The Gilded Age Era Blog is happy to announce that on April 1st, at 6:30 PM, the Museum of the City of New York will be welcoming author T. J. Stiles ~ author of "The First Tycon: Cornelius Vanderbilt" ~ for a lecture he will be giving on the Commodore and his heirs. The Commodore is one of the richest people in all of history! His fortune nowadays worth many hundreds of billions of dollars. His grandchildren - the heirs - emerged as the "nouveau riche" and were scorned by Mrs. Astor and other old monied families. They latter came to triumph over Astor and her kind by building the world's largest homes and giving lavish and excess parties, showing that they were America's wealthiest family - dominating the New York and Newport social arena.
Here is the official press statement:
"T.J. Stiles, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography The First Tycoon (Vintage, 2010) recounts the birth
of the Gilded Age through the story of the Vanderbilt dynasty. “Commodore” Cornelius Vanderbilt rose
from New York’s docks to become the richest man in America. Old patrician families scorned him, though he
lived in the same dignified fashion as they did. His popular grandchildren emerged as leaders of the social
aristocracy, yet they indulged in lavish excess; their legendary parties and vast mansions defined the age.
The themes of an Edith Wharton novel play out over three generations in real-life tales of scandals, séances,
suicide, and a bitter trial over the Commodore’s will. Presented in conjunction with Gilded New York.
Reservations required — $15 for Museum members; $25 general public.
Co-sponsored by The Victorian Society of New York. "
Order tickets online at
or call 917.492.3395
1220 FIFTH AVE, NY, NY 10029 • 212.534.1672 • MCNY.ORG
It is $15 for museum members, and $25 for non-members.
Below, are some photographs that will be mentioned at the event:
Alice Vanderbilt's "Electric Light" Costume ~ Worn to her sister's infamous 1890's ball.
The "Japanese Room" at William Henry Vanderbilt's NYC mansion 640 Fifth Avenue, the
last great Vanderbilt mansion to stand in NYC.
A wealthy ladies toilette scene ~ like the kinds the Vanderbilt women would use.