Friday, January 15, 2010

A Glimpse into the Life of a Legend

The Greenbrier Resort

Recently, I wrote a post about the design star Dorothy Draper. One of my readers was curious to know more about Draper, so today I’m going to take a closer look at the life of the legend in interior design.

Dorothy Draper was born a Tuckerman on Nov 22, 1889 in Tuxedo Park, New York. TuxedoPark was one of the most privileged communities in American history. Draper’s parents were Mr. And Mrs. Paul Tuckerman, who were among the elite in New York society. Her roots go back to the first Americans who came to the country on the Mayflower.

In 1912, Dorothy Tuckerman married a doctor, Dr. George Draper, who specialized in polio treatment. Dr. Draper served as the personal doctor and a childhood friend of President Franklin Roosevelt, a renowned sufferer of polio. After seventeen years of marriage, Draper and her husband divorced just when her design career started to take off.

Dorothy Draper’s wealth and social credentials helped her career tremendously. She used her connections to find appropriate architects for the specific projects she worked on, which were generally commercial work, as she favored them over residential work. Through her contacts, she was able to land large projects. The Carlyle Hotel lobby in New York was one of her first commissions. The decoration of the Carlyle Hotel helped her to drive her style over the next thirty years.
The Carlyle's Hotel lobby, imagine green walls, yellow leather furniture, black,white and grey marble floors
As for other projects, among them were the interiors of The Drake Hotel in Chicago, The Fairmont and Mark Hopkins Hotels in San Francisco. In New York, she designed The Hampshire House, Sutton Place, the dining room of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as The Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia. Draper also wrote many columns and published books on decorating.

In 1960, Dorothy Draper sold her business to
Carleton Varney, who had been her protégé. She passed away nine years later at the age of eighty.

Metropolitan Museum of Art restaurant
Below: The Hampshire House with the white plaster motifs
Photos 1, 2, 3,4 In The Pink: Dorothy Draper- America’s Most Fabulous Decorator


Chateaux Interiors said...

Loved your post...just finished doing a residence at The much history and inspiration!

Picture of Elegance said...

How wonderful, and thank you.Soon I'll be writing a post about the Greenbrier.I hope you'll enjoy it.


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