The Barbizon : The New York Hotel That Set Women Free
by Paulina Bren
Books > New Hardback Non-Fiction
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WELCOME TO THE BARBIZON, NEW YORK’S PREMIER WOMEN-ONLY HOTEL Built in 1927 as a home for the ‘Modern Woman’ seeking a career in the arts, the Barbizon became the place to stay for ambitious, independent women, who were lured by the promise of fame and good fortune.
Sylvia Plath fictionalized her time there in The Bell Jar, and over the years, its 688 tiny floral ‘highly feminine boudoirs’ also housed Joan Crawford, Grace Kelly (notorious for sneaking in men), Joan Didion, Candice Bergen, Charlie’s Angel Jaclyn Smith, Ali MacGraw, Cybil Shepherd, Elaine Stritch, Liza Minnelli, Eudora Welty, The Cosby Show’s Phylicia Rashad, Grey Gardens’s Edith Bouvier Beale, and writers Mona Simpson and Ann Beattie, among many others. Mademoiselle boarded its summer interns there – perfectly turned-out young women, who would never be spotted hatless – as did Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School its students – in their white-gloves and kitten heels – and the Ford Modelling Agency its young models. THE BARBIZON is a colourful, glamorous portrait of the lives of the young women, who — from the Jazz Age New Women of the 1920s to the Liberated Women of the 1960s — came to New York looking for something more.