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

The Victorian Society New York has gone digital!!

Due to concerns relating to the spread of COVID-19, the Victorian Society New York will be hosting lectures online this spring and rescheduling some events for the fall. Please see the events page for info and links to the live lectures. 

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April 2019

Born Too Soon, Born Too Late: Mabel Loomis Todd, Millicent Todd Bingham and Their Upside-Down Victorian Sensibilities

April 2, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
The General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen, 20 W 44th St
New York, NY 10036 United States
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This lecture is co-sponsored with and will be held at The General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen.  20 WEST 44TH STREET, BETWEEN 5TH AND 6TH AVENUES RECEPTION AT 6:00 LECTURE AT 6:30 Julie Dobrow, a Tutts University professor, will speak about the mixed-up Victorian sensibilities and fascinating lives of Mabel Loomis Todd, Emily Dickinson’s first editor, and her daughter Millicent Todd Bingham. Todd lived the majority of her life in the 19th century but confided to her diary her belief…

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May 2019

Emerging Scholars

May 2, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Sotheby’s Institute, 570 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10022 United States
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This lecture will be held at Sotheby’s Institute, 570 Lexington Avenue (51st Street). On May 2, at the Victorian Society New York's annual Emerging Scholars event, young historians will shed light on little-appreciated aspects of 19th-century culture. During the free lectures (6 to 8 pm with reception, Sotheby's Institute of Art, 570 Lexington Avenue at 51st Street), Christine Garnier will explore symbolism hidden in a mining tycoon's Tiffany silver dinnerware; Ayaka Sano will examine surprising connections between men's detachable shirt collars and anti-Chinese bigotry;…

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Preservation in the Hudson Highlands Tour

May 11, 2019 @ 9:00 am

The first stop on this bus tour will be Cold Spring, where an iron foundry operated from 1811-1911 supplying artillery to the West Point Military Academy across the Hudson River. A talk about the town's history will be followed by free time to explore its historic district before lunch at the Hudson House, an inn built in 1832. Afterwards, the bus will take us to Garrison to visit Boscobel. This 1804-08 house was demolished at its previous location  and then…

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Queen Victoria’s Birthday Celebration and Awards Ceremony

May 20, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Papillon Bar and Bistro, 22 East 54th Street
New York, NY 10022
$40.00

The 52nd Annual Meeting this year will celebrate Queen Victoria's 200th Birthday with a lively celebration, while presenting our annual Victorian Society New York awards.  Please join us by RSVP via email @ membership@vicsocny.org. The event is free to members, guests are welcome to attend for $40.  This admission price includes a one-year Victorian Society membership.

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June 2019

Hudson Valley House Delights Tour

June 1, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Departing by train from Grand Central Station, we will visit two prominent Victorian homes on the Hudson, Washington Irving’s Sunnyside and the Gould family’s Lyndhurst. is tour is walking intensive; we will walk from the Irvington station to Sunnyside and then Lyndhurst via the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail. Walking shoes/sneakers required. Lunch can be brought from home, or purchased at Zarrilli’s Deli in Irvington. $75 FOR VSNY MEMBERS $90 FOR NONMEMBERS   Hudson Valley House Delights Member Pricing $75.00 USD…

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October 2019

Plants and Paintings in Philadelphia

October 12, 2019

Valley of Santa Ysabel by Frederic Edwin Church This tour will focus on accomplishments that preceded the Victorian era. In the morning we will explore Bartram’s Garden, the oldest surviving botanic garden in this country. It was begun in 1728 by John Bartram, a self-taught botanist who collected seeds and plants on travels that took him north to New England, south to Florida and west to Lake Ontario. Back in Philadelphia, he nurtured them in the garden surrounding his house…

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Sugar, Cigars and Revolution: The Making of Cuban New York

October 28, 2019 @ 6:15 pm - 8:00 pm
5 West 63rd Street, 5 West 63rd Street
New York, New York 10023 United States
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More than century before the Cuban Revolution of 1959 sparked an exodus that created today’s prominent Cuban American presence, Cubans were settling in New York in what became the largest community of Latin Americans in the 19th-century Northeast. Lisandro Pérez’s new book, Sugar, Cigars, and Revolution: The Making of Cuban New York (NYU Press), brings this community to vivid life, tracing how it was formed by both the sugar trade and the long struggle for independence from Spain. Professor Pérez…

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November 2019

The Bowery: New York City’s Oldest Street

November 2, 2019 @ 10:30 am

Native American footpath, Dutch farm road and site of the city’s first Free Black homesteads, the Bowery stretches 1.25 miles from Chatham Square to Cooper Square. An early social hub for the working class, gangs, gays and immigrant Irish, Italians, Chinese, Jews and Germans, it was “the most interesting place in New York” to author Stephen Crane. It has important links to Washington, Lincoln, baseball, streetcars, tap dance, tattoo, Yiddish theater, vaudeville, Stephen Foster, Irving Berlin, Harry Houdini and even…

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Considering Connecticut

November 16, 2019

We travel to Connecticut to visit the famed Florence Griswold Museum, which was the center of the Old Lyme Art Colony, the main center of development of American Impressionism. Henry Ward Ranger, Childe Hassam, and Willard Metcalf all spent considerable time at the Griswold house and literally left their mark on its doors with their paintings. The two-hour curator-led tour of the complex will provide us with insights into this exciting time in American art history. We then head to…

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Everybody’s Doin’ It: Sex, Music and Dance in Victorian New York

November 18, 2019 @ 6:15 pm - 8:00 pm
5 West 63rd Street, 5 West 63rd Street
New York, New York 10023 United States
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$5 – $10

Prostitution was big business in New York up to World War I, and where sex workers plied their trade, there was generally dancing and music. Musicologist and author Dale Cockrell’s lecture, based on his new book, Everybody’s Doin’ It: Sex, Music, and Dance in New York, 1840-1917 (W. W. Norton), will explore New York’s Victorian meeting places where sex, drink, music and dance mingled. Spirited live music, whether played by a single pianist or a small band, was enjoyed nightly in…

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December 2019

Holiday Open Houses North Of NYC

December 8, 2019
$155 – $185

Our bus tour to Newburgh will take us into 10 sites that will be decorated for the holidays. The first “open house” on our tour will be one we visited before—but in an undecorated state—the former David Crawford mansion. It is now a museum and the headquarters of the Historical Society of Newburgh Bay & the Highlands. Our bus will then take us to nine privately owned sites. In the course of the afternoon we’ll see architectural gems, mansions and…

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A History of The Victorian Dolls’ House: Living Large in a Small Home

December 16, 2019 @ 6:15 pm - 6:30 pm
Svenska Kyrkan, 5 East 48th Street
New York, NY 10017
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This lecture on the history of antique dolls' houses and miniatures will follow the fascination of the small as a part of Victorian life from a candy container miniature or a fairing, to a small box of miniature toys a child might have to a large grand dolls' house. We will see a doll pantry, doll kitchens, dolls' houses large and small and different scales. We will explore the contents of each room of the Victorian dolls' house both upstairs…

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February 2020

Happy Birthday, John Ruskin! Ruskin’s Influence on American Architecture

February 6 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

A lecture by Richard Guy Wilson Organized by the Victorian Society In America Director, VSA Newport Summer School and Commonwealth Professor of Architectural History, University of Virginia Thursday, February 6th, 6:30pm The Bob and Sheila Hoerle Lecture Hall The New School University Center, UL 105 63 Fifth Avenue, New York RSVP by Tuesday, February 4 to admin@vsasummerschools.org   Discover more about the VSA Summer Programs in Newport, London, and Chicago before this year's March 2nd deadline! If you are already one of our alumni, we encourage you to bring a friend or…

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Young Victorians Historic Pub Crawl

February 8 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Dear Young Victorians, We’re pleased to invite you to our first ever historic pub crawl! An afternoon of merriment is guaranteed to all as we explore some of New York’s oldest institutions and drink like true Victorians. When: Saturday February 8th, 1pm - 4pm Where: Meet-up point to will be announced to those who RSVP. Who: Open to the public, invite your friends! How much: Free! Pay-as-you-go drinks. RSVP: Space is limited, reserve your spot on Eventbrite. Stops include Pete's…

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The Decorated Tenement

February 25 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
The General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen, 20 W 44th St
New York, NY 10036 United States
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$5 – $10

Zachary J. Violette focuses on what he calls the “decorated tenement,” a wave of new buildings constructed by immigrant builders and architects who remade the slum landscapes of the Lower East Side of Manhattan and the North and West Ends of Boston in the late nineteenth century. Drawing on research and fieldwork of more than three thousand extant tenement buildings, Violette uses ornament as an entry point to reconsider the role of tenement architects and builders (many of whom had…

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March 2020

Margot Gayle Fund Concert

March 9 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

The Victorian Society New York invites you to a concert to benefit the Margot Gayle Fund for the Preservation of Victorian Heritage. Monday March 9th at 6:30 - 8:30 pm Bloomingdale School of Music 323 W 108th St, New York, NY 10025 Doors at 6:30 pm Performance begins at 6:45 pm in the David Greer Recital Hall Reception to follow Tickets: $50 - $1,000 From parlor to porch and from pleasure garden to concert hall, Linda Russell sings the tunes…

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How the Emerald Oasis Came to Be

March 24 @ 6:15 pm - 8:00 pm
5 East 48th Street, 5 East 48th Street
New York, NY 10017
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The Central Park: Original Designs for New York's Greatest Treasure (Abrams), a new book by New York City Municipal Archives conservator and art historian Cynthia S. Brenwall, is an eye-opening and magisterial study of how Manhattan’s beloved oasis was born. Based on previously unpublished documentation of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux’s visions, Brenwall’s lecture will explore original competition entries and designs for buildings, fixtures, and infrastructure that created pastoral and seemingly primeval landscapes. She will offer insights into how much engineering…

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April 2020

Croquet’s Cheating Women

April 21 @ 6:15 pm - 8:00 pm
5 East 48th Street, 5 East 48th Street
New York, NY 10017
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Update: Due to concern for the spread of COVID-19, the Victorian Society New York will be postponing all spring events.  We will continue to monitor developments and remain grateful to all who are working to mitigate this growing health concern. When possible, we hope to be able to reschedule all our postponed events. Thank you for your understanding. In the 1860s, the British sport of croquet caught on in America, “especially with Ladies,” as one newspaper put it. Although the…

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May 2020

Virtual Lecture – Dreicer & Co: Forgotten Jewelers of the Gilded Age

May 6 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Virtual Lecture - Dreicer & Co: Forgotten Jewelers of the Gilded Age Please join us for an online lecture via Zoom video conferencing. Wednesday May 6th 6:30 PM Please RSVP on Eventbrite to receive the event link. This lecture will explore the history of elite jewelry firm Dreicer & Company. Founded by Jewish immigrants shortly after the Civil War, the company began in a tenement laundry room, and ended in a 5th Avenue flagship designed by Warren & Wetmore.  Although…

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Emerging Scholars Lecture

May 18

Update: Due to concern for the spread of COVID-19, the Victorian Society New York will be rescheduling all spring events. We will continue to monitor developments and remain grateful to all who are working to mitigate this health concern. Thank you for your understanding. VSNY is making plans for its annual "Emerging Scholars" event this fall, which will highlight recent scholarship about aspects of 19th-century and early-20th-century culture, including literature, architecture, theater, fine and decorative art, politics, manufacturing, education, gender…

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