Happy Birthday, Little Edie!

A writer, model, socialite, and the epitome of the modern woman, Edith Bouvier Beale continues to serve as a muse, even after her death in 2002. She’s since inspired a Tony Award-winning musical, an HBO movie, and a song by Rufus Wainwright. Little Edie would have been 96 this year.

Long before she set the precedent for modern-day shabby chic in the Maysles brothers’ 1976 documentary, Little Edie faithfully documented her affluent youth during the Roaring Twenties in her 1929 childhood diary, poetically dubbed I Only Mark the Hours that Shine.

Set against a backdrop of salons, theaters, exclusive clubs, and private beaches, Little Edie’s passionate account primes the canvas for her equally unusual and fascinating adulthood.

Read an interview with the Beales, visit Grey Gardens Collections online, and buy a copy of I Only Mark the Hours That Shine.


Little Edie and her two brothers in costume for the Riding Club pageant, America
Photo credit: Edith Bouvier Beale: A Life in Pictures, courtesy Grey Gardens Collections

 


Little Edie in costume for the East Hampton Ladies Village Improvement Society annual fair, 1929
Photo credit: Edith Bouvier Beale: A Life in Pictures, courtesy Grey Gardens Collections

 


Little Edie and friends in costume, 1929
Photo credit: Edith Bouvier Beale: A Life in Pictures, courtesy Grey Gardens Collections

 


Image from Little Edie’s 1929 scrapbook
Photo credit: Edith Bouvier Beale: A Life in Pictures, courtesy Grey Gardens Collections

 


Little Edie and her two brothers at Grey Gardens, 1931
Photo credit: Edith Bouvier Beale: A Life in Pictures, courtesy Grey Gardens Collections

 


Little Edie pictured at a labor day dance, 1936, East Hampton, NY (originally this photo was found with picture of partner torn out.)
Photographer: Towns End (Courtesy of the estate of Edith Bouvier Beale)

 


Little Edie in front of Guild Hall, East Hampton, NY, 1936
Courtesy Grey Gardens Collections

 


Little Edie at a social event in East Hampton
Courtesy Grey Gardens Collections

 


Little Edie dressed for a weekend event at Princeton University
Courtesy Grey Gardens Collections

 


Little Edie, 1940
Photo credit: Edith Bouvier Beale: A Life in Pictures, courtesy Grey Gardens Collections

 


Little Edie and her signature look
Photo credit: Edith Bouvier Beale: A Life in Pictures, courtesy Grey Gardens Collections

 


Little Edie at Grey Gardens in a picture taken by her mother, “Big Edie”
Photo credit: Edith Bouvier Beale: A Life in Pictures, courtesy Grey Gardens Collections

 


Little Edie and Big Edie, 1938
Photo credit: Edith Bouvier Beale: A Life in Pictures, courtesy Grey Gardens Collections

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