Queen of Bohemia: The Forgotten Journalist Zoe Anderson Norris in Norwalk on March 12

On Sunday, March 12, 2023, 2 p.m., Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum will kick-off its 2023 Lecture Series with award-winning scholar and journalist Eve M. Kahn, who will give a talk based on her exhibition at the Grolier Club in Manhattan (through May 13), "To Fight for the Poor with My Pen: Zoe Anderson Norris, Queen of Bohemia."

The lecture will be held at Stepping Stones Museum for Children’s Multimedia Gallery, 303 West Ave., Norwalk, CT. To reserve tickets attendees can visit the Events page on the Museum’s website at www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com. Admission is $15 for members, $20 for non-members. Light refreshments will be offered following the presentation as well as a special drawing for a tour of the Grolier Club on March 18, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

The Lecture series is chaired by Trustee Kathy Olsen who said, “Ms. Kahn’s insights into the intrigue and wonder of the Gilded Age via the life of Zoe Anderson Norris will be an event to remember."

Independent scholar Eve M. Kahn will explore the legacy of Gilded Age author and reformer Zoe Anderson Norris (1860-1914). Writer and publisher of the bimonthly magazine The East Side, Norris focused on New York’s immigrants and outcasts in dire straits. She sometimes worked undercover to expose issues that still resonate in today’s society. A Kentucky-born longtime Manhattanite, known as a Queen of Bohemia, Norris also founded the Ragged Edge Klub, which met for weekly dinners combining activism and dancing. She handed out aristocratic titles to Ragged Edgers, such as Lady Betty Rogers of the Bronx and Baron Bernhardt of Hoboken. A few days after completing the last issue of The East Side, which described her recent dream that she would die soon, she suffered fatal heart failure—and her prediction made headlines in newspapers nationwide.

Eve M. Kahn, an independent scholar specializing in art and architectural history, design and preservation, was weekly Antiques columnist at The New York Times, 2008—2016. She contributes regularly to the Times, The Magazine Antiques, and Apollo magazine and serves on the boards of scholarly institutions including the Grolier Club. Her biography in progress for a university press is provisionally titled, “Queen of Bohemia Predicts Own Death: The Forgotten Journalist Zoe Anderson Norris, 1860-1914.” Ms. Kahn said, "I'm really looking forward to giving a progress report on my five-year journey into the story of a writer who was brave and foolhardy, trying to change the world."

Ticketholders for the special drawing must be present at the lecture. Winners will need to arrange their own mode of transportation to and from the Grolier Club. Ms. Kahn will offer a private tour of the Grolier Club at 47 East 60th Street in Manhattan. In addition to the Zoe exhibition, highlights at the 1910s building include a soaring neoclassical library, a Gilded Age interpretation of a 17th-century New York taproom, and a memorial shrine for a Victorian bibliomaniac. 

The lecture is made possible in part by CT Humanities with generous funding provided by Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development/Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) from the Connecticut State Legislature; LMMM’s Founding Patrons: The Estate of Mrs. Cynthia Clark Brown;LMMM’s Leadership Patrons: The Sealark Foundation; and LMMM’s 2023 Season Distinguished Benefactors: The City of Norwalk, The Maurice Goodman Foundation, and Lockwood-Mathews Foundation, Inc.

For more information on tours and programs, please visit www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, email info@lockwoodmathewsmansion.com, or call 203-838-9799.

Submitted by Norwalk, CT

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