Connoisseur, musician, preservationist, curator, writer, and designer, Michael Boyd has demonstrated that good taste is not in the eye of the beholder, but rather is a cultural commodity that takes a lifetime to develop, perfect, and bring to the absolute. Living with good taste is a vision, a commitment, a discipline to respect and constantly explore the universal expression of aesthetics.
Michael’s taste for the objects by the pioneers of the Modern Movement has guided him through his eternal expedition into the learning, appreciation, and connoisseurship of design. While Modernism triumphed in the early part of the 20th century, ruling over architecture and design with an iron fist for decades, when Michael purchased his first piece of modernist furniture—the seed from which his immense collection, passion and career would grow— modernism was declared dead. It was considered harsh, elitist, egotistical, and outdated; people were relieved to finally be free of it. It was in the late 70s that Michael discovered modernism and immediately recognized its genius, heroic allure, and historical value.
He was among the first to recognize that modernism was still alive and compelling, not simply a trend adapted by rich American corporations—as was often argued by the proponents of postmodernism—but was instead the ultimate expression of quality and timelessness. In his self-taught journey that brought him into the world of design and architecture, discovering past masterpieces by the heroes of modernism like Le Corbusier, Jean Prouve, Eileen Gray, and Carlo Mollino, he came to realize that these principles were guiding him into forging his life and subsequent magnificent career. Michael became the number one player in the newly formed market of collectible design before the fairs, before the galleries, and before making headlines. He was the pioneer. From there, he dove into the world of architectural masterpieces: homes designed by the legends who created the influential residences of their time. Preserving them is his own contribution to architecture culture. And finally, creating his own design. Furniture, rugs, all manifest the simplicity, striving for the perfect proportions, for the balanced shapes, and practicing what he learned from years of collecting.
Living with great design is a philosophy. It is far from the realm of fashion, trends, and forecasts. When you live with design, you are inspired every day by pieces that stimulate your existence, your life, the way you spend your time, your travels, the people in your life, and your relationships—and they are all informed by that passion.
This evening, we are going to celebrate Michael’s new book MILLENNIUM MODERN Living in Design, which illustrates his holistic design practice from collecting to preservation of historic homes, to designing furniture and rugs, all rooted in his powerful taste. Millennium, to represent 20 years before and 20 years after the turn of the millennium.