DMA Insight

Wendy Reves (1916-2007)

Wyn-Nelle Russell, known as Wendy, was born into a modest family in Marshall, Texas, in 1916. When she was only six years old, her parents divorced. Subsequently, an uncle and aunt took in Wendy and her mother. Soon afterwards, she and her mother moved to Haynesville, Louisiana, and then to San Antonio. Their life was chaotic and difficult. At the age of sixteen, Wendy began a modeling career in San Antonio, where she met a young Army lieutenant named Al Schroeder. The couple married and moved to Hawaii. They had a child, Arnold Leon Schroeder, Jr., but shortly after his birth, they separated. In 1939, Wendy went to New York to pursue her modeling career. She was quickly hired by the Powers Agency and became a much-sought-after-model. She also founded her own fashion-rental company, called Wardrobe Services. In 1940, she met and married Paul Baron, a conductor working for CBS, but their marriage only lasted a few years. Then, following the war, she first met Emery Reves, but their relationship did not become established until 1949. The couple eventually married in 1964.

Excerpt from

Meslay, Olivier and Martha MacLeod. From Chanel to Reves (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art, 2015), 25.

Related Multimedia

Wendy Reves discusses her passion for collecting.