“A man is not old until regrets
take the place of dreams”
— John Barrymore
Widely acclaimed as the greatest Shakespearean actor of his generation, John Barrymore married four times and passed away performing live on a radio show. He refused to give up his love of acting or his love of love. Chasing his dreams, he lived this life until his last breath.
Mr. Barrymore refused to accept conventional wisdom that would have us believe there is a time that we should acquiesce, put up the white flag, pull up the rocking chair and accept that our best days are behind us. A time when we should sit back and watch the news rather than make the news, read about history versus making it. The proverbial golden years, a time to reflect on what could have been, or should have been.
I would argue that Mr. Barrymore was on to something. That a life defined by dreams versus regrets generates an energy that is ageless. Dreams propel us forward with a childlike enthusiasm, transforming our perspective and framing a view of hope and optimism. We work to achieve our goals, but we chase after our dreams. Dreams often tap into our core beliefs, those things we would fight for and die for. History has proven that man will work for a dollar, but die for what he believes in.
We subscribe to Mr. Barrymore’s wisdom, as do our creative partners highlighted throughout the pages of our Spring 2014 Source Books. From Belgium to Beijing, Turkey to Thailand, Holland to Hanoi, New York to New Delhi, Boston to Bangkok and Florence to the Philippines, discover how dreams are chased and brought to life from around the world.
Read about our dream realized with the reclamation and re-imagining of the former Museum of Natural History, built in 1862, in Boston’s Back Bay (see page 36). Our current dream is to do the same with the Historic Post Office in Greenwich, Connecticut, opening this spring. Not to stop there, we will soon begin work bringing the Historic Three Arts Club on Chicago’s famous Gold Coast back to life, scheduled to open spring 2015. We will stay true to its heritage as we unveil our new home with an RH Contemporary Art Gallery, Culinary Arts & Wine experience as well as restore the original stage so we can hold live acoustical music performances featuring emerging artists. We also launched RH Music this past year, with a live concert at The Greek Theater in Berkeley featuring our three founding artists: Edei, Larkin Poe and The Brixtons. RH Music is our dream to create a platform for emerging artists, and be an advocate for the music and musicians that we love. We are also excited for the opening this fall of RH Atlanta, The Gallery at the Estate in Buckhead, our contemporary version of a southern estate. Sitting on almost two acres with over 65,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor living inspiration, the gallery will feature beautiful gardens, a 50-foot-long reflecting pool and a Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley wine bar. Finally, I would be remiss not to mention the Rain Room (see “Making Rain,” page 68), our first commissioned work of art (for our new platform, RH Contemporary Art) by Random International, which was on exhibition at the MoMA in New York this past summer stimulating delight and joy as thousands experienced the thrill of walking in the rain (without getting wet). Talk about a dream come true.
Maybe John Barrymore was more than a famous actor, and rather should be remembered as a great discoverer. Maybe the long-searched-for fountain of youth lies inside all of us. Maybe it’s not about living forever, but forever living every moment and chasing our dreams until our last breath, just as he did.
Chairman & CEO