Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Online Media

Catalog Data

Parish, Henry, Mrs., II  Search this
Parish-Hadley Associates  Search this
Hadley, Albert  Search this
Bank of New York  Search this
Cooper-Hewitt Design Archive  Search this
Lenox Hill Neighborhood Association  Search this
McMillen Inc.  Search this
National Newark & Essex Bank (N.J.)  Search this
Northern Trust Bank  Search this
Paine Webber Inc.  Search this
Parish-Hadley Associates  Search this
Parsons School of Design  Search this
Ritz-Carlton Hotels (Firm)  Search this
White House (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Andrew, Duke of York, 1960-  Search this
Astor, Brooke  Search this
Astor, Vincent, 1891-1959  Search this
Baldwin, Billy  Search this
Brown, Eleanor McMillen  Search this
Cameron, Libby  Search this
Chinsee, George.  Search this
Hadley, Albert  Search this
Hager, Gary.  Search this
Kleinberg, David.  Search this
Kwiatkowski, Henryk  Search this
McMahon, David  Search this
Mellon, Constance A.  Search this
Mellon, Rachel Lambert  Search this
Onassis, Jacqueline Kennedy, 1929-1994  Search this
Parish, Henry, Mrs., II  Search this
Rockefeller, Happy.  Search this
Whitney, Betsey Cushing Roosevelt, 1908-  Search this
Williams, Bunny, 1944-  Search this
York, Sarah Mountbatten-Windsor, Duchess of, 1959-  Search this
11 Boxes (13 albums)
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drafts (documents)
Press releases
Slides (photographs)
The Parish-Hadley Collection documents the history of the New York City design firm from 1962-1994.Particular emphasis is on Sister Parish (Mrs. Henry Parish II) and Albert Hadley. Magazine clippings from various publications make up the majority of the collection as well as gossip column excerpts about Parish-Hadley or infamous clients. The slides date mostly from the 1980s-1990s and depict some but not all Parish-Hadley projects.
Arrangement note:
Materials are arranged in 13 albums Organized by album title. The albums contain magazine and newspaper clippings, sketches, templates, speeches, and press releases, project slides. Arranged alphabetically by client, or in lieu of a client name, by project name (There is some overlap in the albums and the album labels are not accurate).
Biographical/Historical note:
Dorothy "Sister" Parish born Dorothy May Kinnicutt in Morristown, New Jersey. Sister is a nickname given to her by her three brothers. She graduated from the Foxcroft School for Girls, an elite Virginia boarding school. She began her career in 1933. It was the year of the "Crash" and financial necessity prompted her to set up shop, "Mrs. Henry Parish II Interiors", in Far Hills, New Jersey, where she began decorating houses for friends. She had no formal training but attributes her taste and instinct for quality to European travel, exposure to art, and, most of all to her upbringing. Alone, and then together with her partner, Albert Hadley, who joined the firm in 1962, she has decorated houses of every size and kind throughout the world. It is said that she represents the "undecorated" look; Vogue magazine calls her "the most famous of all living American women interior designers whose ideas have influenced life-styles all over America." Sister Parish--grande dame of American decor--shaped the American domestic aesthetic of various Kennedys, Astors, Paleys, and Whitneys. Parish-Hadley was the upper-crust New York firm formed by Mrs. Parish and the Tennessee-born decorator Albert Hadley. Mr. Hadley, a graduate of and former teacher at Parsons School of Design in both New York and Paris, established his own design firm before joining McMillen, Inc. He began his legendary association with Mrs. Henry Parish II in 1962, when they co-founded the distinguished design firm of Parish-Hadley Associates, which grew to encompass 25 associates and staff members. Described by The New York Times as "the most illustrious American decorating team of the 20th century," Parish-Hadley's client register includes names of the Kennedys, Rockefellers, Astors, Gettys, Whitneys and Vanderbilts. Parish's cozy, yet dignified style, combined with Hadley's Modernism and attention to architectural space, has led to Parish-Hadley's constant surviving achievement. The partnership lasted until the death of Sister Parish in 1994. After closing Parish-Hadley in late 1999, Hadley opened a new office and continues collaborating with clients toward his goal to "help them realize more than they thought possible within the framework of their own tastes." His impressive roster of distinguished clients includes former Vice President and Mrs. Albert Gore, Diane Sawyer and Mike Nichols, former Ambassador and Mrs. Henry Grunwald and Mrs. Vincent Astor.
Location of Other Archival Materials Note:
Parish-Hadley Associates, Inc. papers; Also located at The John F. Kennedy Library of the National Archives and Records Administration. Boston, Mass.
All materials donated by Mr. Albert Hadley in 1999. Unprocessed.
Unprocessed; access is limited; Permission of Library Director required; Policy.
Interior designers -- United States  Search this
Interior decoration -- United States -- History -- 20th century -- Sources  Search this
Drafts (documents)
Press releases
Slides (photographs)
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Libraries