The Metropolitan Chapter of the Victorian Society in America

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An Oyster Bay Day

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 […]

$140 – $165

Mark Twain and Charles Darwin: The Evolution of Literature

Church of the Holy Trinity 316 East 88th Street, New York, NY

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. […]

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

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 […]

51st Annual Business Meeting

Church of the Incarnation 209 Madison Avenue, New York, NY

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


Excursion to Newark

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 […]

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

38 West 86th Street 38 West 86th Street, New York, NY

  "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 […]

Glimpses of the Historic Hamptons

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 […]

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

Bard Graduate Center 38 West 86th St, New York, NY

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 […]


Comfortably Explore Woodlawn Cemetery

Woodlawn Cemetery

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 […]

Treading the Borders: Immigration and the Victorian Stage

Bard Graduate Center 38 West 86th St, New York, NY

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 […]


Walk into Weeksville

Saturday, November 10, 2 p.m.                                                                     Weeksville blossomed as one of the first free black communities in America, just a bit over a […]

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

Bard Graduate Center 38 West 86th St, New York, NY

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 […]


Holiday Treats and Treasures on the Hudson

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 […]

How Victorian Valentines Made Hearts Soar

Bard Graduate Center 38 West 86th St, New York, NY

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 […]

Margot Gayle Fund Application Deadline

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.

Oscar Wilde’s Valentine for America & Summer School Presentations

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 […]

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

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’ […]

The Making of a Modern Museum: The Hewitt Sisters

Bard Graduate Center 38 West 86th St, New York, NY

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 […]

Margot Gayle Fund Benefit

Grolier Club 49 East 60th Street, New York, New York

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 […]


Queen Victoria’s High Tea

Oscar Wilde Bar 45 W 27th, New York, NY

Anticipate the celebration of Queen Victoria’s 200th birthday with High Tea in a private room at the Oscar Wilde Bar, a renowned establishment that has been dubbed “the most elaborately decorated pub in New York City.”  Our High Tea begins with a glass of sherry or port. This will be followed by three courses: 1) […]