Joan Hornig


"“No woman should be ashamed of success”

I had made a mistake on the time for Joan.  She was the artist I was very nervous to interview.  The heat was brutal so even though we were only 6 blocks from our airbnb we took a cool taxi and got up the hill with our equipment.  We walked into a huge marble black and white tile foyer, and were immediately instructed by the staff to sit down.  Gratefully in the cool lobby we sat about ½ hour early for our 3 o’clock appointment. I had some insight from another artist about Joan, that she always wore shades of gray that matched her long lovely hair, and that she was very elegant and gracious.  I had spoken with her on the phone before flying in and I was taken by her generosity and accommodating demeanor. The staff hustled about and announced that Mrs.Joan Hornig was approaching!  Hardy and I sat like children on the ottoman waiting for her arrival, but at this moment we stood up. In the door strides a tall elegant woman with a large gray sun hat and heels, talking sternly onto the phone. She wore an off the shoulder gray top with a gray leather skirt with a zipper in the front. She brushes her hand and says to us, it’s early.  I said we can wait and she looks at us in the eye and says No, come on up. She puts the phone down and says, it’s my daughter.  Does it ever get better?  I was shocked by her candor and responded (having 2 daughters myself) I hope so.  She laughed and that broke the ice. Hardy and I walk behind her as she walks to the elevator.  We have to take the service elevator as the regular elevator was out of service.  I noted the 1800’s intricate wood carving on the elevator walls.  When the doors open my eyes could not see all of the work in her home at once.  There was art wall to wall from David Smith to Brancusi and Picasso with Chuck Close.  There was not a wasted inch of space and everything was integrated into the environment. The pillows on the couch were extensions of the art.  The light poured into the room as Hardy and I set up for our job.  She dropped onto the couch looked me in the eye, 2 complete strangers in her home and said “Ask me anything.” After the interview she showed us into the dining room where the 30 foot burled wood buffet table was covered with her jewelry designs as if set for a dinner party.  I touched every piece and asked questions.  She was so smart, direct, funny and generous, and I was immediately put at ease. I loved everything she said, and everything about her, but I had best to keep that to myself. She is unimpressed with compliments.  She is an action person.
Hardy Klahold