Living with Coco Chanel, Friday March 10 at 3 PM
March spotlights women pioneers and innovators in all art forms, our partnership with the Bronx Arts Ensemble String Quartet, and artist Azita Panahpour exhibiting her latest works.
All events and exhibitions are free and open to the public
The National Arts Club (NAC) continues its 125th anniversary year with numerous free public arts and culture programs in March, in addition to new visual arts exhibitions.
Program highlights for the month include a talk about the untold story of black fashion designer Ann Lowe, a roundtable on historic women artists with art historian Camille Morineau and AWARE, an evening with culinary author and Julia Child’s great-nephew Alex Prud’homme, a presentation of photographs by renowned photographer Neal Slavin, the popular NAC’s 2023 Bonnet Bash, and more.
The exhibition of works by Joaquín Sorolla, a collaboration with the Hispanic Society Museum & Library continues through March as does “Machine” the solo exhibition by new-media artist and NAC Artist Fellow Cassandra Zampini. An exhibition celebrating legendary mime Marcel Marceau photographed by Ben Martin will run in our Project Space and Trask Gallery from March 9 – April 28.
Official celebrations of the Club’s 125th anniversary are in the works for the fall. Details forthcoming.
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 nationalartsclub.org.
Past virtual programs can be enjoyed anytime on the NAC’s YouTube channel.
Programs take place in person, unless otherwise noted.
Thursday, March 2 at 7 PM
Camille Morineau and AWARE
Women artists were historically invisible or forgotten. But why are we unaware of their legacy? World-renowned art historian Camille Morineau has spent the last 13 years seeking answers. She curated elles@centrepompidou in 2009 and co-founded AWARE (Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions) in 2014. In 2020 Morineau was appointed President of the Board of Directors of the École du Louvre by President Macron of France. She also was awarded the Légion d’Honneur of the French Republic for her work. Morineau will speak on the importance of her quest in today’s world.
Monday, March 6 at 7 PM
Art & Basketball meets Culture
Rod Benson spent twelve years as a professional basketball player before retiring to become a full-time fine artist. After an incident of police brutality, Benson had his first solo show, NEON BLACK with the idea that dark is vibrant, not dangerous. He challenged the idea of “blackness” by presenting images with only neon colors. With OFF BLACK, he explores colors and textures that represent the societal expectations of the Black community and the courage, anxiety, and depression that comes with creating despite those expectations.
Thursday, March 9 at 7:30 PM
Architecture of Art + Conscience
Today we have an opportunity to shape our future. We can better configure our material world by recognizing that ethically valid built environments must provide for all of us. Committed to designing sustainable architecture of art + conscience, Louise Braverman FAIA, founded her highly focused, mission-driven firm, Louise Braverman Architect, in 1991. The challenge to merge aesthetic excellence with civic inclusion drives all work. Recent projects include Centro de Artes Nadir Afonso, an art museum in Boticas, Portugal, that promotes public participation with art; Village Health Works Staff Housing, an off-the-grid dormitory in the post-genocide village of Kigutu, Burundi, and the Derfner Judaica Museum, an art museum in Riverdale, New York, that facilitates intergenerational dialogue. Together they reveal the power of architecture to positively affect the way in which we live.
Friday, March 10 at 3 PM Living with Coco Chanel Join author Caroline Young for a discussion of her book Living with Coco Chanel, exploring how the homes and landscapes of Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel shaped her groundbreaking designs. From her childhood at the convent at Aubazine to her boutique and apartment on Rue Cambon in Paris and her villa, La Pausa, on the French Riviera, Chanel’s style was inspired and influenced by her environment. As she found fame, love, and success, she used the memories of her past to create such sensations as the tweed jacket and the little black dress. Caroline Young is an author from Edinburgh, Scotland, who specializes in film, fashion, and pop culture. Her books including The Colour of Fashion, Hitchcock’s Heroines, Style Tribes, and two books on Coco Chanel – Living with Coco Chanel and What Coco Chanel Can Teach You about Fashion.
Monday, March 13, at 6:30 PM
Pippin’s Fantastic, Fraught Journey
Join us for a discussion with author Elysa Gardner and composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz about Elysa’s new book, Magic to Do: Pippin’s Fantastic, Fraught Journey to Broadway and Beyond, which traces the creation and legacy of one of Stephen’s great musicals and his collaboration with the iconic choreographer Bob Fosse. Schwartz’s celebrated musicals include Wicked and Godspell, and he has won three Oscars for his film work, which includes classics such as Pocahontas and Enchanted. Gardner is a contributor to the New York Times and the New York Sun who has written about theater and music for numerous publications.
Tuesday, March 14 at 7 PM
An Evening with Neal Slavin
Photographer and director Neal Slavin shares his global journey spanning over 50 years. In 1967, during the time of the Salazar regime, Slavin traveled to Portugal on a Fulbright Fellowship and fell in love with the country and its people, documenting their lives and indigenous culture. This body of work eventually went on to become his first published book of photographs, PORTUGAL. Together, we’ll explore Slavin’s newest film project, SAUDADE – A LOVE LETTER TO PORTUGAL, which continues this voyage deep into Portugal’s rich and compelling history, weaving Fado, the music of the Portuguese soul, with intimate portraits of artists and communities.
Wednesday, March 15 at 1 PM
Chroma: Ancient Sculpture in Color
Join us for a discussion of the Chroma: Ancient Sculpture in Color exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with associate curator Sarah Lepinski, Ph.D. Ancient Greek and Roman sculpture was once colorful, vibrantly painted and richly adorned with detailed ornamentation. Chroma: Ancient Sculpture in Color reveals the colorful backstory of polychromy—meaning “many colors,” in Greek—and presents new discoveries of surviving ancient color on artworks in the Met’s world-class collection. The exhibition opened in July 2022 and will run through March 26, 2023.
Wednesday, March 15 at 6:30 PM
Women Architects Born in the 19th Century
From J. Louise Blanchard and Marion Lucy Mahoney to Sophia G. Hayden and Julia Morgan, women architects contributed significantly to architecture in the 19th century in all styles, from Beaux Arts through Art Deco. As minorities, within the profession of architecture, women achieved projects both nationally and internationally with great odds working against them. Robert Arthur King, FAIA, focuses on the achievements of these architects who were born in the 19th century. King, a Fellow with the American Institute of Architects, has taught at the New York School of Interior Design since 1988. He is a graduate of Columbia University and the Architectural Association Graduate School in London.
Wednesday, March 15 at 7:00 PM
The Bronx Arts Ensemble String Quartet
The Bronx Arts Ensemble String Quartet performs American Minimalism – a musical survey of the state of American composition by living composers. Works by Caroline Shaw, Bronx native Oliver Caplan, Brittany Green, Angelica Negrón, and Philip Glass.
Friday, March 17 at 7:00 PM
FashionSpeak Fridays: Ann Lowe, Fashion Designer to the Social Register
Join author Piper G. Huguley for an evening illuminating the untold story of Ann Lowe, a Black woman and granddaughter of enslaved people, who rose above personal struggles and racial prejudice to design and create one of America’s most famous wedding dresses of all time for Jackie Kennedy. Piper G. Huguley is the author of By Her Own Design: A Novel of Ann Lowe, Fashion Designer to the Social Register, as well as Sweet Tea, and two historical romance series. Her next historical fiction book, American Daughters, is the story of the interracial decades-long friendship between Alice Roosevelt and Portia Washington, the rebel teenage daughters of President Theodore Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington. She is a literature professor at Clark-Atlanta University and blogs about the history behind her novels.
Books will be available for purchase. Ann Lowe style is highly encouraged!
Tuesday, March 21, 8:00 PM
An Evening with Jennifer Homans
Jennifer Homans is dance critic for The New Yorker and author of a new book, Mr. B: George Balanchine’s 20th Century, as well as the best-selling Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet. Trained at Balanchine’s School of American Ballet, Homans danced professionally with the Pacific Northwest Ballet. She writes with experience about Balanchine as a choreographer and his dancers. And as a recipient of a PhD in modern European history, she locates Balanchine more fully in the history and culture of 20th century Europe and America than his previous biographers. She is Founding Director of the Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University. She will discuss Mr. B with Diane Solway, author of Nureyev: His Life.
Wednesday, March 22 at 7:00 PM
DNA: Ballroom Dance as an Art Form
DNA Dance (Denys Drozdyuk and Antonina Skobina) will present Ballroom dance in its various forms as a social, competitive and performing art. They will discuss how it developed and what makes it different from other dance genres and will perform excerpts from such well known forms as the Rhumba, Cha Cha, Jive, Samba and Waltz, explaining what makes each unique. This is a dance form that contains much individuality, creativity and musicality. You will be able to join them yourself in a few basic steps and experience the delight in moving.
Friday, March 24 at 6:00 PM
Dinner with the President: An Evening with Alex Prud’homme
Alex Prud’homme’s great-aunt, Julia Child, brought TV cameras to the White House in the 1960s and 1970s to film the Presidentis’ feasts. Prud’homme, her co-author on the bestselling My Life in France, now follows in Child’s footsteps with his new history, Dinner with the President–an up-close study of American food and politics that’s been hailed as “fascinating” (Stanley Tucci) and “captivating” (Jacques Pepin).
Prud’homme discusses the sometimes curious tastes of twenty-six of America’s most influential presidents— from simple eggs and black coffee for Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War to the beautifully presented entrees served at JFK’s and Barack Obama’s table. As well as the #1-bestseller My Life in France, Prud’homme has authored or co-authored The French Chef in America, France is a Feast, and Born Hungry.
Prud’homme will be in conversation with Sara Moulton. “Sara’s Weeknight Meals”, Moulton’s PBS series, has been running for 11 seasons. A protegee of Julia Child, she was the co-founder of the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance, Food Editor of “Good Morning America”, and executive chef of Gourmet magazine.
Thursday, March 30 at 6:30 PM
Biennial Lecture on Harvard’s Excavations at Sardis
Professor Nicholas D. Cahill of the University of Wisconsin-Madison discusses recent excavations at Sardis, jointly sponsored in 1958 by Harvard University and Cornell University, and authorized by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Since 1979 a member of the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis, situated in western Anatolia, Dr. Cahill has served beginning in 2008 as its director. Recent accomplishments include the discovery of some of the world’s earliest silver coins in a historic context, a new restoration of antiquity’s largest synagogue, and discovery of Roman houses destroyed by a devastating earthquake.
Friday March 31, 8:00 PM
Bonnet Bash 2023: Back to the Future What does the future hold? Time-travel with the Fashion Committee to the National Arts Club’s annual showcase for all things hats. Discover visionary headwear in a one-night-only installation created by designer Penny Chu, behold the hereafter in a dynamic environment by Sarah Sparkles, and revisit your youth to the music of Erik Rydju, while enjoying specially themed cocktails and futuristic performances.
Dress for the times and envision your own headwear for a chance to win the “Marinetti” (most futuristic), “Lloyd Dunn” (most retro-futuristic), or “Marty McFly” (most 1980s) award.
Milliner and artist Penny Chu of CHU CHU NY creates sculptural headwear beyond the conventional concept of a hat. Her pieces have adorned public figures like Billy Porter, Broadway Producer Jordan Roth, and Designer Alexander Wang. Designer Sarah Sparkles is the owner of Sparkledome Studio Crystal Fine Art, Props & Accessories. DJ Erik Rydju spins and curates for Armani, DKNY, J. Crew, and Christie’s.
This is a paid event and tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite; eventbrite.com/e/bonnet-bash-2023-back-to-the-future-tickets-538005548077
$45 per ticket.
All our exhibitions are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, Weekends, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Shattered Poems – New Work – Azita Panahpour
On view in the East Gallery, March 13 – April 6
Opening Reception: Tuesday, March 14, 6 -8 pm
Azita Panahpour (born in Tehran, Iran) is a contemporary abstract artist living in New York. In her series Shattered Poems, she explores feelings of displacement, loss, and identity, by creating a dynamic gestural vocabulary drawn from the Farsi alphabet and poetry. Emphasis is placed on the alphabet’s sculptural shapes. Its curves, lines, and forms became the base of a new visual language. These gestural variations featured in steel and on multi-layered painted canvases communicate in rhythm, repetition, scale, and movement. The abstract forms appear more expressive as they dance, fall, and intertwine, connecting as an emotive statement that transcends beyond the literary definition. More than representing sound, in this series alphabets become the beat to reveal the human sentiment of love, loss, fear, joy, and empathy. Shattered Poems are an intersection of past and present, transformation and hope, art and culture, an individual depiction of a universal sentiment.
A multi-disciplinary artist, Panahpour’s career began as an Art Director for New York advertising agencies. Her paintings are in numerous private collections, including the Hyatt Kuwait Hotel, and have been selected for group exhibitions featured at the Venice International Art Fair 2022, London Paint Club 2021, The Other Art Fair New York 2017 and 2018, The Ad Art Show Sotheby’s 2018, the Ad Art Show Oculus 2020 and 2021, and on The Other Art Fair Los Angeles2020 online exhibition. Her photography has been exhibited in numerous group shows and publications, as well as solo exhibitions at Houston Fotofest Participating Spaces and Fototeca de Cuba in Havana.
Machine – Cassandra Zampini
Continuing in the West Gallery, March 2 – April 6
Cassandra Zampini is a new-media artist and NAC Artist Fellow who transforms internet content into print and video artworks to examine the role of media in shaping our understanding of the world and our place within it. In her new series, Machine, Zampini aggregates thousands of icons, images, and texts from viral memes used as propaganda in current conflicts around the world, including Russia-Ukraine. She then isolates the figures and symbols, using repeating patterns and layers of ink, screen printed on canvas. The resulting composition is an abstract swarm of shapes and figures, devoid of their original message, but is a careful reminder of their omnipresence in our digital-first world. The work challenges the viewer’s perception of the meme as an accepted cultural language and truth, while raising awareness around the role of memes in modern conflict.
A Masterpiece in the Making – Joaquín Sorolla’s Gouaches for the ‘Vision of Spain’
Continuing in the Grand Gallery through April 26 The National Arts Club is proud to partner with the Hispanic Society Museum and Library in presenting this landmark exhibition commemorating the Valencian master Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida. The exhibition, which opens during Master Drawings Week, features the work of the Valencian master Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida—the preeminent artist in Spain at the turn of the 20th century—on the occasion of the centennial year of his death. On view are Sorolla’s rarely seen preparatory sketches for the paintings in the HSM&L’s Sorolla Gallery, Vision of Spain. This is the first time the works are being exhibited in the U.S.
Marcel Marceau: Master of Mime
On view in the Trask Gallery and Project Space, March 9 – April 28 The National Arts Club hosts Marcel Marceau: Master of Mime, an exhibition celebrating legendary mime Marcel Marceau during the 100th anniversary of his birth. The exhibition features photographs by Ben Martin, a Time photographer who produced them in close collaboration with the famed pantomime artist for the book Marcel Marceau: Master of Mime, released in 1978. A revised edition of this photographic portrait will be released in March 2023. We will host a reception for Marceau’s friends and admirers on March 20, 2023. His widow Anne Sicco will be in attendance representing the Marceau family.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL ARTS CLUB
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 nationalartsclub.org.