The Last Queen – Courtesy of Jaipur Literary Festival

The National Arts Club Begins 124th Season with Focus on Global Programming

September’s highlights include a kickoff of the Jaipur Literary Festival, an exploration of French presence in the U.S., a look at the world’s use of cacao, and an exhibition of contemporary Indigenous Australian painting from the private collection of Steve Martin

Fall season “Think Global: New Voices, New Visions” supported by Amazon

All events and exhibitions are free and open to the public

The National Arts Club (NAC) begins its 124th season on September 12, 2022, with another full year of free public arts and culture programming. 

The NAC’s fall season explores the theme “Think Global: New Voices, New Visions,” supported by Amazon.

“Recent years have brought the world closer together in new ways,” said Ben Hartley, Executive Director of the NAC. “At the National Arts Club, our virtual programming has allowed us to reach audiences across the globe. This season builds on this presence by looking at what’s new in arts and culture around the world.”

“The NAC’s fall season will showcase global innovation in the arts, providing a platform for exciting new visions, while reimagining classics,” said Carley Graham Garcia, Amazon’s Head of Community Affairs in New York City. “We’re glad to continue to support community programming at the National Arts Club, allowing more New Yorkers to visit a unique exhibit, see a show, and experience this iconic New York treasure free of charge.”

Program highlights for September include two special kickoff events for the Jaipur Literary Festival New York; a look at sites of French presence in the United States with Thierry Chaunu, President of the American Society of Le Souvenir Français; and a culinary exploration of the world’s use of cacao, “the magic bean.”

Also in September, the NAC opens Selections from Australia’s Western Desert: From the Collection of Steve Martin & Anne Stringfield, a dynamic exhibition of contemporary Indigenous Australian painting from the remote regions of Central and Western Australia.

Additional “Think Global” programming will be announced for October and November.

All programs and exhibitions are free and available to the public with registration. In-person programs and exhibitions are hosted at the NAC’s historic landmark clubhouse, the former Samuel Tilden Mansion, located at 15 Gramercy Park South, New York, NY. Information on registration and the most up-to-date details can be found at

Past virtual programs can be enjoyed anytime on the NAC’s YouTube channel


Programs take place in person, unless otherwise noted.

Jaipur Literary Festival: The Last Queen

Tuesday, September 13, 11:00 AM

In her latest historical novel, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni draws a vivid portrait of the last reigning queen of India’s Sikh Empire, Maharani Jindan Kaur. Jindan, the regent of the vast Sikh Empire from 1843 until 1846, was renowned for her beauty, energy and strength of purpose. When her son, barely six years old, unexpectedly inherited the throne, Jindan assumed the regency. She transformed herself from a pampered wife to a warrior ruler, determined to protect her people and her son’s birthright from the encroaching British Empire.

Jaipur Literary Festival: Points of View

Tuesday, September 13, 12:00 PM

In her two latest books—Points of View: Defining Moments of Photography in India and The Archival Gaze: A Timeline of Photography in India 1840-2020—the celebrated art critic and curator Gayatri Sinha takes a deep dive into the technological changes and aesthetic movements which shaped photography from the Indian subcontinent. This two-volume study of Indian photography is not just a narrative of colonial conquest and capture, but of the imaginative subversions and creative enquiry that went into the making of a modern independent nation and its art. In a special National Arts Club event, Sinha discusses the development of Indian photography with KNMA chief curator and director Roobina Karode.

The Highwaymen: Screening & Discussion

Tuesday, September 13, 6:30 PM

Attend a first viewing of the documentary series American Originals: The Story of the Highwaymen, and hear from the director and producers about honoring the works and legacy of a group of self-taught Black landscape artists in 1960s Florida. They captured the pristine scenic coastlines and cypress backcountry of an undeveloped Florida in their Impressionist style paintings, selling their works from their cars along U.S. Highway 1. Topics of discussion include the importance of curation, reviews, and representation for outsider artists, and how the documentary series will honor the artists and celebrate their proper place in art history.

Also a Poet: An Evening with Ada Calhoun

Thursday, September 15, 8:00 PM

When Ada Calhoun stumbled upon old tapes of interviews that her father—The New Yorker’s celebrated art critic Peter Schjeldahl—had conducted for a never-completed biography of the poet Frank O’Hara, she set out to finish the book her father had started 40 years earlier. The result is Also a Poet, a groundbreaking and kaleidoscopic literary memoir that made Vogue’s and Esquire’s “Best Books” lists this year. Calhoun’s account alternates hard-nosed biographical sleuthing with the moving, honest, and tender story of a complicated father-daughter bond.

The Great American Songbook with Celia Berk & Friends

Tuesday, September 20, 2:00 PM

Award-winning vocalist Celia Berk, together with arranger/pianist Tedd Firth, percussionist Rex Benincasa, bassist Jay Leonhart, and guitarist Matt Munisteri, explores the ways we try—successfully and not—to connect our heart to someone else’s. The songs are from the Great American Songbook, including the kinds of hidden gems that are Celia’s trademark.

Why Do We Dance?

Tuesday, September 20, 7:00 PM

Andrea Miller is a choreographer, director and founder of the multi-disciplinary organization GALLIM, working in live and digital movement expression. Her works have been called “as ancient as they are modern.” Join Miller and her dancers, as they share her philosophy and works in performance.

Segregation by Design (VIRTUAL)

Wednesday, September 21, 6:00 PM

Using colorized and remastered historic photography, this presentation documents the intentional destruction of communities of color due to the federal policies of redlining, “urban renewal,” and freeway construction. Through stark before-and-after comparisons, cartographic primary sources, and demographic data, presenter Adam Paul Susaneck reveals the extent to which the American city was methodically hollowed out based on race. The project covers roughly 180 municipalities which were redlined by the Federal Housing Administration and received federal funding for “urban renewal.”

Memories of France: An Evening with Thierry Chaunu

Thursday, September 22, 6:30 PM

The National Arts Club is pleased to welcome Thierry Chaunu, President of the American Society of Le Souvenir Français. Chaunu presents Memories of France, a book which compiles many sites of French presence in the United States over the past five centuries. These sites include diverse statues, monuments, and buildings around the country, many of which will surprise you.

Cacao, the Magic Bean

Friday, September 23, 6:00 PM,

Pastry chef and chocolatier Esther Pryor shares the history of cacao from Mesoamerica to the modern world. Once considered more valuable than gold, the simple bean remains a prized ingredient in the culinary world from savory to sweet. Pryor discusses current trends and challenges in the chocolate industry, design techniques, and offers a sample of her own chocolate creations.

Actually, Iconic: Richard Estes

Tuesday, September 27, 7:00 PM

The indie film Actually, Iconic: Richard Estes traces the career of photorealist painter Richard Estes. Estes is considered one of the founding Photorealists whose paintings extend beyond a mere translation of photographic verisimilitude and become masterfully executed paintings. Following the screening is a discussion with the director Olympia Stone, an independent producer of films about art and artists. Stone’s films probe the motivational and personal histories of eclectic artists as a way of providing insight into their work.

Building an Empire: Inca Imperial Expansion

Thursday, September 29, 5:30 PM

Between 1438—if not earlier—and 1533, the Inca built one of the largest, most expansive empires in the history of the world, incorporating territory in modern day Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. Based upon fieldwork in Peru and Bolivia with a concern for cultural heritage preservation, Dr. Lawrence S. Coben discusses the roles of military prowess, trade, accounting, and ceremonial performance in building, maintaining, and ultimately losing their Imperio de los Incas empire to invading Spanish conquistadores.

The Current State of the Collectible Design Market

Thursday, September 29, 6:00 PM

Collectible Design is at a pivotal moment in its history resulting from a newfound appreciation of the handcrafted, and the incorporation of pioneering new techniques. Historical artists are being rediscovered and influential young artists with a deep under-standing of materiality and tradition are shaping both the definitions and approaches to collectible design, and its broader acceptance as an important part of today’s art market. A panel of experts explains why now’s the time to get involved.

FashionSpeak Fridays – Making a Spectacle: A Fashionable History of Glasses

Friday, September 30, 7:00 PM

Jessica Glasscock, author of Making a Spectacle, shares a fascinating look at the ascension of eyeglasses from 13th century Franciscan monks to Beyoncé in Black Is King. The power of glasses to convey a range of vivid messages about their wearers have made them into a billion-dollar business, but at the beginning of the 20th century, the assessment in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar was that spectacles were “invariably disfiguring.” From the aviator to the cat eye, the butterfly to the rimless, Glasscock illuminates their histories along with a survey of today’s most cutting edge eyewear. Fashionable eyewear is highly encouraged.


Gallery is open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Selections from Australia’s Western Desert: From the Collection of Steve Martin & Anne Stringfield

On view September 12 through October 27

The National Arts Club is honored to host a dynamic exhibition of contemporary Indigenous Australian painting from the remote regions of Central and Western Australia. The six large works that make up this exhibition all spring from thousands of years of tradition, disconnected and uninfluenced from the outside world. Distinct from outsider art and not defined by chance affinities with western contemporary abstract art, these paintings stand as stories and narratives infused with an intense connection to the local landscape. On view will be significant works by Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri, Timo Hogan, Carlene West, Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri, and Doreen Reid Nakamarra. 

The Pastel Society of America Presents Enduring Brilliance!

On view September 12 through October 7

The Pastel Society of America (PSA) is celebrating a landmark occasion, its 50th annual exhibition Enduring Brilliance! The showcase features the work of the PSA’s talented members and celebrates the permanence and beauty of the pastel medium. 


Founded in 1898, The National Arts Club is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission to stimulate, foster, and promote public interest in the arts and to educate the American people in the fine arts. Annually, the Club offers more than 150 free programs—both in-person and virtually—to the public, including exhibitions, theatrical and musical performances, lectures and readings, attracting an audience of over 30,000 in-person visitors and thousands more online. Feature programs focus on all disciplines of the arts.

Since 2019, the Club has been undergoing a renaissance. New initiatives—such as an artist fellowship, an outdoor concert series, and online programming—have attracted new audiences. At the NAC’s landmark clubhouse, the former Samuel Tilden Mansion, efforts have been made to reimagine, renovate, and preserve the building’s galleries and historic spaces.

The NAC is also a proud community partner, providing therapeutic art instruction to children in the care of the Administration of Children’s Services, regularly convening New York City art leaders to share ideas and collaborate, presenting a popular series of concerts in collaboration with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and more.

For a full list of events or to learn more, please visit