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What is magic? What is art?

Musings

What is magic? What is art?

Megan Harrod

My dear friend Beatrix Ost knows both art and magic all too well.

As I sit here on this sunny Saturday morning in Park City, imbibing Stumptown Hair Bender espresso out of my Portland Doug Fir mug, I'm planning my annual trip to NYC and another potential maiden voyage...this time to the south to visit friend/mentor, style icon and mistress of magic Beatrix Ost at her farm (aka "Estouteville" estate) in Keene, VA. Feel very blessed to know and learn from Beatrix...she may be the most fascinating human being I know—and that's saying a lot. Look her up.

Here's a little excerpt from a piece about the farm, and a couple of links to articles about their humble abodes. Her NYC spot has become my safe haven when traveling to the Big Apple:

'Where does style live?

Is it found in a teacup, a pair of boots, the lift of a chin in a photo? Is art embodied in a perfect square made of daffodils, or a painting hung on the ceiling? Can a way of life, or a network of people, be designed, just like a skirt or a chair?

Here’s one answer, larger than life. It dwells at the end of a driveway in Keene, where the name of the estate is hand-lettered on a simple wooden sign. “Estouteville.” Follow the long drive up the hill, and it’s just like approaching many of Albemarle’s big historic farms—curving road through verdant landscape—until oddities begin to present themselves. A patch of spring flowers in the grass, shaped like an arrow. A red, spiderlike form suspended over the drive. A standing dead tree painted pink.

Germans by birth (they moved to the U.S. in 1975), they’ve made Albemarle one of their primary homes for the last 33 years. The location called to them in 1982, when Ost swung a pendulum over a map of the East Coast. It pointed to Estouteville, which happens to be a grand enough place to match the couple’s aesthetic and social ambitions.

Asked why they have stayed so long, their answers amount to the same reasons cited by many people here: the beauty of the countryside combined with the cultural offerings of Charlottesville. And, of course, Estouteville is no slouch of a dwelling. “The house is like an Italian villa,” says Ost. “We fell in love with it and never out of it.”'

Tour the NYC Pad
Tour the Estouteville Pad

Can't wait to reconnect with Beatrix. Her storytelling is magic. She is magic. Her style is art. She is art.