Penny Sparke
Acanthus Press, New York, 2005, English
Nonfiction, Interior Design
10 x 12 inches, hardcover, 374 pages, 300 illustrations
ISBN: 9780926494275
Suggested Retail Price: $85.00

From the Publisher. Elsie de Wolfe is a 20th-century legend. Her name is familiar to many who practice the art of interior design or who are linked to the fashionable world of tastemaking. She played a key role in the formation of the modern American interior decorating profession, which provided appropriate settings for the "new rich" in the first half of the 20th century. In the process, she also helped to shape our understanding of what we have come to know as the modern domestic interior.

On 2 book lists
Dominique Browning

Elsie de Wolfe, also known as Lady Mendl, invented interior decoration as a profession. She championed the use of chintz, unusual color combinations, and painted and stenciled furniture. She was a colorful, eccentric character, an American actress who became a prominent socialite. She was the author of an influential book in 1913, The House in Good Taste.

Susan Weber

Explores the life of the mother of modern interior decoration in the 20th century. This monograph highlights 29 of Elsie de Wolfe’s commissions, ranging from those for financier and collector Henry Clay Frick to Hollywood star Ethel Barrymore. De Wolfe believed that “an atmosphere of beauty could cure a world of ills.” Most important, she decluttered the Victorian interior.

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