From Chanel to Reves: La Pausa and Its Collections at the Dallas Museum of Art (Paperback)
Wendy and Emery Reves purchased the Villa La Pausa in 1953 from the fashion icon Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, and retained the majority of furnishings, souvenirs, and books owned by the acclaimed fashion designer. The Mediterranean villa was originally built in 1927 by architect Robert Streitz under the direction of Chanel. Throughout her time at La Pausa, she decorated and remodelled the home with austere style, including 16th- and 17th-century furniture from the Duke of Westminster's collection. Along with the furnishings, new owners Wendy and Emery Reves acquired Chanel's personal library, which included numerous novels by contemporary writers of the time and some first editions by her friends, among them Jean Cocteau. The Reves continued to fill their home with their private art collection of impressionist, post-impressionist, and modern works (including Paul Cezanne, Vincent Van Gogh, Edouard Manet, Honor Daumier, Auguste Rodin). In 1983 the whole collection was donated to Dallas Museum of Art. This is a fascinating insight into both a remarkable art collection and a remarkable house - Winston Churchill was a frequent guest after the Second World War. Moreover La Pausa has just been acquired by the House of Chanel, with plans to restore it to its original decor and spirit.
Olivier Meslay is Dallas Museum of Art's Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs, Senior Curator of European and American Art, and Barbara Thomas Lemmon Curator of European Art. Martha MacLeod is MA Art History, Senior Curatorial Administrator at DMA.