The September Issue of Vogue Magazine has just hit the stands and it includes a fascinating essay on Edith Wharton written by Colm Toibin and a gorgeous photo spread by Annie Leibovitz shot at The Mount, Edith Wharton's home in Lenox, Massachusetts. This really is Edith Wharton's year! It is the 150th anniversary of her birth, there are celebrations all over the country, especially at The Mount, and now she's in Vogue. Shot on the grounds of the beautiful Berkshire retreat that Wharton designed and lived in from 1903 until 1908, these photos taken by photographer Annie Leibovitz and styled by Vogue's creative director Grace Coddington capture the gracious beauty of this autobiographical home and its grounds. It is truly one of this country's historical and literary treasures. President Theodore Roosevelt, diplomat Water Berry, writer Henry James, and sculptor Daniel Chester French were all part of Wharton's inner circle and came to stay with her there. If you get a chance to visit this area of western Massachusetts (a great destination with Tanglewood nearby and the Williamstown Theatre Festival not faraway), be sure to visit The Mount. The house and the gardens are magnificent and it is where Edith Wharton wrote her masterpiece "The House of Mirth."
Natalia Vodianova plays Edith Wharton and actress Juno Temple plays Edith's secretary Anna Bahlmann
This story in Vogue is a beautiful and creative piece and one of the best magazine layouts I have seen in a long time. The art direction and styling are simply brilliant. Entitled "Custom of the Country," it recreates Edith Wharton's inner circle by casting writers, artists and actors of today such as Jeffrey Eugenides, Elijah Wood, Jack Huston, Mamie Gummer, and Juno Temple to play Wharton's friends and colleagues who would have spent time with her at the Mount. These romantic and evocative vignettes include vintage cars, costumes, and even current Edwardian fashions off the runway. I am wondering if "Downton Abbey" influenced some of the designers this year.
Writer Jeffrey Eugenides plays Henry James; actor Elijah Wood plays Wharton's chauffeur; and actor Jack Huston plays Morton Fullerton, the man whom Wharton loved
Near the Mount is Chesterwood, the home and studio of sculptor Daniel Chester French, played here by artist Nate Lowman
This scene recreates a picnic between Henry James, Morton Fullerton and Wharton
Wharton's niece landscape designer Beatrix Farrand, played here by actress Mamie Gummer; diplomat Walter Barry, played by writer Junot Diaz; architect Ogden Codman Jr., played by writer Jonathan Safran Foer; and painter Maxfield Parrish, played by actor Max Minghella
Pick up this issue -- if you are a fan of Edith Wharton you will love the way her life at the Mount has been reimagined by Annie Leibovitz and Grace Coddington in the pages of Vogue.