Helena Rubinstein revolutionized the world of cosmetics and built an empire that remains as ageless as the art she collected.
Born a poor girl in Krakow, Poland, Helena Rubinstein became the chieftain of a beauty empire – collecting art along the way. She would mix her huge collection of African art with her Matisses, Chagalls, Renoirs, Modiglianis, Salvador Dalís, and many others. Her beauty salons were also mini-art museums.
She was not a beauty queen, but she was definitely a beauty provider. She believed that well-groomed women were more self-assured, and more successful. As Helena would say to women everywhere, “Beauty is a Duty!”
Marlene Strauss lectures annually at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the 21st Century Club in Cleveland. She has spoken at the Smithsonian Institution and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Art Institute of Chicago, the French Embassy (of Cultural Affairs) in New York and at many museums, town halls, women’s clubs and organizations throughout the United States.
She is a former board member of the National Academy of Design in New York and IFAR (International Foundation for Art Research), and served as secretary-treasurer of the Archaeological Institute of America. In 1978, as an officer of the AIA, she was appointed diplomatic courier to Christos Doumas, director of excavations on the Greek Island of Santorini.
The Esther B. O’Keeffe Speaker Series features notable speakers from the fields of politics, culture and the media. Lectures take place January through March on Tuesdays at 3 p.m. Book signings, when offered, are held in the O’Keeffe Gallery Building following the lecture, and are available to the public at no charge.