Apr 14, 2018: What It Means To be a Salmagundian

(by Debbie Wells, Salmagundi Artist Member)

When I attended Parsons School of Design, I walked past the Salmagundi Club thousands of times. I saw the name on the plaque and wondering what Salmagundi meant. I didn’t give it too much thought at the time because I was already mesmerized by the sights of the city in a way that only an art student can appreciate. Walking the streets of Greenwich Village every day made me realize how important my dreams of becoming an artist truly were. As a child growing up in Brooklyn, Manhattan felt like a faraway Land of Oz to me. It was a huge step to cross the river and experience New York City as a teen and young adult. Even now, the creative atmosphere of the Village is where I feel most at home.

By the time I graduated in 1983, I still had no idea what Salmagundi was all about because I was afraid to go ever inside to find out. For four years, I lived in the Village – first the West Village on the inexplicable intersection of 4th Street and 12th Street and then in the East Village across from the iconic Tower Records. Salmagundi was not on my radar at that time either.

As I pursued my career in corporate graphic design, got married and moved to Long Island and started a family, I always felt a pull to Greenwich Village. There is no place like it in the world. It possesses an energy there that cannot be duplicated. Little did I know that Salmagundi would eventually become part of my world.

About thirty years later, I was invited to become a member through connections from my current career. Through my business, Artful Circle, which I own with my business partner, Franklin Hill Perrell, we offer guided visits to art galleries and museums, lectures and curatorial services. We get to see artists at work in their studios, gallery exhibitions all over the city and even guest curate museum exhibitions. I am forever inspired by the art I see around me, but Salmagundi Club has its unique charm that consistently pulls me in.

Walking up those stairs up to the club entrance and knowing that I could be a part of it was one of the most exciting moments of my life. I held onto that application for over a year out of my own sense of insecurity. I finally faced my fear and submitted my application and portfolio. I felt an instant warmth with the admissions committee and my confidence blossomed. Once accepted as a Resident Artist Member, I took full advantage of the benefits of membership. I have served on several committees, including Programming, Library and Public Relations. I’ve worked with dedicated member volunteers and staff on a variety of projects, including presenting art lectures myself! I am proud to have had my photographs on display at various shows, including the historic Black and White exhibition. By being involved with the club’s leadership, I’ve gained a special insight into what the Salmagundi Club stands for and why it is important to continue the legacy.

Salmagundi is my go-to spot when I need a place to socialize or do business in the city. When I bring friends, family or business associates to visit Salmagundi, people are in awe. The building itself is a classic beauty with art history oozing from every inch. It is hard not to feel transported in time as you tour the club. This artistic haven is the perfect antidote to the fast-paced world outside. I really do think that every time I walk into the club!

The library is my favorite spot and I have spent many hours perusing the books, working on projects, attending meetings and even taking a little nap on their comfy couch. I am particularly fascinated with their prized palette collection, which has been documented by my friend, art conservator and fellow Salmagundian Alexander Katlan.

It’s not just the architecture that draws you in. It is the people. Salmagundi is not a stuffy, formal place. Its members are artists who want to truly want to share their ideas, work together and inspire each other. They are dedicated to bringing old world values into today’s marketplace. They feel their favored traditional style of art will always be a valued part of any art collection and work hard to promote their art through gallery exhibitions and auctions.

With legendary artists such as Thomas Moran, Louis Comfort Tiffany, William Merritt Chase, N.C. Wyeth, Augustus Saint Gaudens, Child Hassam, Norman Rockwell, Lumen Martin Winter and even honorary member Winston Churchill, it is clear that Salmagundi has an impressive membership roster over a century old. Now, the club boasts a new circle of artists to the club, including Guy Wiggins, Christopher Zhang, Claudia Seymour, Gary Erbe, Leah Lopez, Christine D’Addarrio, Alan Richards, and Everett Raymond Kinstler. I have made lots of friends and business associates through the club. Networking in any business is difficult, but there is an instant connection between Salmagundians. Through their affiliate relationships with other societies, such as National Arts Club and Society of Illustrators in New York City as well as other cities and countries, Salmagundi membership reaches far beyond the walls of their Fifth Avenue home. It’s a worldwide network of artists and art-lovers.

The club have successfully kept up with the times, going from a mens-only club to admitting women since the 1960’s. In fact, many women have held leadership roles, including two female presidents. Salmagundi has also updated their membership categories to suit today’s creative fields by adding photography, graphics, architecture, engraving, mixed media to the standard painting and sculpture disciplines. Even though our society is in the midst of a technology revolution, Salmagundi has one foot grounded firmly in its traditions and history with an eye for contemporary ideals – a very appealing point of view for the professional artists of today.

In this centennial year of the club, I feel a bond with the history of this place – for its past, present and future. Although Salmagundi is housed in a landmark building, its members are determined to grow and prosper long past their centennial celebration this year. With plans for major building renovations and to increase membership, the sky is the limit – and with Salmagundi artists at the helm, you can be sure the sky will be painted beautifully!

Jan 19, 2017: Tête-à-Tête Portrait Exhibition

scny17-curators-portrait-show-01(By Anthony Almeida)

The “Tête-à-Tête” Portrait Exhibition (January 16 through February 2nd, 2017), assembled by SCNY Curators Eileen Clancy and Bob Mueller and the Curators Committee, consisted of an intimate selection of works from the SCNY Permanent Collection, affording viewers an opportunity to quietly enter into a visual dialogue with these distinctive and memorable personages.

Jan 19, 2017: John Howard Sanden Retrospective Reception

scny17-john-howard-sanders-01(By Anthony Almeida)

John Howard Sanden, Portraits and Paintings, Fifty Year Retrospective Exhibition, a world class exhibition of the work of one of America’s leading portrait painters is spellbinding and memorable.

In addition to the works depicting American Leaders, African Kings and figure paintings, this multifaceted event includes lectures, presentations and videos.


Jan 13, 2017: New Members and Junior-Scholarship Exhibition Receptions

scny17-new-membersjr-sch-exh-recps-25(By Anthony Almeida)

The Junior-Scholarship Exhibition and the “New Member’s Show” coalesced excitingly on January 2, 2017 in our upper and lower galleries.

Both shows were extremely well attended…The excitement of new and younger members seeing their work displayed in our world class galleries was almost palpable.

Here are some photos which just begin to depict the feeling of artistic fervor and enthusiasm which characterized the evening….Would that my camera had ears as well as a somewhat discerning eye…

Dec 15, 2016: Annual Christmas Dinner

scny16-xmas-dinner-28(By Anthony Almeida)

The annual Christmas Dinner immerses members and guests in fine art, fine fare and a spirit of togetherness. This well attended event is a joyous Salmagundi tradition which, with good feeling and camaraderie, excitingly ushers in the holiday season.

Summer 2016 at Salmagundi

scny16-members-photography-exh-recp-14(By Anthony Almeida)

Summer 2016, with diverse, stellar exhibitions and events, proved to be an exciting time. The annual members photography exhibition, non-members exhibition and August’s Monotype Madness were just a few of this summer’s events. Add to that Roger Rossi’s 80th Birthday Bash which rocked the house and raised some greatly welcomed funds for Salmagundi, “The House that Art Built”.

Members Photography and Graphics Exhibition:

Non-Members Photography and Graphics Exhibition:

Roger Rossi’s 80th Birthday Bash

One of the highlights of the summer was celebrating our own, Leo the Lion, Roger Rossi’s 80th Birthday! The following photographs reflect only a small part of the excitement and joy we experienced on this happy occasion. Many thanks to Annie Shaver-Crandell and all the others who helped make this event a joyous and successful fund raiser.

August’s Monotype Madness

July 5, 2016: COGAP Exhibition, Reception @ Acceptance Ceremony

SCNY'16-COGAP Reception - 16(By Karen Loew with photos by PA3 Steve Strohmaier, CG Public Affairs and Paul Backalenick)

Twenty six works by 24 artists of the U.S. Coast Guard Art Program (COGAP) were on view in the upper gallery from July 3rd through July 15th.

These works vividly bring to life the myriad missions performed by the U.S.Coast Guard. Subjects, to name but a few, include dramatic search and rescues, environmental protection and drug interdiction operations. Salmagundi Club artists Leendert van der Pool, Tom Hedderich, Anne Kullaf, Mara Sfara and Karen Loew had paintings included in this show. An additional 27 works from previous years were also on display. All paintings are generous gifts of the artists, who volunteer their time and talents to record through art the many missions of our Coast Guard.

The Acceptance Ceremony and gala reception was held on July 5th and attracted a full house, celebrating the program’s 35th anniversary. Since its inception, the Salmagundi Club has been its sponsor. Club president, Robert Pillsbury, presented the art, on behalf of the artists, to ADM Charles Michel, Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard. The evening was generously sponsored by the New York Council of the Navy League. It was noted that Alexander Hamilton, now the talk of Broadway, was the founder in 1790 of what is now known as the Coast Guard. Broadway show memorabilia was presented to USCG officers in attendance, by the COGAP Committee, as a remembrance of their evening at Salmagundi.

To learn more about COGAP, CLICK HERE

June 24-25, 2016: Draw-a-thon

SCNY'16-Draw-a-thon June - 01(By Anthony Almeida)

Rafters Rocked Around the Clock as Salmagundi Club hosted its summer, full to capacity, all night Draw-A-Thon.

Artists, following the call of their muse, quickly found artistic stations which allowed them to paint, draw or print– inspired by nude and costumed models, in long and short poses.

The cash bar, camaraderie ala Salmagundi and endless slices of pizza all added to the merriment of the evening.