Helen Huntington Hull was a prominent socialite, patron of the arts, heiress and political hostess. Daughter of Helen Gray (Dinsmore) Huntington (1868-1942) and Robert Palmer Huntington (1869-1949). First wife of Vincent Astor (divorce), later wife of Lytle Hull. Having grown up in Rhinebeck, New York, she played alongside Vincent Astor, who lived at 'Ferncliff' nearby. Divorcing Vincent because of his infidelity, she went on to marry Lytle Hull.
A passionate supporter of music and the opera, she went on to help find the Metropolitan Opera Company, which held court at the Met. While many New York socialites owned or rented out a box on the grand tier of the Met on Broadway, famously called the 'Diamond Horseshoe', she owned two boxes, one for her and the other for guests, each box capable of holding nine persons. A large contributor to ballet, she served on the board of the New York City Ballet.
She resided regally at her Hudson Valley mansion 'The Locusts', a neobaroque mansion named it's black locust trees by her grandfather William Dinsmore. It was the second mansion to occupy the spot, the first one being far too large and dated for her to maintain. It was here that she played on the lawn with her six dogs and gave gala fundraising dinners in the gardens.
At 'Hopeland House', her Staatsburg, New York estate she frequently held fundraising political galas at which Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover attended. She served as alternate delegate to Republican National Convention from New York in 1924. She served as co-chairwoman of New York's Woman's Republican National Committee in 1926 and in 1927. She was a guest at the inaugural balls of Presidents Calvin Cooligde, Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower and the first one of Richard Nixon. Good friends with Nelson Rockefeller, she often co-hosted with Happy Rockefeller at her apartment in New York City. She also considered Leonard Bernstein, Cole Porter, Elsa Maxwell and Cholly Knickerbocker good friends. Helen Dinsmore HuntingtonHelen Huntington was a prominent socialite, patron of the arts, heiress and political hostess. Having grown up in Rhinebeck, New York, she played alongside Vincent Astor, who lived at 'Ferncliff' nearby. They married on April 30, 1914. Helen's friend, Glenway Wescott, the novelist, admiringly described her in his unpublished diaries as "a grand, old-fashioned lesbian." "Mrs. (Vincent) Astor said she always had a homosexual to dinner" because they were "the only people who could talk," the architect Philip Johnson remembered.Locusts on Hudson( Read more... )
William Vincent Astor (November 15, 1891 – February 3, 1959) was a businessman and philanthropist and a member of the prominent Astor family.
Called Vincent, he was born in the Fifth Avenue mansion where his paternal grandmother Caroline Webster Schermerhorn reigned over American society. He was the son of John Jacob Astor IV, millionaire and inventor; and his first wife, Ava Lowle Willing, an heiress from Philadelphia.
He graduated from St. George's School, in Middletown, Rhode Island in 1910 and attended Harvard College from 1911 to 1912, leaving school without graduating.
Vincent endured a difficult childhood. His vain mother was embarrassed by his resemblance to his father and would belittle and humiliate him in public. In addition his parents had a difficult marriage. They divorced in 1909 and on September 9, 1911, John Jacob "Jack" Astor IV married Madeleine Talmage Force, an 18-year-old beauty one year younger than Vincent. Their son, John Jacob "Jakey" Astor VI, would be born on August 14, 1912. Vincent's hatred for Madeleine led him to believe that Jakey was not even a biological Astor.
In 1919, his mother Ava married a recently widowed English nobleman, Thomas Lister, Baron Ribblesdale. While a student at Harvard University in 1912, Vincent inherited an estimated $69 million when his father went down with the Titanic. After his father's death, he quit college to manage his family's vast properties. He also was called "the richest boy in the world."( Read more... )
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher