Aline Bernstein

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Aline Bernstein (December 22, 1880 – September 7, 1955) was an American costume designer. She and Irene Lewisohn founded the Museum of Costume Art.

Early life and family

She was born in 1880 in New York City to Rebecca and Joseph Frankau, an actor. By the time she was 17, both of her parents had died and she was raised by her aunt, Rachel Goldsmith. Goldsmith had a theatrical boarding house on West 44th Street in New York City. Aline married Theodore F. Bernstein, a Wall Street broker, on November 19, 1902. Bernstein and her husband had two children: Theodore Frankau Bernstein (1904-1949), and Mrs. Edla Cusick (1906-1983). She died on September 7, 1955 in New York City, aged 74.


Bernstein was a writer, with two books published by Knopf. She was personal friends with Arthur and Blanche Knopf.

Thomas Wolfe

From 1925 to 1929, Bernstein was romantically linked to Thomas Wolfe, who based the character Esther Jack on her, in his novels Of Time and the River, The Web and the Rock, and You Can't Go Home Again (1940). At the time of his death in 1938, Bernstein possessed some of Wolfe's unpublished manuscripts.


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