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Gray Horan on Greta Garbo

gray goran greta garbo  gray goran greta garbo
Gray Horan, 2005

Gray Horan's 2005 Interview for Architectural Digest

On their kinship:

Greta Garbo was my great aunt. My grandfather and she were sister and brother. My grandfather had one child, my mother. So, we have a very small family and she was my only great aunt and I was her only great niece. So it was very special and I really recognize that now.

On her reputation:

Her reputation, I think was created by others, not necessarily by Garbo. I think they tributed a lot to her out of frustration. She did not grant interviews to the press for the last sixty years of her life. Maybe 70 years of her life she just was very private.

On her art collection:

Garbo was always interested in art and collecting. She knew about what she collected, she studied it, she went galleries, she went to museum exhibits, she pursuit beautiful objects, art and antiques on the European continent and in the United States.

Interestingly, a very hefty component of her collection, which included three Renmarks and a Bonnard were all acquired the year has after she stopped making Hollywood films in 1942 and that may have had something to do with the beginning of the war and it might have been a sort of seen as a very strategic place to invest in but she did continue to collect and collected very earnestly and very deliberately throughout her life time.

On her own art:

She said to me one time: "If i hadn't been....I would have been good at whatever I had set up to do."

She had that great natural confidence and she was a designer, an artist, I think to a core, certainly and when she was not more longer acting, she applied that artistic approach to her collecting, her interieur design, she did paint and she made a number of rugs that she designed. She painted the designs out and they were called Birds in Flight and they were very post modern.

Very lively and very colorful and she made them with  V'Soske's rugs, a place in New York that would then contract for the handmade manifacturing and she took great pride in them and her hallway had this beautful pink and green and huge rug that she had designed and it was very successful.

On visitor's

Her home was a sanctuary. You didn't get in there uninvited and when you came to her home there were sort of rooms that would then open up onto other rooms and she would maybe let some people in to the first room, the foyer but it would be very tantalizing because you really wouldn't get beyond that.

I went in all the rooms and that was a real trek and I knew that that was a trek but she was very private, very protective, not really showing in any way. She lived with her things very comfortably and she entertained in her home but it was always a very quiet type of entertainment.

On her favorite room

Her living room was immense. It's a very large room for New York and it has a sweeping 180 degree view of the East River from the UN, down and it's just a magnificantly sunfilled space. It was covered with fantastic paintings, very colorful, very lively.

Beautiful Savonnerie rug, Louis XV and Louis XVI furniture, fortuny fabric. I mean, it was just so rich and so colorful, so happy, so I think that it really revealed a side to her, that loved beautiful things and loved color and vibrancy.

Copyright © Architectural Digest, 2005

Garbo's Apartment in New York - Introduction
Location of the Flat
Layout of the Flat
Inside the Flat
Neighberhood of 450 East 52nd Street
They said...
Gray Horan on Greta Garbo

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