Monday, 12 April 2010

The lady in the picture

In 1934, Bobsy Goodspeed, seated beneath a portrait of her by Bernard Boutet de Monvel, relaxes at her lush Lincoln Park apartment; the architect David Adler designed the space.

Portrait of a Lady

By Geoffrey Johnson

Between the world wars, a beautiful, artistic woman named Bobsy Goodspeed stood at the heart of Chicago's social and cultural scenes. Now, prompted by a salacious if glancing remark in a recent book, this forgotten woman re-emerges and opens the door on a vanished era peopled by painters and pianists, plutocrats and politicians—and an irresistible force named Gertrude Stein

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little augury said...

Such a great article, ran across it and found her story intriguing would love to know more about her. pgt

La Petite Gallery said...

So many interesting people, fell by the road side. Sounds like an
interesting search.

thanks, Yvonne

Christina @ Fashion's Most Wanted said...

Great post. I love the picture. Tell me, are you anything to do with The House of Beauty and Culture from London? I used to go and see them, their studio was round the corner from my house xx

HOBAC said...

CL - only as a devoted customer. And I don't know if you remember, but they didn't exactly make that easy. Imagine coming from the land of Levis and discovering the likes of John Moore (I still have a couple of pairs) and Christopher Nemeth. Manna from heaven. Though I did know John Flett for a while.

I chose the name as a nod to them and to the drag houses of NY.

Christina @ Fashion's Most Wanted said...

Yes it was always an experience! Princess Julia has some good pieces from them and a great lamp by Fric and Frack. Great name for a great blog xx

PS. Thanks so much for including me in your blogroll. Would you mind awfully re-entering my url as it's working again now the adult content thing has been removed x

Errant Aesthete said...

Dearest Hobac,

You never cease to inspire. I simply loved this article and shall give it prominence in my archive.

For beginners, who could be more enticing than someone named Bobsy Goodspeed. It ever there was a heroine for a romantic comedy, who better than she?

This passage, for example, written by the celebrated Alice B. Toklas of hashhish brownie fame in describing the menu at one of Bobsy's famed dinner parties, is priceless:

"I only remember the first and the last, a clear turtle soup and a fantastic pièce montée of nougat and roses, cream and small coloured candles." Toklas included Bobsy's recipe for turtle soup in her cookbook, and today that limpid concoction is the rare reminder of a significant but forgotten Chicago socialite, a spirited woman who, on closer inspection, deserves a more substantial memorial than what Toklas called a "tasty, nourishing but light soup."

Pure perfection!