Joanne de Guardiola and
The Duke of Marlborough
Jean Kennedy Smith,
Tobie Roosevelt and
Lars Bolander and
The Duchess and her daughter
Lady Alexandra Spencer-Churchill
Nan Kempner and
Princess Michael of Kent
Hillary Geary and Wilbur Ross
DUCHESS OF MARLBOROUGH
Rosita Premieres Her Art
For New York’s Smart Set
Story by Roger Webster
Photos by Neil Rasmus/PMc
HE crème de la crème of New York art lovers came out to meet the Duke (Sunny) and Duchess (Rosita) of Marlborough and their children, Lady Alexandra Spencer-Churchill and Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill, to mark the opening of Rosita’s first New York painting exhibition, hosted by Nadine Kalachnikoff and husband Lars Bolander at their shop Lars Bolander NY, in the very hip meatpacking district.
Among those admiring the fabulous bold-colored paintings were Princess Michael of Kent, in a white boucle jacket with black sequined appliqués of hearts, diamonds, spades and clubs, Princess Arianna zu Hohenlohe and Dixon Boardman, Princess Mimi Romanoff, Tobie Roosevelt, Jean Kennedy Smith, Winston Churchill’s granddaughter Edwina Sandys, Terry Allen Kramer, Hilary Geary and Wilbur Ross, Wendy Vanderbilt Lehman, Kathy and Bill Rayner, Grace Meigher, Pat Patterson.
Also Liz Fondoras, Nina Bonninal, Adriana Cisneros, Anne Jones, William Ivey Long, Monique Van Vooren, ASPCA president Edwin Sayres with his wife Michele Sayres, Duane and Alexa Hampton, Kenneth J. Lane, Somers Farkas, Jack Bass, Debbie Bancroft, Anson McBeard, Bettina Zilkha, Alexis Gregory and Nan Kempner, who wore a brilliant diamond pin on a black knit top with a multi-colored Yves St. Laurent raincoat.
The Duchess wore black Armani. "I love Armani, he works for me," she said. Joanne de Guardiola was dressed in a gown by Carolina Herrera. Her husband Roberto de Guardiola was in black-tie.
Michèle Gerber Klein chose a Bill Blass tweed jacket over a long brown organdy skirt. Pauline Pitt was in chic black cape – perfect for the damp October night. Yanna Avis was as colorful as the art itself in a coral gown from Dior in Paris.
Rosita was born in Spain, the daughter of a Swedish diplomat. She studied in America, Sweden and France. In 1972, she married the 11th Duke of Marlborough and moved into Blenheim Palace, where she took charge of redecorating and re-designing the interior of the palace’s private quarters and bringing up their children.
In 1996, she traveled to Morocco and was overwhelmed by the color and light that she found there. "Color, color, color," Rosita boldly exclaimed, "is very important to me." Among the most popular items in the show were a series of small watercolors of figures in glorious Moroccan costumes. Many were sold by the end of the evening.
She absolutely loves being a painter. "I’m obsessed by my work. I can’t stop painting. I can’t do enough of it," she announced to guests including Karl Wellner, Virginia Burke, Alvin Valley, Christopher Mason, Sharon Hoge, Luigi Tadini with his grandparents Luciano and Carla Tadini, John Mashek, Maggie Norris, Joe Yiucho Cheng, James Sherwin, Cynthia Frank, David Astor, Steve and Christine Schwarzman, Heather Cohane, Ann Rapp, Liz and Damon Mezzacappa, Harley Baldwin, Ellen and Ian Graham, Robert Felner, Tony and Dawn DeLorenzo, Percy Steinhart, Colette, Anton Perich, Jeffrey Hirsch, Christopher Kalachnikoff and Kusum Lynn.