Marion & Dorian

Since creating the first HART pages years ago, quite out of the blue, I received an e-mail and subsequent phone calls from Marion R. in Long Island. Marion was nurse to Hart's wife Christine and spent years attending to the couple, both of whom were in poor health. Obviously, this was a wonderful opportunity to get a first hand account of who this man was.

Within a month of our communications with Marion, my wife and I visited her and her family in Long Island. This culminated with the purchase of a number of invaluable items, including Hart's penultimate shade, a 16" pansy, many photographs, documents and several molds.

Two days after the last major update to the HART pages which included the material from Marion, I was finally in contact with Hart's son Dorian. His wife Jane emailed me and during August Dorian and I spoke at length about his father. After our initial call, several emails were exhanged clarifying and adding to Dorian's information and rememberances of his father. These notes appear below along with some photographs. August 2007

Dorian had a remarkable upbringing, being the only son of a couple who were both very artistic and active in their careers. Early memories were of a house always full of visitors, a 'Bohemian' lifestyle where artists, writers and musicians would gather. Dance lessons were conducted there, Anthony was an excellent dancer. The family lived in NYC before moving to Long Island.

The Liberace story was fact, Anthony and Christine were visiting Las Vegas and Christine called Dorian who was back home in Long Island to tell him that they had met Liberace and sold a lamp to him.

The driving school was also fact, Anthony was a good driver and had a technical understanding and mastery, instilling in Dorian a sense that driving had to be done properly and with care, a quality that continues to this day. His hands were like instruments or tools. He relied on them to create and solve. At an early age, he explained this special gift to Dorian. Today, Dorian still recognizes this to be a gift from his father.

Anthony was a talented, self-taught musician with the ability to quickly learn a variety of instruments including Saxophone, piano, flute, and clarinet. He encouraged Dorian to play. Anthony once traded a lamp for a harp. From his bedroom, Dorian remembers hearing Anthony play the harp well into the night, then he would switch to clarinet, his favored instrument. On occasion his playing would continue all though the night, with Anthony finally retiring to bed in the early morning just as Dorian was rising.

Anthony's arrest in 1974 did happen and his lawyer was indeed F. Lee Bailey.

The Antique trader adverts in the early 1990s were placed in preparation of a trip that Anthony and Christine were planning to Las Vegas. Dorian doesn't remember if he placed them or whether they did, but Dorian remembers that his Mother asked if they could use his address in case of inquiries during their travel. (note. Don Goodwin did respond to this advert and after a long period, received a call back to his home, then in Kansas. Don ultimately met someone, perhaps Anthony, in a parking lot where he was shown several shades).

In High School, Dorian helped his Dad find objects for molds and glass. Anthony would visit churches in and around Brooklyn and Queens on the lookout for broken windows. He would remove and repair the windows and with the permission of the priest, would keep some of the old broken glass. This is what he used for his lamps. Dorian occasionally assisted his father in making lamps. He remembers that Anthony used the thinnest available foil, and when he was foiled the glass pieces, would trim a fraction off of the width so that the bare minimum would be showing when assembled. This resulted in the thinnest and most attractive lead lines possible.

The 2 Midfield Street address in Stony Brook was their residence, Dorian spent his Junior High and High School days there. However, Anthony and Christine also ran an antique auction business from a shop in the 1970-1978 period, it was in St James, a small town near Stony Brook. For much of the time, the house would be filled with beautiful things. On occasion, they would go to Europe to buy antiques. They visited England, mostly. Dorian recalls an early trip with them. They spent time outside of London shopping and picking for collectors back home.

For Dorian's 16th Birthday, Anthony and Christine gave Dorian the keys to his first car. It was a beautiful 1968 Jaguar XKE, silver, wire wheels. It was discovered that this car had only cost them just $500, but later, Dorian discovered Anthony had also included two of his lamps and a grand-father clock for the seller in order to make this possible.

There is some doubt about the 1951 photo of the wisteria. Dorian said that his father was rather good at making his work look a lot older than it actually was. He doubted that Anthony was making lamps as early as 1951, and that he really got into this in the late 1960s or early 70s when they moved to Long Island. He was not above backdating his work, and very rarely was involved in the actual sale, probably to add to the mystique of the actual creator. The reference written on the back of the wisteria photo to a person named Louise was certainly his sister with whom he was pretty close.

Anthony was 1 of 7 or 8 children, he was apparently only close to one brother, Nick D'Adamo who lived in the South, but recently seen in New York City, and Louise who lives in southern California. One of the individuals who sold Anthony's shades was Christine's brother, Richard Kisileski.

Christine's side of the family were Polish. Richard was well educated. Richard and Christine were both born in Poland. Richard studied medicine in Poland and was an avid adventurer. Enjoyed skiing, soccer and other outdoor recreation, she was an accomplished swimmer. Christine was an art student at Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn. She also worked at The Waldorf Astoria in NYC. Aparently, Anthony didn't actually do much painting, and that the paintings he refers to in the Bio, were actually done by Christine. Dorian has some of her work.

Marion was the last of several nurses that cared for Christine. Marion recalls that Christine died from an infection received as a result of an improperly applied dressing to an area of her back. Christine technically died from a brain tumor. After doctors removed a benign tumor lodged close to her spinal column, Christine lost mobility from her waist down. Having been so active throughout her life, she lost much of her drive and motivation. Christine was extremely outgoing, active, life of the party. She died in 1997, one year before Anthony. At Christine's funeral, Anthony was very upset and said to Dorian that "I am now lost, my compass is no longer with me". Dorian and Jane, his wife, were living in Atlanta at this time. They tried without success to encourage Anthony to start a new life by moving in with them or at least move to be near them.