Gloria Vanderbilt was born in New York City and spent most of her childhood in Europe. She was educated at Miss Porters School-Farmington, Connecticut; Mary C. Wheeler School, Providence, Rhode Island; the Art Students League and the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City.
In 1968 Life Magazine called G.V. “a feminine version of the Renaissance Man.” She has had success as an actor, author, artist, and designer. She had her first one-woman show of paintings at the Bertha Schaafer Gallery in 1952.
In 1953 she made her debut as an actress in Gilbert Miller’s production of a revival of Ferenc Molnar’s “The Swan.” This led to her working on stage and television during what is now referred to as the “Golden Age of Television.” Her performances are part of the collection of the American Museum of Broadcasting in New York City.
In 1954 a collection of her poetry, “Love Poems,” was published by World Publishing Co.
In 1969 G.V.’s collages using fine line drawing, painting, fabric, and decoupage were exhibited at the Hammer Gallery in New York. Johnny Carson turned the “Tonight Show” over to G.V.’s Hammer Gallery exhibit. Donald Hall in Kansas City and Lewis Bloom in New York saw the broadcast, and as a result her work evolved into designs for Hallmark paper products and decorative fabrics for Bloomcraft. Subsequently she expanded into designs in all areas of Home Furnishings. She was one of the first designers to travel to department stores throughout the U.S. to introduce her collections.
G.V. has exhibited her paintings and collages in galleries throughout the U.S., including a one-woman show of paintings at Neiman- Marcus stores in Dallas and Houston. In 1969 she received the Neiman-Marcus Fashion Award, and in 1970 entered the Fashion Hall of Fame.
Gloria Vanderbilt's work is featured in the permanent collection at the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester, Vermont.
G.V.’s first venture into the fashion business came with a collection of her paintings on scarves for Glentex, and in 1976 she started her own ready-to-wear company, GV Ltd. She has since left the fashion business to devote her time to art.
G.V. designed the banner for New York’s Lincoln Center, a design which was later used for the poster to publicize the WQXR Phone Festival Radiothon for the New York Philharmonic. Her collage Memory has been issued as a lithograph and postage stamp by the United Nations to commemorate the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) campaign to provide effective immunization for all children. Retrospectives of G.V.’s paintings and lithographs have been exhibited at The Reading Public Museum and Art Gallery, Reading, Pennsylvania; the Fine Arts Museum, Cheekwood in Nashville, Tennessee; the Amarillo Art Center, Amarillo, Texas; the Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art, Monterey, California.
In 1996 and 2001 G.V.’s Plexiglas constructions, “Dream Boxes”, were exhibited in a one-woman show at K.S. Art Gallery in New York City and in 2002 and 2007 at the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester. In 2003, 2004, and 2006, she had one-woman exhibits at Andre Zarre Gallery in New York City. Her designs of portrait dolls are presented on Home Shopping Network.
G.V. is the author of four memoirs and two novels published by Knopf and is a contributor to The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Elle, among many other publications. Her memoir “It Seemed Important at the Time: A Romance Memoir,” was published in 2004 by Simon and Schuster.
G.V. has been the recipient of an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts at Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, and the International Fine Arts College, Miami, Florida. Among the other awards she has received are: The National Society of Arts & Letters Gold Medal of Merit, the Anti-Defamation League Woman of Achievement Award, National League of American Pen Women, National Honorarium Membership for Excellence in the Arts.
In the fall of 2008 G.V.’s construction Dream Box “Heart’s Desire,” enlarged, was installed as part of the permanent collection at the Seward Johnson Grounds for Sculpture in Hopewell, New Jersey.
G.V.'s erotic novella “Obsession”, was published by Harper Collins Ecco imprint in 2009.
Click to read the New York Times review of Obsession and browse inside the book at Harper Collins.com
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