Update

New-York Historical is temporarily closed to help contain the spread of COVID-19. On August 14, we're opening Hope Wanted: New York City Under Quarantine, a free, outdoor exhibition in our rear courtyard. See more details on our Visit page.

Compact

Object Number: 
2017.14.28ab
Date: 
mid-twentieth century
Medium: 
Plastic, mirror glass, metal, suede, silk, cotton
Dimensions: 
Overall: 3/8 in. × 3 in. (1 × 7.6 cm)
Marks: 
Inscriptions: 
Description: 

Compact with powder puff.

Gallery Label: 

The nightclub El Morocco first opened as a midtown New York speakeasy in 1931 during Prohibition. Following the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, the club became one of the city’s most popular and glamourous locales. It was frequented by international luminaries, New York City socialites, movie and stage stars (Rudy Vallee, Gary Cooper, Errol Flynn, Gloria Swanson, and Fred Astaire among them), directors, celebrated journalists, sports champions, and other dignitaries such Franklin D. Roosevelt, and, later, John F. Kennedy.

The club was located at 154 East 54th Street until 1960, when its proprietor, John Perona, moved it to 307 East 54th Street. Its interior was nearly as famous as its clientele. The club’s ceiling was painted a deep, “glittering” blue, and its furnishings and tableware sported a bold blue and white zebra pattern. After Perona died in 1961, El Morocco closed and reopened several times under different owners into the 1990s.

Bibliography: 
Credit Line: 
Gift of Gloria Tomba Daini in honor of her father Amedeo Tomba
Provenance: 

Donor received the objects through inheritance.

Place Made: 
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group