Aston Magna

Prominent personalities – Guests at Aston Magna over the past 35 years (an incomplete list as of December 9, 2005)


1.     Writers


a)      Dr. Benjamin Barber

Well known political scientist at Rutgers, Princeton at University of Maryland. He is the author of many personal books (Marriage Voices) and political science works. His masterwork, Jihad vs. McWorld, became a handbook in the Clinton Administration. Other books include A Passion for Democracy, and Fear’s Empire.


b)      Beatrice Berle

Widow of F.D.R.’s brain truster and New Deal adviser, Adolf A. Berle, Jr., Secretary of State and Ambassador to Brazil in 1940’s, Beatrice was the only daughter of Courtland Bishop, the great collector during the gilded age and owner of the large Berkshire cottage, Amanda Hall. She wrote Navigating the Rapids, A Life in Two Worlds, and other books. A medical doctor, she was a major social figure and a matriarch in the Berkshires.

(See link: Contact(s): Beatrice Berle)


c)      Patricia Bosworth

An American journalist and biographer.  A former faculty member of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, she has also been an editor, actress and model. She is the author of biographies on Montgomery Clift (1978), Diane Arbus (1984) and Marlon Brandon (2000).  As of 2007, Bosworth was writing a biography of Jane Fonda.

     (Seelink: )     


d)      Bartle Bull

Established author of adventure books with an espionage twist; they include: A Café on the Nile, the Devil’s Oasis, Shanghai Station, and Safari: A Chronicle of Adventure.

(See link: )


e)      Laura Chester

Modern writer of novels with a distinctively equestrian bent.  Wrote Eros and Equus, Free Rein, The Stone Baby, etc.

(See link:


f)       Barbaralee Diamonstein

Distinguished author of books on fashion and design, she served for over 15 years as the Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for the city of New York during the Beame and Koch administrations.  She is also the wife of Carl Spielvogel who served as U.S. Ambassador to the Slovak Republic in 2000 – 20003.

(See link: ).


g)      Brooke Hayward Duchin

Daughter of Lee Hayward, the director, and Margaret Sullavan, the actress, she wrote Haywire, an autobiography. She is married to Peter Duchin, the musician.

(See link:  )


h)      Peter Duchin

Well known pianist and band-leader. Wrote autobiography A Ghost of a Chance.

(See link:  )


i)        Heidi Fiske

Editor in chief of The Institutional Investor for many years and writer for the national and international financial press.  (See link: )


j)        George Gilder

A speechwriter for Nelson Rockefeller and Richard Nixon, he publishes a subscription newsletter called The Gilder Technology Report. Also author of Sexual Suicide, Men and Marriage, Wealth and Poverty, The Meaning of the Microcosm and others.  Established a hedge fund for high technology in investments.

(See link: )


k)     Carol Gilligan

Psychologist and author of In a Different Voice, The War against Boys, The Atlantic Online.

(See link: )


l)        Francine Gray

Liberman), Lovers and Tyrants, At Home with the Marquis De Sade, and others. Also widow of Cleve Gray, the sculptor.

(See link: )


m)    Gael Greene

Major food writer and contributor for 40 years to the New York Magazine, under the moniker “The Insatiable Critic”, wrote books such as Blue Skies, No Candy, Doctor Love, and her recently published autobiography, Insatiable.

(See link: )


n)      A.R. Gurney

Well known American playwright from Buffalo, N.Y., who wrote Love Letters, Ancestral Voices, The Cocktail Hour, The Dining Room, Big Bill, Mrs. Farnsworth, A  Cheever Evening and many other plays regarding the decline of the traditional American elite.

(See link: )


o)      Kitty Carlisle Hart (1910-2007)

Well known actress and singer. Also chair of the New York State Council of the Arts, she wrote the autobiography Kitty. A major icon in the cultural world of the United States.  A national treasure.  Star of T.V. show “To Tell the Truth”, movie star, and nightclub singer.  Also appeared as star in Whitehorse Inn (1936), and Die Fledermaus (Metropolitan Opera1966).

 (See link: )


p)      Carole Hyatt

Activist in women’s affairs, she was a founder of the Women’s Forum and author of When Smart People Fail, Lifetime Employability, Shifting Gears, and other books.

(See link: )


q)      Verlyn Klinkenborg

A major writer who is a member of the editorial board of the New York Times, he has written several books including Making Hay and The Last Fine Time.

(See link: )


r)       Stefan Laurent

Hungarian writer of the interwar period.


s)      Alexander Liberman

Artistic director of the Conde Nast Publications (Vogue, Glamour etc.). He wrote also books about fashion and art.

(See link: )


t)       Norman Mailer

An American novelist, journalist, playwright, screenwriter and film director.  Along with Truman Capote, Joan Didion and Tom Wolfe, Mailer is considered an innovator of creative nonfiction, a genre sometimes called New Journalism, but which covers the essay to the nonfiction novel.                 

(See Link:


u)      Alain Malraux

Nephew and adopted son of the French literary giant, André Malraux. He has written two plays and a major biography of his cousins, Les Marronniers de Boulogne. Involved in the establishment of a French repertory theatre in New York.

(See link: )


v)      Annie McGovern

Writer of non-fiction, including biographies, history books, marine matters and other adventures.

(See link: )


w)     Keith Morgan

Distinguished professor of Architecture History at Boston University, he is the unquestioned world expert on the work of Charles A. Platt, a major architect of the 1880-1920 period, and architect of the main house of Aston Magna. His books and monographs include Shaping an American Landscape. (See link:  )


x)      Nancy Newhouse

American journalist and biographer.  A former faculty member of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, she has also been an editor, actress and model. She is the author of biographies on Montgomery Clift (1978), Diane Arbus (1984) and Marlon Brandon (2000).  As of 2007, Bosworth was writing a biography of Jane Fonda.


y)      Col. James Reid

 A pre-eminent authority of Pre-Colombian textiles, has written extensively regarding textiles from Peru and Bolivia, including Magic Feathers.

(See link: )


z)       William Shirer (1904-1994)

The totemic writer of Hitler’s Germany who wrote Berlin Diary and The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. (See link: )


a)  Jill Spalding

Glamorous and elegant editor of Vogue magazine in London and New York, author of Only the Best and Blythe Spirits: The History of the Cocktail. Presently working on a major work regarding the history of luxury. Contributor too many publications and hostess of a radio program on the arts in Miami, Florida.

(See link: )


b)  Edith & Loet Velmans

Distinguished autobiographers. She survived Nazism in Holland and wrote Edith’s Book.  He wrote about his experiences in a Japanese prisoner war camp in Burma, A Long Way Back from the River Kwai. 

(See link: )


cc)   Janet W. Wallach

President of Seeds of Peace, an organization devoted to conflict resolution in summer camps for both Arabia and Israeli children. Also author of The Desert Queen (a biography of Gertrude Bell, English intelligence agent in the Middle East during and after the First World War) and biographer of Coco Chanel and Arafat.

(See link: )


d)  Simon Winchester

 Recently knighted by the Queen Elizabeth II, he has written Krakatoa, The Map that Changed the World, The Professor and the Madman and others.



2.      Actors


a)      Jane Alexander

A well known actress in many Broadway plays, films and TV programs, Ms. Alexander was the chair of the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington DC during the Clinton Administration. Her films include: Kramer vs. Kramer, The Testament and her famous theatrical performance in The Great White Hope.

(See link:  )





b)      Allyn Burrows

Well known off Broadway actor who has specialized for many years in Shakespearian roles.  (See link: )


c)      Kate Burton

Daughter of the actor Richard Burton and of the actress Sybil Williams Christopher, she performed substantially in theatre festivals and appeared in An American Daughter and The Beauty Queen of Leeann. She appeared also in a number of films. She has her most prolific work on television (Law &Order, The Practice, The West wing, Judging Amy etc.)

(See link: )


d)      Peter Gallagher

Has performed both on and off Broadway for many years.  His signature performance was in Tom Stopper’s The Real Thing with Glen Close on Broadway. He first achieved fame for his role in Steven Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989).  He also starred as Sky Masterson in the 1992 Broadway Revival of “Guys and Dolls”.  (See link: )


e)      Rita Gam

Well known film and TV actress and documentary film maker.  She was married to the director Sidney Lumet

(See link: )


f)       Dan Gerroll

Well known Off-Broadway actor who appeared in such shows as Enchanted April, High Sky, and The Dear Boy at Second Stage.  He received an OBIE for his body of work.


g)      Dennis Krausnick

Krausnick teaches in theatre programs across the country as well as designing and leading the actor-training programs for Shakespeare & Company. He also serves as a senior facilitator for Corporate Scenes, providing theatre-based consulting work for the corporate community. (See link:

h)                  Kristen Linklater                                                                                                             Is a pprominent vocal coach, dialect coach, acting teacher, actor, and director. She is currently Head of Acting in the Theatre Arts Division of Columbia University. Linklater has trained many well-known actors, including Patrick Stewart, Donald Sutherland, Alfred Woodard, Mary Tyler Moore, Bill Murray, Angela Bassett, Courtney Vance, Sigourney Weaver, Sam Rockwell and Bernadette Peters. Her writings on voice include freeing the Natural Voice (1976) and Freeing Shakespeare's Voice. (See Link: )                             



i)                    Tina Packer 

Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where she won the Ronson Award for Most Outstanding Performer. Founder and Artistic Director of Shakespeare Company in Lenox, MA. (See link: )


j)                    Roger Rees                                                                                                                Presently artistic director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, Massachussets, he is a distinguished actor and he is best known for the 9 hours film The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. He won an OBIE award for his off-Broadway performance in The End of the Day. Also played in A Man of No Importance and Indiscretions.  (See link: )


k)     Maureen Stapleton

Winner of  a Tony Award for The Rose Tattoo and for The Gingerbread Lady and winner of Academy Award for Reds.  (See link: )


l)        Beatrice Straight

Well known actress in stage, films, and TV. She won an Oscar for Network.

(See link: )


m)    Irene Worth

American born, she performed in England over 50 years before returning to the US in 1996. She performed in Hamlet, The Cherry Orchard, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Happy days and many other plays. Also played in a number of films, including Onegin.

(See link: )


3.     Painters


a.                  Eric Fischl

Contemporary painter, well known for a five-part series of paintings called The Travel of Romance

(See Link: )


  1. April Gornik

Top contemporary painter. Exhibits in major museums and art galleries around the country.

(See link:


  1. Cleve Gray

Major abstract expressionist painter, famous for Threnody (a 14 mural exhibition at the Newburger Museum in Purchase, New York).

     (See link:


  1. Wesley Duke Lee

An important Brazilian painter, educated in part in the United States, he has exhibited in major European, South American and American galleries. Considered one of the top Brazilian painters alive today.

(See link: )


  1. Scott Pyle

Famous portrait painter of the 20’s, lover of many of his subjects, also brother of Mary Pyle Spalding, the mistress of Aston Magna for 41 years.


  1. Norman Rockwell

One of America’s most beloved and famous 20th century artists, Rockwell is probably best known for the cover illustrations he did for The Saturday Evening Post magazine for over four decades.                                                                             (See: or


  1. David Sally

Contemporary painter, exhibits all over the world.


  1. Jose Zaragoza

Catalan painter who is the artistic director of  DPZ, foremost advertising firm in Brazil. He has published major books including Eroticos Desinhos, and exhibits extensively in Europe and the Americas..



4.      Sculptors


a. Peter Chinni

Excellent sculptor of medium sized forms. Close childhood friend of Lee M. Elman (owner of Aston Magna), has exhibited in major museums in US, in NY. Presently lives and works in Taos, New Mexico. (See link:


b. Michele Oka Doner

Extraordinary installation artist whose seminal work includes Concourse B at  Miami Airport. (See link:


c. Alexander Liberman

Artistic director of Conde Nast, he is famous for his large iron sculptures painted in red, exhibited outside of major buildings.

(See link:


d. George Rickey

Well known modern sculptor who has exhibited in France, Germany and US.

(See link:



5.     Photographers


  1. Lucien Aigner

Hungarian photographer, who became famous for taking and disseminating the photo of Einstein at Princeton University. Other well-known photographs include Benito Mussolini about to sneeze as the picture was taken.

(See link: )


  1. Tom Palumbo

Photographer for many years at Harper’s Bazaar and off Broadway shows. Tom Palumbo experiments with photo collages, and he spends a lot of his time now directing plays off-Broadway and on the road.  He directed a workshop at the Actors Studio of Joyce Carol Oates play about Marilyn Monroe.


  1. Galen Rowell

Perhaps the most famous mountain photographer in the world. He published many books of mountain photos. (He was a major climber himself). His books include:

In the Throne Room of the Mountain Gods and, Mountain Light.

(See link: )



6.     Dancers


  1. Marge Champion

Born Marger Belcher in LA, she became a famous dancer with her partner and husband, Gower Champion. She appeared in many successful films, including: Showboat and Lovely to Look at.

(See link: )


  1. David Parsons

Originally with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Parsons created his own company dedicated to modern and inventive choreography. He created a famous photocreation ballet with strobe lighting, called Caught.

(See link: )


7.      Singers and Musicians



  1. Leon Botstein

Is the extraordinary President of Bard College and the director of the Bard       Festival.  Also, founder and conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra since 1992.  In 2003, he was appointed music director of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.  He is a prominent scholar of music history.  (See Link:       


  1. James Conlon

One of the pre-eminent conductors of his generation, Mr. Conlon has conducted in virtually every musical capital in the United States, Europe, and Japan. In 1976, Conlon made his debut with the Metropolitan Opera, and it marked the start of a long association with the house. He has conducted more than two hundred performances there, leading a wide range of works from the Italian, German, French, Russian and Czech operatic repertoire.

(See Link:


  1. Phyllis Curtin

Esteemed American soprano and teacher, she made her first operatic debut in The Queen of Spades in Boston, then in New York City Opera in Von Einem’s The Trial.

She became well known for her roles in Mozart’s operas and for Cathy in Floyd’s Wuthering Heights. Floyd’s opera, Susannah, was writted for her.

(See link:


  1. Peter Duchin

Preeminent dance-band leader. Since his debut in 1962, Peter Duchin and his orchestra have provided the music for many of the nation’s most notable public and private events. He had also a highly successful recording career (he’s made 26 albums).

(See link:


  1. Max Feffer

Chairman of the Board of Companhia Suzano, the largest paper and pulp company in Latin America, also very active in philanthropic activities throughout Brazil.  Also had a triple portfolio (Culture, Public Affairs, and Health) from the city of Sao Paulo in the 1990’s


  1. Steven Fox

American conductor Steven Fox is the Artistic Director of New York's Clarion Music Society and Music Director and Principal Conductor of Musica Antiqua St. Petersburg. 


  1. Malcolm Frager (1935-1991)

A child prodigy, Frager made his debut in St. Louis at the age of 10. He was winner of the Leventritt Prize in 1959, the Queen Elizabeth of Belgium International Competition, and second prize at the Geneva Competition. Frager majored in Russian at Columbia University and was fluent in seven languages.  Frager recorded for RCA, EMI, Telarc and other labels and toured extensively both in America and Abroad.


  1. Albert Fuller

Born in Washington, was co-founder of  The Aston Magna Foundation for Music and the Humanities in 1972 (with Lee Elman) and created The Helicon Foundation in 1985. Esteemed Harpsicordist and professor at the Julliard School.

(See link:


  1. Arlo Guthrie

His career exploded in 1967 with the release of Alice’s Restaurant and he played in the 1969 Hollywood film version of  this song. He toured throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia winning a wide, popular following. He recently created a program of symphonic arrangements of his own songs and other American classics, called An American Scrapbook.

(See link:


  1. Yehuda Hanani

World –class cellist, he is the founder of Close Encounters with Music in the Berkshires.


  1. Kitty Carlisle Hart

Well known American actress, her soundtrack filmography include: Hollywood Canteen, Larceny with Music, A Night at the Opera, She Loves Me Not and Murder at the Vanities.  (See link:


  1. Barbara Hendricks

Very admired black American soprano, had her operatic debut in 1974 in San Francisco and went on to appear at all major opera houses throughout the world. She performed Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro. She has more than 20 roles in her active opera repertoire. She received numerous awards for her artistic achievements and humanitarian work. Sang at the Aston Magna music festival in the seventies.

(See link:


  1. Newell Jenkins

Founder and conductor of the Clarion Society, Jenkins created the quintessential chamber orchestra, specializing in 19th and 20th century music.  Succeeded by Steven Fox (see above under Musicians).  (See link: )


  1. Bernard Krainis

One of the greatest recorder players in the world, he was on the Aston Magna Foundation’s Board of Directors until his death. He was the co-founder with the choral director, Noah Greenberg, of New York Pro Musica .

(See link:



  1. Bejin Mehta

He started his career as a boy soprano and made his operatic debut at The NYCO in 1998 singing Armindo, Partenope. His most famous title roles are in the plays: Orlando, Tamerlano, Mitridate, Three Sisters, Giulio Cesare, L’Incoronazione di Popp, Rodelinda etc.  (See link:


  1. Eugene Ormandy

Originally the conductor of The Budapest Orchestra, he became famous as the       long-term conductor of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra starting in 1931 (44 years).  He was a frequent guest of Albert Spalding at Aston Magna during the forties and fifties.  (See Link:


  1. Charles Wadsworth

Founded the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in 1969 and served as its Artistic Director and pianist for twenty years.  He has toured extensively through out the United States. (See link: )


  1. Richard Westenberg

Well Known conductor and founder of a sacred music ensemble, he was active in the music world in New York during the 1980’s and 90’s.


  1. Robert White

Considered one of the top singer of Irish ballads, this tenor is known throughtout the United States for his recitals of classical songs as well as ethnic pieces, especially Irish.  Performed at the Aston Magna musical festival in the seventies and eighties.

(See link:



8.     Poets


  1. John Ashbery

An American poet who has won nearly every major American award for poetry and is recognized as one of America's most important  poets.

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  1. William Kinsolving

The author was trained as an actor and has written for stage, screen and television. Titles include: Raven, Born with the century, Bred to win, Diplomat's daughter, Mister Christian.

(See link:


9.     Art Dealers


  1. Andre Emmerich

Founder of the Andre Emmerich Gallery which, for almost 50 years, was one of  New York’s most influential contemporary galleries. It was the focal point for Color-Field painting and a leading venue for color abstraction and monumental sculpture.  He championed such artists as Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, Piere Alechinsky, William Bailey, Piero Dorazio, Sam Francis, Al Held, and David Hockney. Also, an early specialist in pre-colombian art.

(See link:


b.  Richard Feigen

Is the owner of Richard Feigen Galleries, a major New York art gallery and an influential trend-maker in the visual art world.

      See link:


c. Ben Heller

He started with his painting and sculpture collection, the relationship between artists and collectors, art movements and the impact of collectors on them, art as a financial investment; then he changed his collecting interests and became a dealer traveling exhibitions of his collection. (See link:


d. Norman Hirschl

Extraordinarly well-esteemed art dealer on Madison Avenue.  Mr. Hirschl is a founding partner of the world famous Hirschl & Adler Gallery.

(See Link:


e. Solange Landau

A well known private art dealer in Manhattan of French origin (her mother, Monique de Ginsburg was married to Giorgio Uzielli). Mrs. Landau carries on a very discreet dealership, specializing in French Impressionist and Early Modern painters from her beautiful apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.


  1. Col. James Reid

Considered one of the foremost private dealers in Pre-Colombian textiles.  Has written 12 books on the subject and has lectured throughout the world.  His is an advisor to major museums in the United States, Europe, and Israel.


  1. Pat Spector

Distinguished dealer in contemporary art in New York City.


  1. Harriet Whitelaw

Well known private art dealer in modern art from Post-Impressionism through Modern and including Contemporary.  Formerly associated with the Loeb Kruzier gallery in Geneva.


10.             Art Patrons


  1. Susan Baker

Presently Chairman of the Board of the New York City Opera and very involved in cultural activities in New York City and throughout the country.

(See link: )


  1. Frederick & Candace Beinecke

He, known as Rick, is a major supporter of the arts and serves on many boards including the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA, Close Encounters with Music (of which he was founder), The New York Conservancy (previously known as the Bronx Zoo), and many other publicly spirited institutions. She, known as Candy, is the Chairman of the distinguished law firm, Hughes, Hubbard, and Reed.  She is also active as treasurer and director of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Company.

(See link: )


c. Melva Buksbaum

Major contributor to the Des Moines, Iowa Art Museum and publisher of its Catalogue Raisonne.  Also owns substantial collections of modern and contemporary art in New York and Aspen.

( See link: )


d.   Marcel Clairmont

Romanian by birth, Mr. Clairmont was a modern composer of classical music.  He also was a founder of a series of private music scholarships for young performance artists throughout the world. A major contributor to Young Artist Concerts.


  1. Winthrop Crane (1853 – 1920)

Scion of the famous Crane Paper Company (principal supplier to the U.S. Treasury of paper for currency), he was chairman of the board of the Berkshire Museum, which his family founded.  A major supporter of the arts in the Berkshires and throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Also, the nephew of the well known Governor Winthrop Crane of Massachusetts.  As trustee of the Albert & Mary Spaulding estate, he negotiated the sale of Aston Magna (the property) to Lee Elman in 1971. (See link: )


  1. Jane & Jack Fitzpatrick

Perhaps the foremost living supporters of the arts in Western Massachusetts.  Owners of Country Curtains, The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge and Blantyre Castle in Lenox.  As contributors to Tanglewood, they provided most of the funds for the Seiji Osawa Hall at Tanglewood. She was the Chairman of the Board of The Berkshire Theatre Festival for 20 years. They are also contributors to The Williamstown Theatre Festival, and a myriad of other festivals in the Berkshires.  Extremely philanthropic.

(See link:




  1. Agnes Gund

The distinguished President of the Museum of Modern Art from 1991 to 2003, she has been involved with the visual arts world in New York and throughout the United States for many years. In 1997 she was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Bill Clinton.

(See link: )


  1. Ashton Hawkins

Formerly General Counsel of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and counsel to the trustees.  As such, Mr. Hawkins has been part of the New York cultural scene for almost forty years.

(See link{8B125814-031B-11D5-93EE-00902786BF44 }


  1. Wanda Horowitz

Daughter of Toscanini (the conductor) and wife of Vladimir Horowitz (the famous pianist), she was a force in the music world before her death in 1999.

(See link:


  1. Edwin & Lola Jaffe   (1922 – 2007 Edwin)

An industrialist and major philanthropist, he founded the Berkshire South Regional Community Center in Great Barrington, Massachusetts and had been extremely active in Cultural affairs in the Berkshires since 1968.  He was also a major founder of The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington.  Separately, he was an accomplished photographer and avid art collector. (See Link:


  1. Olga Koussevitsky

The second wife of the famous conductor, Serge Koussevitsky.  She was the executive force at Tanglewood, the music festival, for many years.  She created the Olga Koussevitsky Competition.

(See link:


  1. Jocelyn Kress

Daughter of the founder of the Samuel H. Kress collection (now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the National Gallery in Washington, DC), she is a well known art historian and international lecturer.

(See link:






  1. Ray Learsy

A major collector of post-war German art and photography from all over the world, Mr. Learsy has shared his collection with many museums in the United States and Europe. Served on the National Endowment for the Arts during the Reagan Administration.

(See link: http://www.nationalreview.con/buckley/wfb200508121447.asp


  1. Mortimer Levitt

The founder of Custom Shop Shirtmakers, a business he built from its inception in 1937 and expanded nationwide. He had many diverse interests, particularly his love of the arts. He was a renowned supporter of the arts and was a patron of such organizations as the Manhattan Theater Club and Young Concert Artists. (See Link: )


  1. James Marlas

Important collector of objets d’art including fine furniture, ceramics, special pieces, and paintings from the 18th century to the present.  He has filled two homes with such treasures in Greenwich, CT and Nimes, France.

(See link:


  1. Minkie Quinson

Founder and driving force of Barrington Stage Company, a theatrical group founded ten years ago to perform both dramatic and musical theatre in South Berkshire County.


  1. Irwin Schneiderman

Formerly Chairman of the New York City Opera, he was responsible for the merger of Glimmerglass Opera and New York City Opera approximately ten years ago which consolidated the Artistic Directorship of Paul Kellogg for both institutions.

(See link:


  1. H. Peter Stern

Chairman and founder of Storm King, the major sculpture garden in the United States, he is also the Vice Chairman of the World Monument Fund and active in other cultural organizations.

(See link: )


  1. Robert  Strassler

Musician (viola da gamba), he has been chairman of and major financial contributor to the Aston Magna Foundation for Music for over 20 years. He is the Vice Chairman of the Shakespeare Company and Chairman of the Medici Project in Florence, Italy.

(See link: )




  1. Aso Tavitian

A computer industrialist, Mr. Tavitian is a trustee of the Clark Art Institute in            Williamstown and the Director of Close Encounters with Music.  He has been a long supporter of many cultural institutions in New York City and the Berkshires.

(See link: )


  1. Wilmer Thomas

An internationally recognized tax attorney, Mr. Thomas is a major contributor to operatic institutions around the United States and served as a trustee of the Metropolitan Opera. (See link: )


  1. Barbara Tober

Founder and Chairwoman of the Museum of Arts and Design (formerly American Crafts Museum),  she is also the president of Acronym Inc., a venture capital firm that invests in art related projects. Ms. Tober was editor-in-chief of Bride’s magazine for almost 30 years.

(See link: )


  1. Alice Tully (b.1902-1993)

A scion of William Houghton, founder of Corning Glass Works, she donated most of her income to arts institutions and gave the funds for the new chamber music hall at Lincoln Center that bears her name.  Mrs. Tully served on the board of the Aston Magna Foundation for Music since its inception in 1972 until her death.

(See link:



  1. Susan Wadsworth

Founder and Director of Young Artists, Inc. dedicated to discovering and launching the careers of gifted musicians from all over the world.  She has been a consultant to the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

(See link: )


  1. Anita Warburg

Of the famous German Banking Family (sister of Eric Warburg), was a member of the Creative Arts Awards Commission of Brandeis University. Also, well known in New York City cultural circles.



11.             Other Significant Arts Personalities


  1. Jane Alexander

For full bio, see section 2 (Actors) above.

(See link: )



  1. Charles C. Bergman

Active in arts institution around the country, Mr. Bergman is Chairman of the Pollack- Krasner Foundation and is on the board of the New York State Council on the Arts.  (See link:


  1. O. Robert Blechman

One of the top cartoonists of the United States, his cartoons have appeared frequently in the New York Times.  He has also published a number of books showing his trademark line (~~~~~~~~~).

(See Link:


  1. Schuyler Chapin

Most recently the Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for the City of New York under Mayor Giuliani, he was formerly the general manager of the Metropolitan Opera from 1972-76 and Dean of the Columbia University School of the Arts from 1976-1987.  He is the author of Leonard Bernstein: Notes from a Friend (1992) and Sopranos, Mezzos, Tenors, Bassos and Other Friends (1995).

(See link:


  1. Neil Chrisman

Associated as Chairman and extraordinary board member of The Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival and responsible for moving it into financial success.  He has been a  board member of The Brooklyn Academy of Music since 1979.   (See Link:


  1. Michael Conforti

Director of the prestigious Clark Art Institute of Williamstown, Massachusetts from 1988 to the present.


  1. Brendan Gill (b. 1914-1997)

Famous writer for the New Yorker he was the author of fifteen books including,  Here at the New Yorker and the iconoclastic Frank Lloyd Wright biography Many Masks.

(See link: )


  1. Kitty Carlisle Hart

      For Writers, 1n. 


  1. Malcolm Rogers

Is the well known and respected director of The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston since 1994.  Presently in charge of an $180,000,000 expansion. (See Link:





  1. Ian Stoutzker

Former Chairman of the London Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic, Mr. Stoutzker is a distinguished violinist in his own right and is the largest private owner of 18th century violins in the world.  In recent years, he founded and runs a musical organization in London which gives concerts for British hospitals. (See link: )



12.            Architects


  1. Hugh Hardy

Best known as one of the top theatre architects in the United States, Hugh Hardy designed the New Victory Theatre on 42nd Street; the Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn; the New York Botanical Garden Leon Levy Visitor Center in the Bronx; restoration and addition of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY; restoration of Radio City Music Hall; and the redesign of Bryant Park.  He is also involved with the Municipal Arts Society and the New York Landmarks Commission.


  1. Charles A. Platt, Jr.

Considered one of the great fin de siecle architects in New York (his major   competition was McKim, Mead, & White).  He was a prominent landscape gardener and architect of the American Renaissance movement.  He was the Astor Estate’s principal architect.  His grand country estates include that of Edith Rockefeller McCormick at Villa Turicum. His New York City successes include the double townhouses for Sara Delano Roosevelt on East 65th Street, the Studio Building at 131 East 66th Street, and Astor Court on Broadway and 90th. Other major commissions include the entire campuses of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Connecticut College, Deerfield Academy, and Phillips Academy at Andover, where he designed the chapel and library and their settings.


  1. Paul M. Rudolph

Considered one of the most innovative architects of the mid to late 20th century.  Rudolph was also Dean of the Yale School of Architecture in New Haven where his most famous work is the Yale Art and Architecture Building.  Mr. Rudolph became internationally famous when he virtually redesigned the skylines of Singapore and Hong Kong.


  1. David Kenneth Spector

Well connected in New York circles, he is known for many modern and residential projects in Manhattan, including the penthouse of the Galleria Apartment House on 57th Street.  Another major project was the design of the Arthur Ashe tennis stadium on Long Island.





13.              Literary, Theatre & Music Critics



  1. Pauline Kael

Considered by many to be the most influential American film critic of her day, Kael was the critic for the New Yorker from 1967-1991.  She is the author of several  award winning books including, I Lost It at the Movies (best seller), Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang, When the Lights Go Down, and Taking It All In.  Deeper Into Movies, Mrs. Kael’s fourth book, was the first non-fiction book about movies to win the National Book Award.  (See Link: )


 b. Charles Michener

Was the senior editor of Cultural Affairs at Newsweek.  He is a staff writer at both The New Yorker and The New York Observer, where he writes extensively on the arts, especially music.  He is the author of a number of books including, Ghost of a Chance: A Memoir (about Peter Duchin) and The Toughest Show on Earth: My Rise and Reign at the Metropolitan Opera (about Joseph Volpe).


  1. Rex Reed

Famous American film critic, Reed currently authors the popular New York Observer column, “On the Town with Rex Reed.”  For many years, Mr. Reed was the co-host of the syndicated television show, At the Movies.  He is the author of many books, including the novel Personal Effects, Do You Sleep in the Nude, People are Crazy Here, and Rex Reed’s Guide to Movies on TV and Video.

(Also see link: )


  1. Daniel Selznick

Son of David O. Selznick, producer and director of “Gone with the Wind”, and also son of Irene Selznick, producer of  “Street Car Named Desire”, he is known as a theatre critic throughout the United States,  He also produced several television documentaries. (See Link:



14.            Television Personalities & Radio Personalities


a.      Hugh Downs

One of the most famous broadcasters in television history, Downs served as anchor of 20/20, host of The Today Show, announcer for the Tonight Show with Jack Paar, host of Concentration game show and co-host of the PBS talk show Not for Women Only.

(See Link:


b.      Stan Gurrell

A major influence in the radio broadcasting field in the United States, he began as a national broadcaster with an extraordinary baritone voice and branched out into ownership.


c.       Anne Strauss

Active in radio broadcasting in the 1930”s and 40’s, she was the announcer on several important shows before marrying Martin Strauss, an industrialist.  She also was a leading force as a chair of the Berkshire Theatre Festival from 1960 till the late 70’s.



15.            Restauranteurs, Chefs & “Food People”


  1. Harley Baldwin

An influential restaurateur, he was the visionary behind Bridgemarket, a dream to create a global food market under the Queensboro Bridge in New York City.  He also founded and operated The Caribou Club, a toney night spot in Aspen, Colorado

(See link: )


  1. Michael & Ariane Batterbury

Founders of two of the most important national food magazines in the country, Food Arts and Food & Wine,  Mr. and Mrs. Bratterbury are the authors of many books including, On the Town in New York, Primitive Art, and Bloomingdale’s Book of Entertaining.

(See link:


  1. Ed Benenson

Was the chairman of a Burgundy wine society, referred to as Les Chevaliers de Tastevin and served as its guiding beacon for over 30 years. (See Link:


  1. Craig Claiborne and Pierre Freney

These two men teamed up as the major food writers for the New York Times since the early 1970’s.  Claiborne, originally from the Deep South, focused on upgraded American food, while Freney, a Frenchman, focused on the European aspect of food preparation.  Both wrote prolifically and were superb cooks in their own rights.

(See link: )


  1. Gael Greene

Considered the foremost food critic in the United States for many years, Gael Green has written for 30 years under the title “The Insatiable Critic” for New York Magazine.  She has written several sexy novels including Blue Skies No Candy, Dr. No, and her recent autobiography, Insatiable.




  1. Sheila Lukins

A renowned chef, cooking teacher, and food writer, Ms. Lukins is the author of the best selling cookbooks: USA Cookbook, The Silver Palate Cookbook, The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook, and the All Around the World Cookbook. There are more than 5.5 million copies of her books in print. 

(See link: )


  1. Alain Senderens

One of the legendary priests of the temples of gastronomy in France, he has owned a number of three star restaurants in Paris including L’archestrate and Lucas Carton.  He spent a three day Memorial Day weekend at Aston Magna in 1983, preparing spectacular meals with Harley Baldwin, Gael Green, and many other guests.


  1. Donald Tober

Owner of Sweet & Low, the substitute sugar company, and personal gourmand and gourmet, Mr. Tober was also for many years the Chairman of the Board of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.


  1. Tim and Nina Zagat

A husband and wife team, the Zagats are the creators and owners of the Zagat Survey, a prominent restaurant and hotel review.  Initially covering only New York, it has become an international company.  It is now the world’s leading provider of core based dining, hotel and travel, and leisure information, with more than 250,000 voters participating.

(See Link: )



16.            Interior Designers


  1. Natalie Davenport (----- died in 1997)

Well known interior designer, active in the forties and fifties, married to Russell W. Davenport.  (See Link:


  1. Harriet Levine

Well –known designer of swank apartments and homes in New York City, the Hamptons, Palm Beach and elsewhere.




  1. Peter Marino

The founder of the internationally celebrated architecture firm, Peter Marino Architect, PLLC,   he has designed both private residences and retail stores for some of the most famous names in the art and fashion world - - Fendi, Armani, Warhol, Valentino, Chanel, to name just a few.



d.      Pablo Molyneux

Chilean by birth and known internationally for his polished interiors, Juan Pablo Molyneux is an interior designer who combines aesthetically strict modernism with the comfort and richness of neoclassicism.  His attention to detail, his insistence on the finest materials, and his use of elements of fantasy and opulence, together create a subtle balance between the different parts of a Molyneux room or the pieces within it, inspiring a sense of calm.


e.      John Saladino

An internationally renown architectural and interior designer, Mr. Saladino is a graduate of the Yale School of Art and Architecture.  He founded the Saladino group in 1972, and in 1986, created Saladino Furniture.  He is a world famous lecturer and author on Architecture and Design.  He is the Author of Style by Saladino. 

      (See link:


f.        Stephanie Stokes

Prior to founding her own design firm, Stephanie Stokes, Inc, Ms. Stokes cut her teeth with such well known designers as Mark Hampton and as a partner of the late Harrison Cultra.  She has designed residences across the country from New York to Aspen to California.  She is a vice-president of the Sir John Soane Museum in London.

      (See link: )



17.              Cinemagraphic Personalities


a.      Rita Gam

      See bio above under actors


b.      Peter E. Strauss

Well known motion picture industry executive associated with Emanuel Wolf and Ray Stark in the 1970’s and early 80’s.  He then went out on his own to create a distinctive mechanism for financing of foreign films.  He founded  Lions Gate and is executive director of Mandalay Pictures.


c.       Roger Corman

Known as king of the class B films in Hollywood, as a producer he created a vast library of films in that category.  Best known for his films of Edgar Alan Poe stories at The American International Pictures.  He received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2005 New York City Horror Film Festival. (See Link:


d.      John Heyman

Distributor of films throughout the world, he engineered and created a new technique for financing films.



e.      Terence Hill

Was one of Italy's highest-paid stars. A tall, handsome blonde of German-Italian heritage, Hill gained popularity when he co-starred with Bud Spencer in the comic spaghetti Western, They Call Me Trinity (1971) and its sequel, Trinity Is STILL My Name (1972). Hill and Spencer would work together in some 19 films. Hill made two films in Hollywood, March or Die (1976), starring with Gene Hackman, and Mr. Billion (1976).

      (See link: )



18.            Theatrical Directors


a.      Julie Boyd

Original Artistic Director of the Berkshire Theatre Festival and co-founder of Barrington Stage in the early 1990’s where she is still the Artistic Director.

      (See Link:


b.      Dennis Krausnick

      See Actors, 2g.


c.       Tina Packer

      See Actors, 2i


d.      Arthur Penn

A renowned American film director and producer, best known for his direction of Bonnie and Clyde.  Arthur Penn amassed an impressive, critically acclaimed body of work including: The Miracle Worker, The Chase, The Left Handed Gun, and Alice’s Restaurant, and The Little Big Man.


e.      Niko Psychoropoulus

The legendary founder and force behind the Williamstown Theatre Festival until his death in the 1980’s.  Williamstown is considered by many, as the foremost summer theatre festival in America.


f.        Roger Rees

      See Actors, 2j.





g.      Michael Ritchie

Was for many years the Artistic and Executive Director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival (married to Kate Burton, see bio above).  Currently, he is the Artistic Director of the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.

(See Link:


h.      Arthur Storch

Has acted, directed, produced, and taught in a career spanning forty-five years.  He has directed such greats as Al Pacino in The Local Stigmatic, John Savage in Of Mice and Men, and Geraldine Page in Clarence. In 1974, Mr. Storch founded Syracuse Stage where, as Producing Artistic Director, he directed thirty plays ranging from Shakespeare to Beckett and supervised the production of more than 100 others.  During the same period (’74-‘92), he was Chairman of Syracuse University’s Drama Department.

(See link:



19.            Film Directors


a.      Joel and Ethan Coen

Commonly known as The Coen Brothers, they have written and directed numerous successful films, O Brother, Where Art Thou, Raising Arizona, and The Big Lebowski, as well as darker film noir dramas such as Miller’s Crossing and Blood Simple, and have also become notorious for blurring the line between drama and comedy with movies like Fargo, The Man Who Wasn’t There, and Barton Fink.

(See Link:


  1. George Roy Hill

Famous American Film director whose is responsible for such classics as Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, The Sting, Slaughter-House Five, World According to Garp, and The little Drummer Girl.  He was nominated for Best Director for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in 1970 and won an Oscar for Best Director for The Sting in 1970.


c.       James Ivory

The Award-winning American film director, best known for the results of his long collaboration with Merchant Ivory Productions, which was co-created and run by Ismail Merchant and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.  Their films won six Academy Awards and include such classics as Remains of the Day, and Howards End, and Room with a View.




  1. Joseph Mankewicz

Famous director, writer, and producer who was involved with making many American Cinematic classics including, The Philadelphia Story (producer),  A Letter to Three Wives & All About Eve (director/writer, winner two academy awards), and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir to name just a few.


  1. Ismail Merchant

Partner of the Award-winning film director James Ivory, together with Ruth Prawer Jhabvala they created the world famous film company, Merchant Ivory Productions.  Their films have won six Academy Awards.


  1. Arthur Penn

(See Theatrical Directors, 18d.)


  1. John Wiley

Well known director of many films.  As an actor, he appeared in such cinematic classics as Giant.






20.             Fashion World Personalities



  1. F. Gale Hayman

A fashion and beauty expert for over 20 years, Gale Hayman has devoted her life to the pursuit of an inner and outer beauty for all women.  Co-founder of the internationally renowned Giorgio Boutique, and author of the definitive beauty guide, “How Do I Look”.


  1. Ira Levy

Formerly Senior Vice President and marketing director of  Estee Lauder & Co. Currently, associated with Stan Gurrell in real estate ventures.


  1. Alexander Liberman

See Writers, 1r.


  1. Jill Spalding

 See Writers, 1y.


  1. Pauline Trigere (1909-2002)

The world famous French-born fashion designer, known for her crisp, tailored cuts and innovative ideas.  Her clients included the Duchess of Windsor, Claudette Colbert, and Lena Horne.  Trigere is also remembered for designing Patricia Neal’s sophisticated wardrobe in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

(See Link:



21.            Journalists


  1. Marie Brenner

Well known writer for the New Yorker Magazine.  She has also been an investigative reporter and professional writer for Vanity Fair and other prominent magazines. (See Link:


  1. James Brooke

A well known business and financial journalist for many years at the New York Times.  He now is a staff writer for the Bloomberg Report.  (See Link: )


c.       Brendan Gill

Wrote for The New Yorker for more than 60 years. He also contributed film criticism for Film Comment and wrote a popular book about his time at the New Yorker magazine. A champion of architectural preservation and other visual arts, he chaired the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and authored 15 books, including Here at The New Yorker and the iconoclastic Frank Lloyd Wright biography Many Masks.

(See Link: )


  1. Verlyn Klinkenborg

Presently on the editorial board of the New York Times, he wrote “Making Hay” (1986), “The Last Fine Time”(1991), and “The Rural Life”(2003). A major contributor to many magazines and Professor of writing at Bennington College and Harvard University. (See Link:


  1. Mike Levitas

News writer for the New York Times during the 1980’s.  Famous as an investigative reporter.  (See Link:


  1. William S. Shirer

See above, under writers

(See Link:


  1. Ugo Stille 1920 – 1992

Famous New York correspondent of Milan Newspaper, Corriere della Sera, Stille  became the de fact to dean of foreign correspondents in New York.  Known for his in depth articles and observation of American life, Stille (a pseudonym) was Russian born. (See Link: )


  1. H. Garrick Utley

Long time correspondent for NBC, also worked for ABC and CNN.  Active in political affairs.  (See Link:


  1. Janet Wallach

Is a respected journalist and author of eight books. She has written extensively about the Middle East. Her book, Desert Queen; The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell, is the biography of the British official most responsible for the creation of modern Iraq. It has been translated into twelve languages.

(See Link:



22.            Advertising


a.     Roberto Dualibi

Roberto Dualibi is a founder of one of the most important advertising agencies in Brazil, if not throughout South America, with his partners Francisco Petit, and Jose Zaragoza.  He is primarily known for his extraordinary copy, and he has published an archive of 9,400 phrases which he has created. (See link: )


b.     Francisco Petit

Co-partner with Roberto Dualibi, above, and Jose Zaragoza in DPZ Propaganda, a major advertising agency in South America.


c.     Carl Spielvogel

A major advertising executive – created Backer and Spielvogel Corporation in 1979 which merged with Bates World Wide Corporation in 1987.  On many corporate  and non-profit boards in New York. Was United States Ambassador to Slovakia (2000- 2001). (See link: )


d.     Jose Zaragoza

A major painter in South America (see above 3H), he was a founding partner of which is now the largest advertising company in Brazil, and arguably in South America. He is the principal artistic director of DZP (see Dualibi and Petit above). (See link: )



23.            Public Policy Figures


a.      Roger Baldwin (1884-1981)

Founder and long time director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Baldwin was a firm Popular Fronter who believed that forces on the left side of the political spectrum should unite to ward off the threat posed by right-wing aggressors and to advance progressive causes. 

(See link: )


b.      Sandra Campos

Daughter to Roberto Campos, former Brazilian Ambassador to Washington and London, Sandra Campos served as Chef de Protocol of The City of Rio de Janeiro under the administration of Mayor Israel Klabin as well as subsequently serving  as Minister of Culture under the same mayor.  Active in many civic organizations in Brazil, especially in the 1980’s.


c.       Sam Hayes

Well known President of the Foreign Policy Association of New York.



d.      Marife Hernandez

Chef de Protocol for the American Mission at the United Nations during the Carter Administration.  Very active in Hispanic politics and is presently married to Canadian industrialist, Joel Bell.


e.      Bayless Manning

Graduated first in his class at the Law School (1949) and was Editor-in-chief of the Law Journal. He returned to join the faculty in 1955.  In 1964, he became dean of the Stanford Law School.  In 1971, he became the first full-time executive of the Council on Foreign Relations, assuming a newly created post of President. Later he joined the New York law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and, upon retirement, formed a consulting firm. (See link: )



24.            Salonistes


  1. Madame Ruth Nanda-Anshen

Distinguished hostess of salons in New York during the 1940-s and early 1950’s.  Her salons were European-oriented and were attended principally by distinguished European intellectuals who had escaped to America before and during WWII.


  1. Tatiana Liberman

The Russian born wife of Alexander Liberman (see above 4c, and 20c) she was known as a hat designer for Saks Fifth Avenue.  But she was the most famous for being the muse and love of Mayakovsky, the poet of the Russian Revolution who shot himself when he was denied a visa to return to Paris to marry his aristocratic, White Russian émigré love.   Among her principal guests were Lord Snowden (husband of Princess Margaret of England), and Ferdinand Leger.  Her daughter, Francine Gray (see above 1k) described Tatiana in a recent biography “Them”.


  1. Madame Gabrielle Oppenheim-Errera

Madame Oppenheim (as she was known) was a Jewish-Belgian aristocrat (her mother was a Rothschild), who founded and ran what was considered the most formal and elegant salon in the United States during her day.  She came to the United States with her husband, Max Oppenheim, at the request of Albert Einstein, where Dr. Oppenheim became an important figure at the Advanced Institute at Princeton University.  There, she met and entertained the top scientific elite of the world, including Einstein, Oppenheimer, Von Neumann, Morgenstern, and many others.  She was also an extraordinary speech therapist, through which she met a number of distinguished clients, but she starred as the hostess of the “Oppenheim Salon”. This occurred every Saturday at her home in Princeton, New Jersey, to which she invited no more that ten (10) guests, all famous in their respective disciplines.  In addition to cocktails and an exquisite meal – guests were seated in a lovely, but simple room, inhabited exclusively by paintings of Monet, Pisarro, and Renoir.  The major subject for discussion had been mailed a week earlier to the participants and a lingua franca “common language for discussion” was agreed upon at cocktail hour (it was assumed that all participants knew at least three languages).   Madame Oppenheimer presided over this sparkling group of conversationalists, even after her husband died in 1977, and she continued a variation of the salon until the early 1990’s when she retired at the age of 100.




25.            Sportsmen


  1. Jim Boutin

Famous pitcher for the New York Yankees in the 1970’s and 80’s.  The author of a number of well known books including Fourth Ball and Foul Ball.


  1. David Breashears

Is a mountaineer and filmmaker and the first American male to reach the summit of Everest twice in 1985.  He is perhaps most famous for guiding Richard Bass to the summit of Everest, thus completing Bass’ ascent (and the first ascent) of the Seven Summits. He is the recipient of four Emmy awards for achievement in  cinematography and co-directed, co-produced the 1998 IMAX film, Everest.  He has written an autobiography about his climbing entitled, High Exposure: An Enduring Passion for Everest and Unforgiving Places.


  1. Paul Del Rossi

Yankee Pitcher in 1960’s.  Then became president of General Cinema, a major movie house chain throughout the United States


  1. Gary Johnston

Well Known huntsman famous for his annual hunts in Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana.  Has gotten world class elk trophies.


  1. John Roskelley

Considered one of the finest mountaineers of the world, Roskelley has distinguished himself as being on one of the first expeditions to K2 in 1975.  He subsequently, conquered many of the major mountains of the world, including Everest, which he climbed with his son in 2004. He is the author of three books: Nanda Devil: The Tragic Expedition, Last Days, and Stories Off the Wall.

(See link:


  1. Galen Rowell (1940-2002)

Considered the foremost mountaineering phtograoher, he started climbing mountains at 10 years old and for the next 52 years continued mountaineering and exploring the wilderness. He pioneered a new kind of photography in which he was not merely an observer, but rather considered himself a participant in the scenes that he photographed - he considered the landscape part of the adventure, and the adventure part of the landscape.

(See link:


  1. Chuck Yeager

Was a general in the United States Air Force and a noted test pilot.  He is considered a living legend of aviation, as he was the first pilot to travel faster than sound Mach 1 in level and ascent.  He later commanded fighter squadrons and wings in Germany and in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, and then was promoted to Brigadier General. Yeager’s flying career spans more than sixty years and has taken him to every corner of the globe, even into the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War. (See link:




26.            Diplomats


a.      Ambassador Donald Blinken

Was appointed ambassador to Hungary from 1994-1997 by Vice President Al Gore. He co-founded the investment banking/venture capital firm of E.M. Warburg, Pincus & Co. in 1966 and served as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York - the nation's largest institution of higher education - from 1978 to 1990. His arts-related responsibilities included the presidency of the Mark Rothko Foundation and the vice-chairmanship of the New York Philharmonic Symphony Society.

(See link: )


b.      Ambassador William Von Bredow

Distinguished and beloved German Consul General in New York for many years.  He subsequently served as Ambassador in Greece and other countries in Eastern Europe. Considered one of the leading figures in the German Foreign Service.



c.       Ambassador George Cunningham

Public affairs officer of European Union in New York.  Elevated to Ambassadorial status while serving in Cyprus.


d.      Ambassador Jurgen Heimsoeth

Distinguished German Foreign Service officer, he represented his country in Moscow, Mogadishu, Brasilia, Warsaw, and most recently, as Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in New York.  Born in India he spent a part of his youth at the Riverdale Country School in New York.                                (See link: )


e.      Ambassador Michel Legendre

French Consul General and Ambassador to Brazil.


f.        Ambassador Jose Graca-Lima

Ambassador Jose Graca-Lima has had a long and distinguished career in the Brazilian diplomatic service.  As the Consul General of Brazil in New York, with the rank of Ambassador, he is responsible for all consular services to residents of Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and the Bermuda Islands. He is also a Marathon runner. Before his appointment to New York, he was the Brazilian Ambassador to Belgium from 2002 – 2005.


g.      Carl Spielvogel

Chairman and chief executive of Carl Spielvogel Associates, Inc., an international investment and management company.  He was ambassador to Slovakia during 2000-2001.  He is married to Barbaralee Diamonstein (see above 1E, 22c).


h.      Ambassador Peter Tufo

US Ambassador to Hungary 1997-2001.  Prior to his appointment as US ambassador to Hungary, Peter Tufo was with the law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy in New York City specializing in mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance.

(See link: )



27.            Political Scientists


a.      Dr. Benjamin Barber

Is the Gershon and Carol Kekst Professor of Civil Society and Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos, and Director, CivWorld.  An Internationally renowned political theorist, he consults regularly with political and civic leaders in the United States and Europe.  He is the author of seventeen books.

(See Link:




b.      Dr. Ivo Lederer (1929 – 1998)

In a 23 year teaching career he has held positions in contemporary Russian and Eastern European history at Princeton, Yale, and Stanford.  He was most recently with A.C. Kearney, an international political and economic consulting company.



28.            Environmental Figures


  1. Peter Berle

An attorney active in ecological issues, he served as Environmental Commissioner of the State of New York during the Carter administration.


b.      Marion Gilliam

With an early background in music and opera production, Marion Gilliam went on to earn a law degree at The Sorbonne. He worked for Schroeder’s Bank in London and New York before founding Givens Hall Capital Management, an investment company. He is the founder of Orion magazine and The Orion Society, dedicated to environmental matters.


c.       Doug & Kris Tompkins

Considered the foremost individual conversationalist in the world today, he established El Bosque Pumalin Foundation in the early 1990’s (renamed Conservation Land Trust).  Through the trust, he has purchased almost two million 2,000 acres in south Chile to be transformed into National Parks.  He has made similar, but less extensive, investments in Argentina.  Founder and major shareholder of the clothing company, Esprit de Corp.

 (See link: ) 



29.            Politicians & High Government Officials


a.      Robert Carswell

Formerly the Assistant Secretary of Treasury in the Kennedy Administration, Robert Carswell, is a distinguished international lawyer at Shearman, and Sterling in New York.


b.      Stephen Friedman

Dean of the Law School at Pace University, Steven Friedman was a well known corporate lawyer at Debevoise and Plimpton in New York.  He was also formerly a member of The Securities and Exchange Commission during the Carter Administration. (See link:


c.       Harrison Jay Goldin

Mr. Goldin was a member of the New York State Senate from1966 to 1973 and ran in the 1989 Democratic Primary election for Mayor of New York.  He also  served, for 12 years, as New York City Comptroller.  Since 1989 he has operated Goldin Associates.  (See link: )  


d.      Herbert Levy

A congressman elected to the Federal Legislature in Brasilia and served in that capacity for over 30 years.  He was Vice-Chairman of Brazil’s second largest bank, Banco Itau, and the founder of Gazeta Mercantile, effectively the Wall Street Journal of Brazil.


e.      Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney

New York Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney is a national leader with extensive accomplishments in security, financial services, the economy and women’s issues. She also has been a force representing the interests of the City of New York in Congress from the time she entered, in 1993. (See link: )



f.        Barbara Thomas

The Honorable Barbara Thomas (Lady Judge) is Chair of the UK Atomic Energy Authority and of the Governing Body of the School of Oriental and African Studies.  As a lawyer she worked in the areas of securities and corporations law and in 1978 she was appointed a partner in Kaye, Scholar, Fierman, Hays and Handler.  In 1980 she was appointed by Jimmy Carter to be a member if the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and she served until 1983 (the youngest person, and only the second woman, to serve on the Commission).  She is married to Sir Paul Judge.

(See link: )


g.      Sir Bryan Urquhart

Is a former Undersecretary-General of the United Nations. He was involved in the formation of the United Nations in 1945, and has advised every Secretary-General of the United Nations since its inception. His main fields of interest and operation at the UN have been conflict resolution and peacekeeping. Urquhart organized the first peacekeeping force (in Egypt after the Suez crisis). As Under Secretary General, Urquhart's main functions were the direction of peace-keeping forces in the Middle East and Cyprus, and negotiations in these two areas; amongst others, his contributions also included work on the negotiations relating to a Namibia peace settlement, negotiations in Kashmir, Lebanon and work on peaceful uses for nuclear energy.  (See Link: )



30.            Finance, Banking & Investment People


  1. Henry Arnhold

Chief Executive Officer for a number of years of Arnhold & S. Bleichroeder, a major international investment banking company. Was founded in Dresden in 1864.  In 1931 Arnhold & S. Bleichroeder merged.  European-American Corporations and non-profit institution’s.  The firm moved to New York City in 1937.


b.      Charles Baudoin

A highly respected and distinguished financier, born in the Saar, involved in French financing and a former resistance fighter in France during WWII.  He established Dutch-American Corporation which became active in financing trade, receivables and the disc of, Sovereign debt throughout Latin America.  He was also active in a number of philanthropic organizations including the American-Jewish Committee and Thanks to Scandinavia. His daughter, Patsy, was married on the front lawn of Aston Magna.


c.       George Chester

Was a distinguished attorney and senior partner of Foley and Lardner in Milwaukee, where he also served on the Board of Directors of First National Bank of Wisconsin and Northwest Life Insurance Company. He was a noted mid-western investor and he presaged investment in hedge funds.  His son, George M. Chester, Jr., is also a distinguished attorney with Covington and Burling in Washington, D.C. Both Chesters were frequent guests at Aston Magna.


d.      Carl Icahn

The famous investor and take-over specialist of many companies, including TWA, friendly with Lee M. Elman at Princeton in the 1950’s, Icahn has become a major investor throughout the American corporate world and acts as a campaigner of shareholders rights.  A major philanthropist, Icahn Stadium in New York City, and Icahn Science Center at Princeton University, are named after him.


e.      Michel Francois-Poncet

Distinguished and colorful financier of Banque Paribas, a major French banking institution from 1986 – 1990, and chairman of the supervisory board from 1990-1999,  he sat on the board of directors of major French and Belgium companies. Considered one of the foremost diplomats of the late 20th century in the European banking world.


f.        Hugh Knowlton

Was, for at least a number of years, C.E.O.,  and on the Board of Directors of Smith Barney & Co., before it merged with predecessor of City Group.  A distinguished international investment banker, he was respected on Wall Street during the 1950 – 1970’s before he retired. He has extensive real estate holding in the Berkshires.


  1. Thomas Lachs

Austrian-born, but U.S. educated, Thomas Lachs was associated with international banking for his entire career, spent mostly in Austria.  He became Vice Chairman of the Central Bank of Austria in the late 1990’s.  Moreover, he was the principal architect of the creation of the Euro which has become, since 2002, the currency of the European Union. As a banker he was always concerned with environmental and ecological issues.  He is a respected member of the international financial community at the highest levels. He also established the Jewish Museum in Vienna and is a vocal representative of the Reformed Jewish Community in Austria. 


  1. Franz Lissauer

Franz A. Lissauer was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Associated Metals and Minerals Corporation, an international trading concern in Manhattan.

      (See link: ).


  1. John Loeb, Jr.

A graduate of Harvard and Harvard Business School, Ambassador Loeb has been engaged in the world of finance all of his life, but has been extensively involved in public service as well, serving as Ambassador to Denmark during the years of 1981 – 1983 and as Delegate to the United Nations in 1984.

     (See link:


  1. Michael Lynch

Lynch is managing director of Goldman, Sachs, and Co. and a member of that firm’s Investment Banking Division.


  1. Richard Medley

The former chief political strategist to George Soros, he founded the Medley Global Advisors in 1987 to help investors navigate the opaque yet fascinating intersection of policy and markets


  1. Leo Model

Founding partner of Model Roland, and Stone, an impressive international brokerage house active during 1940’s through the 1960’s.  In 1970, when it was acquired by First Washington Securities Corporation and eventually merged into Shields & Co. in 1972.  Model was a distinguished international financier and served on the board of directors of Brazilian Light & Tracking (now called Brascan) and Hartford Insurance Co.


  1. Stewart Mott

Son of Charles Stewart Mott (a major mid western industrialist and founder of an automotive company which merged with General Motors on which he served on the board of directors until his death),  Stewart Mott is a philanthropist who founded the Stewart R. Mott Charitable Trust.


  1. Felipe Propper

Spanish-French financier who has lived in the United States for the past 50 years.  Elegant, cultured and sophisticated gentleman experienced in international financing and highly knowledgeable on world cultural issues.


  1. George Soros

George Soros is Chairman of Soros Fund Management, LLC.  He accumulated a large fortune through an international investment fund he founded and managed.  Mr. Soros has been active as a philanthropist since 1979.  He has established a network of philanthropic organizations active in more than 50 countries around the world.  These organizations are dedicated to promoting the values of democracy and an open society.

      (See link: )


  1. Ian Stoutzker

Ian Stoutzker, chairman of Dawnay Day International and former chairman of the London Interstate Bank, plays an active role in London’s musical life while maintaining a highly successful business career.  A former student of the violin, he attended the Royal College of Music, where he is now a vice-president and has been a member of the Executive Committee since 1968.  He was Chairman and then President of the Philharmonia Orchestra from 1972-79, and since 1992 has been Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the London Symphony Orchestra and Trustee of the Foundation.

      (See link: )


  1. Carlos Alberto Vieira

A distinguished Brazilian banker, Mr. Vieira has been the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cia. Aracruz, of which he had been a member since 1988.  He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of Banco Safra, S.A., Safra Leasing S.A. Arrendamento Mercantil, Agropecuaria Potrillo S.A., and Pastoril Agropecuaria Couto Magalhaes S.A.  For a number of years he was President of Centro Banco do Brasil. (See link: )



31.            Well Known Businessmen & Entrepreneurs


  1. Richard Aldrich

International Basic Economy Corporation, an investment company active primarily in Latin America, he was a Brazilian specialist for many years and was a partner of Model, Roland and Company.


  1. Frederick Beinecke

Mr. Beinecke serves as the President of Antaeus Enterprises, Inc., a venture capital and marketable securities investment company, and sits on the boards of several private companies.  Additionally, he serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations including the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the Sterling and Francine Clark Institute and the New York City Ballet, for which he serves as President. (See link: )


  1. Paul Del Rossi

Originally a pitcher for the New York Yankees (see above 25d),  Mr. Del Rossi served as Chairman of General Cinema Theatres and General Cinema International.  Prior to joining General Cinema, Mr. Del Rossi was Senior Vice President of the venture capital group at the Boston Company and was a management consultant with Arthur D. Little.

      (See link: )


  1. Marcel Clairmont

       See Art Patrons, 10d



  1. Winthrop Crane

      See Art Patrons, 10e.



  1. Max Feffer

     See Singers and Musicians, 7e.


g.      Martin Green

Retired United Kingdom industrialist, active primarily in retail companies.


  1. Jane Iredale

Jane Iredale, one of the major entrepreneurs in the Berkshires, is the owner and Chief Executive Officer of Iredale Minerals and Cosmetics Co., which specializes in high line skin care products. (See link: )


  1. Yue-Sai Kan

20 years ago she produced the TV series “One World” and hosted on China’s National TV Network CCTV through which she gave millions of Chinese the first glimpse of the outside world.  In 1992, she founded the “Yue-Sai” cosmetics brand which is recognized by over 90% of the Chinese people today. (See link: )


  1. Whitmore Kelley

One of the most important entrepreneurs in the Berkshires, he is the sole owner and Chief Executive Officer of the Berkshire Corporation. Today, Berkshire Corporation is the global leader in developing and manufacturing products and services for the critical environments market worldwide. (See link: )


  1. Herbert Levy

See  Politicians & High Government Officials, 29d.


  1. Alan Novak

Alan Novak is an international businessman associated in project finance and development. He is also Chairman of Infra Group, LLC, an international project finance and development  He is Chairman of Lano International, Inc., a real estate development company. His public service includes three years as an officer in the United States Marine Corp., a U.S. Supreme Court clerkship with Justice Potter Stewart, Senior Counsel, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Senior Executive Assistant to undersecreatary of State, Eugene Rostow. 


  1. Norman Peck

Major real estate investor in New York City, Mr. Peck was the pivoting partner of a triad of investors including Peter J. Sharp, and Jerome Greene.  Responsible for the disposition of trophy properties in New York City held by the trio, such as the Carlisle Hotel, 450 Park Avenue, 50 East 77th Street, and a number of others.  Also, Chairman of the Peter J. Sharp Foundation which distributes generously to theatre and music organizations in the New York area.


  1. Roland Puton

Roland Puton, he was President and CEO of  Rolex US for many years, headquartered in New York City.


  1. Robert Rose

An American who went to London in the 1950’s and established major insurance companies.  Substantial investor and major explorer, internationally.


  1. Jean Saliot

International investor, active primarily in South America.  Owned thousands of  acres of ranchlands and timberlands in Chile and Argentina, coffee plantations in Brazil, and vineyards in New Mexico. Owns an elegant chateau in Normandy, France.  Experienced vintner.


  1. Carl Spielvogel

See Advertising, 22c and Diplomats, 26g.


r.       Peter Sprague

Peter Sprague has extensive experience founding and/or running over 15 international companies in the consumer and high tech world.  He has served as Chairman of a wide range of business ventures including Design Research, the Advent Corporation, Aston Martin Ltd., and National Semiconductor Corporation. 


s.        Marie-Monique Steckel

French-born, she worked as National Director of Communications for the “Rassemblement pour la Republique” in Paris.  She has been founder of numerous organizations in the United States, notably the French Industrial Development Agency, and France Telecom North America, a large international telecommunications company.  Marie-Monique Steckel also worked as senior advisor to Ronald S. Lauder (son of Estée Lauder) before coming to work at the French Institute-Alliance Francaise, where she previously serves as President.  Marie-Monique Steckel has earned numerous distinctions from the French government, in particular the Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur.



t.        David Strassler

Well known industrialist and portfolio investor, Strassler, made a financial coup when he sold his cable television station to United Artists. He also served as National Chairman of the Anti-Defamation League and is a board member of Steven Spielberg’s Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation. 

(See link: )


  1. Robert Strassler

Partner with brother, David, in Weston Associates, Inc., Robert is an active portfolio investor as well as a Greek classics scholar who edited a new edition of the classic, The Landmark Thucydides.  He was also President of Simon’s Rock College of Bard, is Vice-Chairman of the Shakespeare Company, and for the past 28 years, has served as Chairman of the Aston Magna Foundation for Music.

      (See link: )


  1. Aso Tavitian

He is the CEO of Syncsort, a technological company he co-founded in 1969 that specializes in development, marketing, and service of generalized infrastructure software products.  He is also a trustee of The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. (See link: )


  1. Barbara Thomas (Lady Judge)

See Politicians & High Government Officials, 29f.


  1. Wilmer Thomas

See Art Patrons, 10u.


  1. Antonio Viscusi

Retired Chairman of Merck International, Viscusi is active in various philanthropic activities including the sponsoring of foreign or American inner city talented students for a fully paid four (4) year scholarship to Columbia University.  His wife, Margo, is President of The Poet’s Corner in New York City.


  1. Robert Wilmers

He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for M&T Bank as well as M&T Bank, N.A.  Additionally, Wilmers served as a director of the United States Federal Reserve Bank, New York district, in 1996.  Wilmers has been listed in Forbes’ America’s Most Powerful People and in 1998 became the proud owner of the Ch?teau Haut-Bailly ( ) vineyard in France.


32.            Notable Men of Medicine


a.      Andre Cournand (1895 -1988)

Was a French physician and physiologist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology for the development of cardiac catheterization.  Cournand was a professor at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in New York City.  (See link: )  


b.      Dr. Herbert Gould

Well known ophthalmologist – very active in introducing the Russian surgical technique to reduce and eliminate myopia.  He is also active as a major thespian in Comedy Clubs around the country.






33.            Explorers


a.      Rita Mathews

A major explorer particularly active in Antarctic expeditions.  She was decorated by the government with the United States Antarctic Medal, and the Edward Sweeney Medal from the Explorers Club, and holds a U.S. Patent for a medicine for hemophiliacs.  (See link: )


b.      Dr. Frank Paddock

Was a physician who was also a major archeologist and discovered the series of cities to which the Incas retreated after the collapse of Machu Pichu.  He was also very active in The Explorers Club.


c.       Chuck Yeager

See Sportsmen, 25g.


34.            Jewelers


a.      Anna Bulgari

Ms. Bulgaria was formerly a major participant in the Bulgari jewelry organization, founded by her father-in-law, and based in Rome.  She recently retired from the organization, and is active in the American Italian Cancer Foundation (AICF).


b.      Elizabeth Cage

Well known English modern jewelry designer.



35.            Educators & Academicians


a.      Leon Botstein

See Singer’s, 7a.



b.      Ray Erickson

Dean of Music at Queens College, he is a distinguished musician in his own right (harpsichordist).  He also is the Academy Director in charge of the 13 academies of the Aston Magna Foundation for Music, hosted at Rutgers University and Yale University between 1979 and 1999.


c.       Stephen Friedman

See Politicians and High Government Officials ,29b


d.      Elizabeth Hall

Founded The Simons Rock College in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, which merged with Bard College in the late 1990’s.  Her objective was to create an “early college” and to encourage students to graduate sooner and become contributors to society at an earlier age.


e.      Leon Lipson

Former Senior Professor of the Yale Law School. Specialized in contracts, international law, and Russian Law.  Considered one of the foremost experts on Soviet legal issues during the Cold War period.


f.        Angel Loureiro

Chairman of the Spanish and Portuguese Language department at Princeton University.  He also serves as Chairman of the Latin American Film Festival held annually at Princeton University.  Currently, he is working on Affects and Afflictions in Spanish Contemporary Culture, and on issues related to history and memory in Spain.


g.      Hans & Ruth Maeder

Founded the Stockbridge School, a private school for adolescents, operated from 1949 to 1976, and was notable for being completely racially integrated from its inception.

      (See link: )  


h.      Bayless Manning

      See Public Policy Figures, 23b.


i.        Baird Whitlock

Was the second President of The Simons Rock College in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and followed Elizabeth Hall (see above 35d).  He also published Educational Myths I Have Known and Loved. (See link: )

36.            Real Estate Investors


a.      Linda Reade Beltramini

Active from 1979 to 1991, Ms. Beltramini was President of Gomes de Almeida, Fernandes Inc, the American subsidiary of a major Brazilian real estate company (subsequently renamed GAFISA). (See link: )


b.      Edward Benenson

See Restaurateurs, Chefs and Food People, 15c.


c.       Francis Greenberger

Major real estate investor and chairman of Time Equities, Inc.

      (See link: )


d.      Carl Icahn

See Finance, Banking & Investment, 30d.


e.      George Krupp

Chairman of the Board of Boston Real Estate Investment Trust, George has been active originally in Boston-based properties and subsequently throughout  the United States.  Active as a major contributor to, and active director of, the Boston Symphony Orchestra.


f.        Alice Mason

She has had her own real estate firm for forty years and is considered the top residential broker in New York.  She was one of the major Democratic Party fundraisers and has hosted $100,000 a plate dinner parties at her home in support of Presidents Carter and Clinton.  (See link: )


g.      Norman L. Peck

See Well Known Businessman & Entrepreneurs, 31l.


h.      Robert Quinlan

Substantial real estate developer in New York City, primarily of residential buildings in Manhattan.  Very much involved in landmark preservation projects throughout New York State.


i.        Robin Raybould

A CambridgeU.K.” graduate, Raybould is a real estate investor and respected amateur pianist.


j.        Louise Sunshine

Louise M. Sunshine is the President of the Sunshine Group, an international real estate marketing and sales company in New York and Miami.  She was the Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization from 1973 to 1988 and is a former finance Chairwoman of the New York State Democratic Party.



37.            Prominent Lawyers


a.      Candace Beinecke

Chairperson of the prestigious Wall Street law firm, Hughes, Hubbard & Reed, she is known as a first class attorney and spectacular administrator.  Under her guidance since 1999, the firm has risen from 109th  in gross revenues to 58th  in gross revenues and has the highest ranking of 100 law firms, according the magazine, American Lawyers. She is considered one of the top attorneys in the United States today.



b.      Robert Carswell

See Politicians & High Government Officials, 29a.


c.       George Chester

See Finance, Banking & Investment People, 30c.


d.      Judy Hope

Senior counsel and former senior partner at the international law firm Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, Hope became the first woman named to the Harvard Corporation when she was appointed in February 1989. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and has served on the board of a number of corporations, including I.B.M.  (See link: )


e.      John Jerome

Distinguished attorney at Milbank Tweed (New York City).


f.        John Leopold

Distinguished managing partner of Stikeman, Elliot, in Montreal.   Considered one of the finest lawyers in Canada.


g.      Tom McGrath

Distinguished wills and estate lawyer, partner of Simpson Thacher and Bartlett LLP, (now of counsel).  International investor (pizza ventures in Poland),  and elegant equestrian.  Also Chairman of the American-Austrian Foundation.


h.      William Zabel

Considered one of the top estate and trust attorneys in the United States, he is the name partner in Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, of  which he was a founding partner. Recipient of many honors including Brandeis University Distinguished Community Service Award, Distinguished Service Award - New School University, and Lawyers Committee for Human Rights 2003 Extraordinary Leader Award. A very close and personal friend of Lee M. Elman, President of Aston Magna.



38.            Wine Specialists & Vineyard Owners


a.      Edward Benenson

See Restaurateurs, Chefs and Food People, 15c.


b.      Nicky Hahn

Swiss financier and investor, Hahn went into the grape growing and wine production business with the purchase of Smith & Hook Vineyards in Monterey County, California.  He then expanded the grape varieties to include merlot, and introduced The Hahn Estates Merlot.


c.       James Marlas

See Art Patrons, 10o.


d.      Peter Morrell

Chairman and Wine Advisor to Morrell & Company, one of America’s most prominent wine merchants.  In the spring of 1994, Mr. Morrell made wine history when Morrell and Company successfully conducted the first commercial fine wine auction of privately owned wines ever to be held.


e.      Jean Saliot

See Well Known Businessmen & Entrepreneurs, 31o.


f.        Peter Sichel

Major wine merchant in New York City and the founder of the Blue Nun brand of German wines.  Owner of the Fourcas-Hosten vineyard in Bordeaux.  Former top O.S.S. operative, active in post-WWII Germany.


g.      Piero Stucchi

Owner of the magnificent Tuscan abbey, Badia di Coltibuono.  He launched the Badia di Coltibuono wine products line which is considered one of the foremost in Italy.  He married Lorenza Medici, one of the greatest cooks in Italy, and author of a number of gastronomic publications.


h.      Robert Wilmers

See Well Known Businessmen & Entrepreneurs, 31x.



39.            Publicists & Publishers


a.      Gerard Bouchetal

Former Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Director of Librairie Hachette, a prime publishing company in Paris, France.  Active in philanthropic ventures at this time.


b.      Lawrence Miller

Was the distinguished owner and publisher of The Berkshire Eagle, a daily newspaper published in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.  The paper was known for its far reaching scope and thorough journalistic coverage.  Responsible for the restoration of the Hancock Village, a Shaker Town in the Berkshires.


c.       Judy Price

President and Founder of Avenue Magazine, she single-handedly made it a recognized and important monthly style magazine in New York.


d.      Peter Price

President and CEO of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.  Previously, he was President of Television Tonight, a venture between the major television networks and movie chains, and President of “Television USA”, a joint venture with Wall Street Journal. 



40.            Hoteliers


a. Stephanie Barber

which showcased famous musicians in the 1950’s.  Stephanie Barber became a social icon in the Berkshires and was known for her unusual, but magnificent, dress code, her hostessing, and her involvement in almost all activities in the Berkshires.


b. Jane, Anne, and Nancy Fitzpatrick

Owner with her husband, Jack (Senator in the Massachusetts State House for several terms)  of the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Massachusetts and of Blantyre Castle in Lee, MA, both important hostelries in the Berkshires.  Daughters Nancy and Anne are the managers of these two (2), important hotels as well as a third one, The Porches in North Adams, Massachusetts).  All three female Fitzpatricks are actively involved in the area of cultural activities.  Jane and Jack Fitzpatrick were the principal philanthropists involved in the construction of Seiju Osawa Hall at Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Lenox, MA. 

See link:,


d.      Peter Wirth

Is the scion of the distinguished Wirth family, Swiss hoteliers, whose most famous establishment is the Hotel Hassler in Rome, Italy, considered one of the greatest hotels in the world.  Mr. Wirth is active in hotel management throughout the Americas.



41.             Industrial Designers


a. Massimo Vignelli

Italian-born designer who has done work in a number if areas ranging from package design to furniture design to public signage to showroom design through Vignelli Associates, which he co-founded with his wife Lella.  Vignelli works firmly within the Modernist tradition, and focuses on simplicity through the use of basic geometric forms in all of his work.


b.Dorothea Winston

Brazilian-born, Dorothea Winston, distinguished herself in the graphics design field.  Early in her career she was the principal designer of record jackets for CBS and later created her own graphics design firm, Propper/Elman.  She was the first wife of Lee M. Elman, the current owner of Aston Magna.







Pre-1972 Guests



1. Beatrix, Princess of the Netherlands

Came to Aston Magna in July 1942 when she and her mother, the future Queen Juliana, were guests for the summer of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph A. Berle (See Pre-1972, 3).  She became Queen of the Netherlands in 1980.


2. Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979)

Significant writer and poet with substantial contact with, and influence in, Brazil where  she lived between 1951 to 1969.  Became poet-in-residence at Harvard University in 1969.  Her final poetry volume, Geography III, was published in 1976. 


3. Ambassador Adolf A. Berle, Jr. (1895-1971)

He was an educator, author, and a United States diplomat.  Educated at Harvard, Berle was a member of the Paris Peace Conference after WWI, but, unhappy with the terms of the Versailles Treaty, he resigned in protest.  He became a professor of corporate law at Columbia Law School in 1927 and remained on the faculty until retiring in 1964.  During the FDR Administration, Berle worked on the New Deal and the Good Neighbor Policy.  He later served as Ambassador to Brazil from 1945 to 1946, and was a founding member of the New York State Liberal Party.  In 1961, he headed a task force for President John F. Kennedy that recommended the Alliance for Progress.  He published several books, including the groundbreaking work he authored with Gardiner Means called The Modern Corporation and Private Property, which was first published in 1932.


4. Pablo Casals (1876-1973)

Spanish virtuoso cellist and conductor.  Casals is considered the greatest 20th-centrury master of the cello and a distinguished composer, conductor, and pianist.  He frequented Aston Magna as a guest of both Albert Spalding and Mary Spalding (after Albert’s death in 1953), particularly when he was in residence at the Marlboro Music Festival which he created in Vermont.


5. Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Albert Einstein was one of the greatest minds in world history.  Einstein is known as a brilliant physicist who contributed more the scientific world than any other person. An amateur violinist, he was a  frequent visitor at Aston Magna as the guest of Albert Spalding with whom he would practice and play in trios and quartets (particularly in the Albert Spalding Studio), especially in the late 1930’s. One weekend, in late July, 1939, he told Albert Spalding that he had to return to Princeton (where he taught and wrote at the Advanced Institute) to write an important letter to President Roosevelt.  That letter dated, August 2, 1939 turned out to be historically famous.  In it, he warned of the possibility of Germany building an atomic bomb and urged the President to do nuclear research and complete the bomb before the Germans did.


6. Sergey Koussevitzky 1874-1951)

Russian born, beloved, conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  Considered one of the great conductors of the 20th-century American orchestral scene and a champion of newer music. He led the creation of Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, in Lenox, Massachusetts beginning In 1935.  He annually brought the orchestra to the Summer Berkshire Festival, organized by Henry Hadley in 1934, becoming its music director and making it part of the Boston Orchestra Symphony’s operation.  Koussevitzky established the Berkshire Music Center (now Tanglewood Music Center).  He was a frequent guest of Albert Spalding at Aston Magna during the period 1935 to 1950.


7. Fiorello La Guardia (1882-1947)

Fiorello LaGuardia was the mayor of New York City from 1934 to 1945.  A native New Yorker of Italian-Jewish origin, LaGuardia spent his entire career in civic service.  Served with Albert Spalding in WWI, where he established a close friendship. He became a frequent guest at Aston Magna in the 1930’s.




8. Erich Leinsdorf (1912-1993)

Erich Leinsdorf’s was one of the most respected, if not always well liked Viennese-born conductors and music directors to achieve prominence in America after WWII.  He was also an acclaimed operatic conductor.  He dined at Aston Magna frequently in the early and mid 1960’s. In 1962, Leinsdorf acceded to one of the most prestigious musical posts in America, succeeding Charles Munch as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  Leinsdorf’s tenure at Boston was extremely productive, but stormy. 


9. Charles Munch (1891-1968)

The eminent Alsatian-born French conductor, Charles Munch, made  his USA debut as a guest conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in December 1946.  In 1949 he was appointed music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which he and Pierre Monteux took it on its first European tour in 1952.  Charles Munch acquired an outstanding reputation as an interpreter of the French repertoire, his performances being marked by spontaneity, colour, and elegance.


10. Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941)

Became one of Poland’s world renowned pianists and composers.  Although his own compositions are well known, Paderewski was widely praised for his renditions of Chopin.  Paderewski also became one of Poland’s great statesmen, and its first President after WWI.


11. Arthur Rubinstein (1887-1902)

Born in Lodz,  Poland, Arthur Rubinstein became one of the great pianist of the 20th-century. He was a guest of Albert Spalding at Aston Magna in the late 1930’s. In 1937, Rubinstein returned to Carnegie Hall at the height of his powers.  In his performance of Chopin, critics saw not only the master musician, but a revolutionary re-interpretation of the composer’s work. 


12. Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)

Finland’s greatest composer, the core of his musical output, which was diverse and stylistically original, were his orchestral works, notably his seven symphonies written between 1899 and 1924. He was a frequent guest at Aston Magna in the late 1930’s.  His symphonic poem, Finlandia, completed in 1899, became a symbol of Finland’s bid for independence achieved in 1917.


13. Leopold Stokowski (1882 – 1977)

Was the conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the NBC Symphony Orchestra, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the Symphony of the Air.  He was the founder of the New York City Symphony Orchestra and The American Symphony Orchestra. He was married to Gloria Vanderbilt (third wife, between 1945 and 1955) and had a much publicized affair with Greta Garbo during the 1930’s, when he appeared at Aston Magna on several occasions.

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