Monday, January 14, 2013

The Booth Bedroom at the Players Club in New York City.

It has been my pleasure to go to the Players Club several times since the 1990's. It is a place that has always reeked of history. Pictures have sadly gone and pictures have been changed here and there. But one thing has not changed much is the suite that belonged to the founder and owner of the building, the great Shakespearean actor, Edwin Booth.

Booth gave the townhouse to the Players Club in 1888, with the understanding he would live there the rest of  his life. Sadly that would not be too long. He would die on June 7, 1893 at the age of 59.

 His had been a hard life in many ways. His first wife died young, his brother assassinated the President of the United States, his second wife went mad, and the life of an actor in the 19th century was not an easy one.

By 1892 Booth was rather frail and weak and spent a good deal of time in his room. At times joining the members of the Players in conversation til late in the evening. As a tribute to him , his room has been left as he left it.

  I have gone to that room a few times and always was interested and never thought of taking a few pictures, but this last time I went on the 10th of January 2013 I did. So I thought I would share a bit of New York history from one of the jewels of old New York, The Player's Club. This year will mark 125th year of the Players and the 120th anniversary of Booth's death.

The Bed Booth would die in on June 7, 1893. By his bed is a photograph of his brother. The only photo in the club of his brother, John Wilkes Booth. below his picture is that of his 2nd wife who went mad shortly after their marriage.  A very sad corner of pictures.

By the bed are his slippers

One of his cabinets has pipes and trinkets. He loved smoking pipes and cigars

Some pictures on the wall, a bust of Shakespeare and a rubbing from the curse on Shakespeare's grave.

Books and theatrical props and pieces including a real skull signed by Booth.  Here in the center of all of this is a Portrait of his 1st wife Mary, who was the love of his life. She died after giving birth to their daughter.

The wall decoration here is from his funeral. Before it is Booth's day bed.