Roland L. Redmond
|9th President of the Metropolitan Museum of Art|
|Preceded by||William Church Osborn|
|Succeeded by||Arthur Amory Houghton Jr.|
Roland Livingston Redmond
September 13, 1892
Tivoli, New York, U.S.
|Died||April 20, 1982 (aged 89)|
Tivoli, New York, U.S.
(m. 1915; div. 1953)
(m. 1957; his death 1982)
Estelle Livingston Redmond
|Relatives||Goold H. Redmond (uncle)|
|Alma mater||Harvard University|
Columbia Law School
Redmond was born on September 13, 1892 at his parents stately two-story 18th-century mansion, known as Callendar House, Tivoli, New York, which was inherited by his mother and redesigned by McKim, Mead & White in 1910.[a] He was the second son of Geraldyn Redmond (1854–1918) and Estelle Maud (née Livingston) Redmond (1860–1916). His brothers were Johnston Livingston Redmond and Geraldyn Livingston Redmond. In New York, the Redmonds lived at 701 Fifth Avenue, next door to their aunt at 705 Fifth Avenue, in what was disguised by McKim, Mead & White as a single French limestone mansion.[b] His parents, who were prominent in Catholic circles, donated the funds to the Fathers of Mercy, a French community of priests, to build Church of Notre-Dame on 114th Street in Manhattan.
His paternal grandparents were Sabina Elizabeth (née Hoyt) Redmond and William Redmond, a prominent merchant with Wm. Redmond & Son, who was born in Ballymena, County Antrim in Northern Ireland, and was one of the founders of the Union Club. His paternal uncle was the bachelor Goold H. Redmond, and through his paternal aunt, Matilda Redmond Cross, the wife of banker Richard James Cross, he was a first cousin of John Walter Cross and Eliot Cross, prominent architects with the firm of Cross & Cross. His maternal grandparents were Johnston Livingston and Sylvia Mathilde (née Livingston) Livingston. Through his maternal grandmother, a granddaughter of U.S. Representative Henry W. Livingston, he was also a descendant of the Schuyler family.[c] In 1902, his mother and aunt, Countess Carola de Laugier-Villars, built St. Sylvia Church in Tivoli, in memory of Redmond's maternal grandmother.
From May 12, 1917 to March 2, 1919, he served in the U.S. Army, obtaining the rank of 1st Lieutenant, Field Artillery. Redmond was a member of the Plattsburg Movement and attended Officers Training Camp. After sailing to France, he was detailed to the Artillery School at Fontainebleau and Gondrecourt. Beginning in 1918, he took part in the Battle of Château-Thierry, was transferred to the 306th Field Artillery and fought in the Oise-Aisne and the Meuse-Argonne Offensives. After his return from War, he was admitted to the bar in 1919.
In 1929, Redmond joined the prestigious New York law firm of Carter, Ledyard & Milburn and was with the firm, as counsel, until his death in 1982.[d] For a time, he was Vincent Astor's personal attorney.
He also served on the board of many institutions, including the Pierpont Morgan Library, the New York Public Library, the American Geographic Society and the United States Trust Company of New York.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
From 1947 to 1964, Redmond served as president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and was a "trustee, elective and emeritus, for 48 years, a record for a Met trustee." While president, two directors worked underneath him, Francis Henry Taylor and James Rorimer, and a massive expansion program that took place between 1951 and 1954, and involved nearly the entire reconstruction of the existing building and modernization of the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium.
The most popular exhibition while he was president was in 1963 when the Mona Lisa was on display for one-month. His tenure was also marked by several attacks from artists who felt the museum was opposed to contemporary art, which "Redmond did not take pains to conceal his own lack of sympathy with a good deal of modern art." In 1950, in response to a juried exhibition, entitled American Painting Today - 1950, eighteen well-known American painters later, including Clyfford Still, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock, collectively known as The Irascibles, sent an open letter to Redmond stating they would not participate because the juries were "notoriously hostile to advanced art."
On June 5, 1915, Redmond was married to Sara Delano (1894–1984) at St. Sylvia's Memorial Church with a reception held at the Delano country estate, Steen Valetje. Sara was the youngest daughter of coal tycoon Warren Delano and Jennie (née Walters) Delano. Her mother was the daughter of William Thompson Walters, a merchant and art collector, and the niece of Henry Walters, who formed the Walters Art Museum. Through her namesake aunt Sara Delano Roosevelt, Sara was a first cousin of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. They had a home in New York City, at 760 Fifth Avenue (and later at 350 Fifth Avenue), and a residence in Syosset on Long Island known as White Elephant Farm. Before their divorce in 1953, they were the parents of four daughters:
- Sylvie Livingston Redmond, a writer who married William Griffiths Jr. in December 1940.
- Sheila Delano Redmond (d. 2000), who married Malcolm D. Perkins in 1944.
- Joan Walters Redmond (1919–1995), who married Curtis Seaman Read.
- Cynthia Redmond, who married Maj. Peter Somes Hopkins in 1946. She later married Donald E. Mead.
In 1916, upon the death of his mother, he inherited $75,000 (equivalent to $1,762,156 today) outright and an interest in the trust set up for the remainder of her estate, valued between $3,000,000 and $4,000,000. 1925, he inherited his aunt's home at Tivoli-on-the-Hudson upon her death, along with a legacy in excess of $200,000 (equivalent to $2,915,750 today).
After he left his wife in the fall of 1952, he took up with Lydia Paine (née Bodrero), Princess di San Faustino, and they married in Palm Beach on December 2, 1957. Lydia, the daughter of Commendatore Gen. Alessandro Bodrero, was the mother of two children, Edith Carpenter Macy (b. 1927) (the wife of Friedrich Karl von Schönborn-Buchheim), from her first marriage to Valentine E. Macy Jr., and Montino Bourbon del Monte, Prince di San Faustino (b. 1942), from her second marriage to Ranieri Bourbon del Monte, Prince di San Faustino. Ranieri was a son of Carlo Bourbon del Monte, Prince di San Faustino and brother to Virginia Bourbon del Monte, wife of industrialist Edoardo Agnelli.
Redmond died on April 20, 1982 at his home in Tivoli.
Honors and legacy
- Callendar House was later purchased by Count Jean de Castella, a Swiss investment banker, in 1978. It was later purchased by Pierre Moulin.
- The Redmond's Fifth Avenue mansion was sold in 1927 for $1.265 million, but not torn down until the early 1930s, when it was replaced by the new Union Club, which was designed and completed in 1933 by Delano & Aldrich.
- Sylvia Mathilde (née Livingston) Livingston (1827–1873) was a daughter of Henry Walter Livingston (1798–1848), who married Caroline de Grasse de Pau (1806–1871), daughter of Francis De Pau, a French shipping magnate and slaver, and Silvie de Grasse, daughter of a French count, in 1823
- Some sources claim he was a partner at Carter, Ledyard & Milburn from 1919 to 1955.
- "Roland Redmond, Lawyer, Dead; Former President of Met Museum". The New York Times. 22 April 1982. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- Miller, Tom (1 December 2014). "Daytonian in Manhattan: The Lost Redmond Mansions -- Nos. 701-705 Park Avenue". Daytonian in Manhattan. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- Giovannini, Joseph (15 October 1987). "The Hudson Valley: Old Gentility, New Affluence Form Alliance". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- Rozhon, Tracie (6 May 1999). "TURF; Time and the River: A House Well Lived In". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- Waldek, Stefanie (September 25, 2018). "Discover the Most Bucolic Country Estates Along the Hudson River". Architectural Digest. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- "REDMOND--Geraldyn". The New York Times. November 28, 1918. p. 17. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- "MRS. E. L. REDMOND DEAD. -- Member of Old New York Family Prominent in Catholic Charities" (PDF). The New York Times. 18 June 1916. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- Reynolds, Cuyler (1914). Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York and the Hudson River Valley: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Building of a Nation. Lewis Historical Publishing Company. p. 1322. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- Pennoyer, Peter; Walker, Anne (2014). New York Transformed: The Architecture of Cross & Cross. The Monacelli Press, LLC. p. 143. ISBN 9781580933803. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- Selleck, Charles Melbourne (1896). Norwalk. Charles Melbourne Selleck. p. 358. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
- Berry, Regina. "Livingston Family Papers, 1710-1964; bulk 1797-1902". nysl.nysed.gov. New York State Library. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
- "WILL OF COUNTESS ASSIGNS $10,000,000; Property of Carola L. de Laugier-Villars Disposed Of in Document for Probate at Poughkeepsie" (PDF). The New York Times. 28 March 1925. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- The Catholic Church in the United States of America: Undertaken to Celebrate the Golden Jubilee of His Holiness, Pope Pius X. Catholic Editing Company. 1914. p. 436. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- The Harvard University Register, Vol. 42. Student Council of Harvard College. 1915. p. 295. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- Columbia University Catalogue. Columbia University. 1918. p. 275. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- "Metropolitan Elects New Museum Head". The New York Times. 16 September 1964. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- Currierv, Vic (2015). Good-Bye, Lord, I’M Going to New York: The Secret Life of Belle Meade’S William Harding Jackson. p. 79. ISBN 9781503547728.
- "REDMOND ELECTED ART MUSEUM HEAD; Lawyer Becomes President of Metropolitan as Successor to William C. Osborn" (PDF). The New York Times. 21 January 1947. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- "18 Painters Boycott Metropolitan; Charge 'Hostility to Advanced Art'" (PDF). The New York Times. May 22, 1950. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
- "Renaissance at Walters". The Baltimore Sun. April 5, 1987. p. 262. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- "SARA DELANO, BRIDE OF R. L. REDMOND; Cardinal Farley Officiates at Wedding of Members of Two Noted Families" (PDF). The New York Times. 6 June 1915. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- "Announce Troth of Sara Delano". Chicago Tribune. March 15, 1915. p. 15. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- "AMERICA'S GREAT ART COLLECTOR William Thompson Walters, Known Everywhere for His Devotion to Art, Dies in Baltimore" (PDF). The New York Times. November 23, 1894. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- "HENRY WALTERS IN SURPRISE MARRIAGE Baltimore Financier, 73, Weds Mrs. Pembroke Jones, Widow of His Old Friend. THEY SAIL ON AQUITANIA Noted Art Collector and Bride Tell on Steamer of Their Wedding a Few Hours Before" (PDF). The New York Times. April 12, 1922. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- Johnston, William R. (1999). William and Henry Walters, the Reticent Collectors. JHU Press. p. 15. ISBN 9780801860409. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- Winburn, Jay Te (6 January 1946). "CYNTHIA REDMOND IS WED TO OFFICER; Escorted by Her Father at Marriage to Maj. Peter Somes Hopkins of Army Engineers SHE HAS FIVE ATTENDANTS Bridegroom, Now on Terminal Leave, Plans to Complete His Studies at M.I.T." The New York Times. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- Berns, David (22 December 1940). "Sylvie L. Redmond Wed to William Griffiths Jr" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- Griffiths, Sylvie R. "Johnston Livingston, the Express Business, and the California Connection" (PDF). The Hudson Valley Regional Review: 21–37. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- "Paid Notice: Deaths PERKINS, SHEILA R." The New York Times. 9 July 2000. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- "SHEILA REDMOND BECOMES A BRIDE; Chapin Alumna Wed in Florida to Lieut. Malcolm D. Perkins of Army Air Transport" (PDF). The New York Times. 3 February 1944. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- "Redmond--Read". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 31 Jul 1947. p. 17. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- Berns, David (7 December 1945). "Cynthia Redmond Major's Fiancee; Troth Announced" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- Social Register, Volumes 117-121; Volume 123. Social Register Association. 2003. p. 504. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- "MRS. REDMOND'S WILL FILED; Left $75,000 to Each of Sons and Family Estate to Her Husband" (PDF). The New York Times. 28 June 1916. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- Gross, Michael (2010). Rogues' Gallery: The Secret Story of the Lust, Lies, Greed, and Betrayals That Made the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Broadway Books. p. 227. ISBN 9780767924894. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- "R.L. REDMOND MARRIES; Museum Head Weds Princess Lydia di San Faustino" (PDF). The New York Times. 3 December 1957. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- Thayer, William Roscoe; Castle, William Richards; Howe, Mark Antony De Wolfe; Pier, Arthur Stanwood; Voto, Bernard Augustine De; Morrison, Theodore (1925). The Harvard Graduates' Magazine. Harvard Graduates' Magazine Association. p. 495. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- "Princess di San Faustino To Wed New Yorker". The San Francisco Examiner. 27 Nov 1957. p. 13. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- "Museum Officials Get Awards" (PDF). The New York Times. 25 February 1955. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
- Bust of Roland L. Redmond in Bronze, by Giovanni Lancellotti, c. 1971.
- 1947 Photograph of Redmond, Mrs. G. Macculloch Miller, and John Hay Whitney (trustees of the Museum of Modern Art).
William Church Osborn
President of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Arthur Amory Houghton Jr.