornament attributed to Robert Davis (d. 1739). America, Boston, Massachusetts. Maple with japanned decoration. Loan courtesy of the Wunsch Americana Foundation, Inc.


Thomas Jayne 

Decorator Thomas Jayne, founder and principal of Jayne Design Studio, will be participating in a panel discussion at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut, tonight, Thursday, November 8th at 7:00 pm. The event is free and open to the public. Held in celebration of the museum’s partnership with the Wuncsh Americana Foundation and their joint mission to highlight early American decorative arts, the topic, “Parallel Narratives: The Future of Period and Contemporary Design” will explore how the past informs and inspires contemporary design. Moderated by Architectural Digest's Decorative Arts Editor Mitchell Owens, panelists will explore the fundamental relationships between designs of the past and present. They will share insights on how historic precedents inform their work. What useable elements from the past drive today’s tastemakers and designers? What role do museums and collections have, if any, in inspiring contemporary design? Other panelists include collectors Eric and Noah Wunsch, co-directors Wunsch Americana Foundation; David Wiseman, designer and head of Wiseman Studio, California; Alexandra Gilbert, vice president, 20th century and contemporary design, Sotheby’s Home; and Rodman Primack, founder and executive director, Design Miami. In conjunction with Parallel Narratives, an exhibition of of exquisite objects representing fundamental moments in American design will be on display. The Wunsch Americana Foundation’s extraordinary Japanned bureau attributed to Boston artisan Robert Davis (d. 1739) will be exhibited with David Wiseman’s exquisite bronze-casted mirror, a contemporary take on eighteenth-century chinoiserie. Wiseman’s mirror was inspired by the bureau’s exotic birds, buildings, and flora, created through a process called japanning, an English term used to describe work that imitated East Asian lacquerwork. While separated by hundreds of years, Wiseman’s contemporary metalwork and the bureau share a unique dialogue bridging the history of decorative arts and contemporary design. 

To illustrate the connection and harmonious conversation between historic design and modern design, Thomas takes you on a brief design history tour with some of his Incollect favorites; an eclectic selection of pieces representing various periods and styles that have made their way into American homes through the ages, many of which are now considered archetypes of American furnishings.

Thomas Jayne's Incollect Picks: Design Past & Present