Friday, March 09, 2007

Art with a dash of history - The Salmagundi Art Club

The Salmagundi Art Club in New York is one of the last brownstone buildings on Fifth Avenue, and is the venue for regular exhibitions of painting, photography and sculpture by its member-artists, as well as regular classes for the public in art. It started as the New York Sketch Club in 1871 and moved to its current headquarters in 1917. The building’s history, heritage and architecture lend a fitting charm to the place of creativity that it is. It is open to the public from 1 to 5 p.m every day of the week, and admission is free. For lovers of art, I’d suggest a look.

Any guesses on the origin of the name ‘Salmagundi’? The word means ‘potpourri’ and was adopted after Washington Irving’s paper of the same name came into existence – it was intended to refer to the mix of wit and wisdom that the paper was supposed to be. Interestingly, Irving also used the term ‘Gotham’ to refer to New York City in his Salmagundi Papers in 1807, with reference to Gotham, England where wise men acted as fools in the hope that King John would change his decision to settle there and consequently burden the village with royal upkeep. And Gotham City, of course, provides the setting for a very famous comic book – no prizes for guessing which!!!

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