The party at Martha Hyder’s home to launch her collection on October 24 was a bubbly success, as was only fitting for the great social tour-de-force.
Despite the stormy evening, a veritable Who’s Who of Fort Worth notables came to pay tribute to the formidable Martha and her extraordinary house and collection at the intimate viewing. Hosted by Martha’s daughter, Whitney Hyder More, the party reflected Martha’s love of entertaining among her many treasures, from Chinoiserie to outsider art to 17th-century tapestries. The house, an Italianate villa that Martha painstakingly designed and decorated over a span of years, acted as a Forth Worth social center and a family touchstone, where weddings, reunions, and countless other events took place. As Martha told Architectural Digest for a feature on her home in the ’70s, “I think the décor and furnishings of a house don’t matter nearly so much as its warmth.”
In Martha’s case, the warmth she was able to achieve was matched by her encyclopedic tastes and remarkably wide-ranging collections, including Old Master drawings, sculptures from New Guinea, and French Regency doors, all fueled by her deep love of aesthetic discovery and her extensive travels. At the party, beyond the fond reunions and remembrances for those lucky enough to attend, Martha’s iconic pieces quickly became the focus of the evening, with bids and sales happening at a brisk pace that Martha would have loved. Among the notable pieces secured by guests that evening were the