Princess To Paint Brainiest Chicagoan

It Happened on
March 15, 1909

Princess Lwoff-Parlaghy, also known as Vilma Parlaghy, a renowned artist, has arrived in New York with a grand entourage. She plans to paint twenty-five of the brainiest Americans, including President Taft, Cardinal Gibbons, Mr. Edison, and Graham Bell. She has already arranged sittings with her subjects and will complete the paintings at her castle in the French Riviera. The Princess is accompanied by a team of attendants, including a private physician, as she tours the United States. Her arrival has caused a stir, given her international reputation as a portrait painter. The Princess received reporters in a regal fashion, dressed in an elegant outfit adorned with coronets. She possesses a pet white spaniel named Bob and intends to stay in the United States for three months. Notably, the Princess is an outspoken anti-vivisectionist and actively supports the cause.

The Inter Ocean (Chicago, Illinois) • 15 Mar 1909, Mon • Page 10


Artist of Millions with an Array of Attendants

Will Visit Western Metropolis,

but Will Not Disclose Name of Her Subject.


With Red, White, and Green Trunks, Liveried Attendants,

Attaches and a Physician, Coronets and Ermine,

She Startles New York.

Special Dispatch to The Inter Ocean.

NEW YORK, March 14 – Who is the brainiest Chicagoan? Princess Lwoff-Parlaghy knows, but she won’t tell. The Princess, known in the world of art as Vilma Parlaghy, minus her menagerie, but with all the other spectacular features which characterized her method of travel on a former visit last year, has just arrived in New York.

To Paint the Brainiest Americans

“I shall paint twenty-five of your brainiest Americans,” she said today. “I wanted to paint twenty when I was here last time, but my health would not permit. Whom shall I select? Oh, my subjects have already arranged for sittings. I can only name a few. Your American names are so difficult to remember. Let me see – President Taft. He was decided upon when we met on my last visit. Then there is Cardinal Gibbons, whom I shall take up soon after I reach Baltimore, where I go in a couple of weeks. Mr. Edison, the inventor, he is another. Graham Bell, who builds aeroplanes, is one. A former mayor of San Francisco – yes, I shall visit the Pacific coast – and in Philadelphia, a very prominent man will sit for me. I can’t remember his name. Wanemaker? Something like that, I think. And in Chicago, one of its most prominent citizens has arranged a sitting. I won’t tell his name. Of course, I shall not paint them here. Only make the sketches and finish them at my castle in the French Riviera.”

Accompanied by Suite

The arrival of the Princess created considerable comment. Her entourage of secretaries, valets, maids, and bodyguards has been augmented by a private physician, who is to look after the health of the dainty Princess while she is touring the United States.

To bring the personal effects of her highness and her formidable suite required trunks, which were landed on the pier for the customs officers to wrestle with; but these were only a part – twenty more are on the way to Baltimore, whither her party will proceed later. Half the number of trunks were gaudily painted red, white, and green and decorated with huge coronets. The bodyguard and valets were liveried and made an imposing array.

The reputation of the Princess as a portrait painter of exceptional merit is international, and considerable curiosity was evidenced after her arrival here last June.

She Received The Reporters

Through her principal secretary, whose card bears the inscription, “Friedrich M. Deuuis, First Attache With Power of Attorney to Her Highness the Princess Lwoff-Parlaghy,” she announced that she would receive reporters at 5 o’clock this afternoon.

When a reporter called at the appointed hour, he was first received by a uniformed valet, who took charge of his wraps. Then the “attache” ushered him into the august presence of her highness. It was much like a presentation at court. The “attache” seated himself at a respectful distance near the physician, who was introduced as Dr. Herman Srebel of Berlin. The Princess sat in state at the far end of the room with an assumption of regal mien. She wore a dress of light material, over which was a rich cloak of blue velvet, fur trimmed. Set in a wealth of blond hair done in a braided knot on top of her shapely head was a large coronet, while one of smaller design gleamed at her bosom. She is perhaps 30, certainly beautiful.

At her right, in the position of attention, statue-like, in a uniform resplendent with gold lace and with a jewel-hilted sword, stood Herr Lugner, the bodyguard.

Her White Spaniel Present

Instead of her menagerie, her only pet on this occasion is a little white spaniel which she calls Bob.

The Princess says she will remain on this side of the Atlantic at least three months.

On one occasion, the Princess painted Field Marshal Von Moltke and sent the portrait to an art exhibition in Berlin. The jury, composed of sculptors and painters, decided against it, but the Emperor bought the painting, declared it the best likeness of Von Moltke ever painted, and ordered that it be hung in the grand hall of honor of the exhibition.

Princess Parlaghy is a strong anti-vivisectionist and has organized several societies to fight for the cause, and frequently delivers lectures on the subject.

She is a divorcee.

Star Tribune 3 Jan 1915, Sun · Page 45

People featured in this post:

Princess Vilma Lwoff-Parlaghy

Her serene Highness - Prolific portraitist of notable Europeans and Americans