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The Da Camera Society

Since 1973, the Doheny Mansion has hosted Da Camera Society performances of musical masterworks by internationally-noted artists. These books celebrate not only the history of the Doheny Mansion, but also the extraordinary family story of its "Keeper," Sister Aline Marie Gerber, who for three decades greeted and served Da Camera Society patrons with grace and charm.


Journeys of the Heart: Three Sisters - Three Nuns
by MaryAnn Bonino

Born into wealth provided by their father’s international businesses, Ilda, Aline and Anna Maria Gerber traveled almost yearly in deluxe accommodations between their Mexico City residence, Europe and New York. Their family saga included an amazing array of people: artists and scientists, industrialists and intellectuals, pioneers and statesmen. Their mother, Jenny Bozzano, was but one of many strong women in their lives who accepted the barriers imposed upon their sex while merrily crashing through them.

Despite his meticulous planning for a perfect life, Herbert Gerber hadn’t counted on the economic crises, revolutions and two world wars which would turn his world upside down and ultimately require a dramatic flight from Europe. Nor did he anticipate how completely his quadrilingual but closely guarded daughters would change after he sent them to Tucson to perfect their English at St. Joseph’s Academy. The well-rounded and attentive education offered there by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet was their first experience of freedom.

It so transformed their lives that, over the course of six years, all three of the Gerber girls became Sisters of St. Joseph. Their devastated parents appealed all the way to the pope. Though it would take over a decade to negotiate, peace reigned at last. Having chosen service over splendor, Sister Aline Marie, Sister Mechtilde and Sister Hildegarde earned the admiration, gratitude and love of generations of students, patients and colleagues.

$20 (plus $3.99 S&H)

 



The Doheny Mansion: A Biography of a Home
by MaryAnn Bonino

“The Doheny Mansion: A Biography of a Home” is the chronicle of two Los Angeles pioneers and the house they created at 8 Chester Place. Edward L. Doheny, oil millionaire extraordinaire and his wife Estelle, who was a noted book collector, philanthropist and devoted supporter of the Catholic Church, rose from modest backgrounds to become local and national leaders, entertaining friends and colleagues at their downtown Los Angeles mansion. For five decades, a procession of international movers and shakers passed through its doors. Industrial barons, politicians, financiers, church leaders, journalists, artists and movie stars were entertained sumptuously under the gilded dome of the Dohenys’ Pompeian Room.

At the height of his power, Edward Doheny was among the world’s leading oil producers and owned a fleet of tankers. After he achieved unwanted media stardom at the center of the 1920s Teapot Dome scandal, his decline was almost as rapid as his sprint to the top a decade earlier. Estelle Doheny stayed loyally by his side, and as the châtelaine of a Victorian mansion she at first found dark and forbidding, she created an elegant city home in a private park with towering trees, flowering gardens and a sprawling steel and glass Palm House built for their collection of exotic tropical botanicals.

Today the Doheny Mansion stands preserved as a living monument to their lives and times. Through newly discovered photographs and years of research, author MaryAnn Bonino shines a new and glowing light on its creation and inner life, with a peek at a few ghosts in the attic.

$20 (plus $3.99 S&H)