Photos of Picturesque Socialite Rita de Acosta Lydig

Cuban-American socialite Rita de Acosta Lydig (1875 – 1929) was in her heyday one of the foremost women of high society –  photographed by Adolf de Meyer, Edward Steichen and Gertrude Käsebier, she was regarded:

“the most picturesque woman in America.”

She was sculpted in alabaster by Malvina Hoffman and  painted by Giovanni Boldini and John Singer Sargent. Isabella Stewart Gardner, the creator of the Gardner museum in Boston, once asked their mutual friend, John Singer Sargent, why Rita had never expressed herself artistically. “Why should she?” Sargent answered, “She herself is art.”

Lydig was famous for her extravagant lifestyle, :

“…Rita was equally welcomed in Paris, where she spent parts of each year. She would arrive at the Ritz with a hairdresser, masseuse, chauffeur, secretary, maid,… and forty Louis Vuitton trunks…”

Saddly her overspending into heavy debt and she was declared bankrupt – shortly afterwards she died of pernicious anaemia at the age of 54.

Later her personal wardrobe became the basis for the start of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

1905-mrs-philip-lydig-by-steichen-1905

Rita de Acosta Lydig by Edward Steichen (1905)

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wiki

Rita_de_Acosta_Lydig_by_Gertrude_Käsebier_1905

Rita de Acosta Lydig (1875-1929) photographed by Gertrude Käsebier (1852-1934). Illustration in “Camera work”, n° 10, April 1905.

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wiki

RITA DE ACOSTA LYDIG. PUBLIE DANS HARPER'S BAZAAR EN MARS 1917

Rita de Acosta Lydig’ by Adolphe de Meyer, 1913

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palaisgalliera.paris.fr

Mrs._Rita_de_Alba_de_Acosta_Lydig_1913_by_Adolf_de_Meyer

Rita de Acosta Lydig’ by Adolphe de Meyer, 1913

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wiki

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