Mark Hampton, long regarded as the "First Decorator" for his work on the White House for former president George Bush, was one of America's most prominent interior decorators. His clients included Estée Lauder, the Saul Steinbergs, the Mike Wallaces, and the Henry Kissingers, to name only a few. For the people who knew him well, his reputation as a decorator was surpassed by his generosity as a friend. In his lifetime, Hampton painted hundreds of watercolors as gifts for the people who were closest to him. Mark Hampton: The Art of Friendship, by his widow, Duane Hampton, is a collection of 140 watercolors that reveal his wit, affection, and sophistication.The paintings are whimsical, lighthearted, yet richly beautiful. Even though he often painted while talking on the phone to business contacts, taking care of his daughters, or packing to leave for the weekend, Hampton managed to create lasting impressions of the most fleeting moments of life. Including birthday cards; valentines; Christmas greetings; travel studies; portraits of friends, family members, and pets; garden scenes; still lifes; and homages, this collection is a memorable reflection of a lifetime of friendship.Duane Hampton's introduction offers a loving and insightful portrait of her husband's life. Raised as a Quaker in a community of Friends in Indiana, Mark Hampton grew to understand that being a friend -- in the most universal sense -- is a vital part of our existence and is intimately linked with our everyday activities. He once wrote, "At least our private worlds can reward us with peace and pleasure." The watercolors in this collection prove that the rewards of the private world can be profound.Mark Hampton: The Art of Friendship is a striking testimonial to the enduring power of friendship and an endearing collection of Mark Hampton's most personal artwork.
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Duane Hampton, Mark's wife and mother of their two daughters, Kate and Alexa, helped organize several exhibitions of his watercolors and drawings that showcased more than four hundred examples of his art. She currently sits on the boards of the School of American Ballet, the Burden Center for the Aging, and the Municipal Art Society. She lives in New York City and Southampton, New York.
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