Victoria Tennant Lecture

The Dramatic Life of Irina Baronova

Noted British actress Victoria Tennant, who starred in the movies “The Winds of War” and “L.A. Story,” gave a riveting and very moving lecture on her mother, the Russian ballerina Irina Baronova. When her mother died in 2008, Victoria and her sister discovered over 2,000 photos and correspondence dating back to the 1920’s. Wanting to preserve these memories for the sake of her children, Victoria explained, “I became an accidental author.” Her sumptuously illustrated book, Irina Baronova and the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo chronicles an amazing and dramatic life. Irina was born in … Read More

McQueen and Galliano Lecture

Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano

Winner of the Ellis Haller Award for Outstanding Achievement in Journalism and noted author, Dana Thomas gave a very compelling and engaging lecture on her new best-selling book, Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano. As she presented slides of the incredibly beautiful creations of McQueen and Galliano, Dana explained how she was “stunned and devastated” by the news of the suicide of McQueen at the age of 40. Then only a year later, Galliano, the designer of Christian Dior, … Read More

Holiday Decorating with Brad Austin

Holiday Decorating with Brad Austin

The holiday season got off to a great start with a class by Brad Austin of Imaginative Florals and Events. An award-winning florist, Brad has created flower designs for over 60 films and 25 television shows. His work on the “The Young and the Restless,” and “The Bold and the Beautiful” has won him recognition for his contributions to the Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement  in the Art Director/Set Decoration/Scenic Design for a Drama Series for four years. In addition, we are proud that Brad will be designing the Concierge Area for this year’s Masterpiece … Read More

Empty Mansions

Empty Mansions

Bill Dedman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune gave a fascinating lecture on this shy, reclusive heiress. The daughter of one of the richest men in America, W.A. Clark who made a fortune from copper mining, was born in Paris in 1906. In 1925, she graduated from Spence, was a debutante, and was married briefly for 2 years. She was an artist, patron and collector. She loved collecting antique French dolls and doll houses, and was fascinated by Japanese history. An accomplished and … Read More

The History of Beverly Hills

The History of Beverly Hills

The official historian of Beverly Hills, and husband of past President of the Friends Jeanne Anderson, Robert S. Anderson gave a colorful lecture on this iconic city’s history. His new book Beverly Hills: The First 100 Years is beautifully illustrated with stunning vintage and color photographs of the city and its famous inhabitants. Known as Mr. Beverly Hills, Robert had a formidable great-grandmother, Margaret Anderson, who owned and operated the Hollywood Hotel.  There were 26 rooms in 1902, and in over 10 years, the hotel grew to 250 rooms. As fewer than 6 houses had … Read More

Charles Lummis and the Peoples of the Southwest

Mark Thompson, author of the award-winning American Character: The Curious Life of Charles Fletcher Lummis and the Rediscovery of the Southwest, captivated our group with his lecture.  An eloquent journalist and photographer, Lummis kept a diary for 42 years. He walked across the country from Cincinnati to Los Angeles in 1884. As a writer for the Los Angeles Times, he wrote a weekly newspaper column on his travels.   He relied on the kindness of strangers to take him in to sleep at night. Mark explained that Lummis fell in love with the Southwest, saying that the “Mexicans were the most … Read More

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