Program Details

Celebrities of the Gold Room: A Look Into the History Within the Breakers

Wesley Borucki

Course Description

In 2004, The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach asked Wesley Borucki, Ph.D. to identify many portraits of Renaissance-era explorers and scientists in its Gold Room that had been left unidentified. A few paintings were even misidentified, with the names having been misspelled. The portraits were identifiable because they were reproductions of portraits and sketches of historical figures done at different times. Borucki's work was even highlighted in an issue of The Breakers' magazine, Traditions. In this series, Borucki will use extensive photographic and video images to examine these famous individuals' lives, ideals, motives, and accomplishments from such important periods of Western Civilization. Through the art and also some important writings, we shall delve into some of the history of Henry Flagler's fascinating hotel.


  1. Intro to The Breakers; and the Overall Spirit of the Renaissance: A Rebirth from What?
  2. The Explorers and Their Rulers
  3. Humanist Writers and Artists
  4. The Scientists and Innovators

About the Instructor

  • Wes Borucki, Ph.D., a native of Detroit, Michigan, has been a professor of American history and an instructor in the honors program at Palm Beach Atlantic University since 2003. His specialties are the Antebellum South, and the Civil War and Reconstruction Era. In 2002 he earned his doctoral degree in American history from the The University of Alabama, where he edited the annual journal Southern Historian. Borucki has published two biographies for Nova Science Publisher’s "First Men, America’s Presidents series: Ronald Reagan: Heroic Dreamer", 2014, and "George H.W. Bush: In Defense of Principle", 2011. Borucki earned his master’s degree in American History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst  and his bachelor’s degree in history from Michigan State University.