Berthe Honorée Palmer, 1849-1918
Date of Birth: 22 May 1849
Place of Birth: Louisville, KY
Place of Death: Osprey, Florida
Berthe Honorée Palmer was a collector, philanthropist and wife of the Potter Palmer, a wealthy Chicago businesssman.
Mrs Palmer was known as a leading social hostess in Chicago and assisted by Mary Cassatt, she also formed an important collection of Impressionist art. In 1891 she became chair of the Board of Lady Managers for the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition which took place in 1893. The Board was responsible for the highly successful Woman's Building, designed by Sophia Hayden, which exhibited items from forty-seven countries. As well as her local civic and charitable activities, she served as the only female member of the U.S. National Commission for the Paris Exposition, 1900. Subsequently, she was decorated with the Légion d'Honneur by the French Government.
Who Was Who in America, 1897-1942, vol. 1, Chicago, 1943; Encylopedia Britannica, on-line edition (accessed June 2004); Saarinen, Aline B., The Proud Possessors, London, 1959.