Happy Birthday José Clemente Orozco

Today is the 131st birthday of the revolutionary Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco.  How can your not immediately love a muralist?  So much narrative, and the scale?  It required hours of appreciation.  You may not be at Dartmouth and have hours, but if you even have 23 minutes, the video below is well worth the time.  It will alter your view every so slightly and I guarantee you will not breeze by a mural without giving it at least a cursory inspection.

Name:  José Clemente Orozco
Occupation:  Illustrator, Painter
Birth Date:  November 23, 1883
Death Date:  September 7, 1949
EducationNational Preparatory School, Academy of San Carlos, School of Agriculture
Place of Birth:  Ciudad Guzman, Mexico
Place of DeathMexico City, Mexico

BEST KNOWN FOR:  José Clemente Orozco was a painter who helped lead the revival of Mexican mural painting in the 1920s. His works are complex and often tragic.

The life of José Clemente Orozco is a tale of tragedy, adversity and outstanding achievement. Born in Mexico in 1883, he was raised in Zapotlán el Grande, a small city in Mexico’s southwestern region of Jalisco. When he was still a young boy, Orozco’s parents moved to Mexico City in hopes of making a better life for their three children. His father, Ireneo, was a businessman, and his mother, Maria Rosa, worked as a homemaker and sometimes sang for extra income. Despite his parents’ efforts, they often lived on the edge of poverty. The Mexican Revolution was heating up, and being a highly sensitive child, Orozco began noticing the many hardships people around him faced. While walking to school, he witnessed the Mexican cartoonist José Guadalupe Posada working in an open shop window. Posada’s politically engaged paintings not only intrigued Orozco, but they also awakened his first understanding of art as a powerful expression of political revolt.

At age 15, Orozco left the city and traveled to the countryside. His parents sent him away in order to study agricultural engineering, a profession he had very little interest in pursuing. While at school, he contracted rheumatic fever. His father died of typhus soon after he returned home. Perhaps Orozco finally felt free to pursue his true passion, because almost immediately he began taking art classes at San Carlos Academy. To support his mother, he also worked small jobs, first as a draftsman for an architectural firm, and then later as a post-mortem painter, hand-coloring portraits of the dead.

Just around the time Orozco became certain about pursuing a career in art, tragedy struck. While mixing chemicals to make fireworks to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day in 1904, he created an accidental explosion that injured his left arm and wrist. Due to the national festivities, a doctor did not see him for several days. By the time he was seen, gangrene had taken over and it was necessary to amputate his entire left hand. As he healed, the Mexican Revolution was eminent in everyone’s minds, and the personal suffering Orozco experienced was mirrored in the growing political strife happening all around him.

For the next several years, Orozco scraped by, working for a time as a caricaturist for an independent, oppositional newspaper. Even after he finally landed his first solo exhibition, titled “The House of Tears,” a glimpse at the lives of the women working in the city’s red-light district, Orozco found himself painting Kewpie dolls to pay the rent. Given his own struggles, it’s not surprising that his paintings teemed with social complexities. In 1922, Orozco began creating murals. The original impetus for this work was an innovative literacy campaign put in place by Mexico’s new revolutionary government. The idea was to paint murals on public buildings as a method for broadcasting their campaign messages. He did this for only a short time, but the medium of mural painting stuck. Orozco eventually became known as one of the three “Mexican Muralists.” The other two were his contemporaries, Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Over time, Orozco’s work was uniquely recognized and set apart from Rivera’s and Siqueiros’ for its intensity and focus on human suffering. His vast scenes illustrated the lives and struggles of peasants and working-class folk.

Orozco married Margarita Valladares in 1923, and they had three children. In 1927, after years of working as an underappreciated artist in Mexico, Orozco left his family and moved to the United States. He spent a total of 10 years in America, during which time he witnessed the financial crash of 1929. His first mural in the United States was created for Pomona College in Claremont, California. He also devised massive works for the New School for Social Research, Dartmouth College and the Museum of Modern Art. One of his most famous murals is The Epic of American Civilization, housed in Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. It took two years to complete, is composed of 24 panels and is nearly 3,200 square feet.

In 1934, Orozco returned to his wife and country. Now established and highly respected, he was invited to paint in the Government Palace in Guadalajara. The main fresco found in its vaulted ceilings is titled The People and Its Leaders. Orozco, now in his mid-fifties, then painted what would become considered a masterpiece, the frescos found inside Guadalajara’s Hospicio Cabañas, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the oldest hospital complexes in Latin America. The work, which became known as the “Sistine Chapel of the Americas,” is a panorama of Mexico’s history, from pre-Hispanic times, including scenes of early Indian civilizations, through the Mexican Revolution, which he depicts as a society engulfed in flames. In 1940, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City commissioned him to create the centerpiece for its exhibition “Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art.” His contributions included Dive Bomber and Tank, both commentaries on the impending Second World War.

Around this time, Orozco met Gloria Campobello, the prima ballerina for the Mexico City Ballet. Within three years, he left his wife Margarita to live with Gloria in New York City. The affair, however, ended almost as quickly as it started. In 1946, Campobello left him, and Orozco returned to Mexico to live alone. In 1947, the American author John Steinbeck asked Orozco to illustrate his book The Pearl. A year later, Orozco was asked to paint his only outdoor mural, Allegory of the Nation, at Mexico’s National Teachers College. The work was photographed and featured in Life magazine.

In the fall of 1949, Orozco completed his last fresco. On September 7, he died in his sleep of heart failure at the age of 65. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, he was hailed as a master of the human condition, an artist bold enough to cut through the lies a nation tells its people. As Orozco insisted, “Painting…it persuades the heart.”

Happy Birthday Doris Duke

Today is Doris Duke’s 102nd birthday.  She was in the newspapers from the day she was born, her every move chronicled and scrutinized.  Her art collection, the house she built in Hawaii, her love life, she did everything large. If Susan Sarandon and Lauren Bacall star in movies about your life, you are doing something right.  The world is a better place because she was in it and still feels the loss that she has left.

NAME: Doris Duke
OCCUPATION: Art Collector, Philanthropist
BIRTH DATE: November 22, 1912
DEATH DATE: October 28, 1993
PLACE OF BIRTH: New York, New York
PLACE OF DEATH: Los Angeles, California

BEST KNOWN FOR: Tobacco heiress Doris Duke was the only child of American tobacco baron, James Duke. When she was born, the press called her the “million dollar baby.”

Doris Duke (November 22, 1912 – October 28, 1993) was an American heiress, horticulturalist, art collector, and philanthropist.

Duke was the only child of tobacco and electric energy tycoon James Buchanan Duke and his second wife, Nanaline Holt Inman, widow of Dr. William Patterson Inman. At his death in 1925, the elder Duke’s will bequeathed the majority of his estate to his wife and daughter,[3] along with $17,000,000, in two separate clauses of the will, to The Duke Endowment he had created in 1924. The total value of the estate was not disclosed, but was estimated variously at $60,000,000 and $100,000,000.

Duke spent her early childhood at Duke Farms, her father’s 3,000-acre (12 km2) estate in Hillsborough Township, New Jersey. Due to ambiguity in James Duke’s will, a lawsuit was filed to prevent auctions and outright sales of real estate he had owned; in effect, Doris Duke successfully sued her mother and other executors to prevent the sales. One of the pieces of real estate in question was a Manhattan mansion at 1 East 78th Street which later became the home of the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.

She was presented to society as a debutante in 1930, aged 18, at a ball at Rough Point, the family residence in Newport, Rhode Island. She received large bequests from her father’s will when she turned 21, 25, and 30; she was sometimes referred to as the “world’s richest girl”. Her mother died in 1962, leaving her jewelry and a coat.

 

 

 

 

Carolyn Bridger Anderson

On Tuesday, my aunt Carolyn died.  She always had so much to do and say, always completing projects.  Her professional and artistic friends reach around the world.  She was one of the most intelligent people I have ever met.  The world is a better place because she was in it and is feeling the loss now that she has left.

Pianist Carolyn Bridger, who was the principal keyboardist with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and a former faculty member at the Florida State College of Music, died in an auto accident near Traverse City, Mich., on Tuesday morning. She was 71.

“Carolyn was beloved by her colleagues and many, many students,” TSO executive director Amanda Stringer said in an email. “A fantastic pianist, she played in the TSO over 30 years and performed throughout the country in many different capacities. We extend our deepest sympathies to her family and all others who loved and knew her.”

Bridger, who created the collaborative piano (or accompanying) program at FSU, was a founding member of the TSO in the early ’80s with conductor Nicholas Harsanyi.

“As a player, she was solid as a rock,” Stringer said. “We will miss her presence on stage.”

The Traverse City Record-Eagle is reporting Bridger was in Michigan, where she owns a home in Interlochen, to attend a funeral. She and other family members were returning from the airport in Traverse City when a Brimley, Mich., man crossed the central median and struck their car around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Bridger was pronounced dead on the scene. The driver and two other passengers in Bridger’s car were taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The Record-Eagle is reporting the man who caused the wreck was arrested on charges of “driving while license suspended causing death” and two other license-related charges. A Traverse City Sheriff’s Office deputy said that all drivers and passengers were wearing their seat belts at the time of impact. Deputies are still investigating the exact cause of the fatal crash on the icy roadway.

The sudden death was a major loss for Tallahassee‘s classical-music community. It left friends and colleagues reeling.

“She was tireless, she never ran out of energy,” said violinist Karen Clarke, a former concert master for the TSO and a professor emerita from the FSU College of Music. “She contributed so much to Tallahassee.”

In the early ’90s, Bridger played a supporting role in founding The Artist Series along with her husband, Waldie Anderson, who died in 2011. The Artist Series made its debut in 1995 with performances by the Eroica Trio and Rockapella.

In 1994, Anderson and Bridger rallied a group of non-professional musicians to form the Big Bend Community Orchestra.

“She was such an inspiration to so many students and she and Waldie were indefatigable music ambassadors,” former TSO executive director Lois Griffin said in an email.

The upbeat, quick-to-smile Bridger was as busy as ever this fall on stages around Tallahassee. In October, she performed as the accompanist with cello player Evgeni Raychev at a recital hall at FSU and, in September, she was featured in the Tallahassee Ballet’s annual “An Evening of Music and Dance” in Opperman Music Hall.

She was booked to accompany on piano for the Tallahassee Music Guild’s annual “Sing-Along Messiah” concert on Dec. 2 at Faith Presbyterian Church. Her Florida State College of Music colleague, pianist Timothy Hoekman, has been tapped as her replacement.

“Carolyn’s musical fingerprint is on almost everything in Tallahassee,” Florida State Opera conductor Douglas Fisher said in an email. “She played countless performances of recitals, chamber music, symphony engagements, public service events and more.”

When it came to range, the versatile Bridger could play everything from Baroque chamber music to cutting-edge material at the Festival of New Music. Her focus was as an accompanist, which meant she could fit in with nearly any kind of music or performer.

“How many famous accompanists are there out there?” former Florida State College of Music associate dean and oboist George Riordan said. “By nature, she was always in the background and making things happen. She ran the accompanying program (at FSU) and taught students how to play with singers, soloists, any type of musician. Her absolute devotion to her students was endless, not only when they students but also after they went out into the world.”

Bridger joined the FSU faculty in 1976 and retired in 2010. During her tenure, she became the resident director of the FSU Study-Abroad Summer Program in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Bridger played concerts all around the world, ranging from Malaysia to the Dalmatian Islands to Carnegie Hall in Manhattan.

A graduate of Oberlin College & Conservatory, Indiana University and the University of Iowa, Bridger also studied at the Mozarteum Akademie in Salzburg, Austria. She won the the prestigious Schubert Prize for Accompanying in Austria. The pianist also had close ties with Interlochen Arts Camp, which is located just a few miles south of Traverse City.

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Patricia Lu Mallet Anderson Banghart

My aunt Pat died on Sunday.  She was very kind to me my first summer at Interlochen Arts Camp.  She worked in the Academic Library and I spent a lot of time in the library reading back issues of art magazines and Aldous Huxley novels.  I really appreciated a friendly face, I felt so alone that summer.  The world is a better place because she was in it and will feel the loss now that she has left.

Partricia Lu Banghart, 82, of Interlochen passed away November 16, 2014 at the Grand Traverse Pavilions.

Patty was born on November 14, 1932 in North Muskegon to the late Henry and Frances (Reed) Mallett.

In 1980, Patty married Edward Philip Banghart at All Saints Lutheran Church in Traverse City. Ed preceded Patty in death in 2013.

Patty earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree in music education from the University of Michigan. Her career brought her to Interlochen where she taught for Traverse City Public Schools and was a member of the Michigan Music Teachers Association. Patty enjoyed teaching students how to play the piano. Patty also spent decades on staff at Interlochen Center for the Arts. She was a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church where she was active in the choir. Patty also enjoyed nature and loved to be outdoors.

Patty is survived by her son Reed (Diana) Anderson of Sylvania, OH, son Paul (Cheryl) Anderson of Los Alamos, NM, step-daughter Dawn Banghart of Woodside, CA, step-son Thomas Banghart of West Hollywood, CA, and grandsons Max and Ian Anderson of Sylvania, OH.

Patty was preceded in death by her son Erik Alfred Anderson.

A memorial service celebrating Patty’s life will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions in memory of Patty may be directed to Interlochen Center for the Arts (P.O. Box 199, Interlochen, MI 49643) or to the Grand Traverse Pavilions (Elm: 1000 Pavilions Circle, Traverse City, MI 49684).

Happy Birthday Sister Mary Corita Kent

Today is the 96th birthday Sister Mary Corita Kent.  Google Doodle is celebrating her birthday today.  You should too.  The world is a better place because she was in it and still feels the loss that she has left.

Name:  Frances Elisabeth Kent
Occupation:  Nun, Artist, Educator
Birth Date: November 20,1918
Death Date:  September 18, 1986
Education:  Columbia University
Place of BirthFort Dodge, Iowa
Also Known As:  Sister Mary Corita Kent

BEST KNOWN FOR:  Sister Mary Corita Kent was an American nun, an artist and an educator who worked in Los Angeles and Boston.

Corita Kent, also known as Sister Corita, gained international fame for her vibrant serigraphs during the 1960s and 1970s. A Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, she ran the Art Department at Immaculate Heart College until 1968 when she left the Order and moved to Boston. Corita’s art reflects her spirituality, her commitment to social justice, her hope for peace, and her delight in the world that takes place all around us.

Corita was born Frances Kent in 1918 in Fort Dodge, Iowa. She grew up in Los Angeles and joined the Order of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1936, taking the name Sister Mary Corita.

She graduated from Immaculate Heart College in 1941 and then taught grade school in British Columbia. In 1946 she returned to Immaculate Heart College to teach art. In 1951, she received a master’s degree in art history from the University of Southern California; it is also the year she exhibited her first silkscreen print. Corita’s earliest works were largely iconographic; known as “neo-gothic” they borrowed phrases and depicted images from the Bible.

By the 1960s, she was using popular culture (such as song lyrics and advertising slogans) as raw material for her meaning-filled bursts of text and color. Corita’s cries for peace in the era of Vietnam were not always welcome. In 1965 her “Peace on Earth” Christmas exhibit in IBM’s New York show room was seen as too subversive and Corita had to amend it. However, her work continued to be an outlet for her activism—in Corita’s words:
“I am not brave enough to not pay my income tax and risk going to jail. But I can say rather freely what I want to say with my art.”

By then Corita was the chairman of the famous Immaculate Heart College Art Department. Buckminster Fuller described his visit to the department as “among the most fundamentally inspiring experiences of my life.” Other influential friends of hers included Charles Eames , Ben Shahn, Harvey Cox and the Berrigan brothers.

August was Corita’s time for her own art making. During the three weeks between semesters, she and her students would work round the clock printing new serigraph designs by the hundreds. Corita’s chronic insomnia no doubt made some of this possible, but it was often accompanied by a bleak depression. In 1968 Corita decided to devote herself entirely to making art. She left the Order and Los Angeles, and moved to Boston’s Back Bay. She made numerous commissioned works (Westinghouse Group W ads, book covers and murals) and continued to create her own serigraphs (over 400) in the next 18 years. Still using exuberant splashes of color, the tone of her work became more generally spiritual and introspective. Watercolor “plein air” paintings and great floral silk screens dominated her later works.Corita remained active in social causes and designed posters and billboards for Share, the International Walk for Hunger, Physicians for Social Responsibility and Amnesty International.

The Boston Gas tank on the Southeast Expressway still bears her famous 150-foot rainbow swash, which is a similar to her design for the 1985 Love Stamp. On Sept. 18, 1986 Corita finally lost her battle with cancer and died at a friend’s home.

Imogene Coca – Style Icon

Today is the 96th birthday of Imogene Coca.  There are a lot of people whose lives seem less remembered than others and less recognition is paid to their contributions than I feel is due to them.  I am sure that is why I started the “Style Icon” tag in the first place:  to remember and recognize the contributions that others made to society. Imogene Coca is one of the initial people I had in mind.  She is just perfection.  The world is a better place because she was in it and still feels the loss that she has left.

Imogene Fernandez de Coca (November 18, 1908 – June 2, 2001) was an American comic actress best known for her role opposite Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows.

Starting out in vaudeville as a child acrobat, she studied ballet and wished to have a serious career in music and dance, graduating to decades of stage musical revues, cabaret and summer stock. Finally in her 40s she began a celebrated career as a comedienne in television, starring in six series and guesting on successful television programs from the 1940s to the 1990s.

She was nominated for five Emmy awards for Your Show of Shows, winning Best Actress in 1951 and singled out for a Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting in 1953. Coca was also nominated for a Tony Award in 1978 for On the Twentieth Century and received a sixth Emmy nomination at the age of 80 for an episode of Moonlighting.

She possessed a rubbery face capable of the broadest expressions—Life magazine compared her to Beatrice Lillie and Charlie Chaplin, and described her characterizations as taking “people or situations suspended in their own precarious balance between dignity and absurdity, and push(ing) them over the cliff with one single, pointed gesture”—the magazine noted a “particularly high-brow critic” as observing, “The trouble with most comedians who try to do satire is that they are essentially brash, noisy and indelicate people who have to use a sledge hammer to smash a butterfly. Miss Coca, on the other hand, is the timid woman who, when aroused, can beat a tiger to death with a feather.”

In addition to vaudeville, cabaret, theater and television, she appeared in film, voiced children’s cartoons and was even featured in an MTV video by a New Wave band, working well into her 80s. Twice a widow, Coca died in 2001.

In 1995 she was honored with the second annual Women in Film Lucy Award, honoring women’s achievement in television and named after Lucille Ball.

TELEVISION
Your Show of Shows Regular (1950-54)
It’s About Time Shadd (1966-67)

FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Buy & Cell (1987)
Alice in Wonderland (9-Dec-1985)
Nothing Lasts Forever (Sep-1984)
National Lampoon’s Vacation (29-Jul-1983) · Aunt Edna
The Return of the Beverly Hillbillies (6-Oct-1981)
Rabbit Test (9-Apr-1978)
Under the Yum Yum Tree (23-Oct-1963) · Dorkus

Happy Birthday Isabella Blow

Today is the 56th birthday of the fashion visionary Isabella Blow.  The world is a better place because she was in it and still feels the loss that she has left.

Name:  Isabella Blow
Occupation:  Editor
Birth Date: November 19, 1958
Death Date:  May 7, 2007
Education:  Columbia University
Place of BirthLondon, England
Place of Death:  Gloucester, England

BEST KNOWN FOR:  Isabella Blow was a British fashion director and style icon known for wearing flamboyant hats, many by designer Philip Treacy.

“Fashion is a vampiric thing, it’s the hoover on your brain. That’s why I wear the hats, to keep everyone away from me. They say, ‘Oh, can I kiss you?’ I say, ‘No, thank you very much. That’s why I’ve worn the hat. Goodbye.’ I don’t want to be kissed by all and sundry. I want to be kissed by the people I love.”

Born Isabella Delves Broughton in 1958, Blow was a fashion editor, consultant, muse and nurturer of young fashion talent. She was renowned for her extrovert dress sense, which sometimes involved little more than a fur coat, red lipstick and a hat. To many she was the embodiment of the English eccentric, but her life was marred by tragedy, depression and unhappiness.

Part of an aristocratic family, Blow grew up on the family’s estate in Doddington, Cheshire, with her parents, two sisters and brother, John, who drowned in the family’s half-full swimming pool at the age of two. The tragedy had a great impact upon the family, fracturing her parents’ marriage and leading to their divorce when Isabella was aged 14. Blow later recalled that her mother left offering her nothing more than a goodbye handshake, attributing this to the beginning of her lifelong battle with depression.

Blow was sent to Heathfield School in Ascot, Surrey, where she remained until she was 18. After finishing her education she moved into a London squat and took odd jobs to earn money. In 1979 she moved to New York to study ancient Chinese art at Columbia University, where she became friends with many prominent artists such as Andy Warhol, Jean-Michael Basquiat and Roy Lichenstein.

In 1980, she moved briefly to West Texas to work for the designer Guy Laroche, but returned to New York a year later. It was then that she was first introduced to Anna Wintour, then-creative director of American Vogue, and soon after she became her assistant. In 1981 she married her first husband, Nicholas Taylor, although the marriage ended in divorce two years later.

Blow moved back to London in 1986 and began working at Tatler magazine, assisting the then-fashion editor Michael Roberts. In 1988, she met her second husband Detmar Blow. They were wed at Gloucester Cathedral a year later, with Isabella wearing a hat created by milliner Philip Treacy – then an unknown student at the Royal College of Art whom she had recently discovered. Treacy was to become a lifelong friend and confidante of Blow’s, and Blow was almost never seen without one of Treacy’s hats upon her head. “I don’t use a hat as a prop, I use it as a part of me. If I am feeling really low, I go and see Philip, cover my face, and feel fantastic. Although, if I’m on a real low it requires going to the doctor for a prescription,” Blow once said.

Renowned for her unique ability to spot and nurture design talent, she discovered many of the fashion industry’s leading figures. Three years after discovering Treacy, she attended the Central Saint Martins MA graduate show where she spotted the work of then-student Alexander McQueen. Blow famously bought McQueen’s entire graduate collection for £5,000, and began supporting him and his talent in any way she could. After McQueen became famous across the world – and his label was bought by the Gucci Group – Blow expressed bitterness that he did not employ her in an official capacity within his brand, despite her efforts to make him a success. “She was upset that Alexander McQueen didn’t take her along when he sold his brand to Gucci. Once the deals started happening, she fell by the wayside. Everybody else got contracts, and she got a free dress,” said her friend Daphne Guinness in an interview with Cathy Horyn in 2007.

She was also credited with discovering the models Sophie Dahl, who she spotted crying on Kensington street corner, and Stella Tennant.

Blow left Tatler in 1997 to work at the Sunday Times, only to return to the publication as fashion director in 2001. During her tenure at Tatlers he became notorious for her risqué shoots, once featuring herself topless in a 2004 shoot entitled See nipples and die.

In the years leading up to Blow’s death in 2007 she attempted suicide numerous times, once shattering both her ankles after jumping from the Hammersmith flyover. She died in hospital on May 7 2007 after drinking the weed killer Paraquat. At the time of her death she was also suffering from ovarian cancer.

Blow’s funeral took place at Gloucester Cathedral on May 15 2007 – the same place she had married her husband almost 20 years earlier. Philip Treacy created a hat resembling a black sailing ship which was placed atop her coffin, and she was buried in a red-and-gold brocade dress designed by McQueen. McQueen, Treacy and Blow’s sister Julia helped dress the body.

Rupert Everett, a long time friend of Blow’s, read the eulogy at her funeral. “For someone who was suicidal, she was constantly dazzled by life and life was constantly dazzled by her,” he said. “You were a one-off, a genius friend, your own creation in a world of copycats and I will miss you for the rest of my life.”

Alexander McQueen dedicated his spring/summer 2008 show to Blow, collaborating with Treacy to create ambitious head pieces.  The show space was sprayed with Isabella’s favourite Robert Piguet scent and the invitations were illustrations which depicted a triumphant Blow in a McQueen dress and Philip Treacy headdress, aboard a horse-drawn carriage ascending to heaven.

In 2010, Bryan Ferry dedicated his album Olympia to Blow. Blow was godmother to his son, Otis.

In May 2010, Philip Treacy confirmed that a film was set to be made about Blow’s life.

After her death Blow’s sisters arranged an auction of Isabella’s clothes at Christie’s, which included over 90 McQueen dresses, 50 Treacy hats and portraits of Blow by photographer Mario Testino and Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld. The auction was later cancelled after Blow’s friend Daphne Guinness bought the entire lot. “The planned sale at Christie’s could only result in carnage, as souvenir seekers plundered the incredible body of work Issie had created over her life,” said Guinness. “Indeed, in many ways, the auction would not be merely a sale of clothes; it would be a sale of what was left of Issie, and the carrion crows would gather and take away her essence forever.”

In July 2010, Blow’s sister Julie Broughton was presented with a rose that had been named after Isabella by Alexander McQueen, before his death. It was named Alexander’s Issie. “My sister, Isabella, was passionate and totally dedicated to fashion – but only her closest friends knew of her love of gardens, and in particular, roses,” said Broughton. “Their unique colour and beauty combined with their thorny nature greatly appealed to her and to her distinctive eye. She would have been extremely honoured to receive this wonderful gift from her most beloved friend, Alexander.” Alexander’s Issie was selected after the designer had trawled through hundreds of flower pictures. He thought the rose reflected Blow’s bright personality – heralding her love of fashion and famous sense of style.

In September 2010, Detmar Blow released a memoir based on the life of his late wife – entitled Blow By Blow. In the book he recalled the first time he saw his wife at a wedding in Salisbury. “I couldn’t take my eyes off her. After the service, I waited for an opportunity to speak to her – and we immediately connected. Despite the brevity of our meeting, I knew I had fallen in love with her, and sat with her after dinner.”

Detmar Blow also spoke of his wife’s friendship with Treacy. “In Philip Treacy she had found not only the creator of her wedding headdress, but her best friend for life and the greatest discovery of her career so far,” Detmar wrote. “They quickly developed an intense and creative relationship that he later likened to ‘having an affair with no sex.”

Philip Treacy has said that Blow’s life should not be looked back upon with sadness. “Nothing about her was tragic. She was triumphant,” he said in September 2010.

In October 2010, Detmar Blow said in an interview with London’s Evening Standard that he believed Alexander McQueen betrayed Isabella. “Money changed him and then drugs changed him. I remember reading of how he had flown his boyfriend somewhere for £130,000,” recalled Blow. “What did Issie get? Some clothes. I find that quite shocking.”

In the March 2011 issue of American Vogue, Lady Gaga attributed some of her success to her similarities with Blow. “The fashion community in general got me much earlier than everyone else. But actually, I felt truly embraced by this London cultural movement, the McQueen, Isabella [Blow], Daphne Guinness wing of the English crowd. I remember when I first started doing photo shoots people would say, ‘My God, you look so much like Isabella Blow, it scares me.’ And McQueen used to say, ‘Oh, my God, your boobs!’ He actually grabbed both of them and said, ‘Even your boobs are like hers!’”

In September 2011, Tom Ford spoke about the Philip Treacy hat worn by Princess Beatrice at the wedding of Catherine Middleton and Prince William. “I’ll probably get in trouble for saying this, but at the royal wedding, one of the princesses wore a now-very-famous (or infamous),  Philip Treacy hat – that hat wore her,” Ford said. “Now, Isabella Blow, a woman those of us in fashion knew well – had she worn the same hat, it would have looked great. She would have worn the hat. She knew what she was about, what she wanted to express in fashion.” The hat sold for over £81,000 on ebay, with all proceeds going to charity.

In October 2011, a double portrait of Blow and McQueen taken by David LaChapelle went on public display for the first time. The picture, entitled Burning Down The House, was taken in December 1996 at Hedingham House in Essex, and first appeared in Vanity Fair. At the time the picture was taken McQueen was just 27 years old and was still working at Givenchy. Both wear creations by the designer himself, with Blow sporting a Philip Treacy hat. The image was bought by the National Portrait Gallery with the financial help of McQueen and Blow’s long-term friend Daphne Guinness, The Marrakech Gallery Foundation and artist management company Fred Torres.