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Lockwood de Forest papers, 1858-1980, bulk 1870-1930

Biographical Note

Lockwood de Forest (1850-1932) was an architect, interior designer, collector, landscape painter, and writer based in New York City and Santa Barbara, California.
Lockwood de Forest was born in New York City in 1850. His parents were Julia Weeks and Henry Grant de Forest. He was one of four children. In 1869, he went to Rome, Italy and began studying art under the tutelage of the American painter Frederic Edwin Church whom he met during his trip. Church continued to be de Forest's mentor after they returned to America. De Forest set up a studio in New York City and first exhibited his work in 1872. From 1875-1878, he went on two more trips abroad to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
In 1878, de Forest cofounded Associated Artists in New York along with Louis C. Tiffany, Candace Wheeler, and Samuel Coleman. The design firm closed around 1882 but was tremendously influential. He married Meta Kemble the same year that he began Associated Artists and the couple traveled to India where they stayed for the next two years. During that trip, de Forest met philanthropist Muggunbhai Hutheesing and together they established a woodcarving company and supplied Associated Artists with furniture and architectural objects.
Around 1882, De Forest opened his own business in New York City that managed the design and production of furniture and architectural accents, along with importing similar objects from India. In 1887, he purchased a house on 7 East 10th Street that he elaborately decorated with furnishings from India.
De Forest began spending winters in Santa Barbara, California starting in 1889. He eventually purchased a house and relocated there around 1922. While in California, he resumed painting with fervor and created many landscapes of the West Coast shorelines. De Forest died in Santa Barbara in 1932.