Virtual Lectures

For more information on lectures or for a reservation, please call 800.448.3883 or make a reservation online


Virtual Autumn Author Series: Creators, Thinkers, Influencers, and Disrupters

Saturdays in fall, 11:00 am; $15; $10 per Member

September 26: "Behind the Scenes at the White House" with Sally Bedell Smith

Sally Bedell Smith's talk draws upon her work Grace and Power: The Private World of the Kennedy White House, for which she spoke to scores of Kennedy intimates to paint a richly detailed picture of the personal relationships behind the high purpose and political drama of the twentieth century’s most storied presidency. Smith is the bestselling author of biographies of William S. Paley, Pamela Harriman, Princess Diana, President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton, Queen Elizabeth II, and Prince Charles. A contributing editor at Vanity Fair since 1996, she previously worked at Time and New York Times, where she was a cultural news reporter.

October 24: "Landscape Designs during the Golden Age of American Gardens" with Marta McDowell 
Marta will focus on designing women, such as Marion Coffin, Martha Brookes Hutcheson, and Ellen Shipman, who transformed the wealth of the Industrial Revolution into beautiful landscapes for estates across the country. This lecture highlights design principles that these women employed, principles that fit gardens of any size. McDowell follows the relationship between the pen and the trowel, that is authors and their gardens, including Emily Dickinson and Laura Ingalls Wilder, among others. McDowell was recognized by the Garden Club of America for outstanding literary achievement. She is the author of New York Times bestseller All the Presidents' Gardens, for which she was also awarded an American Horticultural Society book award, and a teacher of landscape history and horticulture at New York Botanical Garden.

November 21: "The Beneficiary: Fortune, Misfortune, and the Story of My Father" with Janny Scott 

In her New York Times bestselling book A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother, journalist Janny Scott made use of her research, reporting, and writing skills to illuminate a previously opaque but important family story. In her new book, she uses those same skills to examine another unusual and complex family saga—her own. Part memoir of life at the Main Line estate Androssan, part class history, part detective story, THE BENEFICIARY: Fortune, Misfortune, and the Story of My Father explores the degree to which an inheritance— financial, cultural, and genetic—conspired in one person’s self-destruction. It offers a vital and revealing perspective on wealth and its effects


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