Paula Sweet


Paula sweet is perhaps best known for creating the Muslin Mink jacket which can be found in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. An artist, inventor and teacher, Sweet was born in Illinois and grew up in Maryland, the daughter of an artist and a physicist.
At 11, she moved with her family to the west coast, leaving behind her girlfriends who played with dolls to meet new Palos Verdes, California girls who had kissing parties with surfers who wore no shoes.
She attended Rolling Hills High School and won the Palos Verdes Art Assoc Award in 1967 and spent her summers studying product design at Chouinard Art Institute and life drawing at the Academy of Art in San Francisco.

In 1971 she graduated from The University of California Irvine on the dean's honor list, where she studied art history with Barbara Rose and ceramic sculpture with John Mason.
Her next move was to Venice California; where she worked for and assisted the artists Billy Al Bengston and Robert Graham.
While residing in Venice, Sweet’s work began to be recognized with two solo shows at the La Louver Gallery. The Paula Sweet Shop on Melrose, opened by Waldo of Waldo’s Designs, featured her hand painted textiles. Internationally her art works were represented by the Galleria Del Cavallino in Venice Italy. While in Italy, she began to study yoga with Rademes Silvestri, a first generation student of Iyengar.

When she needed a coat for a cool California night and a hot date Sweet invented the Muslin Mink, a coat made of natural muslin resembling fur which could be machine washed. This casual but luxurious item was sold by Donald Pliner at the Right Bank Clothing Co and Fiorucci in Beverly Hills.
As the Mink grew in popularity it was produced in larger numbers and sold at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and other high end retailers. The largest quantities were sold by Speigle Catalogue, where the Muslin Mink was featured on the cover.

Because simple and beautiful is her mission, during a party in her garden, after guests finished eating their delicious salads of layered lettuce, she asked them to turn over their plates to receive their hot off the grill juicy chicken. Thus was born the reversible dish, produced and sold in an edition by La Louver Gallery. Her ceramics were hand painted in Italy, and along with her table top linen designs, were sold at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, and among others Henri Bendel.

In 1979 Sweet moved to NYC, showing drawings out of Holly Solomon’s back room and mass producing the Muslin Mink.
It was in Tribecca that she began her paintings of NYC Roof Tops.
In the 1980’s when a friend suffered disabling sciatica, he became her first yoga student. She furthered her yoga studies with Radames Silvestri in Italy and Angela Farmer and Victor van Kooten in Greece.

As her experience in teaching yoga grew, she began to see that what most interested her was that an individual’s characteristics, such as, intelligence, reticence, joy, and patience are present and visible in the physical body and face. Each person, living creature, and plant is made of a unique recipe created through the daily living of their own life, similar to how vines in their shape show the precise voyage that they’ve made searching for the light. Human faces likewise are a record of a journey.

In 1992 her daughter was born and in 1999 she moved to Rural New Jersey where nature continued to be the inspiration for her art and life.

Sweet’s large portrait sculptures focus on actions and responses that have been recorded in the flesh and become visible over time as they become repeated often enough to make a path. We can see this clearly in wrinkles. Sweet is not interested in wrinkles, but rather the deeper more often overlooked pathways in the skin that delineate the strengths and beauty of the unique recipe that is that individual.

Sweet’s Ink portrait Drawings are done from life and capture many ingredients of the sitter’s unique recipe.

The large portrait sculptures are done from photographs that she takes herself. Multiple shots of different angles and expressions enable her to study the movements in the skin that have been recorded over time forming the character defining shapes of the present face. Facial expressions are as fleeting as yoga poses; Sweet is interested in the pure face underneath the expression as it reveals itself in its present state, a product of its life voyage. Much the same as the body in a yoga pose  reveals today what it has been in the past.
Sweet hopes that you enjoy all that you see here.

Solo and Group Shows

2012 George Segal Gallery, Montclair University
2011 Pacific Standard Time   Best Kept Secret, Laguna Art Museum
Studio MNX   Myself Talking to Myself, Los Angeles, CA
1986-2004 Accents on Design Gift Show NY Javits Center
1986-2002 Apparel and Gift Mart Showrooms, Dallas, Atlanta, LA Chicago, Florida, NY, SF, Seattle.
1997-2001 Bergdorf Goodman Windows, 57th St
1997-2001 Bergdorf Goodman Table Top Dept, New York
1996 Barneys Windows, New York
1995 Bloomingdales Windows, New York
1993 Table Linens for the Central Park Conservancy Annual, Frederick Law Olmsted Awards
1987 Janey Kline Gallery, NYC
1986 Chiostro Di Santa Maria Di Castello, Genoa Italy
1986 Windows on 15th Street, New York
1985 Islip Art Museum, New York
1985 Carrington Gallery, Madison Ave NYC
1981 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
1981 Galleria Del Cavallino, Venice Italy
1981 The Functional Art Gallery, Los Angeles
1980 Otis- Parsons School of Design Los Angeles
1980 Waldo’s Designs, Beverly Hills
1980 American Artists Designer Collection, Chicago
1979 La Louver and Surya, Beverly Hills
1979 LAICA Los Angeles
1979 Fiorucci and LAICA, Beverly Hills
1979 “Hot Couture” Venice CA
1979 American Artist Designer Collection, Beverly Hills
1979 Fabric Workshop, Philadelphia PA
1979 Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art
1979 La Louver Gallery, Los Angeles
1979 Karen Bernard Dance Company, New York
1978 Loyola Marymount University
1978 West Beach Café, Venice CA
1978 Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach CA
1978 Mandeville Art Center UC San Diego
1978 LACMA, Los Angeles
1977 Galleria Del Cavallino, Venice Italy
1977 Galerie Jacques Bosser, Paris
1977 La Louver Gallery, Los Angeles
1977 Hanson Cowles Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
1977 LACMA, Los Angeles
1976 LAICA, Los Angeles
1976 La Louver Gallery, Los Angeles
1976 Gallery Krebs, Bern, Switzerland
1975 Mt. St. Mary’s College, Los Angeles
1975 LAICA
1975 Laguna Beach Museum of Art
1975 Nick Wilder Gallery
1975 Roger Wong Gallery, Los Angeles
1975 Main Street Design Center Los Angeles
1975 LACMA
1975 Pasadena Artists’ Concern, Pasadena CA
1974 Roger Wong Gallery, Los Angeles
1974 T.J.B. Gallery, Newport Beach
1973 Newspace, Los Angeles
1971 UC Irvine Gallery, Irvine


Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
Chiostro Di Santa Maria Di Castello, Genoa Italy
Bo Diddley
Whoopi Goldberg
Mariel Kallis Steinberg Newman, NY
Waldo Fernandez, Los Angeles
Andre Stasart, Brussels Belgium
Luigino Rossi, Padua Italy
Gabriella Cardozzo , Venice Italy
Pearl Bailey
Bette Midler, NY
Nancy Hoffman, NY
Mr. and Mrs. Joel Rosenberg, NY
Walter Shapiro, New York
Meryl Gordon, New York
Sylvia Simon, New York
Holly Solomon, New York
Elizabeth and Peter Goulds, Los Angeles
Julie Nixon, USA


1993 Tommy Award, Women’s Dresses
1991 Tommy Award, Women’s Sportswear
1967 Palos Verdes CA. Art Association Award


1984 Artists Design Furniture, Domergue Abrams
1980 Furnishings by Artists Otis/Parsons Gallery
1979 La Calzatura Della Riviera Del Brenta, Venezia

Features Magazines International

1979 British Vogue, June
1975 Saison, Japan, April, 5 Color Pages

Features Magazines USA

1999 More, September
1998 Brides, April May
1998 Better Homes and Gardens, June
1998 LDB Interior Textiles, Cover, August
1997 Tableware Today, October/November
1997 Better Homes and Gardens, Kitchen/Bath, Spring
1996 In Style Magazine, May, Objects of Desire
1996 Modern Bride, June/July
1996 Better Homes and Gardens, Kitchen-baths Fall
1996 LDB Interior Textiles, January
1996 LDB Interior Textiles, August  
1995 LDB Interior Textiles, August Full Page Color
1995 Woman’s Day, Volume 5 Number 1
1995 Home Textiles Today, 12/11 Full Page Color Feature
1994 Bon Appetit, November
1994 Gourmet, February
1994 Gourmet, November
1994 Better Homes and Gardens, Holiday Cooking, Dec.
1994 Country Living, January
1994 Country Living, July
1994 House Beautiful, January
1994 Traditional Home, Companion, July
1994 Woman’s Day, Volume 4 Number 2
1994 Woman’s Day, Volume 3 Number 9
1993 Country Living, May
1993 Cosmopolitan, July
1993 Cosmopolitan, September
1993 Bon Appetit, What’s New What’s Hot, August
1993 Woman’s Day, Cover, July, Volume 3 Number 5
1993 Woman’s Day, December, Volume 3 Number 2
1993 Woman’s Day, December, Volume 3 Number3
1992 New York Magazine, May 25
1991 Cover Magazine, New York
1991 House, Cover, May/June
1988 New York Magazine, Hot Stuff 6/27
1987 Home and Garden, Houston, February
1986 New York Magazine, Cover +2 Pgs Inside May 19
1986 Seventeen Magazine, April
1980 New York Magazine, Best Bets, July 7
1980 Los Angeles Magazine, February
1979 Vogue, June
1979 Playboy, July
1979 New West Magazine, February 11
1979 New West Magazine, March Color Photo
1979 House and Garden Magazine, June 2 Color Pages
1979 Wet Magazine, April
1978 Vogue, View, May
1978 Art Week Magazine, April 1
1977 Los Angeles Magazine, October
1977 Art News, February
1976 New West Magazine, May 24

Reviews/Stories Newspapers International

1989 News Today, Jan. 8, Madras India
1989 Financial Express, Jan. 7, Madras India
1989 Hindu, Jan 8, Madras India
1989 Hindu, Jan 9, Madras India
1989 Dinakaran, India
1989 Anna, India
1986 La Stampa, Genoa Italy, April 8
1986 Il Secolo, Genoa Italy, April 12
1986 Il Lavoro, Genoa Italy, April 12

Reviews/Stories Newspapers USA

2011 Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot
1997 New York Times Magazine, October 19
1993 Chattanooga News, Lifestyle, Color Cover, March 1
1992 The Times –Picayune, Living, April 23
1991 The Beacon Journal, Cover Story, Photo April 7
1989 Home Furnishings Daily, May 29, Cover Photo
1988 Dallas Morning News, The Town, August 28, Photo
1988 Long Island Newsday, June 30
1986 New York Times, April 25 Photos
1985 New York Times, Jan 22 Photo
1985 New York Times, November 10
1985 Women’s Wear Daily, September, 19
1985 Indianapolis Star, May 19, Photo Story
1983 New York Times Cover, Home Section, Mr 31 Photo
1980 Hollywood Reporter, May 13
1979 New York Times Magazine, June 10
1979 New York Times, August
1979 Women’s Wear Daily, January 23, Photo
1979 Women’s Wear Daily, June 1, Photo
1979 Valley News, May 30
1979 Apparel News, June 8th Photo
1979 The Trade, Two Photos May
1979 Los Angeles Times, Style, April 19, Photo
1979 Los Angeles Times, April 27, Photo
1979 Los Angeles Times, June 8
1979 Los Angeles Times, December 14, 3 Photos
1979 Los Angeles Herald Examiner, April 19
1979 Los Angeles Herald Examiner, September 29
1979 Los Angeles Herald Examiner, Nov 23
1979 High Life, December 14
1978 Women’s Wear Daily, October 18 Photo
1978 The Guardian, November 22, Photo
1978 Los Angeles Herald Examiner, November 23 Photo
1978 Los Angeles Herald Examiner, December 3
1977 Evening Outlook, December 5, Photo
1977 Valley News, Los Angeles, December 10
1977 Valley News, Los Angeles, December 14
1976 Los Angeles Times, William Wilson, December 3
1976 Los Angeles Times, December 17
1976 Evening Outlook, September 20
1976 Evening Outlook, September 10
1976 Art Week Magazine
1975 Art Week Magazine, July 26, Photo
1975 Art Week Magazine, June 28
1975 Evening Outlook, July 12

Selected Retail Stores

Bergdorf Goodman
Neiman Marcus
Saks Fifth Ave
Henri Bendel
Marshal Fields

Selected Catalogues

Neiman Marcus
Bergdorf Goodman
Los Angeles
Spiegel, Cover
A.b. Lambdin
Annes Collection, Cover
Knight’s Ltd
The Very Thing, Cover

Selected Full Page Advertising

  First and only Issue of Egg Magazine...Forbes
1994 Women’s Wear Daily, Inside Back Covers
1987 Bomb Magazine New York, Fall
1984 Details Magazine, Inside Back Covers

Graduate of University of California, Irvine, Dean's Honor List In Fine Art

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