Woman of Two Worlds: Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte and Her Quest for an Imperial Legacy

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Socialite and landowner Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte was an important female figure in 1812 society

Presented by the Von Hess Foundation

Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte was one of the femme fatales of the War of 1812 generation, setting the gossipmongers atwitter with her revealing empire dresses at society events. Her marriage to Napoleon Bonaparte’s younger brother Jerome became an international drama. Even at ninety-four, Elizabeth was still making news as one of America’s richest women. As the official keeper of Elizabeth’s memory, The Maryland Historical Society is launching a major new exhibition, entitled “Woman of Two Worlds: Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte and the Quest for an Imperial Legacy” that will open on June 9, 2013.

The exhibition illustrates the ‘two worlds’ of France and America that Elizabeth inhabited and showcases her pearl and garnet tiara, silver, porcelain, paintings, textiles, jewelry, manuscripts, furniture and one of her "scandalous" dresses in the French-style. Curator-led tours will be offered on Sunday, June 9th at 1pm and 3pm, and on Thursday, June 20th at 6pm.