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

signature image

Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). The Dinner Party (Heritage Floor; detail), 1974–79. Porcelain with rainbow and gold luster, 48 x 48 x 48 ft. (14.6 x 14.6 x 14.6 m). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, 2002.10. © Judy Chicago. Photograph by Jook Leung Photography

Mary Alexander
b. 1694, New York; d. 1760, New York

Mary Alexander, dry goods importer and real estate entrepreneur in New York City, was the daughter of John Spratt and Maria de Peyster. She married the thriving merchant Samuel Provoost in 1711. The Spratts, de Peysters, and Provoosts were all prominent families of colonial New York. When Samuel died around 1720, Mary assumed control of his business, adding considerably to the family fortune. In 1721, she married again, this time to the well-connected lawyer James Alexander, who became the attorney general of New York. Mary Alexander is said to have laid the first paved sidewalk in New York, in front of her store and offices, for the convenience of her customers.

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