Harvard Club Bans Princess

This bit of fabricated controversy appeared in the New York Times on December 6, 1909. Princess Vilma caused much stir with her feminist operations. Princess Vilma has also declared that she is the cousin of the Dean of Harvard…

“But I haven’t come to see the men; I have come to examine your portraits.”

Russian Portrait Artist Not Permitted to Enter Its Doors.

The Princess Lwoff-Parlaghy of Russia, who is staying at the Plaza and paints portraits, encountered a rebuff yesterday at the Harvard Club on West Forty-fourth Street. She created a sensation when she arrived in her gilded and colorful crested landau in front of the club in the early afternoon. Young men at the windows observed her footman, adorned with epaulets and cockades, jump from the box and approach the door. He was met by a bellboy who, after much discussion, fetched a member of the House Committee.

This committee member took a visiting card from the Princess, which belonged to a club member, with the following note written on it:
‘Please allow the Princess to inspect the portraits in Harvard Hall.’

The House Committee member stated that this was impossible.
“If you could visit on another day, Princess,” he began.
“But,” she said,
“I have come today,
and I am introduced by a club member’s card.”
“This is a men’s club,” said the member.
“There are only men here.”
“I understand,” replied the Princess,
“But I haven’t come to see the men; I have come to examine your portraits.”

By this time, a crowd had gathered on the other side of the street to witness the incident. Children were marveling at the splendid coachman and footman, and onlookers peered out from all the windows. So, the Princess instructed her coachman, and the glittering landau turned around and rolled away up the avenue.”

Harvard Club remembers Princess Vilma Lwoff Parlaghy and has created this 7-page dossier about her

People featured in this post:

Princess Vilma Lwoff-Parlaghy

Her serene Highness - Prolific portraitist of notable Europeans and Americans

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