Salmagundi Club

Art & Culture

Like American Art? Join the Club!

Salmagundi club dining room greenwich village

About Salmagundi Club

 & why it made the Carpe City list

  • Only one privately owned brownstone remains on 5th Avenue south of 124th Street, and you’re standing in front of it.  
  • This stately spot is the Salmagundi Club, founded in 1871.  
    • Don’t be intimidated by the pedigree! The Salmagundi Club is a haven for artists and art lovers of all stripes, open to members and the public alike. You’re welcome to go in to check out the latest exhibition, or join a drawing class! 
  • But what exactly is the club? 
    • Salmagundi is one of the oldest arts organizations in the United States. 
    • It began as the New York Sketch Club in sculptor Jonathan Scott Hartley’s Broadway studio, then ping-ponged from the Village to the West 20s, before moving to its current digs in 1917. 
    • Today, the club boasts about 900 members, including both artists and patrons. 
    • Artist members apply and are accepted based on their artwork. Patron members get the nod from artists who are already members. 
    • Past members have included Louis Comfort Tiffany, John LaFarge, Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Stamford White. 
  • So, why’s it called Salmagundi? 
    • The name is a reference to Washington Irving’s satirical “Salmagundi Papers.” 
  • Today, the name also graces the dining room’s signature “Salmagundi Stew.” 
    • And there’s more than a dining room in there – in addition to Salmagundi’s galleries and exhibition spaces, you’ll find a parlor, library, boardroom, bar and billiard room. 
  • If you think that’s swanky for an artists’ hangout, remember, this building was once a private home (with 22 fireplaces)! 
    • 47 5th Avenue was built in 1852-53 for Sarah and Irad Hawley, president of the Pennsylvania Coal Company. 
    • The Hawley bedroom is now the club’s library 
    • The building was one of the first brownstones in New York City 

Carpe City Trivia

This isn't the only private artist's club in New York City

There are actually several of them! Some of our favorites include:  

  • The Players Club (16 Gramercy Park South) – a thespian’s paradise founded by Edwin Booth, the finest American actor of his generation, and…John Wilkes Booth’s brother. 
  • The National Arts Club (15 Gramercy Park South) – in the old Samuel Tilden Mansion. It’s gorgeous, and they’ve got free events, as well as affordable drop-in art classes. 
  • The Coffee House Club (20 West 44th Street) – imagine an artists’ roundtable discussion that’s been going non-stop since 1915. 

By: Lucie Levine

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