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Elisabeth "Bessie" Marbury was a pioneering American theatrical and literary agent and producer who represented prominent theatrical performers and writers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and ...
Born: June 19, 1856, New York City, New York, United States
Died: January 22, 1933, New York City, New York, United States
Lived: 13 Sutton Pl, New York, NY 10022, USA (40.75738, -73.96029)
Irving House, 122 E 17th St, New York, NY 10003, USA (40.73582, -73.98764)
Maine Chance Spa, Maine Chance Ln, Mt Vernon, ME 04352, USA (44.51379, -69.92439)
Buried: Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
Books: Manners: A Handbook of Social Customs

Elsie de Wolfe was an actress, interior decorator, author of the influential 1913 book The House in Good Taste, and a prominent figure in New York, Paris, and London society. Bessie Marbury was a highly successful theatrical agent (her clients included Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw), as well as the woman who made a series of suggestions to de Wolfe that led to the interior designer becoming a pioneer in her field. Since 1892, she lived openly with De Wolfe in what many observers accepted as a lesbian relationship. De Wolfe's 1926 marriage to diplomat Sir Charles Mendl was page-one news in the New York Times. The Times said, "The intended marriage comes as a great surprise to her friends." As the Times put it: “When in New York she makes her home with Miss Elisabeth Marbury at 13 Sutton Place.” Dave Von Drehle speaks of “the willowy De Wolfe and the masculine Marbury... cutting a wide path through Manhattan society. Gossips called them "the Bachelors.” De Wolfe was noticeably absent from Marbury's funeral, despite the fact that she was the prime beneficiary of Marbury's will.
Together from 1892 to 1933: 41 years.
Elizabeth “Bessie” Marbury (June 19, 1856 - January 22, 1933)
Elsie de Wolfe (December 20, 1865 – July 12, 1950)



Days of Love edited by Elisa Rolle
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
ISBN-10: 1500563323
Release Date: September 21, 2014
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
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Bessy Marbury was born and raised in the affluent and cultured home of one of 19th century New York's oldest and most prominent "society" families. Elizabeth Arden’s name is a household word; her line of cosmetics are popular in the world. She invented the beauty industry at a time when most women were preparing their own lotions and creams at home. Using artful packaging to convey an image of quality, Arden collaborated with a chemist to create the first “scientific” makeup formulations. She introduced modern eye makeup to America, and created the concept of the makeover. In the 1930s, it was said that there were only three American names known in every corner of the globe: Singer Sewing Machines, Coca-Cola, and Elizabeth Arden. Less well known was Arden’s intimate relationship with literary agent Bessie Marbury. It was perhaps a case of opposites attract: Arden was beautiful, fit, and politically conservative, while Marbury was an older, obese political firebrand. While they were together, Arden supported her girlfriend’s Democratic fundraising and feminist activities. They spent many weekends at Marbury’s Maine home, Lakeside Farm. After Marbury’s death in 1933, Arden bought the property with the intention of fulfilling Marbury’s wish that it be turned into a home for working women—though it eventually became part of a luxury resort instead.
They met in 1925 and remained friends until Marbury’s death: 8 years.
Elizabeth “Bessie” Marbury (June 19, 1856 - January 22, 1933)
Florence Nightingale Graham aka Elizabeth Arden (Dec. 31, 1884 – Oct. 18, 1966)


Portrait, Elizabeth Marbury at the Hyde Ball at Sherry's.

Days of Love edited by Elisa Rolle
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
ISBN-10: 1500563323
Release Date: September 21, 2014
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (print): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
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In 1892 Elsie de Wolfe and Elizabeth Marbury moved at Irving House, a residence that had been built for writer Washington Irving – hence called “Irving House.” (Today, a plaque on the building mentions Irving but not de Wolfe or Marbury.) Though East 17th Street was not fashionable at that time, their block was situated firmly in the elegant Gramercy Park district, which held a certain cachet for the two women.
Address: 122 E 17th St, New York, NY 10003, USA (40.73582, -73.98764)
Type: Private Property
Place
Built in 1830
Elisabeth Marbury suggested that Elsie De Wolfe focus her attention on the remodeling of Irving House, her first interior decoration project. De Wolfe removed the dark woodwork and wallpaper, velvet curtains, and heavy furniture that had marked the tastes of the mid-Victorian era. She had the walls painted ivory and light gray and the house completely refurnished in XVIII century French style. When the remodeling was finished, they established a Parisian-type salon at their residence. Each Sunday afternoon from 1897 to 1907, an eclectic assortment of guest met at Irving House for literary talk, gossip, tea and snacks, and an exchange of wit. Guests included such personalities as Sarah Bernhardt, Ellen Terry, Oscar Wilde, Nellie Melba, Henry Adams, and Isabella Stewart Gardner. “You never know who you are going to meet at Bessie’s and Elsie’s,” one salon-goer remarked, “but you can always be sure that whoever they are they will be interesting and you will have a good time.”
Life
Who: Elisabeth "Bessy" Marbury (June 19, 1856 – January 22, 1933) and Elsie de Wolfe, Lady Mendl, (December 20, 1859 – July 12, 1950)
Elsie De Wolfe’s 1926 marriage to diplomat Sir Charles Mendl was page one news in the New York Times. The marriage was platonic and one of convenience. The pair appeared to have married primarily for social amenities, entertaining together, but keeping separate residences. In 1935, when de Wolfe published her autobiography, she didn’t even mention her husband in it. The Times reported "the intended marriage comes as a great surprise to her friends," a veiled reference to the fact that since 1892 de Wolfe had been living openly in what many observers accepted as a lesbian relationship. As the paper put it: "When in New York she makes her home with Miss Elizabeth Marbury at 13 Sutton Place." The daughter of a prosperous New York lawyer, Elisabeth (Bessy) Marbury, like de Wolfe, was also a career pioneer. She was one of the first female theater agents and one of the first woman Broadway producers. Her clients included Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw. During their nearly 40 years together, Marbury was initially the main support of the couple. Dave Von Drehle speaks of "the willowy De Wolfe and the masculine Marbury... cutting a wide path through Manhattan society. Gossips called them "the Bachelors."” Expecting nothing to change in their relationship due to her marriage to Mendl, de Wolfe remained Marbury’s lover until the latter’s death in 1933.


by Elisa Rolle

Queer Places, Vol. 1 edited by Elisa Rolle
ISBN-13: 978-1532901904
ISBN-10: 1532901909
Release Date: July 24, 2016
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/6228297
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Sutton Place first became fashionable around 1920, when several wealthy socialites, including Anne Harriman Vanderbilt and Anne Morgan, built townhouses on the eastern side of the street, overlooking the East River. Both townhouses were designed by Mott B. Schmidt, launching a career that included many houses for the wealthy.
Address: Sutton Pl, New York, NY 10022, USA (40.75738, -73.96029)
Type: Historic Street (open to public)
National Register of Historic Places: Sutton Place Historic District (1--21 Sutton Pl. & 4--16 Sutton Sq.), 85002294, 1985
Place
Elisabeth Marbury, the wealthy literary agent and producer who had been born into an aristocratic family, commissioned society architect Mott Schmidt to transform a Victorian rowhouse at No. 13 Sutton Place into a Georgian residence. She moved in with her long-time companion, decorator Elsie de Wolfe, and began a campaign of convincing her other female friends to follow suit. One of those friends was Anne Vanderbilt whose husband, William K. Vanderbilt died on July 22, 1920, making Anne a widow for the third time. New York society was shocked when, on January 9, 1921, a New York Times headline reported that “Mrs. W.K. Vanderbilt to Live In Avenue A.” She had sold her gargantuan Fifth Avenue mansion for $3 million to move to what the newspaper called “a little-known two-block thoroughfare.” She used $50,000 of the $3 million to purchase Effingham Sutton’s house, No. 1, and, like Elisabeth Marbury, who was already living there, hired Mott B. Schmidt to renovate it into a 13-room Georgian mansion. Anne Vanderbilt’s close friend, 38-year old Anne Tracy Morgan, daughter of J. Pierpont Morgan, announced her plans to have Mott Schmidt create a house abutting the new Vanderbilt house. “Miss Morgan’s new home is being altered, to conform somewhat to the Colonial style of Mrs. Vanderbilt’s house, after which type most of the houses in the exclusive-little nook have been patterned,” said The Times. “Many of the rooms will contain rare old paneling and furniture. Some of these furnishings will be brought from abroad, but much of it will be Colonial. It is expected that the cost of the site and the remodeling will be about $125,000.” By now the neighborhood was filling with single and very wealthy women who were keeping Mott and Elsie de Wolfe busy changing XIX century middle class homes into fashionable neo-Georgian residences. Anne Vanderbilt’s sister, Mrs. Stephen Olin, was already here as were Mrs. Lorillard Cammann and Francis B. Griswold. Sutton Place was dubbed “The Amazon Enclave.” Two months later Mott Schmidt filed revised plans for Anne Morgan’s house at No. 3 Sutton Place. She had purchased the house next door, No. 5, and the original plans were scrapped so that the two houses could be merged. “The new plans call for the rebuilding of the two structures into a four-story dwelling in American Colonial style with a roof garden,” reported The Times. Reflecting their close relationship, Morgan and Vanderbilt would share a common garden to the rear. To create the illusion of a vintage home, Mott reused the bricks from the old buildings on the site. An elevator, in-house incinerator, gas furnace and refrigerators brought the home squarely into the modern age. Mott based the design on two Philadelphia houses; the 1765 Samuel Powel House and its neighbor, the Benjamin Wister Morris House. He treated the Morgan house and the Vanderbilt house as two independent but critically-related designs. A critic assessed them saying “No more valuable or successful examples of the consistent and intelligent use of English architectural precedent in the designing of American houses are to be found than these two houses on Sutton Place.” The house was completed in 1922 and House & Garden praised Morgan for her choice of XVIII Century interiors. “There are hundreds of beautiful drawing rooms in New York, but I know of no one but Miss Morgan who has determined to make the largest and most important room in her house an early American one. She is using an old pine paneled room, such as were often seen in old Southern houses. The New England pine rooms were usually much smaller and the paneling was generally more severe.” The house of Anne Morgan on Sutton Place was purchased after her death by Arthur Amory Houghton, Jr., the great-grandson of the founder of Corning Glass. Twenty years later, Houghton donated the house to the United Nations Association of the United States. The association leased it to the United Nations for a year as the home of the Secretary General, then sold it to the organization in 1973. Today the stately home of Anne Morgan remains the home of the U.N.’s Secretary General. Its colonial façade, along with those of its neighbors built by independent-thinking women who broke free of tradition, looks as though it has stood there for centuries. 360 E. 55th Street, 404 E. 55th Street and 405 E. 54th Street are known as The Sutton Collection. Located in the heart of Sutton Place, the Sutton Collection is made up of three unique buildings, each building is filled with exceptional architectural details and true New York style that can only be found in the rarest of pre-war properties. At 404 E 55th St resided Noel Coward, this was the playwright’s last Manhattan residence.
Life
Who: Anne Tracy Morgan (July 25, 1873 – January 29, 1952)
Anne Morgan was a philanthropist who provided relief efforts in aid to France during and after WWI and WWII. Morgan was educated privately, traveled frequently and grew up amongst the wealth her father had amassed. She was awarded a medal from the National Institute of Social Science in 1915, the same year she published the story “The American Girl.” In 1932 she became the first American woman appointed a commander of the French Legion of Honor. In 1903 she became part owner of the Villa Trianon near Versailles, France, along with decorator and socialite Elsie De Wolfe (1859-1950) and theatrical/literary agent Elisabeth “Bessie” Marbury (1856-1933.) Morgan was instrumental in assisting De Wolfe, her close friend, in pioneering a career in interior decoration. The three women, known as "The Versailles Triumvirate," hosted a salon in France and, in 1903, along with Anne Vanderbilt (1861-1940), helped organize the Colony Club, the first women’s social club in New York City and, later, helped found the exclusive neighborhood of Sutton Place along Manhattan’s East River.


by Elisa Rolle

Queer Places, Vol. 1 edited by Elisa Rolle
ISBN-13: 978-1532901904
ISBN-10: 1532901909
Release Date: July 24, 2016
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/6228297
Amazon (print): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1532901909/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Amazon (kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IZ1BU9K/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Elisabeth Marbury, a professional manager and drama agent, encouraged Elizabeth Arden to purchase a lakefront property in Maine. Arden bought The Gables, the property adjacent to her friend’s on Long Pond in Mount Vernon. Following Marbury’s death, Arden purchased the former’s Lakeside Farm.
Address: Maine Chance Ln, Mt Vernon, ME 04352, USA (44.51379, -69.92439)
Type: Private Property
Place
Around 1925, Elisabeth Marbury acquired a summer home in Mount Vernon called Lakeside Farm, where she entertained many illustrious guests. After Marbury’s death in 1934, Arden converted Lakeside Farm and her own property, The Gables, into the fashionable Maine Chance Farm, a health and beauty spa for the rich and famous. It’s been said that the name was “a double-entendre for her clients who saw it as their main chance to recapture their youth.” Over the years, Arden’s clientele included first lady Mamie Eisenhower, writer Edna Ferber and actresses Judy Garland, Lillian Gish and Ava Gardner. Stefan Tufano’s parents bought the property a few years after the spa closed in 1970. They used it as a summer home and then moved in full time in the 1990s. Tufano moved in to care for them near the end of their lives, and in 2014 the former Maine Chance Spa went up for sale for $765.000.
Life
Who: Elisabeth "Bessy" Marbury (June 19, 1856 – January 22, 1933) and Florence Nightingale Graham (December 31, 1878 – October 18, 1966), aka Elizabeth Arden
Born in New York City, Elisabeth “Bessie” Marbury grew up in a well-to-do and cultured home. Educated to a large extent by her father at home, she spent her early years occupied with social activities, and Sunday school teaching. In 1885 she volunteered to organize a benefit theatrical performance, which became the springboard for her career as a professional manager. A few years later, she managed to get a job handling the dramatic version of “Little Lord Fauntleroy,” which had become a current best-seller. Later in her career she would represent other major writing talents such as George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, James M. Barrie and Somerset Maugham. In the early 1890s, she joined several other agents in forming the American Play Company, and she helped stage several productions with music by Jerome Kern and Cole Porter, becoming instrumental in the development of the typical American style of musical comedy. One of her friends was Elizabeth Arden (1878-1966), whom she encouraged to purchase property in Maine. Arden liked the area so much that she bought an adjacent property, The Gables. In 1933, following several years of declining health, Marbury died in New York City. In her will she requested that Lakeside Farm be turned into a home for working women, but her friends failed to see the plan through. In frustration, Arden purchased the property with the intention of overseeing the project herself, but in the end she combined Lakeside Farm with Maine Chance and made it into the first of many luxury resorts where patrons paid top dollar to enjoy a full range of dietary, exercise, and beauty regimens. Marbury is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, NY, while Arden is buried at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, NY.



Queer Places, Vol. 1 edited by Elisa Rolle
ISBN-13: 978-1532901904
ISBN-10: 1532901909
Release Date: July 24, 2016
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/6228297
Amazon (print): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1532901909/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
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Although located in Woodlawn, Bronx and one of the largest cemeteries in New York City, it has the character of a rural cemetery.
Address: 517 E 233rd St, Bronx, NY 10470, USA (40.89006, -73.87425)
Type: Cemetery (open to public)
Hours: Monday through Sunday 8.30-16.30
Phone: +1 718-920-0500
National Register of Historic Places: 11000563, 2011 Also National Historic Landmarks.
Place
Woodlawn Cemetery opened in 1863, in what was then southern Westchester County, in an area that was later annexed to New York City in 1874. It is notable in part as the final resting place of some great figures in the American arts, such as authors Countee Cullen and Herman Melville, and musicians Irving Berlin, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, and Max Roach. “Memorial To A Marriage” has been erected by Patricia Cronin and her partner Deborah Kass. Sculptor Cronin did the original sculpture of Carrara marble in 2002, to address what she considered a Federal failure: not allowing gay Americans the right to marry. It has been replaced with a bronze casting, installed on the couple’s burial plot in 2011. Since 2002 when the marble was first installed, the memorial has become one of the most visited of Woodlawn. After 18 years together, Patricia Cronin and Deborah Kass went to City Hall on the morning of July 24, 2011, with nearly 900 other New York City couples, waiting for three hours in the heat to get legally married on the first day.
Notable queer burials at Woodlawn Cemetery:
• Diana Blanche Barrymore Blythe (1921-1960), known professionally as Diana Barrymore, was a film and stage actress. She was the daughter of renowned actor John Barrymore and his second wife, poet Blanche Oelrichs.
• Frances (Fannie) Evelyn Bostwick (died in 1921) was the mother of Marion “Joe” Carstairs. Bostwick was an American heiress who was the second child of Jabez Bostwick and his wife Helen. Joe Carstairs' legal father was Scottish army officer Captain Albert Carstairs. At least one biographer has suggested that the Captain may not have been Joe's biological father. Carstairs' mother, an alcoholic and drug addict, later married Captain Francis Francis. She divorced Captain Francis to marry French count Roger de Périgny in 1915, but eventually left him because of his infidelity. Her fourth and last husband, whom she married in 1920, was Serge Voronoff, a Russian–French surgeon who become famous in the 1920s and 1930s for his practice of transplanting monkey testicle tissue into male humans for the claimed purpose of rejuvenation. For some years Evelyn had believed in Voronoff's theories, and she funded his research and acted as his laboratory assistant at the Collège de France in Paris. Voronoff arrived in New York with his wife's body on the ship "S.S. France" in May, 1921.
• Carrie Chapman Catt (1859-1947) was a women’s suffrage leader who campaigned for the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave U.S. women the right to vote in 1920. She was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York alongside her longtime companion, Mary Garrett Hay, a fellow New York state suffragist, with whom she lived for over 20 years. Under a single monument inscribed in block letters: "Here lie two, united in friendship for 38 years through constant service to a great cause."
• Countee Cullen (1903-1946) born as Countee Porter, was a poet, author and scholar who was a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance. It is rumored that Cullen was a homosexual, and his relationship with Harold Jackman ("the handsomest man in Harlem"), was a significant factor in his divorce. The young, dashing Jackman was a school teacher and, thanks to his noted beauty, a prominent figure among Harlem’s gay elite. Van Vechten had used him as a character model in his novel “Nigger Heaven” (1926.)
• Joseph Raphael De Lamar (1843-1918), a prominent mine owner and operator in the western United States and Canada, as well as a financier and speculator, from the late 1870s until his death in 1918. De Lamar married Nellie Virginia Sands, a direct descendant of John Quincy Adams, on 8 May, 1893, and they had one daughter together, Alice DeLamar.
• Marjory Lacey-Baker (died in 1971), actress, she was the long-time companion of Dr. Lena Madesin Phillips, founder of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs. They met in 1919 and together until Ms Philipps’ death in 1955. Ms Phillips is buried at Maple Grove Cemetery (500 N Main St, Nicholasville, KY 40356).
• Joseph Christian “J.C.” Leyendecker (1874-1951) was one of the preeminent illustrators of the early XX century.
• George Platt Lynes (1907-1955) was a fashion and commercial photographer.
• Elisabeth "Bessie" Marbury (1856–1933) was a pioneering American theatrical and literary agent and producer who represented prominent theatrical performers and writers in the late XIX and early XX centuries and helped shape business methods of the modern commercial theater. She was the longtime companion of Elsie de Wolfe (later known as Lady Mendl), a prominent socialite and famous interior decorator.
• Herman Melville (1819-1891) was a novelist, short story writer, and poet from the American Renaissance period.
• Blanche Marie Louise Oelrichs (October 1, 1890 – November 5, 1950) was a poet, playwright and theatre actress known by the pseudonym "Michael Strange.” Starting in the summer of 1940 until her death, Oelrichs was in a long-term relationship with Margaret Wise Brown, the author of many children’s books. The relationship began as something of a mentoring one, but became a romantic relationship including co-habitating at 10 Gracie Square beginning in 1943.
• Elizabeth Cady Stanton (November 12, 1815 – October 26, 1902) was a suffragist, social activist, abolitionist, and leading figure of the early women’s rights movement.
• John William Sterling (May 12, 1844 – July 5, 1918) was a founding partner of Shearman & Sterling LLP and major benefactor to Yale University. In Sterling's will, he directs: "no interment other than my own and that of my sister, Cordelia, shall ever take place" in his Mausoleum in Woodlawn Cemetery. An exception is made, however, "in case my said friend, James O. Bloss (September 30, 1847 – December 18, 1918), who has lived with me for more than forty years, should desire to be interred in the said Mausoleum and should die without ever having been married." Cordelia Sterling is burried with her brother. Bloss died less than six months after Sterling, according to his sister, of a broken heart, and is not buried with his friend, though the reason is unknown. He is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery, Rochester. Sterling's obituary in the New York Times referred to "his lifelong friend, James O. Bloss, a retired cotton broker, who made his home with the testator for more than forty years." James Orville Bloss died suddenly in New York City, on December 15, 1918.
• Bert Williams (1874-1922), was one of the pre-eminent entertainers of the Vaudeville era. He married Charlotte ("Lottie") Thompson, a singer with whom he had worked professionally, in a very private ceremony. Lottie was a widow eight years Bert's senior. The Williamses never had children biologically, but they adopted three of Lottie's nieces. In 1919 their niece Lottie Tyler met blues singer Alberta Hunter. In August 1927, Hunter sailed for France, accompanied by Lottie. Their relationship lasted until Ms. Tyler's death, many years later.



Queer Places, Vol. 1 edited by Elisa Rolle
ISBN-13: 978-1532901904
ISBN-10: 1532901909
Release Date: July 24, 2016
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/6228297
Amazon (print): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1532901909/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Amazon (kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IZ1BU9K/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

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