Second Floor Sitting Room

The sitting room, also sometimes referred to as the television room, is the most personal and comfortable upstairs room.  (It is also the only room in the house with a TV.)  Although the room is smaller than some of the others, it includes more places to sit and put down a drink: two couches, two chairs, and two coffee tables.

All the art in this room was created by friends.  Works on the wall are by James Bishop, Nell Blaine, Elaine de Kooning, Anne Dunn, Helen Frankenthaler, Jane Freilicher, Jean Helion, Rodrigo Moynihan, John Wells and Trevor Winkfield.  A portrait of Ashbery by his friend R.B. Kitaj leans against the fireplace on the floor.  All the books in the room are by poets.

Other things in the room contribute to its feeling of intimacy: the collection of Staffordshire figurines on the mantel piece, many (like the dogs, for example) collected because he remembered ones like it in his grandparents’ home; the collection of miniature houses; the shelves of miniature shoes, a collection started with one owned by his grandmother and further inspired by a present from the poet James Tate; David Kermani’s bronzed baby shoes; and Henry Lawrence’s (Ashbery’s maternal grandfather) college fraternity vest, hanging on a doorknob since 2009.