The Lambs ® Unveils Painting of First Woman Member;

Oldest Theatrical Organization in Nation Taps Sonya Sklaroff for Portrait

The Lambs ® made history on Thursday at their landmark clubhouse at 3 West 51st Street by unveiling a painting of the first woman to join the Club, the oldest professional theatrical organization in the nation. In another first, it is also the first painting commissioned by a female artist in the Club’s 148 years, New York painter, Sonya Sklaroff.

The subject is actress-author Cornelia Otis Skinner (1899-1979), elected to The Lambs in early 1975, the first-year women were admitted to the all-male club. Skinner was a pioneer in writing and performing original monologues for the stage. She also was an early TV panelist and author of several books about acting. She served on the Board of Governors of the Actors Fund of America for decades; an organization The Lambs’ helped to found in 1882. Her father, actor-producer Otis Skinner, was a charter member of the Club in the 1880s.

Sklaroff’s painting joins a rich art collection held by The Lambs’ Foundation, the charitable arm of the Club. It includes many works by Howard Chandler Christy, James Montgomery Flagg, Everett Raymond Kinstler, and Robert Reid. It is the first portrait the Club has commissioned of a deceased member in more than 60 years.

Sonya Sklaroff is a Contemporary American painter who lives and works in New York City. She received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA from Parsons School of Design. Sklaroff has exhibited her work in solo exhibitions in the US and abroad. Her paintings may be found in public and private collections around the world.

Marc Baron, Shepherd (president) stated, “The Lambs has been a leader in theater since 1874, and while our Club admitted women long before the law required, we are happy to officially recognize the first female member AND welcome our first portrait by a female artist. A proud moment for our organization.”

“The Lambs Foundation is thrilled to add Sonya’s painting to our collection,” said Lambs curator and historian, Kevin C. Fitzpatrick. “We are celebrating not just our upcoming 150th anniversary of the founding of our club, but also 50 years of welcoming all genders to The Lambs, which is today 50/50 male-female. Sonya’s bold colors of Lamb Cornelia Otis Skinner perfectly ties the 19th century to the 21st.”

“It is such an honor to have been chosen to paint Cornelia Otis Skinner,” Sklaroff says. “Not only was she a beautiful and striking subject to capture on canvas, but she was a pioneer and role model for women who added to the rich history of the Lambs.”

About The Lambs: The Lambs ® is America’s First Professional Theatrical Club, established in New York in 1874, commonly known as The Lambs Club and not connected with a public restaurant. As a private social club, The Lambs nurtures those active in the arts, as well as those who are supporters of the arts, by providing fellowship, activities and a clubhouse for its members. Established Christmas week of 1874, and incorporated on May 9, 1877 in New York. It is considered the oldest professional theatrical organization in America. The clubhouse is at 3 West 51st Street, New York, New York, 10019, where it has been situated since 1976. The Lambs ® is a registered trademark of The Lambs, Inc. | |