169 Kenoza Ave, Haverhill, MA 01830
322 E 58th St, New York, NY 10022
Linwood Cemetery Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA
Muriel Draper (c. 1886 – August 26, 1952) was an American writer, artist and social activist. Moving in English and American art circles, she participated in the Harlem Renaissance. A follower of Russian mystic G. I. Gurdjieff, she collaborated with other followers, including poet Jean Toomer. In 1929 she published her major work Music at Midnight, for which she became widely known.
She was one of the seven children of Thomas S. Sanders ( 1839–1911 ), the first important backer of Alexander Graham Bell, who tutored one of the older Sanders sons. During their childhood Bell and Helen Keller were frequent visitors at their home in Haverhill, Mass.
She married Paul Draper (died 1925), divorced. Draper Sr was a singer and the grandson of Charles A. Dana of the Sun and brother of Ruth Draper. Her son was dancer Paul Draper (born October 25, 1909). While in New York, she lived at 322 East 58th Street. When Paul was 2 years old they moved to London. In London in 1912 she became friends with Gertrude Stein.
Muriel Draper had an international reputation for her artistic and literary salon in New York, Florence and London. While she was living in Florence, Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso, Eleonora Duse, Henry James and John Singer Sargent were visitors at her home.
After a trip to the Soviet Union in 1934, she became active in left-wing politics. She also visited Spain during the Civil War and later raised funds for the loyalists in New York.
by Carl Van Vechten
Muriel Draper, 1936, by Romaine Brooks
Romaine Brooks to took her portrait in 1936.
In 1949, she was investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee and ceased her political activities as a result. Her papers are stored at Yale University. She was a member of the Women's International Democratic Federation, and its American affiliate the Congress of American Women of which she was president in 1949.
She died on August 26, 1952, and was buried back in her hometown, Haverhill, Mass.
My published books:
BACK TO HOME PAGE