As a successful fine arts photographer and jewelry designer, Monica Rich Kosann would place herself in what she describes as the “memory business”—the motive behind her recently launched online magazine, A Fine Art of Family. One of the columns featured in the magazine is “What is Your Heirloom?” and Kosann is interviewing incredibly fascinating people about what they hold dear. Two of her subjects were present at A Fine Art of Family’s gathering on December 1—Tony Goldwyn (below), the actor and director, and Josie Natori (above, left, with Kosann) the designer whose accomplishments also include being a concert pianist with the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra at age nine, and becoming a first Vice President of Merrill Lynch.
On this night, fashion, beauty and lifestyle bloggers, as well as Karen Robinovitz of Purple Lab NYC, gathered for an intimate evening at a Town & Country-decorated townhouse at Soho Mews. Each guest received a vintage postcard upon arriving and they were asked to write down a story or memory regarding an heirloom they brought to the event.
“An heirloom is anything—a piece of clothing, a great vintage vest at a second hand shop, or a scarf from your grandma that perhaps inspired you to do a whole collection,” explained Kosann. Food and recipes serve as heirlooms. The creation of a new recipe is the start of a new memory and heirloom. The same holds for travel.
Kosann shared her heirloom that night—a coffee mug with the name Agnes on it. “All I did my whole youth was hide the mug because I didn’t want anyone to know my middle name is Agnes!” she said. “What I love about my middle name is that it is my grandmother and great aunt’s first name.”
Kosann is first generation American; her mother is Austrian and father is Hungarian. The mug belonged to her great aunt, and reminds her of her European roots. “When I was younger, and everyone had peanut butter & jelly on Wonder Bread, I had black bread with liverwurst and sliced peppers, and my mother would whip up apple strudel for my friends and me, rather than cupcakes and cookies.”
Today, Kosann is proud of her middle name and her mother’s recipes because they remind her of her strong European roots. She recently found a Christmas card her great aunt wrote to her, which inspired the idea of writing heirlooms on a post card for the event.
“Who writes anymore?” asked Kosann. “No one takes the time to write a card or letter, which I think is really nice to do.”
The magazine A Fine Art of Family highlights the arts, fashion, heirlooms, photography, home style, and jewelry. Kosann’s jewelry collection features vintage pieces that are memories-based, sentimental, and sensitive to the designer. “I love when jewelry tells a story, even a simple charm,” she said.
“Memories are universal to all of us, and we live them through fashion, style, travel, food…and that’s why we launched A Fine Art of Family,” said Kosann. “It is a great opportunity in media where no one is really focusing on the concept of memories and heirlooms.”
For more information, go to www.fineartoffamily.com.