Alice, a Devoted Friend to Eva

You won’t find an entry for Alice De Lamar in histories of notable American women; rather, she is frequently included in the chapters of leading players for her supporting role.

An example is Harvard University Press’s book, Notable American Women. Eva Le Gallienne is described as follows:

Just as Le Gallienne had the courage to reject the status quo in her professional life, she was equally courageous in her personal life. In a closeted society, she loved and lived openly with women. A loyal lover, if not particularly faithful, Le Gallienne juggled several long-term relationships throughout her life and attracted devoted friends like philanthropist Alice De Lamar, her patron for sixty years, who left her a million dollars in 1982.

One cannot help but wonder how Alice felt about her role, always in the background. People who knew her often describe her as shy, most comfortable with her self-selected group of intimate friends. And the headlines following her father’s death probably made her wary of any sort of publicity or calling attention to herself.

Yet, Alice was important to so many people, including famous artists, musicians, and writers, and only after her death has there been any interest among researchers who long to learn more about her.


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