Privilege Blog

Family Portraits. In The Year 2010.

My father turned 79 the other day. We gathered, some of us, for dinner.

We ate in the dining room.

Among family.

We gave my dad a birthday present. All the kids contributed. As I have said, we’re talking a rather dwindling sort of fortune.

What do you give a man who feels like this about his dog?

Why this, of course.

I wasn’t sure it he would like it. He did.

“Family,” and “Portrait,” broadly defined.

First 3, LPC, 4th, family, 5th, Hoop Dog Studio via Stuff in St. Louis, MO. They have more dogs of all kinds. And Casey, one of the owners, is extra nice.
First seen here at Miss Cavendish’s lovely blog, which I had forgotten!

*I feel the usual odd mix of embarrassment and pride in the family artifacts. But never mind. That’s for me to manage. And you to tell me if I overstep. We aren’t related to the African statues, as far as I know.

45 Responses

  1. I love the dog portrait! But I love the familial ones more. I have a dear, dear freind who has some similar. One I think is a Gilbert Stuart. She wants to sell the portraits to raise funds to open a restaurant. The idea makes me very sad. (Her style of home is exaclty like yours with the stately and primitive art side by side). I loved the peek into your life. Also, can we talk about WASP food someday? What is on those plates?

  2. I love that dog chair! Really missing my old Golden, especially after seeing a fairly local news story about an older GR that saved his 11-year old boy from a cougar attack!! Mine used to keep the raccoons slightly at bay, at least (how are your raccoons doing, by the way — is your silence on that matter a concession of defeat or discretion around triumph?)
    Anyway, back on topic . . . looks like a lovely family meal was enjoyed in a comforting, beautiful, well-appointed home — Happy Birthday to your Father!

  3. Refreshing to see that my family is not the only one whose house is filled with such portraits. Do you know who the artist is?

    Also, love the dog.

  4. I love your Dad's sweater and shoes. I would so totally wear those. (I know, I know it sounds wierd since I'm a gal, but I love men's clothes – what can I say?)

  5. I can't remember the last time we ate in the dining room. Probably because it's covered with my laptop, camera stuff and table top studio. It makes a hell of an office!

    It's so nice you got to spend time with your dad and your family to celebrate his birthday, and I LOVE the gift you got him!

  6. What a beautiful table and the flowers are gorgeous!
    I love the juxtapostion of 19th Century portraits with the portrait of the dog on the chair.

  7. What a beautiful, elegant dining room! And I love the dog chair. I am more of a cat person, but I do appreciate a gentle, big dog like that. You are so lucky to still have your dad around. I wish you many more birthdays with him.

  8. Oh I need one of those chairs, with my bunny of course.

    I also need some family portraits, in oils preferably.

  9. I love the family portaits, and the ambiance amid candlelight. The table runner looks like an arts and crafts style, is there a source that you could refer me to? It would be lovely on my dining room table too.
    The chair is very whimsical and as a former owner of a Golden Retriever, who still misses him BTW, I would have loved one for my porch. Besides, what does one buy for a gentleman of 79 who by the sounds of his privileged lineage, probably has most things.

  10. So sweet. I know your dad really appreciated having you guys there for his birthday. I like the chair…nice and colorful.

  11. You got one!!! Is it wonderful? (It looks wonderful!) The colors are so cheerful.

    We just picked up our 100-lb golden retriever after two weeks at Christmas camp (kennel). My son just sits on her (he's 4).

  12. What a fun present! I have a hard time with my father in law (Dad passed on many years ago) who doesn't want or need anything at all. Always a good idea to tune in to their interests and follow their joy.

  13. Happy Birthday to your Dad! The best gifts are those that pull at the heartstrings! The flower arrangement is fabulous! I'm gushing, aren't I?!

    Happy New Year!!

  14. Lovely china and silver. My daughter tells me she thinks the portraits are Harrisons; can I ask if she's correct? I am terrible at that kind of thing…
    Happy Birthday to your father!
    And you are always so gracious, no fear of overstepping.

  15. Thank you all. I will do some research on provenance and attribution:). Clearly not up to snuff this morning, since I HAD FORGOTTEN I SAW THESE ON MISS CAVENDISH'S BLOG! Oversight, now rectified…We do love my dad. He's a pretty good egg.

  16. Happy Birthday to your very stylish father, glad he loved that fabulous chair. DOn't worry, never a chance of overstepping.
    Enjoy your week.

  17. Happy New Year, LPC!!! I LOVE that chair. That is a family portrait that is a real treasure. I am so happy he liked it.

  18. LPC,The chair is just the perfect touch.I am sure that it will be well used. Have you thought of cushion?(For the dog)


  19. Oh dear–was not fishing for an acknowledgment (blushing furiously). (But is it wonderful? I'm coveting a bespoke paired bulldog chair . . .)

  20. Oh Miss LPC, what a stellar gift selection for your father. Absolutely perfect, especially for one who likely has everything he needs, and then some. The table looks divine, elegant but not overly formal, one can eat in comfort it seems, always a plus.

    Happy, Happy New Year to you!

  21. I love this post, and from what I can see of your dad, he looks like he will be very handsome in that chair! Having lost my own father this year, I can only say how lucky you are to be able to share a birthday with him!
    Hoping you had a swell time ringing in the new year and I'm looking forward to many more of your wonderful posts!

    xo Mary Jo

  22. The chair is a piece of art. We only meant to honor the sentiment, but in fact, it's gorgeous.

  23. Dear LPC,

    Please do not worry about over stepping. The title of this blog is Privlege, not under-privledged. I expect to get a glimpse of your angle of the world. That's why I'm here! I adore your writing and enjoy reading about your upbringing and how it influences your life. Please carry on. I have a blog mostly dedicated to decorating and cooking. I'm adding you as a favorite because I can. Yippee!


  24. That chair really is perfection. The perfect balance of kitsch and sentiment and style I think. And your dinner looked so beautiful!

  25. Love the runner, love the chair, and love the way your father dresses. Having a father who has major personality problems, I envy you your good relationship.

  26. All heirlooms are part of the family and makes our history interesting to pass down. Happy birthday to daddy dear. :)

  27. I love the way the dining room looks, with the candles, simple glasses, flowers — elegant, but not fussy.
    I think the portraits are awesome. I wish I had more images of my ancestors, instead of just a handful of faded black and white snapshots.
    From the Hong Kong side, we do have some heirlooms and photographs; from the mainland Chinese side, we have none.
    Why be embarrassed? You should be proud of your family history.

  28. That looks like a perfect gift for the man who probably has everything, including a loving family and a wonderful companion.

    p.s. We have those same African statues. Maybe you and I are related. *wink*

  29. the portrait on the right does look Gilbert Stuart-y.

    Happy Birthday to your Dad! Present giving is hard when they've had a lifetime to gather things – especially when other lifetime's things are handed down too. What a great tribute to your Dad's buddy!

    My father turns 80 this May (knock on wood) and we've gotten him a lovely colored sketch of a tugboat by a local maritime artist. The tug is named Arthur (it's flying an Arthur flag) – guess what Dad's name is? ;-)

  30. You all are very kind. Thank you for the reassurance. If any of you have any doubts or worries you'd like comforted in return, just raise your hand:). I'm on it.

  31. All perfection.

    Aren't we all a little voyeuristic when it comes to peeking into homes. Thanks for allowing us to see a few of your cherished treasures.

  32. Such a sweet post…and a great gift! It's all quite perfect, actually, isn't it?


  33. Late to the party, but wanted to say that the table, the portraits and the dog chair are all so lovely.

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