Jackie O’s interior designer, Richard Keith Langham, is coming to Jacksonville. What an opportunity we have to hear from the man that Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis chose to be her designer.
“I hope life gives you back all the nice things that you put into it for other people,” Mrs. Onassis wrote to Langham on the back of a postcard of the Louvre in Paris.
Master storytellers create tales that capture us with equal parts intrigue, magic, and comfort. There is something in their story that is familiar, but also a part that drives you to think and to question what you thought you knew. Their descriptions bring scenes to life and certain details resound with sentiment. These storytellers inspire you.
Richard Keith Langham is a master storyteller. The tales he constructs, however, are rooms… and ones in which you can live your life.
Mr. Langham, a native Southerner, began soaking up lessons from grand Southern ladies at an early age. He took his experiences in Alabama to Park Avenue in Manhattan and began his career creating captivating rooms for the likes of Pat Buckley and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Mrs. Onassis was not only a client to Mr. Langham but a dear friend. He says, “She was grand and humble all at once.”
According to Vanity Fair, “The last refurbishing was done, eerily, in the bedroom where she was to die. Only months before she became ill, Langham replaced the bed hangings with Scalamandre glazed cotton in “Tuileries,” a lavenderandsalmon pattern of undulating vines and small flowers. Says Langham, “It’s almost as if she knew what was going to happen.”
A peek inside of her style thought-process can be seen in the letters and sketches, recently auctioned in Manhattan, that she sent to Langham.
When Mr. Langham moved to Manhattan, he worked under the tutelage of Mark Hampton, father to Art & Antiques Show Friday lecturer Alexa Hampton. Under his guide, as well as Keith Irvine, Mr. Langham developed an aesthetic grounded in English sensibility but accented with his sense of whimsy and polished with exquisite trim.
Since the opening of his eponymous firm in 1990, Richard Keith Langham has been designing homes for storied clientele and consistently appearing on Architectural Digest’s AD 100 and Elle Décor’s A-List.
With some creators, experience and age can lure them into repetition. What was once a fresh detail can become stale and lose its originality. Thankfully, that is not the case with Mr. Langham. He is as fearless and original now as he was when he began.
Whether he is telling a dramatic tale with a black-walled entryway featuring a Baccarat console or reminding us that chintz can still be chic, Mr. Langham’s craft is still as capturing and magical as when he first began. I like to think that talent comes from tapping into his Southern heritage. After all, Southerners do tell some of the grandest stories.
Come on Saturday, December 5th at 10:00 A.M. to hear master designer Richard Keith Langham share his stories and expertise in his lecture “If These Walls Could Talk.” Lecture tickets are $30 and include show admission. Please visit www.wchwomensboard.com to reserve your tickets.