60 East 93rd After Virginia Graham Fair Vanderbilt: Thelma Chrysler Foy

May 25 2011, 12:22pm

Thelma Chrysler Foy, image courtesy of David Patrick Columbia’s New York Social Diary. After Birdie’s death in 1935, the mansion was bought by Chrysler daughter Thelma Foy, older daughter of Chrysler founder and automobile giant Walter Chrysler. She had married Byron C. Foy, a partner in a Chrysler dealership and later vice president of the Chrysler Corporation, in 1924. Thelma Foy was a fashion devotee and arts patroness who was reportedly voted among the ten best-dressed women, according to her obituary in Time Magazine. She is also mentioned in the press release for the de Young museum’s exhibition “Balenciaga and Spain” among “…some of the twentieth-century’s most notable tastemaking women…” Thelma Chrysler Foy was a renowned socialite who enjoyed fête-ing fellow members of the privileged set. She famously hosted many parties in her new mansion at 60 East 93rd Street, a mansion that she had furnished with all 18th century French Furniture and Impressionist paintings via Robert Samuels of French and Company. The always well-heeled Thelma reportedly indulged in long-stemmed roses for her dining room during all occasions. The Foys stayed at their 60 E 93rd Street mansion until eventually moving in to the famously luxurious residence at 740 Park Avenue in 1954. Mrs. Foy made her name as an arts patron by donating several prized items to public institutions, most notably Pablo Picasso’s “The Actor” to the Metropolitan Museum of Art given in 1952. Also presented to the Metropolitan Museum were pieces from her early 18th century French furniture collection, as well as several articles of clothing from various fashion houses of note, including the House of Dior and House of Balenciaga collections. In her later life she collected Chinese art, and from this collection she gave three rare and extremely valuable Chinese porcelain vases to the Flint Institute of the Arts in Flint, Michigan, where she had spent time as a child.   “The Actor” by Pablo Picasso. Image Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.