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|Location||47 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York|
|NRHP reference #||74001275 |
|Added to NRHP||July 25, 1974|
|Designated NYCL||September 9, 1969|
The Salmagundi Club, sometimes referred to as the Salmagundi Art Club, is a fine arts center located in New York City. It was founded in 1871 in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan, New York City. Since 1917, it has been located at 47 Fifth Avenue. As of 2014[update], its membership roster totals roughly 900 members.
The Salmagundi Club has served as a center for fine arts, artists and collectors, with art exhibitions, art classes, artist demonstrations, art auctions and many other types of events. It is also a sponsor of the United States Coast Guard Art Program (COGAP).
It was founded in 1871. Originally called the New York Sketch Class, and later the New York Sketch Club, the Salmagundi Club had its beginnings at the eastern edge of Greenwich Village in sculptor Jonathan Scott Hartley's Broadway studio, where a group of artists, students, and friends at the National Academy of Design, which at the time was located at Fourth Avenue and Twenty-third Street, gathered weekly on Saturday evenings.
The club formally changed its name to The Salmagundi Sketch Club in January 1877. The name has variously been attributed to salmagundi, a stew which the group has served from its earliest years, or to Washington Irving's Salmagundi Papers.
Growing rapidly, the organization was housed in a series of rented properties including 121 Fifth Avenue, 49 West 22nd Street, 40 West 22nd Street and finally 14 West Twelfth Street, where it remained for 22 years. In April 1917, following a three-year search, the club purchased Irad and Sarah Hawley's 1853 Italianate-style brownstone townhouse at 47 Fifth Avenue between East Eleventh and East Twelfth Streets from the estate of William G. Park for $100,000.00 and erected a two-story annex in the rear at an additional cost of $20,000.00 to house its primary art gallery and a billiard room. A housewarming event on Feb 5th, 1918 was attended by more than 500 persons. In 1969 the building was designated a historical landmark  by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. In 1975 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1918, the club spearheaded a national effort to produce range-finder paintings used to train military gunners for World War I. The club provided the canvas and painting materials for these special-purpose paintings.
The Salmagundi Club was a male-only club for its first century, although artworks by women were accepted and praised. A sister club for women artists, the Pen and Brush Club, was formed around the corner from Salmagundi in 1894. Salmagundi began admitting women members in 1973.
Members of the Salmagundi Club have included Thomas P. Barnett, William Richardson Belknap, Ralph Blakelock, A. J. Bogdanove, James Wells Champney, William Merritt Chase, Frederick Stuart Church, Jay Hall Connaway, John Henry Dolph, Charles Dana Gibson, Gordon H. Grant, Edmund Greacen, William Hart, Childe Hassam, Ernest Martin Hennings, Harry Hoffman, Alexander Pope Humphrey, George Inness, Jr., John LaFarge, Ernest Lawson, Frank Mason, Leopold Matzal, Samizu Matsuki, John Francis Murphy, Spencer Baird Nichols, Richard C. Pionk, Howard Pyle, Will J. Quinlan, Norman Rockwell, Harry Roseland, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Leopold Seyffert, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Edward Charles Volkert, J. Alden Weir, Jack Wemp, Stanford White, Stuart Williamson, and N.C. Wyeth.
In 1894, to raise money for the growing club's library, artist members were invited to decorate ceramic mugs, which were then fired by Charles Volkmar, the club potter. The club would host a dinner followed by an auction of the finished mugs... Over the years, many decorated mugs have been returned to the club and are on exhibit in the library along with the largest collection of used artists' palettes in America.— Dubuque Museum of Art
In 1917, with the support of its members, a Fifth Avenue brownstone was purchased and became their permanent home... and in 1957 was cited for its architectural distinction by both the Society of Architectural Historians and the Municipal Art Society. It is a fitting home for the oldest art club in America.External link in
Lemuel Wilmarth was appointed the first full-time instructor in January 1870, by which time the school was located at Fourth Avenue and 23rd Street. Under Wilmarth's leadership, the number of classes and the enrollment increased, and new techniques, such as the quick-sketch, were introduced in response to changing esthetic criteria.
… a satirical miscellany entitled Salmagundi, or the Whim-Whams and Opinions of Launcelot Langstaff [pseudonym of Washington Irving] and Others, written in conjunction with his brother William and J. K. Paulding.
the Salmagundi was still a men's club (only opening to women in 1973), works by women were accepted and praised.
Pen and Brush, a sister arts club around the corner from Salmagundi, which opened in 1894 after female artists got tired being excluded. (Salmagundi admitted women in 1973.)
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