Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Elizabeth Vesey

signature image

Unknown artist. Elizabeth Vesey, circa 1755–65. National Portrait Gallery, London

Elizabeth Vesey
b. 1715, Ossory, Ireland; d. 1791, London

Elizabeth Vesey was an important member of the Bluestockings, a loose-knit group of society women who hosted informal gatherings for literary and political discussions. Vesey wrote very little and never published, limiting her role to hostess. She is often credited with naming the group. As the story goes, she invited the scientist and writer Benjamin Stillingfleet to a gathering, but he said he had nothing to wear. She encouraged him to come anyway, despite the formal dress requirement that included wearing black stockings. He came wearing the much less formal blue stockings.

Related Place Setting

Mary Wollstonecraft

Related Heritage Floor Entries

Josefa Amar
Bridget Bevan
Isabella Bishop
Jeanne Campan
Elizabeth Carter
Charlotte Corday
Leonor D'Almeida
Yekaterina Dashkova
Olympe de Gouges
Marie de Lafayette
Francoise de Maintenon
Théroigne de Mericourt
Jeanne de Pompodour
Germaine de Staël
Celia Fiennes
Elizabeth Hamilton
Mary Hays

Mary Manley
Mary Monckton
Elizabeth Montagu
Mary Wortley Montague
Hannah More
Suzanne Necker
Ida Pfieffer
Karoline Pichler
Mary Radcliffe
Jeanne Manon Roland
Alison Rutherford
Caroline Schlegel
Mary Shelley
Hester Stanhope
Marie Tussaud
Rachel Varnhagen