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Florence. The journey to painter continued years later in Paris, where she was a refugee who had lost her fabled life in St. Petersburg, her husband ripped from her arms by the Bolsheviks. She sacrificed her honor with a high-level official to get her unambitious husband, Tadeusz de Lempicki, released from political prison, and cast about for a way to support them both, and their new baby. Her art career was born when her sister Adrienne (later to become an accomplished architect) reminded de Lempicka of her drawing abilities a decade earlier. She left Paris in 1939 with her second husband, the immensely wealthy Baron Raoul Kuffner, who began as her collector. The couple sailed for New York, then lived in Hollywood, back to New York, and after the Baron's death, Houston. Fast forward to 1952, when de Lempicka first visited Houston, where her only child, the late Baroness Kizette de Lempicka-Foxhall, lived with her husband, Harold Foxhall, known as Foxy. The tumultuous, dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship played out here. Tamara moved permanently to Houston in 1963, after the Baron passed away in 1962. Granddaughter Victoria de Lempicka and great-granddaughter Marisa de Lempicka pick up the story from here. Deciphering De Lempicka On a Deco talent in Texas. Tamara's granddaughter Victoria de Lempicka: My father, Foxy, was transferred by Dow Chemical from Washington DC to Houston. He was a geologist who had studied at Stanford in California. He met my mother Kizette at Stanford, where Tamara had a home in the Hollywood Hills. Tamara was very instrumental in my parents buying a home in River Oaks, because she said, "Location, location, location." She was also generous and helped my parents out in terms of a down payment. The address was 3235 Reba Drive, between Kirby and River Oaks Boulevard. The house, which Tamara had painted pink, is no longer there — unfortunately it was destroyed in 2001. On Tamara as decorator. Victoria: Tamara and my mother did the design for the Reba house together. My friends were quite astounded because it was so different from the decoration of their homes. Tamara was really avant-garde in her vision and her aesthetic. The house wasn't very big but it never looked crowded; it was always white. It was furnished with a lot of antiques from the Hungarian estate of Tamara's second husband, Baron Raoul Kuffner. They were heavy and ornate, but when she painted them white, suddenly everything matched everything else, and it looked stunning. The furnishings came from Baron Kuffner's castle, once part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, called Diosek. It still exists, and we'd love to go poking around and find out more about it. I remember shopping for fabric and trim to decorate the house at Hire's in Highland Village. She had a seamstress make up slipcovers, and all the curtains and lamps were trimmed in "bombelki," a European- style trim with little balls. That's proof that "If you have good taste, you can make anything beautiful!" One of her mottos. On life in houston. Victoria: Tamara moved to Houston in 1963 and lived in the Warwick Hotel for a year where she had a suite. She wanted to put her foot in the door to see what Houston would be like for her; that's why she didn't buy right away. After the Warwick, she bought an apartment at the Regency House. She never stopped painting. She cultivated friendships, but she was always thinking about how the press would see her and how she All imAges PrivAte collection La Belle Rafaëla, 1927 The Blue Scarf, 1930 Auto-Portrait (Tamara in the Green Bugatti), 1929

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