The Gilded Years--1885 to 1905--were a vital and glamorous era in New York City as families of great fortune sought to demonstrate their new position by building vast Fifth Avenue mansions filled with precious objects and important painting collections and hosting elaborate fetes and balls. This was the moment of Mrs. Astor's 400, the Vanderbilts, and the Morgans. At the same time, these families became New York's first cultural philanthropists, supporting the fledgling Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Opera, among many other institutions established during this period. Gilded New York examines the social and cultural history of these years, focusing on interior design and decorative arts, fashion and jewelry, and the publications that were the progenitors of today's shelter magazines.
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