The powerful drama-filled paintings of Jules Maidoff adorn the walls of private and public art collections worldwide. A foreign local, Jules grew up in the Bronx, and moved to Florence, Italy in 1973, to pursue his passion for art. He is the co-founder of SACI, Studio Arts College International, and has held over 60 solo exhibitions throughout Europe. At the age of 86, he continues a prolific artistic career as a painter and acclaimed patron of the arts.

“Florence changed my life.”

In his painting studio at home we chat about art, inspiration and his current musings. Surrounded by paintings archived chronologically from the 1950’s to the present, Jules sits reflectively on a swivel chair, chewing on an unlit Cuban cigar, in front of his latest work “The Last Leap”.

What inspires you to create? The delightful thing about living in Europe is the totally diverse culture, language, architecture, food and the traditional way of doing things. It’s always stimulating. Eighty percent of what inspires me comes from before I was an adult—the elderly, cousins, how we formed and tested friendships, growing up in NY, my father… My father urged me to draw when I was five. He gave me a big pile of yellow paper and I thought art was a very natural way of spending my time.

What attracted you to your studio? The space was inside and outside. I’ve always had a studio where I live. 

What are your workspace essentials? Classical music on the radio, the right chair and my easel. An iron-maker made the easel I designed. I have two, so if I have a big picture I can use both. 

How many pictures do you work on at a time? Typically 3 to 4 pictures. 

What’s on your Instagram? Pictures of my granddaughter, pictures of my paintings, things from my house and an occasional video. 

What’s on your nightstand? Pens, medicine boxes, Vicks VapoRub, scissors, comb, eyeglasses, radio and a Sicilian sculpture. 

Which artwork do you most value? “The Embrace” I painted it in 1980, it opened up new years of discovery. 

What object do you most value? A crazy Asian god that I bought somewhere from South East Asia when I was 23 maybe 25. 

What are you reading? “The Complete Works of Arthur Conan Doyle” 

A favourite place to visit in Florence? Museo Marino Marini

What was your last online purchase? A pair of white sneakers.

PS: Thank you Jules for sharing your passion for art!



Ciao Florence!

In a city that many say stays the same, Florence has proven that historic spaces and traditional food can be reinvented. Originally opened in 1896 as Florence’s first hardware store, La Ménagère was transformed by the Florentine architecture and design firm Q-Bic into a chic retail and dining destination. The stylish locale—now home to a revamped home-goods store, restaurant, bistro, music venue, and flower shop—boasts minimally set tables, large orchids suspended from the building’s historical vaulted ceilings, and a variety of designer lighting set against a mix of ancient stone surfaces.

Italian food is regional and Florentine flavors hold their own. Located opposite the famous Caffè GilliIrene is one of the most recent additions to Florence’s modern dining scene. The restaurant is helmed by director of food Fulvio Pierangelini, whose previous restaurant received two Michelin stars. Reserve ahead to secure a spot on the outdoor terrace.  The upscale Italian food court above the city’s historical Mercato Centrale boasts an intriguing array of craft beers and local wines available by the glass, as well as Tuscany’s finest artisanal salami, cheese, pasta, and chocolate.

Hotel Spadai opened last year after undergoing a renovation led by Rome-based architect Franco Bernardini. Located in a Renaissance-style building in the historical center of Florence, the hotel blends traditional architecture and contemporary Italian décor with American-friendly amenities. After a day of sight-seeing, enjoy an aperitivo at Spadai’s lounge bar or take in the beautiful evening view of the dramatically illuminated Duomo from the top of the spiral staircase.

Portrait Firenze, owned by the Ferragamo family, this five-star, all-suite hotel sets a high standard for style; each spacious and elegantly furnished room is an homage to Florentine craftsmanship. The hotel’s immense windows overlook the Ponte Vecchio, the Arno River, and the hillside to Fiesole, just like a scene from A Room with a View.

This post was adapted from ‘Weekender' that ran in Boston Home Magazine in May 2016.

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Buongiorno Florence!

On the heels of fashion week in Florence, Pitti Immagine Filati launched the anticipated 2018 Spring/Summer lifestyle trends for the textile and knitwear industry. Before fashion hits the catwalk, this is where it all takes shape. An exhibition titled "The Passenger," dedicated to all things travel, was the centerpiece for revealing the concepts. Fashion and accessories were styled against a backdrop of lifestyle videos, suitcases of textile swatches, and oversized cotton reels in each of the nine color palettes. 

Italian and foreign exhibitors showcased their innovation in materials and construction. 3-D printing, laser-cut technology and software formed the basis of an impressive collection of textiles. Many of the design details reflected the latest in interior design trends: padded jackets that resemble quilted seat upholstery, metallic threads which mirror what is being woven in rugs and of course, the big trend color for interiors, green.

Walking among fashion buyers, designers, and the world's most influential stylemakers added to the exciting discovery of the future direction in fashion.

PS. View more images on my instagram #kbfieldnote