An architect, a sculptor, and a painter, Thierry W. Despont was born in 1948 in Limoges, France and raised there until his acceptance into the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts in Paris where he received a diploma in architecture in 1972. Despont then went on to gain an MA in Urban Planning from Harvard in 1975.
One of Despont’s first jobs was under commission from the Shah of Iran designing the city center of Tehran with the international firm Llewelyn-Davies. In 1980, Despont moved to New York to start his own hospitality and residential design firm the Office of Thierry W. Despont, Ltd. Just some examples of his work with the firm include his appointment as associate architect for the centennial restoration of the Statue of Liberty, designing of the galleries inside the Getty Center in Los Angeles, and in London Claridge’s Hotel as well as the Ralph Lauren flagship store there.
Despont’s talent isn’t just limited to his firm: he is an accomplished watercolor painter. He is also known for his metal sculptures of insects, orbs, and masks, along with his “cabinets of curiosity,” lunar-shaped tapestries. It is because of Despont’s excellence and his devotion to various scopes of art that he is a Knight of the French Legion of Honor, a Knight of the Arts and Letters, and a member of the Interior Design Hall of Fame. Despont is the author of a series of books called Houses on his projects and the co-author of Restoring the Statue of Liberty.
Despont’s art has largely been exhibited by the Marlborough Gallery in New York, London, and Monaco. He also had a solo exhibition at the Centro Cultural Recoleta and his Illustrations for Le Bateau Ivre have been exhibited at the Musée Rimbaud in Charlesville, France and the French Cultural Center in New York.