century association biographical archive

Earliest Members of the Century Association

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William Francklyn Paris

Artist/Architectural Decorator

Centurion, 1914–1954

Born 28 May 1871 in New York (Manhattan), New York

Died 5 June 1954 in Beacon, New York

Buried Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York

Proposed by Frank Vincent Du Mond and Charles A. Rich

Elected 4 April 1914 at age forty-two

Century Memorial

Francklyn Paris was born in New York in 1871. He was a member of the Century for forty years. From his childhood he was interested in art, and he became—in his own phrase—an architect-decorator. His productions are to be found in the state capitols of Missouri, Minnesota, and West Virginia, in Chicago, in the Detroit library, in the Supreme Court Building at Washington, D.C., and in New Jersey; but his influence extended all over western Europe and America. He was entirely familiar with London, Rome, and Paris and had studied in those cities and admired them and their people.

He belonged to numerous art societies—some important and some obscure—and took the trouble to contribute ideas to them; he was not only useful but well and favorably known throughout the world of art. In 1922 he founded the American Society of the French Legion of Honor. This came to interest him beyond all his other activities, and in 1946 he became president of it. His devotion to the French was amply reciprocated, and his friendships with important families in France was a source of pleasure and satisfaction to him and to them.

Paris fought in the Spanish War and in the First World War and had a collection of curious yarns of his life as a soldier. He had an attractive way of being detached and objective about himself and his adventures that provoked attention. He was always carefully dressed, temperate in his meats and drinks, and a man of great nobility of spirit. He was loyal to his way of life and untroubled by serious doubts or internal tensions. He lived a long time and traveled much in the realms of gold, and what he saw he understood.

George W. Martin
1955 Century Association Yearbook