"Dorothy Draper was to decorating what Coco Chanel was to fashion." says Carleton Varney, who took over the Draper Company in the 1960's. "She brought color into a world which was sad and dreary. Today...everyone wants color around them again."
If you aren't familiar with this legend a revived interest in Dorothy Draper affords many opportunities to get acquainted this year.
The Museum of the City of New York exhibits "the High Style of Dorothy Draper" until August 27th and shows Draper's influence on America's view on interior decorating. From the museum website:
Dorothy Draper was a pioneer in interior design, dominating the field, not only in New York but nationally, from 1925 to 1960 when she was named the most influential tastemaker in America. Extending her influence far beyond residential interiors, Draper made her mark on big-city hotels, resorts, offices, department stores, and apartment buildings—she even styled automobile and airplane interiors. And she was thoroughly modern in today’s terms in that she approached design as entertainment —a themed experience that ranged from a room's architecture to its furnishings, menus, and matchbooks. That she was a woman makes her achievements all the more remarkable, succeeding at a time when she had few counterparts in the business world.
Benjamin Moore sponsored the event and created a limited edition collection of colors featuring fifteen of Draper’s signature paint colors which capture her keen sense of color, dynamic color schemes and self assured sense of style.
Cat’s Meow 1332
Little Angel 318
Gondola Ride 602
Cactus Flower 1335
Grappa 1393 At Sea 666
Pretty in Pink 1334
Apple Green 2026-40
Neon Red 2087-10
Ballet Slippers 1331
Mountain Mist 868
Jade Garden 2056-20
Blazing Orange 2011-20
Jamaican Aqua 2048-60
In the Pink: Dorothy Draper America's Most Fabulous Decorator was recently published by Varney and Varney also has created a line of furniture in the style of Draper for Kindel and a line of fabrics for his own collections Carleton V and Carleton Varney by the Yard.
For more online information The Museum of the City of New York, Dorothy Draper: Creating the Bold and Mischevious Style or Dorothy Draper at Wikipedia are good places to start. But if you're in a hurry The New Yorker Magazine's article titled The Draper Effect sums up her style in six quick points.
Pictures from the Museum of the City of New York website