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HOLMES, Doris Colquhoun

Ilkley, Yorkshire, England, 1892
Victoria, British Columbia, 1958
Biography synopsis
An interior decorator to some of Victoria's most prominent citizens, Doris Holmes supervised every aspect of a home's furnishings. She attended Victoria College and probably was taught by Louisa Mills who had studied at the Royal College of London. Although she aspired to study architecture, she eventually turned to interior design after a number of years teaching in public schools. Holmes took a one-year decorating course in New York in 1918. She then returned to Victoria where she worked for Spencer's store (which later became the T. Eaton Company); in 1920, she became assistant to the interior decorator. She became interior decorator herself and continued in this position for over thirty years. Although she favoured period furniture, she also worked with more modern designs and appears to have been influenced by William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement. Clients included the Spencer family, Mr. and Mrs. Nikola Pavelle and, perhaps most notably, Victor Fleming, director of "Gone With the Wind" and "The Wizard of Oz," for whom she decorated a Knapp Island home.
Media used
Interior design
Victoria College
File & Archive locations
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
British Columbia Archives

Writings about
"Holmes Rites Thursday." Colonist (Victoria) 1 Oct. 1958: 13
"Prominent Decorator Dies In City." Times (Victoria) 30 Sept. 1958: 20
Finlay, K.A. and Shea, T.. "A Woman's Place" Art and the Role of Women in the Cultural Formation of Victoria B.C. 1850s-1920s Victoria, B.C.: Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery, University of Victoria, 2004
Lavoie, Dee. "Interior Decorator Looks Forward To Visiting Old Homes, Castles." Colonist (Victoria) 7 Feb. 1954
Litwin, Grania. "Explore Women's Role in Early Victoria Art." Times-Colonist (Victoria) 14 Nov. 2004: D12

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