“This room is where I keep all of the images — original art from the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries — that I use in my collections. Everything is archived in drawers that correspond to each period.

The wall is like my inspiration board. It changes a bit, but for the most part, has stayed this way.

I sort of sit with the stuff I hang here for a little while; it’s all unique and special to me, but other people may not necessarily feel the same connection.

That said, I have pulled things from the wall that have gone on to become really popular.
That’s always a great feeling.”

“This image is circa 1900. It’s a person’s chest, and the other side is muscles.”

“The parrot and leaf got taped together one day three years ago and they’re still hanging here. I don’t know what to do with them, but the combo is great.

It’s almost as if the parrot might’ve lived somewhere where there was a palm tree.”

“I got a whole collection of color wheels like this at the BRIMFIELD FLEA MARKET, in Massachusetts. I used one of them to make a big platter that we sold at the store.”

“The clock is probably from a flea market.
It has never worked since I got it.”

“I got this from a woman at [THE ANTIQUES GARAGE] flea market in New York City — she was selling these amazing, charming, miniature drawings that a little kid did. This is of a burning building and a fireman.

They were all kind of weird subjects, but really beautifully done.”

“This is a drawing I did in the mid ‘80s.
It’s my old apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts.”

“Black and white isn’t that big in my work, but this print of a frog dissection from the 1700s is amazing.”

“We carry paper flowers made by LIVIA CETTI, whose company is called THE GREEN VASE, at the store.

This was a gift from Livia — it was her first attempt at making a foxglove stem, which she said was the hardest thing she’s ever done.”

“I like birdcages, but I don’t really like putting birds in cages.
This image has moved around — it’s been on a wall of whatever studio I’ve worked out of for the last
eight years.”


Photography byMolly Hodson

As told toAnthony Rotunno

John Derian is the New York City-based founder and proprietor of John Derian Company. His current collection is available online, in his namesake boutiques, and in select international retailers.

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