The Commodore's Heirs: The Vanderbilt Dynasty and the Birth of the Gilded Age
Tuesday, April 1 at 6:30 pm
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.
Co-sponsored by Victorian Society New York and presented in conjunction with Gilded New York.
$15 for Museum members; $25 general public.