10 February 2009

Arts and Crafts Flowering Frieze

Some months ago I completed work in this unique project for the Malibu home of the illustrious Ms. Barbra Streisand. The design of the library was inspired by the "Ultimate Bungalows" built by notable Arts and Crafts architects, Greene and Greene.
I was commissioned to paint a frieze for the new library, recreated after the famous Thorsen House in Berkeley, California.

original Thorsen House rose branch frieze, painted by Charles Greene
The rose branches were originally painted by Charles Greene in 1910, on sailcloth, in a somewhat oriental style. These have, over time, discolored from smoke and aging varnish.

Ms. Streisand endeavored to include historically accurate detail in creating this room, and the library has much of the same style of joinery that make up the signature Greene and Greene woodwork. I custom-painted the Thorsen-style frieze using the same style and materials as the original,, and meticulously trimmed the the canvas panels to fit into these mouldings. Some additional painting was done on site to finesse the composition.

The addition of the floral border in the room strikes just the right balance. It's hard to describe, but the effect is stunning.

* While I was allowed to photograph my work, I was asked not to show pictures of this spectacular room itself, as it is to be published in a book the Ms. Streisand is writing.

The Thorsen House is owned and maintained by the fraternity Sigma Phi, whose members take the best possible care of their home and give spontaneous tours whenever asked. They are trying to raise the estimated $10 million needed to restore this landmark.
Please visit their website and make a donation!
frieze is in the glossary!


  1. Lynne - Looks gorgeous. Great work (as usual!). Looking forward to the AD issue. :)

  2. Beautiful! :D

    I'm part of a Barbra forum... we're all very curious about this upcoming book.

    How was it like to work with Barbra? Did you meet her personally?


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