Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sam's Mural, Paper or Paint?, Part II

It is funny how one thing always leads to another, isn't it?

Connectivity NEVER ceases to amaze me.

Early the morning after I first photographed Don Jacobs on a ladder painting a chinoiserie mural at one client's home, another client PGW and I left Jackson heading for Oxford and her antique club meeting and luncheon, no cute suitcases this time, just a day trip!

Mural artist Don Jacobs in my client's foyer outside Jackson

Our precise destination was "Magnolia Hill", 
a stately Georgian Colonial Revival 
situated on twenty beautiful 
acres right in the heart of Oxford, Mississippi,
and the home of 
Sam and Mary Donnelly Haskell. 

Sam and Mary have recently returned to Mississippi from Los Angeles where Sam rose from the mail room to Vice President and Worldwide Head of Television for 
the William Morris Agency.

(You may have read Sam's recent 
and highly acclaimed book
Promises I Made My Mother.
If not, I highly recommend it!)

When we arrived at "Magnolia Hill" 
and walked through the front door,
we were welcomed by Sam 

Oil portrait of Sam over the mantle in his study.
There are photos of his friends and former clients all over the house.

and a soaring and beautiful 
sepia toned mural in the foyer. 

Sam greeted us with the warmest of Mississippi hospitality (indeed his mother taught him well and would be very proud) and a lovely tray of mimosas, and he began telling us his enthralling stories and how his home incorporates those stories in both big and small ways.

The vast and unbelievably 
detailed mural combines
meaningful locations from the Haskells' lives including Amory where Sam grew up and 
Pride Station, Alabama, from where Mary's family hails, along with buildings at Ole Miss and trees and scenery from the 
piney woods of Mississippi.

This part of the mural features Sam's hometown of Amory, MS, including the movie theater where Sam honed his early knowledge of movie stars.
The recess in this wall was especially designed for the ballroom pier mirror, one of the few pieces rescued from a fire at Mary's grandmother's home. 

Mary's grandmother's home in Pride Station, AL, with its adjoining cotton fields,
 is depicted going up the stairwell. 

  And guess who painted Sam's special mural?  Why none other than my friend and artist
 Don Jacobs whom I had left behind 
working on a mural in Jackson!

Don worked on this masterpiece at
 "Magnolia Hill" for four months, ten hours a day, with artist's brushes.

As I mentioned in my last post, I first met Don when he painted a powder room mural for a designer showhouse that we were both working on quite a few years ago.  

Another designer who was working at the Mississippi Governor's Mansion saw Don's powder room mural at the showhouse and recommended Don to then
 Governor Hailey Barbour
for a project at the Governor's Mansion. 

It's funny how one thing always leads
to another, isn't it?

Mississippi Governor's Mansion, one of the oldest in the country

Don painted a wonderful sepia toned, room sized mural, featuring scenes and foliage from all areas of the state, covering all the walls in a meeting room at the Governor's mansion.

He worked on it seven hours a day, 
for four months with artists brushes.

Then in a meeting with then
 Governor Hailey Barbour, Sam Haskell mentioned that he wanted a special mural painted by a Mississippi artist in the foyer of "Magnolia Hill."

And of course Don Jacobs was the recommended artist!

It's funny how one thing always leads
to another, isn't it?

A view of Pride Station, AL, from the second floor of "Magnolia Hill"

After a tour and many wonderful stories, we were treated to beautiful and delicious buffet luncheon on the back terrace.

A view of the back of the property from the terrace

I adore the inclusion of the fresh okra in the luncheon tablescape.

Thank you, Sam and Mary, for your wonderful Mississippi hospitality, 
and you PGW for a lovely day.

Sam signed copies of Promises I made My Mother for us.
Here my friend Cathy White!

It is funny how one thing always leads to another and how everything is connected,
 isn't it?

Speaking of that, stay tuned for Part III of
"Paper or Paint" and where the road does lead!

What do you think of the painted murals?

Do you like the monochromatic sepia toned murals or more colorful ones?

To see more of Don Jacobs' 
fabulous artwork, murals, 
and decorative finishes
CLICK HERE or contact me for 
more information.

Don Jacobs
Artist, Muralist, Decorative Painter, and MORE!
Thanks, Don!

photo credits:  Labougle, Marilyn Storey, Don Jacobs


  1. So beautiful Marilyn!! I don't think I could choose - very different looks and both lovely!

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