What he found was an Italian-inspired villa high in the Pacific Palisades. A spec house finely detailed with high, beamed ceilings and artisan-crafted stone floors, it would become the perfect background for Mitchell’s extraordinary and growing collection of contemporary art and photography.
“It was hard to find a house with a nice flow,” Mitchell recalls. “This one just felt right to me. Our goal was to make it feel as if it had been here a long, long time.”
He shared this goal with interior designer and art consultant Johnna McHugh, whom he trusted implicitly to realize his personal vision. She in turn worked closely with her client and friend to help him create an art-filled home—and an art-centered life. “I wanted someone who knew about art and antiques and antiquities,” Mitchell explains. “Someone who had been to Italy and understood art and design.”
“The house inspired the art collection,” he continues, pausing. “The house, and this time in my life. I wanted a serious home—for entertaining, for business, but mostly for family.” He has lived in the house for two-and-a-half years, and in that time he has worked closely with veteran art dealer Peter Goulds of LA Louver to fill it with works by blue-chip contemporary artists and exciting emerging talents.
With the assistance of McHugh, Mitchell has put together an extraordinary and highly significant art collection in a very short time, explains Goulds. “It is a matrix of like minds,” says the gallerist. “Sometimes, a designer, a client and an art dealer are at odds. In our case, like minds have gravitated towards one another. Angus is very willing to consider a wide range of artistic experience, different periods, different generations, different locales. Johnna is of the same temperment that I am: she listens to her clients very carefully.”
Pictured: The foyer of Mitchell’s home exhibits a 17th-century stone lion, chairs by Johnna McHugh, and garden art from an estate in Arles, France. Photos by Jim McHugh.