Join Village Preservation for an opportunity to hear from Eve Kahn as she shares insights into reformer/writer/Queen of Bohemia Zoe Anderson Norris (1860-1914). Eve has developed an exhibition at the Grolier Club entitled “To Fight for the Poor with My Pen: Zoe Anderson Norris, Queen of Bohemia,” which runs through May 13, 2023. Registrants for this free tour will have an opportunity to learn more about the Grolier Club itself and to see members-only spaces as well as the free public galleries, all while gaining insight into the life of the Queen of Bohemia.

Zoe Anderson Norris published a bimonthly magazine documenting desperate immigrant poverty from her apartment overlooking the East Village. Eve will share insights from developing this exhibit and give participants an opportunity to learn more about this woman who impacted East Village history. Norris was the Writer and publisher of the bimonthly magazine The East Side, which focused on New York’s immigrants and outcasts in dire straits, sometimes working uncover to expose these issues. A Kentucky-born longtime Manhattanite known as a Queen of Bohemia, Norris also founded the Ragged Edge Klub, which met for weekly dinners combining activism and dancing. She handed out aristocratic titles to Ragged Edgers, such as Lady Betty Rogers of the Bronx and Baron Bernhardt of Hoboken. A few days after completing the last issue of The East Side, which described her recent dream that she would die soon, she suffered fatal heart failure—and her prediction made headlines in newspapers nationwide.

The tour will include a history of the Grolier Club, a tour of the exhibition, a discussion of Eve’s show, and a look at the club’s library and member’s lounge. It will last about 75 minutes, with refreshments available for purchase in the member’s lounge at the conclusion of the tour. 

The Grolier Club, founded in 1884, is America’s oldest and largest society for bibliophiles, headquartered in a 1917 Georgian Revival building designed by club member and noted architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue. In the public galleries and members-only spaces, highlights include a Dutch Colonial-style tavern and a soaring Neoclassical research library with 100,000 volumes that shed light on how the printed word and image have disseminated information for millennia. Keen-eyed visitors will spot a blowfish and a secret stairway.

Eve M. Kahn is a historian, journalist, and former Antiques columnist for The New York Times (2008-2016) and a member of the Grolier Club’s board. She often writes about underappreciated Gilded Age women innovators. She is now working on a biography of Zoe Anderson Norris, and her 2019 book on the artist Mary Rogers Williams (1857-1907) from Wesleyan University Press won prizes from groups including the Connecticut League of History Organizations. Check out this recent profile of Eve and the exhibition in the New Yorker.

Monday, May 1, 2023
11:30 am

Monday, May 1st at 11:30am

In-Person Tour


Pre-Registration is Required. Spaces are limited.

Location: The Grolier Club, 47 East 60th Street. New York, NY 10022

Click here for photos of this past program.