May 29, 2017
Who is Rachel L. Mellon?
Cristobal Balenciaga Museum displays her legacy in a new exhibition
week we talked about Rachel L Mellon Collection, the exhibition that displays
Bunny Mellon’s legacy for the first time at Cristobal Balenciaga Museum. Today
we will dive into the life of this extraordinary women, heiress, philanthropist
and art collector, part of the 20th century American high society.
L. Mellon, better known as Bunny, was the granddaughter of chemist Jordan
Lambert, creator of Listerine, and the oldest daughter of Gerard Barnes
Lambert, president of Gillette. She married Stacy Barcroft Loyd, Jr. in 1932,
filling divorce in 1948. That same year she married Paul Mellon, millionaire
bank heir and art collector. Toguether they collected work from Georgia
O’Keefe, Edward Hopper, Georges Seurat, Pablo Picasso and Camille Pissarro.
Bunny was also and avid collector of jewelry, furniture, decorative objects and
well-know garden designer, she created the gardens of Hubert de Givenchy,
Hattie Carnegie and the rosegarden of the White House during Kennedy’s
presidency, of whom she was a close friend. Kathy McKeon, Jackie Kennedy’s
secretary, told in her memoir that the First Lady went nervous every time Ms.
Mellon visited her, going to a lot of effort to make everything perfect.
relationship with Balenciaga was close, being also his most devoted customer.
The designer gave Mellon a favourable treatment, allowing her to alter his garments
(something Balenciaga never did) and even designing her underwear. He made
hundreds of pieces for her, some of them even in triplicate, so that she could
have one in each of her homes.
During the exhibition that the museum of Getaria
showcases the next few months some of this designs will be displayed, but also
personal mail or the sketch book that Bunny herself prepared with the designer’s
drawings. Objects that show their tight relationship, based on a shared passion
for art and discretion, which both defended in a world of appearances and
Bunny Mellon dies in 2014, at 103, and left her large collection to Cristobal Balenciaga Museum, where they are displayed.