Helen Gould’s Art Collection on View at Hotel Martha Washington, 1903

In mid August 1903 Edith Vail Ross wrote home to Rutland, Vermont about another adventure she and Miss Schirmer had in New York City.

“Yesterday P.M. Miss Schirmer and I went down to Hotel Martha Washington which has been built within a year or two and is entirely for women. There are single rooms and suites of two and three with bath. We looked at one but Miss S. doesn’t think she would like to live there. ‘Too many women’ she says! However we had a treat down there for all of the paintings from Helen Gould’s house and some of the statuary is exhibited there in the parlors as her house is being repaired. They were beautiful and we enjoyed looking at them very much.”

Martha Washington Hotel. You can see by this photo of one of the many parlors of the Hotel Martha Washington there was plenty of available wallspace for an art collection to be displayed.

Photo shows Helen Miller Gould (1868-1938) at her wedding to Finley Johnson Shepard, Jan. 22, 1913. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2008) Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress).

Photo shows Helen Miller Gould (1868-1938) at her wedding to Finley Johnson Shepard, Jan. 22, 1913. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2008)
Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress).

Helen Gould was one of four children of wealthy financier Jay Gould. She graduated from the New York School of Law in 1895 and was a philanthropist. She had three secretaries that worked on the “begging letters” left on her doorstep daily. Read More about Helen Gould on the Daytonian in Manhanttan blogpost The Lost 1869 Gould Mansion — No. 579 5th Avenue I don’t know much about how some of her art collection was on display at the Hotel Martha Washington in August 1903, but I don’t doubt Edith’s words that it was a temporary display of beautiful pieces.

Helen Gould shocked many by marrying at the “late” age of 43. An unusual stipulation of her father’s will and inheritance was that all of the siblings must approve and consent to each of the siblings marriage suitors.

Photo shows Mr. and Mrs. Finley Shepard attending the Newport Cup polo match at Meadow Brook Field, Long Island, June 14, 1913. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2009 and New York Times, June 15, 1913) Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress).

Photo shows Mr. and Mrs. Finley Shepard attending the Newport Cup polo match at Meadow Brook Field, Long Island, June 14, 1913. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2009 and New York Times, June 15, 1913)
Forms part of: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress).

About Guenevere Crum

Guenevere Crum is an artist and a great granddaughter of Edith and Paul Eisler. She has been actively sleuthing her Eisler - Vail Ross heritage since 1999.
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