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Aug 27, 2017 6:31 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Hilary Knight, Estate of Daria Deshuk Both Sell Hamptons Homes

Hilary Knight recently sold his East Hampton home, which includes a mural of Eloise, the character he famoulsy illustrated in children's books. COURTESY DOUGLAS ELLIMAN
Aug 27, 2017 6:31 PM

As regular readers know, sometimes we are more interested in the sellers than the buyers. Case in point this go-round are two just-sold properties whose artistic owners are in very different places.

The illustrator Hilary Knight, who will turn 91 in November and is known mostly for the “Eloise” series of books for children, has sold his house at 1 Squires Path in East Hampton, originally listed for $1.1 million, for $678,000. The 2,300-square-foot residence has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, one of which is decorated with a mural of Eloise as a monkey. The property contains a greenhouse with a deck overlooking a pool and a pond.

Some readers may have seen a documentary aired on HBO last year titled “It’s Me, Hilary: The Man Who Drew Eloise,” produced by Lena Dunham of “Girls” fame. Mr. Knight, who has illustrated a total of 50 books, beginning with “The Circus Is Coming” in 1947, was born on Long Island, in Hempstead. He studied at the Art Students League in Manhattan, was a ship painter in the Navy, then returned to New York to do illustrations for magazines and advertising agencies. The first “Elise” book, written by Kay Thompson, was published in 1955. Also on his resume is creating posters for Broadway shows, among them “No, No Nanette,” “Half a Sixpence,” and “Gypsy.”

The other recent transaction was 141 Maple Lane in Bridgehampton, which sold for a much more robust $2,150,000. On 0.47 of an acre, the house has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths and was built in 1988. The seller was the estate of Daria Deshuk, who passed away this past March at age 60.

She had been born in Brooklyn and attended school on Long Island before earning art degrees at the Parsons School of Design and Hunter College. She was a painter and performance artist in Manhattan, and at 22 she met the artist and longtime South Fork resident Larry Rivers. They lived together for 15 years and had a son, Sam Rivers. After Rivers died in 2002, Ms. Deshuk moved to Bridgehampton and founded the Deshuk Rivers Studio. Her own artwork could be found on display at local galleries and museums, including Guild Hall in East Hampton.

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