After my placeholder yesterday, I'm continuing my theme, with a variation, about those decorators who died early in their careers and who as a consequence never found a place in the canon of interior design history. Mark Hampton died relatively young at the age of 58 and most certainly cannot be described as forgotten.
These two rooms from the same apartment were designed in the early 1970s by Mark Hampton, when working for McMillen, Inc. The first, a living room, redolent of his association with David Hicks and the second, a drawing room, points to his own mature style - in fact, the room could have been created by him, and in many ways was, in the 1980s and early 1990s.
I turned the page expecting more of the groovy Hicksian mode and it was a surprise to see that drawing room, beautiful though it is. The rooms were on separate floors, so there was no question of a clash of styles, or lack of flow, as might be said nowadays, and clearly there's a difference in function. I know that the client was ultimately the arbiter, and these rooms were created in the early 1970s, but a suggestion of schizophrenia, stylistically speaking, is inescapable.
It could be the two photos embody the transition from one period to another, and maybe they do.
Mr Hampton's story is too well-known to need reiteration but his obituary summed it up in the following words.
"More a distiller than an innovator, Mr Hampton built his career on giving the public exactly the style it wanted at precisely the time it realized it wanted it. In the 1960s and 70s that meant discotheque modernism in primary colors, inspired by the work of his mentor, David Hicks, the flamboyant British decorator who died on March 29. It was crisp but comfortable traditionalism, however, that became Mr. Hampton's hallmark in the early 1980s, and that made him an icon of American style and one of the nation's most sought-after decorators."
Photos by Feliciano, from Architectural Digest, May/June 1974.
Quote from here.