Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chicago's Primitive Fashion

(Japanese wood block prints "Kuchi-e" 1890-1915)

This Sunday, my two year old toddled off with his aunt to a Greek Festival and I had some free time! Out came my growing pile of unread periodicals. I started with a months worth of the New Yorker . Then, after reading the article entitled "Chicago Style" in the September 14th issue by columnist contributor Patricia Marx, I was compelled to put down the magazines and hit the world wide web. She mentions many highlights of the city, but it was her use of a quote by another writer to describe Primitive that got me out of my chair and to the computer to learn more. She relied on Julian Street's 1941 description of Marshall Field & Company as "a phantasmagoria of things with which civilizaiton has encumbered the human race" as an apt pictorial of Primitive. The owners, Glen Joffe and Claudia Morgan have traveled the world and sell items they have acquired from the one hundred and fifty cultures they have visited.
From Tantric crowns(shown left) to Kuchi-e wood block prints, the inventory is mind boggling. So, while my little one went to a Greek Festival, I followed Glen and Claudia's footprints across the globe as I browsed their merchandise. While I enjoyed seeing a bed(shown right) from the Senufo people of the Ivory Coast, I am happy to retire to my traditional four poster with a mattress and box spring rather than on that piece. I truly admire the owners' travels and their stated mission of presenting the items they found "meritorious and meaningful".

East side on the second floor

Alcove sculpture to Ante room.

Buddha room located on the second floor.

Buddha room

The Buddha "events" room which is available for private parties.

For more information about the store and its amazing collection, visit

1 comment:

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

wow - I want to hold an event in the Buddha room! Gorgeous!

I love the dignity of these rooms ... living in a space like that would almost make me feel like a grownup!