Imogen Taylor was born in 1926. In 1949 she joined Colefax & Fowler, where she was for many years John Fowler’s trusted assistant. She went on to become one of the most prominent interior decorators of the latter part of the twentieth century, working in Britain and the Middle East and extensively in the United States. She retired in 1999, after fifty years at Colefax & Fowler, and now divides her time between her homes in Kent and in Burgundy.
John H Taylor is an Assistant Keeper in the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan at the British Museum. His expertise focuses on funerary objects of the pharaonic period (particularly coffins), mummies and mummification. He has curated a number of exhibitions at the British Museum, including ‘Journey through the Afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead’ and ‘Ancient Lives, New Discoveries.’
Gary Tinterow has been Director of The Museum Of Fine Art, Houston since January 2012. He was curator of European paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for twenty years, before becoming curator in charge of the newly formed department of Nineteenth-Century, Modern and Contemporary Art in 2004 and chairman of that department in 2008.
When Xa Tollemache found herself chatelaine of Helmingham in 1975, she was initially overwhelmed. ‘I was a horticulturally raw and totally ignorant young mother . . . [but] once I had managed to get a small grip I marched out one day, day, spade in hand, and said to Roy Balaam, the head gardener, ‘Teach me how to dig.’ He taught her to such effect that twenty years later she was in a position to embark on a career as a garden designer. And in 1997 her first Chelsea Flower Show garden was awarded a Gold Medal. Not surprisingly, her garden design practice has flourished ever since. She has designed many gardens in Europe and the US, as well as in Britain. She also lectures extensively in the US and the UK. Her own garden at Helmingham Hall is open to the public. This is her first book.
Cleve West is one of Britain’s top garden designers. No less than nine of the gardens he has designed for the Chelsea Flower Show have won RHS Gold Medals and two years running his gardens have been awarded Best in Show. He is also a passionate vegan and animal rights activist. His first book, Our Plot (Frances Lincoln, 2011), was described as ‘A joy to read, harmonious and humble, full of common sense and belief in community and sustainable living.’
Kim Wilkie had an intense introduction to landscape. He grew up in the Malaysian jungle and the Iraqi desert before being sent to school in southern England. Having studied history at Oxford and environmental design at the University of California, Berkeley, he set up his landscape studio in London in 1989. He is fascinated by the link between land and culture and between memory and imagination. He continues to teach sporadically at Berkeley, writes optimistically about land and place and is involved in various national committees on landscape and environmental policy in the UK.
Martin Wood is a noted interior designer and writer on interior decoration. Previous books include Nancy Lancaster: English Country House Style (Frances Lincoln, 2005), John Fowler: Prince of Decorators (Frances Lincoln, 2007) and Sister Parish: American Style (Frances Lincoln, 2011) and On the Fringe, with Imogen Taylor (Pimpernel Press, 2016). Martin Wood lives in Yorkshire.