Behind the Walls of the Historic Salmagundi Club in Greenwich Village




The Salmagundi Club is one of the oldest art organizations in the United States, beginning as the New York Sketch Club in 1871. The Club was renamed in 1877 in honor of Washington Irving’s publication ‘The Salmagundi Papers‘ and for the famous ‘Salmagundi Stew’ (reference C 16 3), that was often served in the club’s dining room. Its first location was a rental on West 12th Street, where they prospered until purchasing 47 Fifth Avenue in 1917. Past membership has included Louis Comfort Tiffany, Stanford White, William Merritt Chase and Childe Hassam.

With the opening of the exhibition ‘Ghosts of Townhouse Past: Charcoal Drawing by Charles S. Chapman at Salmagundi Club this past May, highlighting the last year of the Club’s first townhouse studio on West 12th Street in 1917, we were reminded of the ghosts of townhouse present, at Salmagundi Club’s current location and permanent home, during the massive renovation in 2013.

Beginning of extensive renovation in August, 2013

Beginning at the renovation of the steps leading up to the parlor floor, down the hall to the main gallery, all the artwork from the permanent collection was lovingly packed and stored for the duration of the renovation.

Here are a few pictures from the 2013 renovation.

August 16, 2013 at the front door looking down the hall to the main gallery.

Stepping in through the front entrance, the above image is a view down the hall ~ with the parlor, office, and entrance to the stairways, up & down, covered in plywood.

Behind one of the walls in the main gallery

Stripping away the layers, down to the brick, an interesting date was inscribed behind the north wall in the main gallery. Below is a closer look.

Closeup behind a wall in the main gallery, north wall

Below ~ the main gallery, north wall.

Main Gallery, North Wall

Below, working at the entrance to the main gallery.

Main gallery, August 27, 2013

Above and below, a nice before and after.

Salmagundi Club Main Gallery during American Masters, 2018

The Club’s four-story townhouse consists of three art galleries, a library, parlor, dining room, and bar area ~ And we think this might be the only townhouse on Fifth Avenue from Washington Square Park all the way up to Marcus Garvey Park on 120th Street. Take a look at each room Here.

Salmagundi Club Parlor

In addition to its historic art collection, the Club also displays a historic palette collection (currently on view through August 31, 2022), vintage monotype printing presses, a unique mug collection, and rare Union League pool tables in the lower gallery that members regularly use.

Salmagundi Club Library

The Salmagundi Club has been the setting for such films as “The Good Shepherd” and in series such as “Bluebloods” and “Blacklist.”  There are too many art exhibits to mention, but a few of our past favorites were “The Biggest Little Art Show of the Year,” the beautiful non-members exhibition, and the National Society of Painters in Casein & Acrylic. And then there’s The Salmagundi Club Auctions.

Salmagundi Club Library

In addition to exhibits in the three galleries, The Club offers weekly art classes open to the public in every medium.  They often hold talks and events, such as these favorites ~ a conversation between Carole Teller and GVSHP Executive Director, Andrew Berman for the event, “Carole Teller’s Changing New York: A Close Up on the Photos and the Photographer,” the Louis Comfort Tiffany Centennial Lecture. and Bar Historians in Conversation: McSorley’s and Julius.

The historic Salmagundi Club, lower level

Check for current and upcoming exhibitions and events.

The Bar at Salmagundi Club, just before the lower gallery

You don’t have to be a member to take art classes.

Garden Level, Dining Room

Stop by The Salmagundi Club and view Ghosts of townhouse past: charcoal drawings by Charles S. Chapman, on view through August 31, 2022. The Salmagundi Club is located at 47 Fifth Avenue, between 11th and 12th Streets in Greenwich Village. This is a Free exhibition, open to the public Monday ~ Friday from 1-6pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 1-5pm.

We love hand-drawn, painted maps and couldn’t resist this map of Greenwich Village, created by Salmagundi Club member Tony Sang in 1934, below.

A Map of Greenwich Village by Tony Sarg, 1934. Image courtesy Salmagundi Club Archives

The above map of Greenwich Village was produced as a promotion for Central Savings Bank for its 75th anniversary. It was created by artist, cartoonist, illustrator, sculptor, writer, lecturer and Salmagundi Club Member, Anthony Frederick Sang in 1934.

1908 Salmagundi Black & White Exhibition. Image courtesy Salmagundi Club Archives

Click the LINK to the 1908 Salmagundi Black and White Exhibition for a look back in time at artist members.

Above, the 1914-1915 Salmagundi Club Roster, courtesy Salmagundi Club Archives

The 1914-1915 Salmagundi Club Roster (above) was from the Club’s early days at 14 West 12th Street, including the list of members.

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