1880-1910s New York Gilded Years
I went to the Museum of NYC, today.
pretty much randomly.
They have two interesting exhibitions (in a revival colonial 5th Av./Central Park address, from the 1930s ~ on 103th street... i merely go after 90th, it was the 1st time i visited this museum - and i think i will more often): one about the Mad Men age (I find this crazy that this tvshow's become an adjectif/a style to define the 1950-1960s) illustrator: MC CONNER.
and there is a small exhibition on the third floor, a one year exhibition - (ongoing they say on the website - it closes in nov. 2014) in a purple room called Gilded Years (about wealthy american society/aristocracy/ the 1% of early modern days in NYC). There's like hardly 6 paintings (2 portraits of children - in retrospective this is pretty interesting to think they show 2 portraits of heirs), I would say a dozen window displays, and 1 "period room/scene" - at the end of the room.
Mostly vitrines showcase WONDERFULLY BEAUTIFUL jewelry, accessories of this time. There's a bit of silverware, "beauty kits" and "opera-cocktail-dinner kits" (gloves, accessories to handle the gloves, perfume bottle crafted with attention, details, gold, platinum, diamonds and more ravishing things - that you'll be able to carry in a tiny clutch - i was amazed how tiny certain things were). fans with amazing feathers. a wonderful and amusing pair of opera glasses with fan integrated.
In the hallway, one of the videos broadcasts images of the gilded years traditions of "bals costumes" (only balls in english, and not costumed balls... anyway). that was the beginning of the concept for this exhibition.
That was very eye-candy ! and pretty interesting.
NYTIMES ; images source WWD
Here is a review of a book centered around James Hazen Hyde : AFTER THE BALL: Gilded Age Secrets, Boardroom Betrayals, and the Party That Ignited the Great Wall Street Scandal of 1905, By Patricia Beard
Portrait, James Hazen Hyde and Mrs. Joseph Widener, Hyde Ball.
"le Mardi 31 Janviere 1905" JAMES HAZEN HYDE'S COSTUME BALL
(read a complete review of this ball, including details like the crazy menu HERE)
and see more portraits HERE (museum of the city of NY)
Interior of a tented dining room at Sherry's at the James Hazen Hyde Ball, January 31, 1905.
James Hazen Hyde and his sister Comtesse de Rougemont at the Hyde Ball at Sherry's in 1905
GROUP PORTRAIT OF SYDNEY DILLON RIPLEY WITH THREE OTHERS AT THE JAMES HAZEN HYDE BALL, NEW YORK, JANUARY 31, 1905 BY BYRON COMPANY
Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt, Mrs. Robert Goelet, Mrs. Edward Post, Mrs Edward L. Baylies, August Belmont, Cornelius Vanderbilt, James A. Burden and others.
A scene depicting the great James Hazen Hyde Ball of January 31st, 1905. Hyde is shown greeting French actress Gabrielle Rejane in the Ballroom of Sherry's Restaurant ~ decorated to replicate a garden at Versailles, with real turf and thousands of roses.
Madame Rejane (Gabrielle Charlotte Reju) posed with others who are costumed in the "garden of Versailles" at the James Hazen Hyde Ball, January 31, 1905.
Group Portrait of debutantes Nora Iselin, Miss Warren, and six other women holding baskets of flowers at the Hyde Ball, Feb. 1905.
a special ! i laughed so much when i saw this one ! only white old males having dinner on a horse. that's cool. and (as one would say on tumblr) very "white people".
This is one of the most famous photographs of the Gilded Age in New York. It is the “Dinner on Horseback” given by Cornelius Kingsley Garrison (CKG) Billings at Sherry’s Restaurant on 44th Street and Fifth Avenue in March 1903.
magnoliabox.com, collections.mcny.org, newyorksocialdiary.com and wonderful source: http://halfpuddinghalfsauce.blogspot.com/
I don't know if they have threads here, on tFS, but here are some bio of "major" people from the time.
(in the title i chose the period of time 1880-1910 pretty randomly, but it kind of is a generation time).
Elsie de Wolfe, aka Lady Mendl
in AD: ELSIE DE WOLFE, The American pioneer who vanquished Victorian gloom
in The New Yorker:
A Life in Good Taste. The fashions and follies of Elsie de Wolfe. BY RUTH FRANKLIN, A Critic at Large SEPTEMBER 27, 2004 ISSUE
BOOK available online:
The House in Good Taste By Elsie de Wolfe is available on Guttenberg project !! this is great news.
Elsie De Wolfe: A Life in the High Style (The Elegant Life and Remarkable Career of Elsie de Wolfe, Lady Mendl)
this page HERE seems well informed, too. and there are good quotes !
“Good dressing is largely a question of detail and accessories.”
or “To conform within rational limits to a given style is no more servile than to pay one's taxes or to write according to the rule of grammar.” and “I believe in plenty of optimism and white paint.” and “My business is to preach to you the beauty of suitability.”
About the Colony Club - only NYC example of her work still remaining HERE
interesting anecdote (story told by a woman rescued from the Titanic)
linked to one the picture:
flaunt the imperfection
very very very rich people...
this elsie de wolfe reminds me of diana vreeland...
but with more money and family connections...
i must say that i adore that last quote...
thanks for starting the thread sir...
i'm going to go and stand on my head now...
"It is not money that makes you well dressed: it is understanding."
you're welcome softie ...
so yesterday I was browsing through family trees - the Astors, the Vanderbilt, the Morgans etc. (I think I'll post more about the socialites, men and women, and the group of "Poor little rich girls" - the first Paris Hilton crew - and some of the Cafe Society - the early modern days kind of "Saint Germain" crew, mixing rich people and artists and intellectuals etc.) ... and discovered I wasn't far in terms of dates for the Gilded Age (which is basically 1870-1900 ... so it is up to you mods... if you still read what's going around) ....
I thought maybe take 2 costume balls as date frontiers would good, too - starts with the 1883 Vanderbilt Ball, ends with the 1905 Hyde Ball. But we are not writing a thesis here ... (that would be a good subject for high school, and college people - something more general on history, and more detailed on Fashion and Lifestlye ...)
mcny.org (same source for text and images)
Last edited by BerlinRocks; 30-10-2014 at 07:25 AM.
some more books
- i feel like going to Strand ...
what I really like about this period in the USA, is that we actually witness the growing and birth of a future #1 country, but also have to meet some of the first europeans aristocracy traveling to the New World and marry "New Money". It is like Old Continent meets the New World, and I happen to learn about the "Belle Epoque" US equivalent (which I knew almost nothing about, but names and small stories - which happened to be linked more than I thought).
Consuelo and Alva Vanderbilt: The Story of a Daughter and a Mother in the Gilded Age
The Vanderbilt Women: Dynasty of Wealth, Glamour, and Tragedy
The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt
Last edited by BerlinRocks; 30-10-2014 at 07:54 AM.
In regards of what I talked about in previous post. HERE is a text about weddings between old continent aristocratie and new world wealth.
# museum of the city of new york is a true pleasure/treasure to look through.
HERE is the link to their blog, with the "Gilded Age" search tag on.
I've read that Downton Abbey creator/writer was working on a TV show for American public about this period (the news is from 2013, I don't know how it has evolved since then - see the mcny link posted above dollar princess).
I haven't quietly searched through tFS, but I'm not sure there are a lot of threads (in Icons of the Past) about these past Ladies, from the early days.
But here is a thread about Consuelo Vanderbilt
I guess we could open one thread about Elsie de Wolfe, and more women.
Another costume ball: the Bradley-Martin Ball (1897, Warldorf-Astoria, NY)
# costume ball is a grand tradition still operating in high circles - and I'm not talking about Halloween... only...
i know especially about the lawyers and doctors costume dinners, and parties (more than big extravaganza balls). but we could count some Fashion industry balls - the MJ Halloween Party is probably one of the most famous one, non ? is it still going on ?
# what's interesting here to read is the importance of such balls in economy and trades. the beginning of globalization, i guess.
History Box Entry
This is very interesting (about what women were wearing for jewelry, the craze for "vintage" items. and the role of one big auction in 1887)
source - if you follow this link, you'll find famous Gilded Age recipes ... : http://lostpastremembered.blogspot.c...d-beef_21.html
a quick quote about food.
icono for Bradley-Martin Ball.
Last edited by BerlinRocks; 30-10-2014 at 08:40 AM.
I'm onto this subject since yesterday night ...
"To gild refined gold, to paint the lily... is wasteful and ridiculous excess."
~ Shakespeare's King John (1595).
Above, I've posted about Elsie de Wolfe, James Hyde's Ball, the 1883 Vanderbilt Ball (a very important social event for the Vanderbilt family) and here comes 2 new characters important in NYC late 1800s Elite.... The Vanderbilt Women ...
Alva Belmont Vanderbilt 1853-1933 ~ first wife of William K. Vanderbilt, Mother of Consuelo Vanderbilt, and hostess of the 1883 Vanderbilt Ball.
Alice Claypoole Gwynne 1852–1934
~ sister-in-law of Alva Vanderbilt, the one who wore the famous "Electric Light" dress, "stunning gown (...) made of white satin and trimmed with diamonds. It came with hidden batteries, so Alice could light up like a bulb."
She married Cornelius Vanderbilt II (favorite grandson of the Commodore).
~ about the costumes, and "lifestyle" weeks before the 1883 Ball:
wiki entry extract
I don't know how the Upper East Side (though 52nd and 57th are rather midtown than ues) got constructed and established as a wealthy zip code (which is a shame because 10021 is my zip code, now ...), but I would say she is one, among others, prominent figure of the Central Park/Fifth Av. real-estate development.
And there's an interesting real-estate website where you can hunt UES townhouses and old mansions history-ies.
William K. Vanderbilt House "occupied the entire block between 51st and 52nd streets on the west side of Fifth Avenue".
"The mansion was built for William Kissam Vanderbilt, (...) from 1878 to 1882. Determined to make her mark in New York society, Vanderbilt's wife Alva worked with the architect, Richard Morris Hunt, to create the French Renaissance-style chateau."
Richard M. Hunt was MET museum architect.
Cornelius Vanderbilt II House (on 57st - it was sold, then demolished and is now Bergdorf store).
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