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Gordon Campbell

(b 1845; d 1908).

American interior decorator and founder of the first tapestry factory in the USA. He worked for Herter Brothers (see Herter, Christian) on the decoration of a series of grand houses, notably William H. Vanderbilt’s house on Fifth Avenue, New York, and William Welsh Harrison’s Grey Towers Castle (now part of Arcadia University) in Philadelphia. When the Vanderbilt house was completed in 1882, Christian Herter returned to Germany and Baumgarten took over the company. In 1891 he started his own company, William Baumgarten and Company, Inc., and in 1893 complemented his interior decoration business with a tapestry factory in his Fifth Avenue premises. He recruited weavers and dyers from the Royal Windsor Tapestry Manufactory (which had closed in 1890), including five weavers from the Foussadier family. The factory’s tapestries include one at Grey Towers (1898).

A Short Résumé of the History of Tapestry Making in the Past and Present...


Jochen Eisenbrand

(b New York, NY, May 24, 1907; d Santa Fe, NM, Jan 31, 1993).

American textile and interior designer. Girard was one of the leading modern American textile and interior designers of the 20th century. Born in New York to a French Italian father and an American mother, Girard grew up in Florence and studied architecture at the Architectural Association in London, graduating with honours in 1929. As a child, Girard had already developed a strong interest in other cultures and in design as a communication tool. He dreamed up the Republic of Fife, an imaginary country for which he drew maps, passports, bills, and stamps and for which he invented dozens of secret languages.

In 1932 Girard launched his career as an interior designer and decorator in New York, working for wealthy private clients and restaurants. After marrying Susan Needham (1910–96) in 1936, the couple moved to Detroit in 1937. Employed as chief designer by the Radio manufacturer Detrola in the mid-1940s, Girard met Charles and Ray Eames and developed a lifelong friendship with them. In Grosse Pointe, MI, from ...