30 years of Blackman Cruz collected in a new book

Adam Blackman and David Cruz started design gallery Blackman Cruz in 1993 in Los Angeles, and it quickly became the go-to destination for exceptional antiques and contemporary design. Now a new book titled Beauty & Mischief: The Design Alchemy of Blackman Cruz and published by Cameron Books, chronicles the gallery’s history and its founders’ dramatic approach to furniture and objects. 

‘We’re merchants. We’re life enhancers,’ reads the gallery’s mission statement. ‘We hope our scope is diverse enough to tickle, intrigue and stimulate people’s sense of place and history. And maybe incite a laugh. We hope our choices provide an investigation of our moment in time and give a certain relevance in this confusing scenario we all find ourselves in.’

Blackman Cruz: 30 years of exceptional design

Blackman Cruz

Carlo Bugatti side chair, c1902. BC Workshop ‘Bombe’ chest. 19c. Italian framed mirror. Carved stone torso

(Image credit: Photography: David W. Ross. Courtesy Blackman Cruz)

The tome opens with a foreword by television writer, director and producer Ryan Murphy, for whom Blackman Cruz has provided ‘a crash course not just in style and décor, but in history’. Murphy admits arriving in LA in the late 1980s with a teal love seat from Ikea as his only piece of furniture, and finding in the gallery a treasure trove of discoveries and design information. 

‘Their curiosity was infectious,’ he writes. ‘I vividly remember Adam patiently leading me around and answering all my questions. And there were many. David would later do the same.

Blackman Cruz

(Image credit: Photography: Roger Davies. Courtesy Blackman Cruz)

‘These partners in crime have very different styles, but that is the joy of their store,’ continues Murphy. ‘In the Blackman Cruz world, everything is an exuberant mix. Their wondrous eye taught me how to furnish an interior. My first purchase was a doozy I couldn’t afford at the time, but I bought it anyway – a 1940s Italian chair upholstered in chartreuse linen.’


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