NEW YORK, NEW YORK! – Special Interest Day

‘The fun of being a New York painter is that landmarks are torn down so rapidly that your canvases become historical records almost before the paint on them is dry’ John Sloan 1909

A ‘time-travel‘ tour with Mary Alexander in which we unashamedly cherry pick the art and design highlights of New York. Whether you know and love New York or maybe have never visited, join us and have fun discovering more about the personalities of the artists, designers, patrons and social climbers who shaped this extraordinary and ever-changing city.

Mary Alexander will create the sense of ‘being there’ and capture the vibrancy, energy and ever-changing nature of the city – today or travelling in the Vanderbilts’ horse drawn carriage up Fifth Avenue in the Gilded Age. Maps will pinpoint our locations throughout.

We will consider the influence of ‘new money’ on art patronage and track the relentless move of fashionable society uptown using the ‘voices’ of Henry James in Washington Square, Edith Wharton in Gramercy Park, or F Scott Fitzgerald exclaiming that ‘New York had all the iridescence of the beginning of the world’.  We will explore the people, ideas and fortunes that created the great art collections, buildings and visual environment of the city. Using a wide cross section of imagery, ranging from painting, design, architecture and interiors, fashion, photography and film, we will reflect on how the constantly changing city sees and re-imagines itself.


Session 1 . ‘Keeping up with the Jones’: Climbing the Social Grid in the Gilded Age

Session 2. The Big Apple Takes a Lead: Jazz Age Manhattan

Session 3. Exploring the city today: From Central Park to the High Line and Reflecting Pools


Mary Alexander has thirty years’ experience as a lecturer, with a BA in History and History of Art and a MA with distinction in History of Art from University College London. Now a freelance lecturer to various arts, heritage and antiquarian societies, Mary has also worked in Pentagram design consultancy in London and New York, organising conferences and special events. She is author of various articles on design and visual awareness issues, and her background combines an unusual blend of academic and visual communications skills.


Tea and Coffee provided – please bring lunch


Please bring cash on the day


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