Dorothy Draper the Pioneer
Dorothy Draper was born into privilege, glamor and money in 1889. She grew up to become a wildly successful business person when little was expected of women aside from housekeeping. Draper established her interior decorating firm in 1923 making her a pioneer of this industry. Her aesthetic leaned toward maximalism and defined the modern baroque style. She used contrasting patterns and colors such as black and white to add drama to her rooms. To increase this effect she added playful splashes of vibrant colors to bring joy and whimsy. Draper believed that color enhances our moods. She famously encouraged Americans to paint their front doors red, breaking with traditional sensibilities.
Dorothy Draper’s Gift of Artistic Emotion
Draper viewed her spaces as a canvas for psychic and emotional elevation. Being in the presence of artistic expression inspires wonder and aspirations of a better life. This inclination to turn public spaces into an arena of inspiration and beauty was especially meaningful during the desperate times of the Great Depression. Her clients were more than happy to spend millions of dollars during this harrowing time to give their rooms the Draper touch. She made her name designing the interiors of swanky high brow hotels, department stores and restaurants across the states. Some of these hotels include the Carlyle Hotel, Sherry - Netherland, The Drake, The Greenbrier, and The Fairmont.
Dorothy Draper Chairs Up For Auction
Imagine our surprise and delight when we were directed to a client’s immaculate garage/art studio, where, as the door slowly rolled up, we saw these phenomenal gleaming chairs. Our jaws dropped. This consignor is an incredibly stylish artist in her own right. Her home was also full of black and white patterns with bold splashes of color.
The chairs we have up for auction are original to the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, California. These were in the Crown Room which sat atop the hotel. Patrons would take San Francisco’s first glass elevator to soak up the room’s luxurious atmosphere while they admired the city’s skyline. The experience was opulent and novel. Our consignor purchased them when the Crown Room was remodeled.
We have six Dorothy Draper chairs of polished chrome and white leather. They have curved backs and arms on swept Pompeiian supports. The back is embossed with a crown.
29in. (74cm)h. 23in. (58cm) w. 18in. (46cm) d.