15 Facts About Aline Bernstein


Aline Bernstein was an American set designer and costume designer.


Aline Bernstein was born in 1880 in New York City, the daughter of Rebecca and Joseph Frankau, an actor.


Joseph was a cousin of London cigar importer Arthur Frankau and thus, by marriage, of novelist and art historian Frank Danby, whom Aline Bernstein recalled visiting as a child when Joseph Frankau was performing in London.


Between 1916 and 1951, Aline Bernstein would do set design, costuming, or both for 51 productions.


Aline Bernstein was a theater set and costume designer for the Neighborhood Playhouse on the Lower East Side, volunteering her work to make her name.


Aline Bernstein's career ran in phases; early on, she focused largely on costume design.


Aline Bernstein was personal friends with Alfred and Blanche Knopf.

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Lillian Hellman

The music and libretto were written by Marc Blitzstein but based on the play The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman, a play for which Aline Bernstein had previously designed costumes.


Aline Bernstein's marriage remained intact throughout and despite her affair with Thomas Wolfe.


Aline Bernstein died on September 7,1955, in New York City, aged 74.


Aline Bernstein met Thomas Wolfe in 1925 aboard the RMS Olympic when Wolfe was 25 and Aline Bernstein 44.


Aline Bernstein became Wolfe's lover and provided Wolfe with emotional, domestic, and financial support while he wrote his first novel, Look Homeward, Angel, which he dedicated to Aline Bernstein.


Aline Bernstein, in turn, centered her autobiographical novel The Journey Down around her affair with Wolfe.


One of Wolfe's last phone calls, when he was dying of a brain tumor at age 37, was to tell Aline Bernstein he loved her.


At the time of Wolfe's death in 1938, Aline Bernstein possessed some of Wolfe's unpublished manuscripts.