Immortalised in Cole Porter's lyrics 'You're the Top! You're a Waldorf salad', the Waldorf-Astoria New York was a glamorous home to international celebrities in the 1930s. But it had an equally iconic predecessor. Built by the Astors in the 1890s at the height of the Gilded Age, for high society clientele and visiting royalty.
This is an extraordinary story of a bitter family feud, of revenge, and Prohibition. Moving uptown to Park Avenue in 1930 where another legendary icon was created. We will explore the stunning interiors of both hotels, the artists and designers who created them, and the personalities who met, feasted and lived there.
Mary Alexander MA
Mary Alexander has an MA with distinction from University College London. She has 30 years experience as a lecturer in museums, tutoring for the Open University, visiting lecturer at Christie's Education in London, and museum curator at Platt Hall, the Gallery of Costume in Manchester.
Now a freelance lecturer to various arts, heritage and antiquarian societies, she has also worked in London and New York for a design consultancy and written articles on design and visual awareness issues. Mary’s background combines an unusual blend of academic and visual communications skills and she is an enthusiastic member of her local DFAS.
Mary gave us a lively and colourful lecture on the French Riviera in 2016 and it will be a pleasure to welcome her back.