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Dietrich Studio, West Hollywood, CA (1953)
Ad featuring Dietrich Studio’s “California Grapevine” wallpaper and textile design
Publicity still showing Dietrich Studio’s interior decor designs
Publicity still showing Dietrich Studio’s “California Pine” wallpaper and textile designs
Publicity still showing Dietrich Studio’s San Francisco themed wallpaper
Publicity still showing Dietrich Studio’s wallpaper design

A studio-wide strike in 1946 compelled Dietrich to venture beyond the art departments of Hollywood and explore new directions. Heeding the suggestion of costume designer and friend, Edith Head, he contacted San Francisco-based textile designer and weaver, Dorothy Liebes, about the prospect of branching out into interior décor. In addition to her success as a designer and weaver, Liebes was also a shrewd businesswoman and promoter, and after reviewing Dietrich’s sketches and color samples, invited him to showcase his work to her East Coast buyers at New York City’s Gotham Hotel that fall. For the next two months, he worked on developing a design portfolio for the showcase, which Liebes would later call the “The New California Look.” The success of this showcase enabled him to forge a new path in textile and wallpaper design, securing contracts with leading U.S. manufacturers, such as Scalamandré Silks, Schumacher, Kent-Bragaline, and Katzenbach and Warren. Upon his return from New York, he rented a studio home on West 3rd Street in West Hollywood, where he opened Dietrich Studio in 1949, producing textile and wallpaper designs, along with groupings of serigraphs (which he marketed as “decorative paintings”) to round out his interior décor ensembles. By the late 1950s, Dietrich’s evocative prints of trees, florals, vines and regional scenes across America, could be found in exclusive residences, such as President Truman’s “Little White House” in Key West, various U.S. embassies, and the Governor’s Palace in Manila; on the luxury liner S.S. United States; and in some of the country’s most popular and exclusive hotels, including the Ambassador, Beverly Hills, St. Francis, Tropicana and Flamingo.

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