The National Arts Club

Zephyr Lipman-Wulf, Arts & Entertainment

Housed in a National Historic Landmark Building on Gramercy Park in New York is The National Arts Club. During the more tense part of the pandemic, the club was closed until further notice. The gallery inside of the building was re-designed and renovated into three separate gallery spaces. Despite the gallery spaces being held inside a private club, they are open and free to the public with prior reservations. These reservations are typically not required, but are now necessary due to COVID-19. It is currently undecided whether the club will remain open to the public in the long run. 

David Scott Parker, the architect behind the remodel, says that he wanted the space to completely transform. The building itself on the inside and outside had a very old and dark appearance. Parker wanted to make the club into a more colorful and welcoming place for artists and their art. Within his work, the club went from being quite discrete and tucked away to being more inviting. The space is not supposed to focus on one period of time, but multiple periods of time. This is based upon the fact that art is constantly evolving. The galleries prior to the renovations on the ground floor were hidden and very discreet in separate rooms. Now, the physical appearance, energy, and demeanor of the building has changed. The ultimate goal of its transformation was to bring in more pedestrians off of the street. 

The three renovated spaces will be opening with a pair of shows by colorful, abstract artist, Greg Goldberg. He will be unveiling his new pieces in the gallery as a celebration of its reopening. Goldberg, a native New Yorker, was previously commissioned for numerous private art collections as well as a series of seven large-scale pieces for One World Trade Center. Street photography that was taken during the pandemic by NYC street photographer Graham Manindoe will also be presented in the gallery.

The history of the building is almost as interesting as the art in it. It was originally the home of presidential candidate and former governor from 1876, Samuel Tilden. The building is one of less than 2,600 National Historic Landmarks remaining in the U.S., 273 of those which reside in New York. The club itself, located on 15 Gramercy Park South, resides within a pair of two townhouses. A few decades after former governor Tilden was voted out, the club moved into the space in 1906. It is a form of art in the community, and an extension of their art programs.