Feb. 17, 2012 Tennessean
When you enter The Zen of Seeing: Selections From the Albert Hadley Interior Design Collection, you may be underwhelmed by the number of sketches visible. Despair not: Along with the many volumes of decorating books in display cases, there are plenty of the legendary designer’s sketches to see — on paper or on screen.
The Zen of Seeing is on view in the Nashville Public Library’s first-floor art gallery through June 3.
Nine framed sketches on the gallery’s rear wall include several that were made while Hadley was a student. These show an already impressive eye for the elegant yet comfortable interiors Hadley would come to be known for as well as a fluid drawing style turning design renderings into sophisticated little pictures.
Some are full of movement, especially the ink drawings seen in a five-minute slideshow of sketches on tracing paper, yellow legal pad, etc. Shown on a wall-mounted screen, this parade of images includes notes from grateful clients and inscriptions in books documenting Hadley’s career and design philosophy.
The Tennessee native moved to New York in 1947 after serving in World War II. He became the younger half of the influential design team of Parish-Hadley with “Sister” Parish; their first gig was the Kennedy White House. Later, Hadley designed the vice presidential residence of the Gores.
Hadley retired in 2010.
The library is at 615 Church St. Hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and 2-5 p.m. Sundays. There is no admission fee.
For more information, call 615-862-5800 or go to www.library.nashville.org.
—By MiChelle Jones, For The Tennessean