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Art Apartment

Manhattan apartment gets a Memphis art makeover.



Over a thousand miles from her hometown, Memphis native Louise Gore inadvertently brought a bit of Bluff City charm into her new home in the Big Apple.

Gore, who has been living in New York since high school, teamed up with New York-based interior designer Hillary Unger to redesign Gore's new Upper West Side apartment in Manhattan. The result is an accidental gallery of Memphis art.

Unger's redesign, which included considerable reconstruction to the apartment's living room, dining room, and bathroom, was centered around Gore's art collection, most of which happens to be made up of work from Memphis artists, including Greely Myatt, Tim Crowder, Burton Callicott, and Louise's younger sister, Kat Gore. Gore acquired the majority of her collection from the David Lusk Gallery in Memphis over the years.

Both Gore and Unger pointed out that exclusively displaying artwork from Memphis was a happy accident.

"We didn't realize the Memphis connection until the project was nearly completed," Unger said.

"It's kind of ironic," Gore added. "There's plenty of art here in New York, but it worked out that almost every time I went home, I would bring back another piece of art."

While the selection of art on display in Gore's apartment was far from deliberate, Unger seemed convinced of Gore's inherent attraction to Memphis art. So the designer let the tones set by Gore's love of folk art shape the redesign.

"[The artwork] really made the apartment her own," Unger said. "Louise was bringing home back with her."

University of Memphis art professor Greely Myatt's Fancy Assortment, which adorns Gore's dining room wall with its arrangement of colorful vintage tins in the shape of a cartoon thought bubble, serves as the aesthetic highlight of the apartment.

Other notable pieces include Tim Crowder's amusing Tell the Bees, which welcomes visitors as the focal point of the apartment's foyer. Eric Rhein's wire bird drawings from his 1997 "Humming Bird Series" are suspended in the living room.

Unger's design portfolio has received nods from The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Apartment Therapy.

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