The Tishman Showing
In the summer of 1962, Dietrich was approached by his good friend, William (Billy) Tishman, about hosting a one-man exhibition of his work. A scion of the Tishman Realty & Construction Company, Tishman had designed and built a speculative house at 707 North Beverly Drive that he had been trying to sell, prompting him to pitch an event that would promote the artist’s work and sell the house. Thrilled at the prospect of this large scale vernissage, Dietrich began preparing for the multi-day event by producing a variety of new paintings, while his wife, Reneé, designed the invitations and informational materials and organized a hospitality committee. A total of six thousand invitations went out, including invitations to the Mayor of Los Angeles and the Kennedys. Leading up to the event, Tishman brought in his interior decorator, Jamie Ballard, to create white linen panels to transform the residence into an elegant indoor-outdoor art gallery. Approximately 2,000 people attended the opening weekend in June 1963, which featured a day for decorators, interior designers and architects, and a day for art collectors, friends, society people and celebrities. Although the elected officials tendered their regrets, celebrity guests included Rosalind Russell, Edward G. Robinson, Jeanne Crain, Michael Wilding and Vera Miles. In addition, two days apiece were allotted for charity and five days for the general public. At the conclusion of the nine-day event, Tishman sold his house and the City of Beverly Hills passed an ordinance prohibiting public art exhibitions at private homes. More importantly, as the first major exhibition of Dietrich’s work, the Tishman Showing was a seminal event in his career, effectively establishing him as a fine artist, and paving the way for future exhibitions in other parts of the United States, as well as Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Central America and Sweden.