Salmagundi Club

Salmagundi Club
Location 47 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York
Coordinates 40°44′3.4″N 73°59′40.5″W / 40.734278°N 73.994583°W / 40.734278; -73.994583Coordinates: 40°44′3.4″N 73°59′40.5″W / 40.734278°N 73.994583°W / 40.734278; -73.994583
Built 1853
Architectural style Italianate
NRHP Reference # 74001275 [1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP July 25, 1974
Designated NYCL September 9, 1969

The Salmagundi Club, sometimes referred to as the Salmagundi Art Club, was founded in 1871 in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan, New York City. Since 1917 it has been located at 47 Fifth Avenue. As of 2014, its membership roster totals roughly 900 members.[2]

The Salmagundi Club has served as a center for fine arts, artists and collectors, with art exhibitions, art classes, artist demonstrations, art auctions and many other types of events. It is also a sponsor of the United States Coast Guard Art Program (COGAP).[3]


Originally called the New York Sketch Class,[4] and later the New York Sketch Club,[5] the Salmagundi Club had its beginnings at the eastern edge of Greenwich Village in sculptor Jonathan Scott Hartley's Broadway studio, where a group of artists, students, and friends at the National Academy of Design, which at the time was located at Fourth Avenue and Twenty-third Street,[6] gathered weekly on Saturday evenings.

The club formally changed its name to The Salmagundi Sketch Club in January 1877.[4] The name has variously been attributed to salmagundi,[5] a stew which the group has served from its earliest years, or to Washington Irving's Salmagundi Papers.[7][8]

Growing rapidly, the organization was housed in a series of rented properties including 121 Fifth Avenue, 49 West 22nd Street, 40 West 22nd Street and finally 14 West Twelfth Street, where it remained for 22 years.[7] In April 1917, following a three year search, the club purchased Irad and Sarah Hawley's 1853 Italianate-style brownstone townhouse at 47 Fifth Avenue between East Eleventh and East Twelfth Streets from the estate of William G. Park for $100,000.00 and erected a two-story annex in the rear at an additional cost of $20,000.00 to house its primary art gallery and a billiard room. A housewarming event on Feb 5th, 1918 was attended by more than 500 persons.[4][5][7] In 1969 the building was designated a historical landmark [2] by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. In 1975 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.


Members of the Salmagundi Club have included Thomas P. Barnett, William Richardson Belknap, Ralph Blakelock, A. J. Bogdanove, James Wells Champney, William Merritt Chase, Frederick Stuart Church, Jay Hall Connaway, John Henry Dolph, Charles Dana Gibson, Gordon H. Grant, Edmund Greacen, William Hart, Childe Hassam, Ernest Martin Hennings, Alexander Pope Humphrey, George Inness, Jr., John LaFarge, Ernest Lawson, Frank Mason, Leopold Matzal, Samizu Matsuki, John Francis Murphy, Spencer Baird Nichols, Richard C. Pionk, Howard Pyle, Will J. Quinlan, Norman Rockwell, Harry Roseland, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Leopold Seyffert, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Edward Charles Volkert, J. Alden Weir, Jack Wemp, Stanford White, Stuart Williamson, and N.C. Wyeth.

Honorary members[7] have included Paul Cadmus, Schuyler Chapin, Winston Churchill, Buckminister Fuller, Al Hirschfeld, and Thomas Hoving.

In 1894, to raise money for the growing club's library,[4][9] artist members were invited to decorate ceramic mugs, which were then fired by Charles Volkmar, the club potter. The club would host a dinner followed by an auction of the finished mugs... Over the years, many decorated mugs have been returned to the club and are on exhibit in the library along with the largest collection of used artists' palettes in America.[2]
Dubuque Museum of Art

Club presidents

  • Joseph Hartley, 1871-1889
  • George W. Maynard, 1888-1889
  • Charles Yardley Turner, 1883-1889
  • Thomas Moran, 1893-1896
  • W. Lewis Fraser, 1896-1897
  • Alexander Theobald Van Laer, 1897-1898
  • Robert C. Minor, 1898-1899
  • Alexander Theobald Van Laer, 1899-1900
  • George H. McCord, 1900-1901
  • George Inness, Jr., 1901-1903
  • J. Scott Hartley, 1903-1905
  • Alexander Theobald Van Laer, 1905-1908
  • Henry B. Snell, 1908-1910
  • Frank Knox Morton Rehn, 1910-1911[10]
  • Carleton Wiggins, 1911-1913
  • Charles Vezin, 1913-1914
  • F. Ballard Williams, 1914-1919
  • Emil Carlsen, 1919-1920
  • J. Massey Rhind, 1920-1922
  • Hobart Nichols, 1922-1924
  • W. Granville Smith, 1924-1926
  • Franklin De Haven, 1926-1929
  • Bruce Crane, 1929-1933
  • Louis Betts, 1933-1935
  • George Elmer Brown, 1935-1937
  • Frederick W. Hutchinson, 1937-1939
  • Gordon Grant, 1939-1941
  • George Lober, 1941-1944
  • Frederick K. Detwiller, 1944-1946
  • Henry O' Connor, 1946-1947
  • Silvio B. Valerio, 1947-1949
  • Percy Albee, 1949-1953
  • Russell Rypsam, 1953-1955
  • Henry Laussucq, 1955-1957
  • Junius Allen, 1957-1959
  • A. Henry Nordhausen, 1959-1963
  • Francis Vandeveer Kughler, 1963-1966
  • Martin Hannon, 1966-1970
  • John N. Lewis, 1970-1976
  • Martin Hannon, 1976-1977
  • Raymond R. Goldberg, 1977-1979
  • Richard Clive, 1979-1981
  • Carl L. Thomson, 1981-1983
  • Ruth B. Reininghaus, 1983-1987
  • Edward A. Brennan, 1987-1990
  • Kenneth W. Fitch, 1990-1991
  • Robert Volpe, 1991-1994
  • Richard C. Pionk, 1994-2007
  • Claudia Seymour, 2007-2013
  • Robert Pillsbury, 2013–present


  1. National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. 1 2 3 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc (2005). "Salmagundi Club: An American Institution". Description of Dubuque Museum of Art exhibition, part of a two and a half year national tour of museums in eleven cities. In 1917, with the support of its members, a Fifth Avenue brownstone was purchased and became their permanent home... and in 1957 was cited for its architectural distinction by both the Society of Architectural Historians and the Municipal Art Society. It is a fitting home for the oldest art club in America. External link in |work= (help)
  3. "Affiliations". Salmagundi Club website.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Anne Cohen DePietro (2005). "A Fertile Fellowship: The Rich History of the Salmagundi Club". Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., San Clemente, California, and the Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, New York.
  5. 1 2 3 Mara McGinnis (Oct 29 – Nov 4, 2003). "130-year-old Village arts club still flourishing". The Villager.
  6. "National Academy School of Fine Arts History". National Academy of Design website. Lemuel Wilmarth was appointed the first full-time instructor in January 1870, by which time the school was located at Fourth Avenue and 23rd Street. Under Wilmarth's leadership, the number of classes and the enrollment increased, and new techniques, such as the quick-sketch, were introduced in response to changing esthetic criteria.
  7. 1 2 3 4 Tom Fletcher, with thanks to the Museum of the City of New York. "Salmagundi Club Landmark". New York Architecture Images, exterior and interior.
  8. "Washington Irving". NNDB. … a satirical miscellany entitled Salmagundi, or the Whim-Whams and Opinions of Launcelot Langstaff [pseudonym of Washington Irving] and Others, written in conjunction with his brother William and J. K. Paulding.
  9. William Henry Shelton (November 7, 1898). "Letter to the Editor: Salmagundi Club's Library". The New York Times, Saturday Review of Books and Art, Page BR770, abstract. Full text (PDF) published November 19, 1898.
  10. "F. K. M. Rehn, Artist, Dies. Ex-President of Salmagundi Club Stricken at Summer Home" (PDF). New York Times. July 8, 1914. Retrieved 2009-08-10.
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