Friday, January 14, 2011

Palm Beach Social Diary

Marjorie Merriweather Post played an influential role in the town’s social, architectural and cultural history. Above, Mrs. Post displays some Palm Beach Style.
By Augustus Mayhew

The Campus on the Lake program at The Society of The Four Arts is celebrating Palm Beach’s Centennial and The Four Arts’ 75th Anniversary with a four-part lecture series, “The Shaping of Palm Beach,” generously sponsored by The Private Client Reserve of U. S. Bank. Each lecture is $20 and will be held at 3 p.m. in the Walter S. Gubelmann Auditorium. Reservations are required. Please email campus@fourarts.org or call 561.805.8562 or visit www.fourarts.org for more details.

Palm Beach Style

On Thursday afternoon January 6 more than 300 came to hear Lisa Birnbach, author of The Official Preppy Handbook and True Prep, Pamela Fiori, and Steven Stolman, designer, inaugurate the series with a light-hearted glimpse at “The Style of Palm Beach.” An evening reception followed at The Four Arts Library, sponsored by U.S. Bank, Jack Rogers and Bombay Gin. Here were some of the evening’s guests.
Lisa Birnbach. Steven Stolman.
Pamela Fiori. Mary Hilliard. Bill Feldkamp.
Heather and Patrick Henry. Gari Stroh and Brandy Stephenson.
Marilyn Siebrasse and Steven Haligas are with The Private Client Reserve at US Bank, underwriters for The Four Arts series. Alice Pearce and Sarah Foster.
Blair Kirwan, Jackie Breckenridge, and Stacy Magruder.
Norberto Azqueta. Molly Charland. Matt Perlman.
Bill Smith and Rachel Barnett with Jack Rogers. Joanna Ballarini and Mark Montgomery.
Tracy Sharpe, Nima, and Elizabeth Munder.
Katie Edwards John Noffon Khan and Angela Moore.
Lars Bolander. Keith and Penny Williams. Scott Moses.
Kae Johnson and Paula Martin. Mitch Brown, Alex Snyder and Rick Moeser.
Shana and Daniel Kahan.
Stuart Foster.
Bombay Gin was one of the evening’s sponsors.
The view from The Four Arts Library looking west at 7 pm Thursday, the stormiest night of the season.
The Shaping of Palm Beach series at The Four Arts
On January 13 former Mayor Lesly S. Smith will present the second lecture, “The Plan for Palm Beach,” a look at the Garden Club of Palm Beach-sponsored 1929 plan embracing the ideals of the City Beautiful movement, produced for the town by Bennett, Parsons, & Frost. The transformation of Main Street into Royal Poinciana Way was part of the Garden Club’s 1929 plan.
The new Hibiscus Avenue plaza captures the spirit of the Garden Club’s 1929 plan.
Part Three, “The Social History of Palm Beach,” is scheduled for March 3 and will be my contribution to the program. Within a historical context, I plan on charting the development of Palm Beach’s fabled social dynamic, the what’s what of the island’s who’s who. The guestbook at Amado, pictured above, provides insight into Palm Beach’s social history, part of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County’s collection. Guests left lipstick prints along with their autographs, among them, William Rhinelander Stewart, Rose Kennedy, her son, John Fitzgerald Kennedy who signed as “Ding Dong London Jack Kennedy,” Eleanor Young and T. Dennie Boardman.
Architect Jeffery W. Smith, principal of Smith Architectural Group Inc., completes the program on March 10 as he leads a “journey through Palm Beach’s unique architectural history and how it continues to influence the architecture of the present era.” This December 20 1926 headline announces, “Hutton home gains rapid unique shape,” describing the “massive structure,” Maralago, as “Urbanesque” and “Very Different.”
Four Arts celebrates 75th Anniversary with exhibition
The Four Arts has a significant collection of decorative arts.
The Society of the Four Arts is observing its 75th anniversary with an exhibit documenting the organization’s founding in 1936. The exhibit includes ephemera from its earliest programs, including the inaugural show that included Old Master paintings highlighted by Rembrandt’s Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer loaned by art dealer Joseph Duveen. The Four Arts has recently purchased the adjacent public school building to expand its cultural offerings.
The Great Hall at The Four Arts features Rodin’s “Age of Bronze.”
A carved oak 17th-century chest was donated by Hugh Dillman, the first president of The Four Arts.
The collection includes walnut chairs and torchieres from Mizner Industries.
“Pink Asters,” by Albert Herter. Herter also planned and designed the murals for the Fatio-designed Four Arts Library building. The portrait of Maude Howe Elliott was painted by Adele Herter in 1940. Mrs. Elliott was honorary president of The Four Arts until her death in 1948.
The exhibit will be on display until January 16.
The Society of Four Arts officers and board are pictured above in 1944. Of interest, Mrs. Lorenzo Woodhouse, 2nd from right in the front row. Standing to the left of Marion Sims Wyeth, the three ladies standing in the back row, left to right, Evangeline Johnson as Princess Zalstem-Zalessky, Ann Poeller, and Blanche Ittleson. Mrs. Ittleson built the most magnificent Japanese-style house that was demolished. The gentleman sitting in front of Princess Zalessky is Harvey Ladew.
The Four Arts exhibit displays photographs from its first exhibition featuring Old Masters paintings.
Famous Faces: 100 years of Collectors at Wally Findlay Galleries
165 Worth Avenue, www.wallyfindlay.com
Mary Sanford, Wally Findlay and Rose Kennedy are center stage at Wally Findlay’s “Famous Faces” exhibition celebrating the Town’s Centennial celebration.
“Famous Faces” features Palm Beach’s multi-dimensional social conglomerate.
Janet Annenberg Hooker and Donald and Melania Trump.

Historic photo Palm Beach Daily News archive
Photographs by Augustus Mayhew.

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