Apple Bartlett is an artist and shop owner living in Boston, MA and Islesboro, ME. Susan Bartlett Crater is an artist living outside of New York City.
This intimate portrait of Mrs. Henry Parish II-known to friends as Sister-chronicles one woman's remarkable life and groundbreaking career, painting a unique portrait of American high society and recounting the transformation of an art form.
Dorothy May Kinnicutt was born into a patrician New York family in 1910 and her privileged early life was one of the right schools, yacht clubs, coming out parties, and the Social Register. Compelled to work because of the lean years of the Depression, Sister combined her innate design ability and her high echelon social connections to create an extraordinarily successful interior decorating business. Her firm, Parish-Hadley, served a list of clients that comprised the crème de la crème of American aristocracy, among them Rockefellers, Astors, and Whitneys. To them, she was in indispensable presence, both in their salons and in designing them. Her style, influenced by her family's country house in Maine, came to be known as "American country" and was a reflection of Sister's deeply felt Yankee roots. It influenced an entire generation of American decorators. To the pubic at large, she was the visionary who helped transform Jacqueline Kennedy's White House from a fusty relic of the fifties into the international symbol of American elegance-Camelot.
To Apple Parish Bartlett and Susan Bartlett Crater, she was a mother and grandmother. Drawing upon Sister Parish's own unpublished memoirs, as well as hundreds of interviews with world-famous interior decorators and socialites, Bartlett and Crater take readers into the houses-and the lives-of the most famous and powerful people of Parish's time, telling the story of the enormously charismatic woman who redefined American design.
"A loving portrait of [Mrs. Parish], as well as a superb social history of her era." --Dominick Dunne, author of People Like Us