Pansy’s Handpainted Suite

Pansy’s Suite at Spindletop Hall as it looks now. (The gray marble mantle is from a French Chateau).

A few weeks ago I did a couple of posts about Spindletop Hall, the former mansion of oil heiress Pansy Yount (here, here, here and here).   When the University of Kentucky bought the property in the 1960s, it converted the mansion into a club house. Most of the furniture, especially from the bedrooms, was no longer needed when the house was re-purposed.  Some pieces were put into storage and others were removed from the house for use at other university properties.

Pansy’s hand-painted canopy bed at Maxwell Place

The bedroom furniture that was designed for Pansy’s suite of rooms (sitting room, bedroom, dressing room and bathroom),was moved to  Maxwell Place on UK’s campus, the home of the president of the university. In June of 2011,  then President and Mrs. Lee Todd graciously allowed BGT deTours to tour both the public and private rooms of the house, including the bedroom that now boasts Pansy’s bedroom furniture.

Hand-painted murals in Pansy’s Suite at Spindletop Hall

Pansy’s suite of rooms was decorated in the French style of Louis XV and XVI.  It featured beautifully detailed murals (many of which included the faces of Pansy and her daughter) hand-painted by an Italian artist who lived on-site during construction. The furniture meant for those rooms was hand-painted by the same artist.

Pansy’s dressing table at Maxwell Place

Viewing images of the room and the furniture designed for it side by side makes it easy to imagine how  luxurious and richly-detailed the suite was when Pansy lived at Spindletop.  The overall effect is delicate, feminine, sophisticated and elegant.

Pansy’s Chaise Lounge at Maxwell Place

Currently, the CEO of Spindletop is trying to collect pieces that were designed for the house so that they can be restored to the mansion. While the bed is probably a no-go for the club, it would be wonderful to see the vanity or chaise back in Pansy’s suite.

Miniature portrait detail from Pansy’s Suite murals.

For more information about the history, architecture and interior design Spindletop Hall, check out its National Register of Historic Places nomination.

Yesterday, BGT deTours celebrated Halloween and Fire Safety month by touring the Old Episcopal Burying Ground and Lexington’s historic Fire Station #1. Check back next week for posts about these two Lexington treasures!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s