Hilary Knight at home, photo: courtesy Douglas Elliman
How’s this for a milestone? Eloise, the character illustrated by East Hampton’s Hilary Knight, is turning 60 this year. Of course, she still looks like an adorable little girl running around the Plaza Hotel.
Knight is celebrating this anniversary in a big way. The beloved writer and illustrator, who recently listed his home at 1 Squires Path in East Hampton for sale, is going to have a book signing, open house and estate sale this Saturday, June 11 from 1–4 p.m. Who knows what whimsical treasures or Eloise-related items could be available for purchase?
Hilary Knight’s pool, Photo: Courtesy Douglas Elliman
Knight’s lovely cottage is listed with Douglas Elliman for $1.1 million, and has 3 beds, 3 baths and a pool on over half an acre. The uniquely appointed home has approximately 2,300 square feet of living space and includes a living room with fireplace, wood beam ceilings throughout the first floor, a greenhouse with deck overlooking a pond, pool and pool house outside. The house also features a studio used by Knight, and the main floor bathroom has a mural illustrated and painted by the legendary artist, featuring a monkey dressed like Eloise (see photo at top of page).
Fans of Eloise may know that for many years, Knight was forced to cut ties with the character. Knight illustrated the Eloise books to match the writings of their author, Kay Thompson, but the pair had a falling out decades ago, leading the tempestuous writer to stop using his art and forbid him from ever drawing Eloise again. Knight persevered and, following Thompson’s death, eventually reclaimed the right to continue drawing Eloise. Now he’s enjoying his return to the character and sharing her with people at events such as Saturday’s book signing.
Hilary Knight’s desk, Photo: Courtesy Douglas Elliman
Some may recognize Knight’s East Hampton home from the HBO documentary It’s Me, Hilary: The Man Who Drew Eloise, produced and starring Hamptons fan Lena Dunham. The film is an intimate portrait of Knight as he looks back at his life and art, most notably his illustrations for Eloise. Dunham is an unabashed Eloise fan—she has a tattoo of the character, which sparked her friendship with the artist—and she’s interviewed in the film along with family members, friends and writers who have been inspired by Knight’s work and childlike personality. The film also features delightful animations of Knight’s drawings and his own handheld video footage.
For more details on the open house, estate sale and book signing, visit hilaryknight.com.
Art: Hilary Knight