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Merrill Halkerston

(b Portland, ME, March 4, 1832; d New York, March 26, 1920).

American painter, interior designer and writer. Colman grew up in New York, where his father, Samuel Colman, ran a successful publishing business. The family bookstore on Broadway, a popular meeting place for artists, offered Colman early introductions to such Hudson River school painters as Asher B(rown) Durand, with whom he is said to have studied briefly around 1850. Having won early recognition for his paintings of popular Hudson River school locations (see Storm King on the Hudson), he was elected an Associate of the National Academy of Design in New York in 1854. Most of Colman’s landscapes of the 1850s, for example Meadows and Wildflowers at Conway (1856; Poughkeepsie, NY, Vassar Coll., Frances Lehman Loeb A. Cent.), reveal the influence of the Hudson River school. An avid traveller, he embarked on his first European tour in 1860, visiting France, Italy, Switzerland and the more exotic locales of southern Spain and Morocco. His reputation was secured in the 1860s by his numerous paintings of romantic Spanish sites, notably the large ...

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(b New York, Jan 24, 1862; d Pavillon Colombe, nr Paris, Aug 11, 1937).

American writer . She was born into a wealthy New York family and was educated privately; she travelled widely, settling in France in 1907. Her first book was The Decoration of Houses (1898), written in collaboration with the Boston architect Ogden Codman (who had remodelled her home at Newport, RI, in 1893). Their aim was to raise the standard of decoration in modern houses to that of the past through a return to ‘architectural proportion’ and an avoidance of the ‘superficial application of ornament’. Each room should be furnished for comfort and according to its use and should be organically related to the rest of the house and the quality of life to be expressed. The work was successful and influential among both the public and such decorators as Elsie De Wolfe and William Odom. Wharton’s house in Lenox, MA, the Mount, built to her design from 1901...