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02 // 21 // 2023

Arts Society: The Gilded Age

Starts September 13, 2022 @ 10:30am , Ends April 4, 2023 @ 12:00pm

Enjoy an art appreciation presentation and tour in this popular series. Each program begins with a lecture and concludes with an exclusive tour of the galleries to discuss related artwork. This series is presented by museum educator Susan Rosoff.

The words “Gilded Age” capture it all. It was an era of great self-absorption where the goal of the affluent was to show off one’s status and wealth, which they did by conspicuous consumption.  The monied-class created stunning collections of everything from paintings and sculpture to furniture and porcelain, and built amazing mansions. They were helped along by Joseph Duveen, one of the most famous dealers of his generation.  Some American artists, like John Singer Sargent, concentrated on society portraits, while others concentrated on everyday people and their lives, what they did for recreation, and how they were involved in the history or growth of our country. Join us to see how art reflected the values of the age.


September 13: The Gilded – and Not So Gilded – Age
In the prosperous period from the end of the Civil War to World War I, ninety-nine percent of the wealth resided in the hands of one percent of the population. An exploration of the trends among the wealthy, contrasted with those who economically struggled.

October 18: American Artists in the Gilded Age
Art reflected the seismic shifts in the socio-political spheres. Artists of this time looked to capture the changes in America, solidifying the country's thoughts of itself as it grew. Included are painters Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, and John Singer Sargent, and sculptors Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Daniel Chester French.

December 13: Art Collections of Wealthy Entrepreneurs
Gilded Age patrons wanted collections that showed their status and wealth. Having a collection was important - it gave a feeling of power and exclusive possession, but also provided owners a contemplative refuge from the cut-throat competition and remorseless pressures of business life. Among others the collections of Samuel Kress, Peter A. B. Widener, and J. Pierpont Morgan are included.

January 17: Joseph Duveen, Dealer Extraordinaire
Many believe that Joseph Duveen was the greatest art dealer of his generation. He had a practiced eye, an incredible visual memory, charm and charisma that was, proclaimed an admirer, “like drinking champagne.” But he was also clever – to the point of being manipulative in his dealings with collectors, whether they were buying or selling.

February 21: Mansions: Gilded Gotham and Newport “Cottages”
New York City mansions of the Vanderbilts, Astors and others and their Newport “cottages” were some of the grandest mansions of the era. The word “gilded” hardly did them justice.

April 4: The Idle Hours
For the first time in American history the rich had time to be idle. Recreational activities were diverse, ranging from afternoon teas to outdoor sports. See and hear how people played.


Members: $150

Future Members: $215 (Includes an OM°A Individual Membership)


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