Our cousin, Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, married John Warner, who was married Catherine Conover Mellon. Twelve years ago I began an application to the Andrew Mellon Foundation, but did not complete it. There are many grants I can apply for. I can serve on the Monuments committee due to being kin to Robert E. Lee, and is Liz via the Rosamond family. Benton Hall was changed at Oregon State.
What I want to see happen is a large home bought for the family that I am the head of. I am the progenitor of a Art and Literary Dynasty. My artwork toured the world in a Red Cross show when I was twelve and sixteen. My family needs to be studied by professional psychologists because we have been severely affected by the art and artists around us. Wealthy families like the Mellons, Gettys, and Bucks, have been able to afford a sequestered and protected existence where family bonds, acquiring more wealth, and investing in The Arts, is encouraged. I found a home in Larkspur. I deserve to be around my daughter and grandchildren. They need my creative ideas and energy.
President: Royal Rosamond Press
EXTRA! My intution had me go look for a house in Alameda, and…
IT’S A MIRACLE! The house I lived in back in 1974 – IS UP FOR SALE! There are four units. I used to lived on the bottom one. Shannon and Drew will love upstairs in the the two units there. Tyler and I will live on the second level. One bedroom will be my office. Heather, Bobby, Ember, and Patrice, will live on the ground floor. There is a basement for Bobby’s tools. This is it! The BIG FOREGIVENESS package. This is as close as we are going to get in resurrecting Christine. Everyone is taken care of. We got history here. Let’s ask – and receive!
Peter Shapiro of The Loading Zone lived with me, as did Tim O’Connor and Keith Purvis as different times. We four lived in the infamous 13th. Street Victorian. This could be the home of Royal Rosamond Press, it ours for a hundred year lease at a dollar a year. This would be a investment for our funders. History is saved and preserved!
John Gregory, Peter Shapiro, Tim O’Connor, ? Keith Purvis.
Below: Peter and Tim horsing around in from of Alameda Victorian. John Presco on front porch.
Elizabeth Taylor and John Warner meeting Queen Elizabeth with President Ford.
John Warner, a Washington, DC native who was considering a run for the Senate when he and Liz were fixed up on a blind date, had quite the pedigree. He had been Secretary of The Navy, the Under Secretary of The Navy (under Nixon), a WWII vet (he served in …. wait for it…. the Navy) and a DC lawyer. Married once prior, he and his ex-wife, Catherine Mellon (the daughter and granddaughter of Paul Mellon and Andrew Mellon, respectively of THE Mellon family), lived on estates next to each other, to make it easier for their children to move back and forth between both homes. To say he was something very different for Elizabeth would be an understatement.
At first blush Matthew Taylor Mellon II lives up to his patrician name as we dine at his favorite lunch spot, a little Italian place below his apartment situated within Manhattan’s stately Pierre hotel. Five years sober, after lengthy battles with drugs and booze, the 50-year-old has an enviable tan that complements his blue Savile Row suit and Hermés tie. He orders a salad and a cranberry-juice-and-soda.
But unexpectedly he asks the waiter to take away his cellphones, fearing Snowden-style eavesdropping. And then the scion of America’s most enduring banking family lets it fly: “I feel like citizens are fed up with banksters,” using a term the Occupy Wall Street crowd would surely approve. Politicians receive similar disdain: “We need to live in a more transparent, free democracy. The more secretive America becomes, the more dangerous it is.” The solution, Mellon says, is Bitcoin, and he’s invested $2 million to start an incubator for Bitcoin companies, convinced virtual currency will replace the dollar bill. “The banks are going to be scratching their heads,” he says, a smile encroaching on his high cheekbones.
A bit loony? Clearly. But in an ironic way, Matthew Mellon is exactly what his great-great-great-grandfather Thomas Mellon envisioned when he launched the family on what’s now a nearly two-century run of financial dominance. In scanning FORBES’ first-ever ranking of America’s Richest Families, one thing that stands out is how many of the great fortunes of the mid-19th century have dissipated. The Astors and the Vanderbilts, the Morgans and the Carnegies, none make the cut. Some of that is the result of generous, world-changing philanthropy. Some of it decades upon decades of wastrel heirs. Much stems from both. Amid this peer group, however, the Mellons stand out. Of America’s billion-dollar dynasties, only the Du Ponts are having a longer run, and they have a dominant family company perpetually generating the wealth. Not so with the Mellons, who have flaky heirs like Matthew plowing millions into fashion labels and Bitcoin startups, yet have nonetheless maintained a $12 billion fortune, the 19th-largest family net worth in America, one greater than the Rockefellers and Kennedys, combined.
They’ve done this quietly. Most of the Mellons contacted declined to be interviewed for this story or would speak only on background “We’re happy being under the radar,” says Peter Stephaich, Matthew’s cousin, who owns a barge company in Pittsburgh. But the secret boils down to a family ethos that values one thing over all others: capital preservation. While the pitfalls of inheriting money without purpose have been well documented, Thomas Mellon himself put forward a tacit understanding that while spending was acceptable (Matthew Mellon’s pad at the Pierre is likely worth $7 million, and he likes to fly private), it came with the expectation that each generation push forward a bigger pile than he or she was given. While all the branches operate independently, they’ve almost universally employed smart tricks that minimize taxes, including generation-skipping trusts and making charitable contributions in stock. More critically, Thomas Mellon expected his progeny to be entrepreneurial, with the anticipated corollary that the process would fuel the American economic machine.
Other than that, there have been few covenants or restrictions, with nary a family office or annual meeting. The family mantra as he was growing up, Matthew Mellon recalls: “Intuition is the number one tool in the toolbox.” The result of all that decentralized intuition has been numerous companies, from banking to media to metals to energy, that have altered the face of American business.
With the recent launch of the Monuments Project— a significant multi-year commitment to rethinking our country’s commemorative landscape — the Mellon Foundation is broadening the national conversation about public monuments and memorials.
In our second panel discussion on the topic, Mellon Foundation President Elizabeth Alexander was joined by Paul M. Farber, director of Monument Lab, Viet Thanh Nguyen, USC professor, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, and author of Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War, and Caroline Randall Williams, Vanderbilt University writer-in-residence and author of the noteworthy New York Times op-ed “My Body is a Confederate Monument,” to address provocative questions about the making of our commemorative spaces, what a monument is, how myth-making has shaped the process of memorializing, and why new commemorations will expand the American story.
A Philadelphia-based creative studio is helping to shape the future of our public histories.
Of the hundreds of monuments in Philadelphia, only one full statue on public land is dedicated to an individual historic person of color. Artist Branly Cadet’s A Quest for Parity, unveiled in 2017 at City Hall, is a bronze figure of Octavius Catto, the civil- and voting-rights activist who was murdered by a white gunman in Philadelphia on Election Day 1871, when he was just 32.
It is the lives of historically significant but under-acknowledged people like Catto that animate the work of Paul Farber, cofounder and director of Monument Lab, an independent art and research studio that collaborates with artists, local governments, cultural institutions, and the public to rethink monuments’ role in American culture. A historian and longtime Philadelphia resident, Farber founded the Lab with artist Ken Lum in 2012; both were teaching courses on monuments at the University of Pennsylvania, where Farber is a senior research scholar at the Center for Public Art and Space and Lum is chair of the fine arts department. The Lab took shape as discussions with students about the politics of Philadelphia’s monuments moved from the classroom to the city’s parks and civic plazas.
Arts and Culture celebrates the transcendent power of the arts to challenge, activate, and nourish the human spirit. We support exceptional creative practice, scholarship, and conservation of arts and culture, while nurturing a representative and robust arts and culture ecosystem.
Our program works with artists, curators, conservators, scholars, and organizations to ensure equitable access to excellent arts and cultural experiences. Our goal is to add complexity and justice to our understanding of the world, and to foster societies that value artists as the chroniclers of our humanity.
In short, we work to place the arts and artists at the center of thriving, healthy communities.
Paul Mellon (June 11, 1907 – February 1, 1999) was an American philanthropist and an owner/breeder of thoroughbred racehorses. He is one of only five people ever designated an “Exemplar of Racing” by the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. He was co-heir to one of America’s greatest business fortunes, derived from the Mellon Bank created by his grandfather Thomas Mellon, his father Andrew W. Mellon, and his father’s brother Richard B. Mellon. In 1957, when Fortune prepared its first list of the wealthiest Americans, it estimated that Paul Mellon, his sister Ailsa Mellon-Bruce, and his cousins Sarah Mellon and Richard King Mellon, were all among the richest eight people in the United States, with fortunes of between 400 and 700 million dollars each (around $3,600,000,000 and $6,400,000,000 in today’s dollars).