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High Tea with Bertha Honoré Palmer

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High Tea with Bertha Honoré Palmer

Photo by Louisa Chu


The Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance presents “High Tea with Bertha Honoré Palmer.” During this four-course tea, catered by High Tea by Gerri, historian and actress Leslie Goddard--in character as Bertha Honoré Palmer--entertains us.

Chicago socialite and philanthropist Bertha Palmer, wife of millionaire real estate magnate Potter Palmer, is best remembered for her outstanding Impressionist art collection, now at the Art Institute of Chicago. But the glamorous Mrs. Palmer has her own fascinating history. As shrewd as she was stylish, Bertha helped recoup her husband’s lost fortune after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and presided over Chicago’s glittering society scene for a quarter of a century. At the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, she served as hostess to the world. The intelligent, witty, and fallible Bertha Palmer still compels our attention today.

Leslie Goddard works in the interpretation department at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL. Goddard authored the recently published Remembering Marshall Fields. She earned a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, specializing in U.S. cultural history, American studies, and women’s history. She also holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in theater. An award-winning scholar, Goddard also has extensive experience in public programs, which include lectures at Chicago-area museums and historical societies, civic organizations, schools, and retirement homes.

Recorded Sunday, October 23, 2011 at the Highland Park Community House.

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