The Metropolitan Chapter of the Victorian Society in America info@vicsocny.org

The Victorian Society New York sponsors a series of lectures at the Bard Graduate Center at 38 West 86th Street in Manhattan (unless noted otherwise on the event listing). No reservations are required for the free lectures. Attendees are invited to meet the speakers at pre-lecture receptions.
Victorian Society New York Free Lecture Series is made possible by a generous donation from Christopher Broadwell and Lewis I. Haber and dues from Chapter members. Join today!

Loading Events

Past Events

Events Search and Views Navigation

Event Views Navigation

April 2018

Margot Gayle Benefit Lecture

April 19, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Estonian House, 243 East 34th Street
New York, NY 10016 United States
+ Google Map

Terra Cotta - Don't Take it for Granite A Lecture by Susan Tunick to benefit The Margot Gayle Fund for the Preservation of Victorian Heritage Susan Tunick is an authority on terra cotta, an artist in the medium and president of Friends of Terra Cotta. She is the author of Terra-Cotta Skyline, Paris and the Legacy of French Architectural Ceramics and Terra Cotta…Don’t Take It for Granite. She was guest curator for “Uncommon Clay: New Jersey’s Architectural Terra Cotta Industry”…

Find out more »

May 2018

An Oyster Bay Day

May 5, 2018 @ 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
$140 – $165

On Long Island’s North Shore we will visit Sagamore Hill, the mansion Theodore Roosevelt built in 1884-85 and used during the summers of his presidency, 1901-08. Family furnishings remain in the house. Time permitting, a drive through part of what was Louis Comfort Tiffany’s estate will afford glimpses of remain-ing elements. After lunch we go to Raynham Hall. The oldest part of this house, built in 1738, has ties to Revolutionary War spies. A Victorian wing was added in 1852.…

Find out more »

Mark Twain and Charles Darwin: The Evolution of Literature

May 10, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Church of the Holy Trinity, 316 East 88th Street
New York, NY United States
+ Google Map

Mark Twain (1835-1910) and Charles Darwin (1809-1882) met only once, but Darwin influenced Twain’s work and view on society, while Twain was one of Darwin’s favorite novelists. Golden has explored the unexpected connections between two Victorian intellectual titans, examining the full range of Twain’s writing, from fiction, travelogues, philosophical works, social commentary and personal correspondence. It shows the enduring relevance of Darwin’s thought and the surprising depth of what, on the surface, seems like simple humor.   Join us as…

Find out more »

Exploring NoHo: the Neighborhood Where Manhattan’s Gilded Age Began

May 19, 2018 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Lafayette Place was the premier address for the leading families of antebellum New York, when "Society" transitioned from staid brownstone houses on Washington Square to the Gilded Age mansions along Fifth Avenue. Nearby Bond and Great Jones Streets were also favored addresses. Michael Rayhill, who focused on the area during his graduate studies, will lead our tour and share information not only about architectural history and design but also the social and often intertwined history of the privileged families who…

Find out more »

51st Annual Business Meeting

May 30, 2018 @ 6:30 pm
Church of the Incarnation, 209 Madison Avenue
New York, NY
+ Google Map
$25

Please join us for the Annual Meeting and Awards. After the presentation, members and guests are invited to a reception where they can meet the award recipients. Event is Free for members Guest rate $ 25.00 Please RSVP to membership@vicsocny.org

Find out more »

June 2018

Excursion to Newark

June 2, 2018 @ 9:15 am - 4:15 pm

Newark, the third oldest city in the United States, offers many exciting things to see, and we will be fortunate enough to explore three private Victorian homes there. After a traditional Portuguese lunch in the city’s historic Ironbound section, we will visit the Ballantine House at The Newark Museum. The 27-room, late Victorian-style mansion was built in 1885 for Jeannette and John Holme Ballantine of the celebrated Newark beer-brewing family. The original house had eight bedrooms and three bathrooms. A…

Find out more »

September 2018

East in Eden: William Niblo and His Pleasure Garden of Yore

September 6, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
38 West 86th Street, 38 West 86th Street
New York, NY 10024
+ Google Map

  "Image Courtesy of The Collection of Tom Burnett" William Niblo, an Irish immigrant to New York City at the end of the 18th century, rose from his initial position in the hostelry and tavern business in Lower Manhattan to found an immensely popular "coffee house," and then opened an enormous pleasure garden in the London tradition at the northern limits of the populated City in 1828. Initially mostly an outdoor place of leisurely entertainment and recreation of middle class…

Find out more »

Glimpses of the Historic Hamptons

September 29, 2018 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

A chartered bus will take us to a private home in Southampton. It boasts one of the best collections of 19th-century Aesthetic Movement paintings, ceramics and furnishings in the area and is rarely open to the public. From there we go to East Hampton for lunch. In the afternoon, we will have a guided tour of the Thomas and Mary Nimmo Moran Studio, which just opened to the public on July 3 after a five-year $4.5-millon restoration. The first artists’…

Find out more »

October 2018

The Secret Surgery on Grover Cleveland: Cancer and Politics in the Gilded Age

October 4, 2018 @ 6:45 pm - 8:00 pm
Bard Graduate Center, 38 West 86th St
New York, NY 10024 United States
+ Google Map
Free

On July 1, 1893, President Grover Cleveland boarded a friend’s yacht, sailed into the calm blue waters of Long Island Sound and disappeared. The events of the next five days were so incredible that even when the truth was revealed, many Americans simply would not believe it. Matthew Algeo, author of The President is a Sick Man, will discuss this extraordinary unknown chapter in American history: Cleveland’s secret cancer surgery and the brazen political cover-up which followed. Please RSVP here.…

Find out more »

Comfortably Explore Woodlawn Cemetery

October 27, 2018 @ 10:45 am

Photo by Jim Henderson.   Join us for a trolley tour of The Woodlawn Cemetery, a 400-acre destination in the northern part of the Bronx. Designed by James C. Sidney in the rural style on rolling hills, the nonsectarian cemetery opened during the Civil War in 1863. The ceremonial burial there of Admiral David Farragut in 1870 spurred interest in the cemetery, and it became the final resting place of many well known figures in American history. Herman Melville, Thomas…

Find out more »

November 2018

Treading the Borders: Immigration and the Victorian Stage

November 6, 2018 @ 6:45 pm - 8:00 pm
Bard Graduate Center, 38 West 86th St
New York, NY 10024 United States
+ Google Map
Free

Maria Bonfati in the Black Crook. Oil on Canvas. ca. 1866. “Treading the boards” is a colloquial theatrical expression that refers to the wooden planks of the stage upon which performers ply their trade. Dr. Matthew Wittmann, curator of the Harvard Theatre Collection at Hougton Library, will highlight a simple but signficant point – much of the richness and vitality of the performing arts in American derives from creative talent originating elsewhere. The Victorian stage featured a fascinating mix of…

Find out more »

Walk into Weeksville

November 10, 2018

Saturday, November 10, 2 p.m.                                                                     Weeksville blossomed as one of the first free black communities in America, just a bit over a decade after New York State abolished slavery in 1827. The Brooklyn community’s name hails from its founder James Weeks, a stevedore and former slave, who…

Find out more »

December 2018

Devil’s Mile: The Rich, Gritty History of the Bowery

December 6, 2018 @ 6:45 pm - 8:00 pm
Bard Graduate Center, 38 West 86th St
New York, NY 10024 United States
+ Google Map
Free

Victorian times were all about the suppression of anything salacious, as Alice Sparberg Alexiou, author of the new book, Devil’s Mile: The Rich, Gritty History of the Bowery, will explain. The era’s prudery just increased the urge to experience sex and weirdness—all commodities then were readily available on the Bowery. This is where the action was, in the form of freak shows, minstrel shows, gay bars (“fairy resorts”), concert saloons with back rooms devoted to fight contests and the waitresses…

Find out more »

Holiday Treats and Treasures on the Hudson

December 8, 2018

Image courtesy of NPS Saturday, December 8, Departure at 8 a.m. We visit Rhinebeck, one of the most historic and quaint towns up the Hudson River two hours from Manhattan. It began as a Dutch settle-ment on land purchased from the Iroquois in 1686. The tour includes a lecture on the town's history (a Continental Army regiment trained here) as well as a short walking tour and site visits. The grandest of these sites is nearby Wilderstein, an 1852 Queen…

Find out more »

February 2019

How Victorian Valentines Made Hearts Soar

February 7 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Bard Graduate Center, 38 West 86th St
New York, NY 10024 United States
+ Google Map

Nancy Rosin, president of the National Valentine Collectors Association, has made a “passionate obsession” for more than 40 years out of historical love and friendship cards, keepsakes and related ephemera. Her lecture will reveal the visual and structural wonders of Victorian Valentines. Surfaces were richly textured with gilded lace and high-relief embossing, and cards were engineered to turn into three-dimensional forms including battlefield tents and steam engines. Rosin will discuss the cards’ hidden codes of floral motifs, which represented various…

Find out more »

Margot Gayle Fund Application Deadline

February 14

Margot Gayle with the Jefferson Market Courthouse. Margot Gayle Fund for Preservation of Victorian Heritage Applications are due February 14, 2019. Find out more and apply for a 2019 Margot Gayle Fund grant.

Find out more »

Oscar Wilde’s Valentine for America & Summer School Presentations

February 15 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

The Victorian Society in America Presents A Summer Schools Evening* “Oscar Wilde's Valentine for America: 1882 Lecture Tour” A lecture by Richard Guy Wilson Director, VSA Newport Summer School and Commonwealth Professor of Architectural History, University of Virginia FREE Friday, February 15th, 6:00 PM The Bob and Sheila Hoerle Lecture Hall The New School University Center, UL105 63 Fifth Avenue New York *Learn about the VSA Summer Schools in Newport, London and Chicago before this year’s March 1st application deadline!…

Find out more »

A Victorian Dog’s Life – American Kennel Club Museum Tour

February 23 @ 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

The American Kennel Club has a new museum devoted to dogs. On our museum tour, we will learn how 19th-century artists immortalized humans’ best friends with portraiture and sculpture as well as what a dog’s life was like in Victorian times— how animals were bred, trained, housed and shown. We will also see how owners’ expectations have evolved. $25 FOR VSNY MEMBERS $35 FOR NONMEMBERS       Victorian Dog's Life Member $25.00 USD Non-member $35.00 USD

Find out more »

March 2019

The Making of a Modern Museum: The Hewitt Sisters

March 7 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Bard Graduate Center, 38 West 86th St
New York, NY 10024 United States
+ Google Map

When New Yorkers utter the phrase “Cooper Hewitt,” it typically brings to mind the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, housed in Andrew Carnegie’s mansion on 91st Street and Fifth Avenue. Far less renowned are the institution’s 19th-century women patrons, who made their family names synonymous with achievements in art and design. Sue Shutte, the historian at Ringwood Manor in Ringwood, New Jersey (the Hewitt family’s longtime country home), will bring deserved attention back to three sisters, Amy, Sarah and Eleanor…

Find out more »

Margot Gayle Fund Benefit

March 11 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Grolier Club, 49 East 60th Street
New York, New York
+ Google Map
$50.00

To benefit the Margot Gayle Fund for the Preservation of Victorian Heritage, the Victorian art of wrapping rooms in spectacular panoramas will be the topic of scholar Nicole M. Mullen’s talk, “French Scenic Wallpaper.” Mullen, the curator of SFO Museum at the San Francisco International Airport, is working on a double-feature SFO exhibition of Zuber’s French panoramic wallpaper and late 19th-century Victorian wallpaper featuring the contemporary maker Bradbury & Bradbury, which opens July 2019. Her talk will explore how 19th-century…

Find out more »
+ Export Events