The living room in which Big Edie would perform was dominated by Albert Herter’s portrait of her twin sisters, above the fireplace. Herter had painted a portrait of Edith too, and ever since it had been hung in the dining room she had had a predilection for the painter’s trademark color, wearing Herter blue whenever she got the chance, usually combining it with a pink scarf and “fatal apple” lipstick. If Edith’s brother Black Jack would try to direct the dinner tab
With a wealthy, successful husband, a magnificent Park Avenue apartment, a Benz limousine, three healthy children, two servants, and a chauffeur, Edith was doing pretty well for herself by 1923. Indulged by her adoring husband and overattentive mother, she could devote herself to the two activities she had always been interested in — the cultivation of her appearance and her voice. Excerpt from The Bouviers: Portrait of an American Family | John H. Davis
Sixty Years Ago Today “Anyway, she started high-pressuring me to come home back in March of 1952 and she kept it up until the end of July. And July 29 I checked out, got on the train, came back, and was never able to get back…. Mother took pictures. I was carrying a red umbrella. I didn’t know I’d never be able to get away again. I didn’t know that. I really wouldn’t have returned. Well, I guess I would have…. I think that my mother is always correct,
"You must be on guard continually to see that your home is not smashed and what you love taken from you! If I had another life I would do exactly the same things again! My Mother was a divine and marvelous artist who needed all the protection I could give her!" - Edie Beale, 1986.