"While God doesn’t particularly approve of luxury, at least he wants it in good taste."
--Sir William Rothenstein, as Quoted in Twentieth-Century Decoration
Amid a torrent of boos directed at Wright, all eyes turned to Draper. When she rose from her seat, the audience must have expected she would return Wright’s volley. However, she did nothing of the kind. Her response was confusingly vague. According to Carleton Varney, she said, “Yoo hoo, Mr. Wright. Here I am.” She then “thanked him graciously for noticing her and said she was a great admirer of his architecture and was glad he was acquainted with her work.”
The tension was diffused, and the audience burst into applause. To this day, no one is certain whether Draper was being tactful or ditzy. It is “possible that she hadn’t been listening and heard only her name.” Or, maybe “she intentionally saved the day.” Whatever the truth, it is an excellent example of how not every confrontation needs to evoke the pathos of The Real Housewives.
Carleton Varney recounts this story (and much more) in The Draper Touch, The High Life & High Style of Dorothy Draper. By the way, Nick Harvill Libraries will be offering a unique presentation copy of Draper’s magnum opus Decorating Is Fun! in our 2014 Holiday Catalogue. Contents of the upcoming catalogue are top secret. However, here’s a hint as to whom Draper signed this unique copy: “Decorating the White House Is Even More Fun!”