The “Bay Room,” conceived of in the original blueprints as a “Sewing Room,” is above the center hall and looks out over the green. One of the brightest and smallest spaces in the house, it includes Ashbery’s grandfather’s handsome desk and connects the upstairs sitting room to the Yellow Room.
This desk belonged to Henry Lawrence, John Ashbery’s grandfather, beginning in the early 1890s. He used it first at Cornell University where he was finishing a PhD in Physics. He moved the desk to his new home at 69 Dartmouth Street in Rochester in the late 1890s. When he moved permanently to Pultneyville in 1934, he took the desk with him. Ashbery brought it to the Hudson house after his mother’s death in 1987.
John Ashbery covered the walls in the front hall (the downstairs center hall), the main staircase, the upstairs center hall and the bay room in grasscloth, a popular late nineteenth-century wall covering that he first saw and liked on the walls of the Throop house (the home next door to his grandparents’ home in Pultneyville). Ashbery’s grandfather’s first cousin, Paul Holling, renovated the Throop house by putting grasscloth on the walls in 1916 when he inherited the home.
Three minor nineteenth-century French artists line the wall by (from the top): Vollon, Chintreuil (one of the “the water drinkers”), and Appian.
These lions are gifts from the decorator Edith Lutyens Bel Geddes (1907-2002), John Ashbery’s Hudson friend who shared his astrological sign: Leo.
John Ashbery and David Kermani purchased this Donald Duck pencil sharpener probably at Bobbie’s Flea Market, one of their favorite antique shops in Hudson in the late 1980s.
Winkfield created these four images in the mid-1970s. The two (top to bottom) are: Marine Architecture and Marine Furniture (1976), which he painted in Leeds after a decade not painting. Tablecloth (1976) is also from this period. The lithograph, Interior Plan, is from 1978.
After his exhibition at Tibor de Nagy in 1990, Robin Utterback (1949-2007) gave John Ashbery Interior with Bongos (1987) as a gift.
John Ashbery purchased these small wooden shelves in the 1980s from antique dealer Vito Giallo.
John Ashbery added this convex mirror ball to the bay room in the mid-1980s. It is one of several convex mirrors–of the others were gifts–that hang in the house and apartment.