Villa I Tatti


In 1921, Mary Berenson, wife of American art historian Bernard Berenson (BB), described 26-year-old Alice De Lamar as “a queer girl with lots of character, but all angles and resentments and revolts.” Alice had rented a Medici villa near the Berensons’ Villa I Tatti on the border of Florence and Fiesole. (Today, I Tatti is The Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies,

In the early 1920s Alice often visited the Berensons with her companion Evangeline Johnson, heiress to the J & J fortune. Bernard Berenson found Evangeline “distractingly pretty.”

Evangeline and Alice both attended Miss Spence’s School and they were at the same debutante balls, weddings, and social events in New York City prior to 1920.

Mary Berenson later added, “We got to like Alice De Lamar very much, but I do not see a happy life for her. Her early upbringing is against her.” She described the fortune hunters who hung around her like “a bad smell.”


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