|The Circus Ball by Oliver Messel.|
Oil and Gouache on Paper.
Elsie is shown as Ringmaster with white steeds.
The Villa was Elsie's true love and life's work. Purchased in semi decrepit condition, Elsie restored the interiors, added a new wing, and installed modern bathrooms. During her life, she saw it used as a military hospital during World War I, and after fleeing Paris for the United States, returned to find it destroyed by Nazi's after World War II. Upon each return, she would lovingly restore the home back to it's de Wolfe splendor.
|The interior of the Dance Pavilion, now permanent.|
Elsie could have done the work herself, but it was much simpler for her to hire it out and have all the details sorted by someone else. As a bonus, Boudin has become one of the most sought after decorators on both sides of the Atlantic. Having his name associated with one of her parties would surely impress Elsie's elite guests, which numbered 700 for that evening. Naturally, Elsie, who invented the game Boudin was playing so well, would not be so smitten with his tact and flair as the rest of the world.
|A view of the Dance Pavilion with glass walls,|
set up for cards.
|Elsie's Mainbocher gown from the Circus Ball,|
now part of the MET's permanent collection.
Ivory silk chiffon embroidered with white and
silver sequin butterflies over a taffeta slip.