Landsburgh, Barbara Ethel

Female - 2003

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  • Name Landsburgh, Barbara Ethel 
    Gender Female 
    _UID 13467C9DE862443FB2A00F3C418A6AE8F9D4 
    Died 14 Jul 2003 
    Person ID I5489  Buyer, Stier and Related Families
    Last Modified 11 Mar 2010 

    Father Landsburgh, Simon Lazarus 
    Mother Newman, Ethel Rosalind,   b. 11 Feb 1885, San Francisco, San Francisco Co., CA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Jul 1962, San Francisco, San Francisco Co., CA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years) 
    _UID 4B87BC8F0250409F97E5E371CFF9023C24AC 
    Family ID F1125  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Chevalier, Haakon Maurice 
    _UID 2AAB347CDB2F49A080C245AF0E8B6A30E1C0 
     1. Living
     2. Living
    Last Modified 9 Jun 2002 
    Family ID F1899  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • NA: Chevalier-Barbara-Lansburgh
      AD: Home:and Office: Barbara Chevalier Interiors 2298 Pacific Ave # 3 San
      Francisco CA 94115-1435
      GE: F
      BD: Born: 1907,
      BC: San-Francisco
      OC: interior-designer
      PO: pres., Chevalier-Rogers, Inc., San Francisco, 1962-70; owner, mgr.,
      Barbara Chevalier Interiors, San Francisco, 1947-; personal sec. to
      Elizabeth Arden, 1944; apprentice interior designer, San Francisco, 1938
      -43; Social worker, U.S. Govt. , Calif., 1936-37
      ED: student, Mills Coll., 1926; student, Stanford U., 1927; BA, U. Calif.,
      Berkeley, 1931
      CW: Designer Stinson Beach Wedding Gardens and many residencies.
      FI: d. S. Laz and Ethel Lansburgh; children: Suzanne Chevalier
      -Skolnikoff, Haakon L. Chevalier.
      CI: Bd. dirs. San Francisco Boys Chorus.
      ME: Mem. Am. Soc. Interior Designers, Phi Beta Kappa.
      -WOMEN 22 ed.
      Published by Marquis Who's Who.
      AN: 27860452
      UD: 200203

      Point Reyes Light - July 24, 2003
      Stinson grand dame Barbara Chevalier dies
      By Larken Bradley
      Stinson Beach grande dame, Barbara Chevalier, an interior decorator and businesswoman whose historical home and legendary seaside gardens were host to countless social, artistic, and intellectual gatherings for more than 80 years, died at home, Monday, July 14, of natural causes. She was 95.
      In 1917, when the coastal enclave was still called Willow Camp, Mrs. Chevalier’s uncle, renowned architect Albert Lansburgh, designed and built the family home, notable for the craftsmanship of its redwood interior. Originally situated on just a half-acre, lore has it that one night her father plied landowner William Kent, Jr., with whiskey and brokered a deal to buy the surrounding land.
      Landmark home
      Now a stop on annual garden tours, since then the 3.5-acre plot has blossomed into a sloping showplace of flowerbeds, lily ponds, towering trees, and rock walls. Over the years the classic European garden has been featured in national magazines and on home and gardening television programs.
      Mrs. Chevalier was instrumental in establishing Shakespeare at Stinson, and one season granted use of her garden as the troupe’s outdoor playhouse.
      A savvy businesswoman, she was proprietor of Barbara Chevalier Interiors in San Francisco, where she also owned and operated an antiques dealership, and commercial real estate properties. Until the end of her life she continued managing her business affairs.
      Barbara Ethel Lansburgh was born in San Francisco on Aug. 19, 1907. She grew up in Pacific Heights, spent summers touring Europe with her family, and graduated from Girls’ High School. While her parents discouraged her from attending college, she enrolled in Mills College in Oakland and later transferred to UC Berkeley where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Italian.
      A stellar student and member of Phi Beta Kappa, she was a talented pianist with a gift for languages. In 1931 she married her college French teacher, Haakon Maurice Chevalier. "He was a terribly charismatic teacher," her daughter Suzanne Chevalier-Skolnikoff revealed. "That drew her to him."
      Artists and authors
      From their large, Tudor-style house in the Berkeley Hills the couple hosted huge parties that attracted an international Bohemian set including musicians, writers, intellectuals, and political figures. Among their friends was Spanish artist Salvador Dali, and French writer Andre Malraux, her children noted.
      For some time the couple lived on the Left Bank in Paris.
      After their marriage of 20 years ended, she began her interior decorating business. "She was gutsy," Alice Phillips Rose, a lifelong friend and contemporary of Mrs. Chevalier, told The Light this week.
      Added Mrs. Rose, she was, "a good businesswoman with good taste."
      Mrs. Chevalier also opened an antique store, specializing in old, valuable European pieces and Spanish provincial furniture.
      In the mid-1950s, she married her second husband, horseman Willie de Pedraza, a native of Spain who fought for his country during World War II as a cavalry officer in Russia. After the invading forces of Germany, Italy and Spain were defeated, Mr. de Pedraza was forced to walk 2,000 miles to his homeland.
      The two divorced in 1976 but remained close friends until his death in 1998.
      A gracious hostess, Mrs. Chevalier, "was interested in people’s lives and people of all ages," her daughter observed. A party guest list might include both a Greek dye man and a famous musician. "She was very, very sociable," her daughter added.
      Considered close to many
      "She had many, many people who considered her a close friend," her son Haakon Chevalier, remarked.
      While she didn’t appreciate all aspects of popular culture, she was curious by nature and willingly attended reggae gigs with her daughter, and into her 90s was known to take her grandsons out nightclubbing.
      "She was complicated," said her son. "She had many sides to her."
      Left unfinished at the end of her life was the publication of her memoirs, a collection of vignettes she had written about the people she had known over the course of nine decades.
      "She couldn’t finish because the stories never stopped," her daughter observed.
      Mrs. Chevalier wrote and self-published a children’s book titled Arabella, a story of a girl with long, beautiful hair.
      Mrs. Chevalier was predeceased by her sister, Anne Hoffman; and her stepson, Jacques A. Chevalier.
      She is survived by her daughter, Suzanne Chevalier-Skolnikoff of San Rafael; son, Haakon Chevalier of Cambridge, Massachusetts; grandsons, Ivan Alyosha Skolnikoff of Fairfax, Ilya Mischa Skolnikoff of Southern California, Noah Tobias Minkle Chevalier, and Aaron Ziv Minkle Chevalier, both of Cambridge, Massachusetts.
      A private memorial service will be held.
      Point Reyes Light Cover | News | Coastal Traveler