Happy Birthday Patrick Nagel

Today is the 69th birthday of the artist Patrick Nagel.  If you grew up in the 80’s or have ever been to a nail salon in a strip mall, you know his work.  You probably didn’t know his story, which is where I come in.  I love the stylized era of his work, it takes me right back to watching music videos on MTV.  I think of Remington Steele, huge brick cell phones, and Duran Duran.  I hope this helps you appreciate his work and gives you a fuller understanding of the man behind the woman in sunglasses.  The world is a better place because Nagel was in it and still feels the loss that Nagel has left.

Name:  Patrick Nagel
Born: 25-Nov-1945
Birthplace: Dayton, OH
Died: 4-Feb-1984
Location of death: Santa Monica, CA

BEST KNOWN FOR:  Illustrator whose work consists of minimal paintings of women with white skin, black hair, and the barest hint of a nose. Recognisable work includes the cover of Duran Duran’s Rio (1984).

Patrick Nagel (November 25, 1945 – February 4, 1984) was an American artist. He created popular illustrations on board, paper, and canvas, most of which emphasize the simple grace of and beauty of the female form, in a distinctive style descended from Art Deco. He is best known for his illustrations for Playboy magazine, and the pop group Duran Duran, for whom he designed the cover of the best selling album Rio.

Nagel was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1945, but was raised and spent most of his life in the Los Angeles area. After serving in the United States Army with the 101st Airborne in Vietnam, Nagel attended the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles in 1969, and in that same year he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from California State University, Fullerton.

In 1971, Nagel worked as a graphic designer for ABC Television, producing graphics for promotions and news broadcasts. The following year, he began work as a freelance artist for major corporations and magazines, including Architectural Digest, Harper’s Magazine, IBM, ITT Corporation, MGM, Oui, Rolling Stone, United Artists, and Universal Studios.
In 1976, Nagel began to regularly contribute images to Playboy magazine, which improved his exposure and the popularity of “the Nagel Woman” image to a huge audience. In 1978, he made his first poster image for Mirage Editions, with whom he would print many Nagel women images.

Nagel’s 1982 painting for the album cover of rock group Duran Duran’s hit album Rio would become one of his best known images.

He also worked for many commercial clients, including Intel, Lucky Strike cigarettes, Ballentine Whiskey, and Budweiser. As his popularity grew he began offering limited edition prints of his work.

Nagel would start with a photograph and work down, always simplifying and removing elements which he felt were unnecessary. The resulting image would look flat, but emphasized those elements which he felt were most important.

According to Elena G. Millie, curator of the poster collection at the Library of Congress:

Like some of the old print masters (Toulouse-Lautrec and Bonnard, for example), Nagel was influenced by the Japanese woodblock print, with figures silhouetted against a neutral background, with strong areas of black and white, and with bold line and unusual angles of view. He handled colors with rare originality and freedom; he forced perspective from flat, two-dimensional images; and he kept simplifying, working to get more across with fewer elements. His simple and precise imagery is also reminiscent of the art-deco style of the 1920s and 1930s- its sharp linear treatment, geometric simplicity, and stylization of form yield images that are formal yet decorative.

Nagel’s figures generally have black hair, bright white skin, full-lipped mouths, and the distinctive Nagel eyes, which are often squared off in the later works. Because of the intense stylization and reduction of facial features into clean lines, generally the figures resemble each other, though Nagel worked with many models, including Playboy Playmates Cathy St. George, Tracy Vaccaro and Shannon Tweed. Nagel also painted several celebrity portraits including those of Joan Collins (whose portrait was subsequently released as a limited edition print) and Joanna Cassidy.

In 1984, at the age of 38, the artist participated in a 15-minute celebrity “Aerobathon” to raise funds for the American Heart Association. Afterwards, he was found dead in his car, and doctors determined by autopsy that he had suffered a heart attack.

Happy Birthday John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr.

Today is JFK Jr’s 54th birthday.  His father, the then President of The United States of America was assassinated a few days before his third birthday.  That is not an easy start for anyone, but being who he was, his every move was photographed.  A graph of the highs and lows in his life would be of earthquake-on-the-richter-scale proportions.  He is truly admirable and one of my personal Style Icons.  The world is a better place because JFK Jr was in it and still feels the loss that JFK Jr has left.

NAME: John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr.
OCCUPATION: Publisher
BIRTH DATE: November 25, 1960
DEATH DATE: July 16, 1999
EDUCATION: Brown University, New York University Law School
PLACE OF BIRTH: Washington, DC
PLACE OF DEATH: New York

BEST KNOWN FOR: Later the publisher of political magazine George, JFK Jr. was the first child ever born to a president-elect, the son of JFK and Jacqueline Kennedy.

Born November 25, 1960, in Washington, D.C. The first child ever born to a president-elect, Kennedy was the second child born to John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (later Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis). After President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, little “John-John” won America’s hearts in that much photographed moment when, as just a small child, he bravely saluted his father’s casket. With looks inherited from his attractive parents, Kennedy, despite strict protection from his mother, was in the media spotlight his entire life as one of American journalists’ favorite subjects.

After flirting very briefly with a career in acting and graduating from Brown University and New York University Law School, Kennedy worked as an assistant district attorney in New York City and then quit to get into the business of journalism himself. In 1995, he launched the successful, hip political magazine, George. Although he certainly could have had a future in politics, he never entered the political arena, choosing instead to make his own way in the world — in publishing and in public service. (He did, however, leave the door open for running for office later in his life.) Known for his adventurous nature, he nonetheless took pains to separate himself from the more reckless antics and self-destructive impulses of some of the other men in the Kennedy clan.

Named “sexiest man alive” by People magazine in 1988, John F. Kennedy Jr. had been linked with numerous Hollywood celebrities including Madonna, Daryl Hannah, Julia Roberts, Brooke Shields, Sarah Jessica Parker and numerous models. Kennedy broke hearts across America when, in September 1996, he married his “soulmate” and longtime girlfriend Carolyn Bessette. The two shared a loft apartment in New York City’s TriBeCa neighborhood, where Kennedy was often seen roller-blading and biking on the city’s streets.

On July 16, 1999, Kennedy, Bessette-Kennedy, and her sister, Lauren Bessette, were flying to Martha’s Vineyard on a single engine private plane piloted by Kennedy, en route to his cousin Rory Kennedy‘s wedding in Hyannisport, Massachusetts. When their plane did not arrive as scheduled, massive search parties were sent out to locate the aircraft. Search efforts persisted throughout the following days, initially to no avail. Luggage and debris from the wreckage were found washed ashore the Gay Head section of Martha’s Vineyard, and the three passengers were eventually presumed dead. Across the nation, Americans mourned the loss of the beloved son of one of the country’s most admired families, and shared their sadness in the tragedies that seem to haunt them.

On July 21, search crews recovered the bodies of JFK, Jr., his wife and sister-in-law. The Kennedy and Bessette families planned a burial at sea for all three. A private mass for JFK Jr. and Carolyn, was held at the Church of St. Thomas More on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis worshipped; it was attended by President and Mrs. Clinton.

Kennedy was survived by his uncle, Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, and his sister, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, as well as a number of cousins. Struggling from lack of advertising support (although circulation was growing), Kennedy’s George magazine ceased publication in early 2001.

Happy Birthday Candy Darling

Sheila take a bow

Today is the 66th, 68th or 70th birthday of Warhol superstar Candy Darling.  There is some speculation on her birth year, but no speculation on how fabulous she was.  You absolutely must watch Women in Revolt.  It is brilliant in it’s simplicity, its naive composition and it’s ground-breaking subject matter.  Candy only lived 29/31/33 years, but had an ongoing cultural impact by inspiring songs by The Velvet Underground, Lou Reed, The Kinks and The Smiths.  That is so impressive.  The world is a better place because Candy was in it and still feels the loss that Candy has left.Candy Darling (November 24, 1944 – March 21, 1974) was an American actress, best known as a Warhol Superstar.  A male-to-female transsexual, she starred in Andy Warhol’s films Flesh (1968) and Women in Revolt (1971), and was a muse of the protopunk band The Velvet Underground.

Candy Darling was born James Lawrence Slattery in Forest Hills, Queens, son of Theresa Phelan, a bookkeeper at Manhattan’s Jockey Club, and James (Jim) Slattery, who was described as a violent alcoholic.  There is some conjecture around her year of birth.  According to former Warhol associate, Bob Colacello, Candy was born in 1946, while IMDb has listed her year of birth as 1948.  Her friend, roommate, and posthumous editor, Jeremiah Newton, states that she was born on November 24, 1944.

Her first assumed name was Hope Slattery.  According to Bob Colacello, Darling adopted this name sometime in 1963/1964 after she started going to gay bars in Manhattan and making visits to a doctor on Fifth Avenue for hormone injections.  Jackie Curtis stated that Candy adopted the name from a well-known Off-Off Broadway actress named Hope Stansbury, with whom she lived for a few months in an apartment behind the Caffe Cino so that she could study her. Holly Woodlawn remembers that Darling’s name evolved from Hope Dahl to Candy Dahl and then to Candy Cane. Jeremiah Newton believed she adopted her forename out of a love for sweets.  In her autobiography, Woodlawn recalled that Darling had adopted the name because a friend of hers affectionately called her “darling” so often that it finally stuck.

Before they met, in 1967, Darling saw Andy Warhol at the after-hours club called The Tenth of Always.  Candy was with Jackie Curtis, who invited Warhol to a play that she had written and directed, called Glamour, Glory and Gold, starring Darling, as “Nona Noonan”, and a young Robert De Niro, who played six parts in the play.  It was performed at Bastiano’s Cellar Studio on Waverly Place.  Taylor Mead brought Warhol to see it and afterwards went to the club Salvation in Sheridan Square, where he was joined by Candy and Curtis at his table.

Warhol cast Darling in a short comedic scene in Flesh (1968) with Jackie Curtis and Joe Dallesandro.  After Flesh, Candy was cast in a central role in Women In Revolt (1971).  She played a Long Island socialite, drawn into a woman’s liberation group called PIGS (Politically Involved Girls), by a character played by Curtis. Interrupted by cast disputes encouraged by Warhol, Women in Revolt took longer to film than its predecessor and went through several title changes before it was released.  Darling wanted it called Blonde on a Bum Trip since she was the blonde, while Curtis and Woodlawn told her it was more like “Bum on a Blonde Trip”, titles which were both used in the film during Candy’s interview scene.

Women in Revolt was first shown at the first Los Angeles Filmex as Sex.  Later it was shown as Andy Warhol’s Women, an homage to George Cukor.  Unable to get a distributor for the film, Warhol rented out the Cine Malibu on East 59th Street and launched the film with a celebrity preview on February 16, 1972.  After the screening there was a dinner in Candy’s honor at Le Parc Périgord restaurant, on Park Avenue, followed by a party at Francesco Scavullo’s townhouse, where they watched TV reviews of the movie, some of which called it “a rip-off”, and that it “looked as if it were filmed underwater,” and “proves once again that Andy Warhol has no talent.  But we knew that since the Campbell’s Soup cans.”

Among the guests at Darling’s party were D.D. Ryan, Sylvia Miles, George Plimpton, Halston, Giorgio di Sant ‘Angelo and Egon and Diane von Furstenberg.  Jackie Curtis stood out in the cold, along with other gate crashers.  When a security guard asked, “My God, what are they giving away in there?” one of the guests responded, “Would you believe, a transvestite?”

The day after the celebrity preview, a group of women wearing army jackets, pea coats, jeans and boots and carrying protest signs demonstrated outside the cinema against the film, which they thought was anti-women’s liberation.  When Darling heard about this, she said, “Who do these dykes think they are anyway?… Well, I just hope they all read Vincent Canby’s review in today’s Times.  He said I look like a cross between Kim Novak and Pat Nixon. It’s true – I do have Pat Nixon’s nose.”

Darling died of lymphoma on March 21, 1974, aged 29, at the Columbus Hospital division of the Cabrini Health Center.  In a letter written on her deathbed and intended for Andy Warhol and his followers, Darling said, “Unfortunately before my death I had no desire left for life . . . I am just so bored by everything. You might say bored to death.  (D)id you know I couldn’t last.  I always knew it.  I wish I could meet you all again.”

Her funeral was attended by huge crowds, including friends Pat Ast and Julie Newmar; a piano piece was played by Faith Dane; Gloria Swanson was remembered for saluting Darling’s coffin.

Darling is the subject of The Velvet Underground’s song “Candy Says” and was one of several Warhol associates mentioned in Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side”.

The Kinks’ song “Lola” was supposedly inspired by Candy Darling.

An image of her, taken from Women in Revolt, was also featured on the front cover of the 1987 single “Sheila Take a Bow” by the English group The Smiths. The last song on lead singer Morrissey’s solo album You Are the Quarry is called “You Know I Couldn’t Last,” a clear reference to her famous deathbed quote.

 

 

Happy Birthday Harpo Marx

Today is the 126th birthday of Harpo Marx.  We have all seen the brilliant mirror scene that he did with Lucile Ball when I Love Lucy went to Hollywood.  To think that it was almost 20 years after Animal Crackers and he was still at the top of his game.  The world is a better place because Harpo was in it and still feels the loss that Harpo has left.

NAME: Harpo Marx
OCCUPATION: Film Actor, Comedian
BIRTH DATE: November 23, 1888
DEATH DATE: September 28, 1964
PLACE OF BIRTH: New York, New York
PLACE OF DEATH: Los Angeles, California
Originally: Adolph Arthur Marx

Best Known For:  Harpo Marx was a talented comedian and mime best known for his performances as part of the Marx Brothers comedy act.

Comedian and actor Marx Harpo was born Adolph Arthur Marx on November 23, 1888, in New York City. The second oldest of five boys born to Samuel “Frenchie” Marx and Minnie Schoenberg Marx, Harpo was the only Jewish boy in his public school class and, after being bullied one too many times, dropped out at age 8.

Harpo and his brothers, Leonard (Chico), Julius (Groucho), Milton (Gummo) and Herbert (Zeppo), performed countless odd jobs while growing up to help support the family. Minnie, however, was bound and determined for her boys to become stars of the stage. In 1910, the Marx Brothers singing troupe was formed, which was originally dubbed the Four Nightingales. Minnie even leased a harp for the occasion for her second eldest, and hence his stage name was born.

In 1912, the Marx Brothers’ singing act devolved to madcap comedy, and the new show became the hallmark of their fame. Because Harpo couldn’t compete with the comedic wits of his brothers, his lines were taken away from him. Though insulted at first, he soon became a gifted mime, particularly in his use of facial expressions and a honking horn. He never spoke professionally again.

The Marx Brothers comedy act was wildly successful, and they eventually made their way to Broadway and in films, including Animal Crackers, Horse Feathers and Room Service. Harpo also traveled the world entertaining troops during World War II and made numerous television appearances.

Harpo married actress Susan Fleming in 1936. The couple adopted four children to whom Harpo was a devoted and loving father. He published his autobiography, Harpo Speaks, in 1961 and died three years later following complications from open-heart surgery.

 

 

Happy Birthday Boris Karloff

Today is Boris Karloff‘s 127th birthday.  I first learned about him through a book I was reading as a kid called “The Three Investigators Mystery of Terror Castle.”  They are a series of books a lot like the Hardy Boys, but set in the Los Angeles area in the 1940’s.  The Terror Castle one is the first in the series and centers around the mysterious goings-on at the abandoned Hollywood mansion of a silent movie monster actor.  Shortly after reading that book, my mom must have shown me one of his movies and I connected them in my head.  The world is a better place because Boris was in it and still feels the loss that Boris has left.

 

NAME: Boris Karloff
OCCUPATION: Film Actor
BIRTH DATE: November 23, 1887
DEATH DATE: February 02, 1969
EDUCATION: London University
PLACE OF BIRTH: London, England
PLACE OF DEATH: England
Originally: William Henry Pratt

Best Known For:  Boris Karloff was an English-born actor whose name became synonymous with horror movies.

Actor. Film star Boris Karloff, whose name became synonymous with the horror genre, was born William Henry Pratt in London, England, on November 23, 1887. He studied at London University, then went to Canada and the United States, aiming become a diplomat like his father, and became involved in acting.

Karloff spent 10 years in repertory companies, went to Hollywood, appearing in forty five silent films for Universal Studios, among them The Last of the Mohicans, Forbidden Cargo and an installment in the popular Tarzan series. When Bela Lugosi refused to take a role in which he would have his face hidden by makeup and have no lines, the role of The Monster in 1931’s Frankenstein went to Karloff. His tender, sympathetic performance received enormous critical praise and he became an overnight sensation.

“The monster was the best friend I ever had.” – Boris Karloff

Apart from a notable performance in a World War I story, The Lost Patrol (1934), his career was mostly spent in popular horror films. His performances frequently transcended the crudity of the genre, bringing, as in Frankenstein, a depth and pathos to the characterization.

He is also well known for providing the voice to the 1966 cartoon version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Karloff was known within the film industry for his great kindness and gentleness of manner; he was also central to the foundation of the Screen Actors Guild. After battling emphysema for a number of years, Boris Karloff died at his home in England on February 2, 1969.

Happy Birthday José Clemente Orozco

Today is the 131st birthday of the revolutionary Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco.  How can your not immediately love a muralist?  So much narrative, and the scale?  It required hours of appreciation.  You may not be at Dartmouth and have hours, but if you even have 23 minutes, the video below is well worth the time.  It will alter your view every so slightly and I guarantee you will not breeze by a mural without giving it at least a cursory inspection.

Name:  José Clemente Orozco
Occupation:  Illustrator, Painter
Birth Date:  November 23, 1883
Death Date:  September 7, 1949
EducationNational Preparatory School, Academy of San Carlos, School of Agriculture
Place of Birth:  Ciudad Guzman, Mexico
Place of DeathMexico City, Mexico

BEST KNOWN FOR:  José Clemente Orozco was a painter who helped lead the revival of Mexican mural painting in the 1920s. His works are complex and often tragic.

The life of José Clemente Orozco is a tale of tragedy, adversity and outstanding achievement. Born in Mexico in 1883, he was raised in Zapotlán el Grande, a small city in Mexico’s southwestern region of Jalisco. When he was still a young boy, Orozco’s parents moved to Mexico City in hopes of making a better life for their three children. His father, Ireneo, was a businessman, and his mother, Maria Rosa, worked as a homemaker and sometimes sang for extra income. Despite his parents’ efforts, they often lived on the edge of poverty. The Mexican Revolution was heating up, and being a highly sensitive child, Orozco began noticing the many hardships people around him faced. While walking to school, he witnessed the Mexican cartoonist José Guadalupe Posada working in an open shop window. Posada’s politically engaged paintings not only intrigued Orozco, but they also awakened his first understanding of art as a powerful expression of political revolt.

At age 15, Orozco left the city and traveled to the countryside. His parents sent him away in order to study agricultural engineering, a profession he had very little interest in pursuing. While at school, he contracted rheumatic fever. His father died of typhus soon after he returned home. Perhaps Orozco finally felt free to pursue his true passion, because almost immediately he began taking art classes at San Carlos Academy. To support his mother, he also worked small jobs, first as a draftsman for an architectural firm, and then later as a post-mortem painter, hand-coloring portraits of the dead.

Just around the time Orozco became certain about pursuing a career in art, tragedy struck. While mixing chemicals to make fireworks to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day in 1904, he created an accidental explosion that injured his left arm and wrist. Due to the national festivities, a doctor did not see him for several days. By the time he was seen, gangrene had taken over and it was necessary to amputate his entire left hand. As he healed, the Mexican Revolution was eminent in everyone’s minds, and the personal suffering Orozco experienced was mirrored in the growing political strife happening all around him.

For the next several years, Orozco scraped by, working for a time as a caricaturist for an independent, oppositional newspaper. Even after he finally landed his first solo exhibition, titled “The House of Tears,” a glimpse at the lives of the women working in the city’s red-light district, Orozco found himself painting Kewpie dolls to pay the rent. Given his own struggles, it’s not surprising that his paintings teemed with social complexities. In 1922, Orozco began creating murals. The original impetus for this work was an innovative literacy campaign put in place by Mexico’s new revolutionary government. The idea was to paint murals on public buildings as a method for broadcasting their campaign messages. He did this for only a short time, but the medium of mural painting stuck. Orozco eventually became known as one of the three “Mexican Muralists.” The other two were his contemporaries, Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Over time, Orozco’s work was uniquely recognized and set apart from Rivera’s and Siqueiros’ for its intensity and focus on human suffering. His vast scenes illustrated the lives and struggles of peasants and working-class folk.

Orozco married Margarita Valladares in 1923, and they had three children. In 1927, after years of working as an underappreciated artist in Mexico, Orozco left his family and moved to the United States. He spent a total of 10 years in America, during which time he witnessed the financial crash of 1929. His first mural in the United States was created for Pomona College in Claremont, California. He also devised massive works for the New School for Social Research, Dartmouth College and the Museum of Modern Art. One of his most famous murals is The Epic of American Civilization, housed in Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. It took two years to complete, is composed of 24 panels and is nearly 3,200 square feet.

In 1934, Orozco returned to his wife and country. Now established and highly respected, he was invited to paint in the Government Palace in Guadalajara. The main fresco found in its vaulted ceilings is titled The People and Its Leaders. Orozco, now in his mid-fifties, then painted what would become considered a masterpiece, the frescos found inside Guadalajara’s Hospicio Cabañas, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the oldest hospital complexes in Latin America. The work, which became known as the “Sistine Chapel of the Americas,” is a panorama of Mexico’s history, from pre-Hispanic times, including scenes of early Indian civilizations, through the Mexican Revolution, which he depicts as a society engulfed in flames. In 1940, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City commissioned him to create the centerpiece for its exhibition “Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art.” His contributions included Dive Bomber and Tank, both commentaries on the impending Second World War.

Around this time, Orozco met Gloria Campobello, the prima ballerina for the Mexico City Ballet. Within three years, he left his wife Margarita to live with Gloria in New York City. The affair, however, ended almost as quickly as it started. In 1946, Campobello left him, and Orozco returned to Mexico to live alone. In 1947, the American author John Steinbeck asked Orozco to illustrate his book The Pearl. A year later, Orozco was asked to paint his only outdoor mural, Allegory of the Nation, at Mexico’s National Teachers College. The work was photographed and featured in Life magazine.

In the fall of 1949, Orozco completed his last fresco. On September 7, he died in his sleep of heart failure at the age of 65. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, he was hailed as a master of the human condition, an artist bold enough to cut through the lies a nation tells its people. As Orozco insisted, “Painting…it persuades the heart.”

Happy Birthday Doris Duke

Today is Doris Duke’s 102nd birthday.  She was in the newspapers from the day she was born, her every move chronicled and scrutinized.  Her art collection, the house she built in Hawaii, her love life, she did everything large. If Susan Sarandon and Lauren Bacall star in movies about your life, you are doing something right.  The world is a better place because she was in it and still feels the loss that she has left.

NAME: Doris Duke
OCCUPATION: Art Collector, Philanthropist
BIRTH DATE: November 22, 1912
DEATH DATE: October 28, 1993
PLACE OF BIRTH: New York, New York
PLACE OF DEATH: Los Angeles, California

BEST KNOWN FOR: Tobacco heiress Doris Duke was the only child of American tobacco baron, James Duke. When she was born, the press called her the “million dollar baby.”

Doris Duke (November 22, 1912 – October 28, 1993) was an American heiress, horticulturalist, art collector, and philanthropist.

Duke was the only child of tobacco and electric energy tycoon James Buchanan Duke and his second wife, Nanaline Holt Inman, widow of Dr. William Patterson Inman. At his death in 1925, the elder Duke’s will bequeathed the majority of his estate to his wife and daughter,[3] along with $17,000,000, in two separate clauses of the will, to The Duke Endowment he had created in 1924. The total value of the estate was not disclosed, but was estimated variously at $60,000,000 and $100,000,000.

Duke spent her early childhood at Duke Farms, her father’s 3,000-acre (12 km2) estate in Hillsborough Township, New Jersey. Due to ambiguity in James Duke’s will, a lawsuit was filed to prevent auctions and outright sales of real estate he had owned; in effect, Doris Duke successfully sued her mother and other executors to prevent the sales. One of the pieces of real estate in question was a Manhattan mansion at 1 East 78th Street which later became the home of the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.

She was presented to society as a debutante in 1930, aged 18, at a ball at Rough Point, the family residence in Newport, Rhode Island. She received large bequests from her father’s will when she turned 21, 25, and 30; she was sometimes referred to as the “world’s richest girl”. Her mother died in 1962, leaving her jewelry and a coat.