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Collection of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Lockwood de Forest

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Lockwood de Forest (1850-1932) was the protégé of the celebrated nineteenth-century landscape painter Frederic E. Church. Church trained de Forest in landscape painting during the early 1870s and while doing so engendered in his pupil a passion for exotic places and exotic decorative arts objects. This interest led de Forest first to the Holy Land and Egypt and finally to India, where he set up an atelier in Ahmedabad to produce hand-carved Indian teak which he imported to the United States for use in interior decorating projects. In Ahmedabad, he was introduced to Muggunbhai Hutheesing with whom he created a workshop for producing carved teak panels and metalwork by native Hindu mistri craftsmen. Using these imported materials and other objects that he collected on his travels, de Forest provided decorative arts objects for interiors by Louis Comfort Tiffany with whom he had a brief partnership (1880-82). Working independently, de Forest designed interiors for his siblings Robert and Henry de Forest, Frederic Church, Mary Garrett and M. Cary Thomas (Bryn Mawr College); George Wroth Knapp (Baltimore); and William Henry Appleton (Wave Hill), among others.