Laura Jane Barney

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Laura Jane Barney (born 1927) is an American socialite, collector and philanthropist. She sits on the board of the SmithBarney division of Citigroup and the Frick Museum. She is a patron of the arts and supporter of various charitable causes both in the United States and abroad. Her family is a benefactor of the New York Ballet, the Newport Mansion Conservation Fund, The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir Initiative and the New York Public Library Restoration Fund. A wing of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art bears her name as well as do three charitable foundations (her late husband's, her father's and her own).

Born in 1927 in New York, Laura Jane "Bootsy" Belmont, divided time with her family between their sprawling 960 Fifth Avenue apartment and their landmark estates in the exclusive Belle Haven community of Greenwich, CT and Newport, RI. An only child, both her parents were from prestigious American families. The Belmonts especially are remembered for their connection in business with the Vanderbilts in banking and railroads.

During the winter debutante season she was named a debutante of the year at the age of eighteen. She went on to attend Miss Porter's Boarding school in Farmington, CT and Barnard College of Columbia University in New York.

Her marriage to William Barney of the Smith-Barney banking fortune produced four children. Currently she divides her time between her family estates in Greenwich, CT and Newport, RI and her late husband's family beach front mansion and yacht in Palm Beach, FL.

Sources[edit]

  • Young, Ryan A. Newport Revisited: Images of America
  • Preston, Claire. Edith Wharton's Social Register
  • Rossalstein, Marcus. Glitz, Glamour and Guts, The True Story of the Manhattan 400