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Object Name: Bell
Date: probably 1960s
Related People:
Medium: Painted metal and plastic
Dimensions: Overall: 3 × 2 1/2 × 2 in. (7.6 × 6.4 × 5.1 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Gloria Tomba Daini in honor of her father Amedeo Tomba
Object Number: 2017.14.7
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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.

Provenance:

Donor received the objects through inheritance.