Seeing the sparkling stars of the Milky Way galaxy far away from city lights is much like feasting your senses on the art and design of Tony DuQuette. His work is colorful, dynamic, and perfectly chaotic. Known primarily for his interiors, this iconic designer was born in Los Angeles in 1914 and lived until the ripe age of 85.
His “More is More” philosophy first manifested in promotional advertising for seasonal fashions and later extended to free-lance work for well-known designers. In the mid-thirties, DuQuette’s genius was discovered by a highly influential art aficionado by the name of Lady Elsie de Wolfe Mendl. This connection catapulted DuQuette into the international spotlight and expounded his reputation even further.
DuQuette’s dazzling baroque style was featured in his work designing sets and costumes for Metro Goldwyn Mayer, as well as his commissioned work for private clients, nightclubs and public spaces. But his design certainly wasn’t limited to interiors and costumes, he also created fine jewelry in the form of bracelets, brooches, earrings, necklaces, and rings, as well as furniture and sculpture. Each piece emits a commanding presence and a confident beauty.
DuQuette married his wife Elizabeth Johnstone in 1949. They shared a passion for art and did many collaborations, creations, and commissions together. In their early years, the couple rubbed elbows with who’s who in Hollywood and brought a unique and contagious artistic energy to the social scene. In their later years, they concentrated on making museum quality art available to the public and in 1979 they launched the not-for-profit Anthony and Elizabeth DuQuette Foundation for the Living Arts.
Tony DuQuette was the first American artist to do a one-man show at the Louvre in Paris and his work has been featured in museum exhibitions and public and private spaces all throughout the United States and abroad. Additionally, he designed for ballets, operas, and Broadway’s original production of “Camelot” for which he won a Tony Award for Best Costume. Currently, his fine jewelry collection thrives under the direction of his long time business partner Hutton Wilkinson, President and Artistic Director for Tony DuQuette Studios, Inc. (established 1956).