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The Gilded Gentleman Writers and Artists

Stealing a Smile: The Theft of the Mona Lisa, Paris 1911

The enigmatic smile of the Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, at its longtime home of the Louvre in Paris, has captured the attention of the public for centuries. Few people realize however that on a warm summer morning in Paris in the year 1911, the painting was stolen — and remained missing for over two years.  Press… Read More

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The Gilded Gentleman Writers and Artists

Victory and Apollo: Black Artist Models Hettie Anderson and Thomas McKellar

The tale of two artist’s models named Hettie Anderson and Thomas McKeller — their stories little known until recent years — and the magnificent art they inspired. These muses are the subject of this week’s episode of The Gilded Gentleman podcast. Gazing up at the dramatic gilded statue of General William Tecumseh Sherman being led into battle… Read More

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Hudson Valley Podcasts Writers and Artists

The Hudson River School: The Story of an American Art Revolution

PODCAST: Two landmarks to American art history sit on either side of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge over the Hudson River — the homes of visionary artists Thomas Cole and Frederic Edwin Church. Cole and Church were leaders of the Hudson River School, a collective of 19th century American painters captivated by natural beauty and… Read More

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The Gilded Gentleman Writers and Artists

A Sprig of Witch Hazel: Edith Wharton’s Secret Love Affair

THE GILDED GENTLEMAN PODCAST As writer Edith Wharton began to spend more and more time in Paris during the early years of the 1900s, she made the acquaintance of the American journalist Morton Fullerton. Their meeting grew into a passionate and complicated love affair combining joy and emotional pain. Still, the affair led Wharton to some of… Read More

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Gilded Age New York Podcasts Writers and Artists

Architect of the Gilded Age: The Triumphant Tale of Richard Morris Hunt

Richard Morris Hunt was one of the most important architects in American history. His talent and vision brought respect to his profession in the mid 19th century and helped to craft the seductive style of the Gilded Age. So why are there so few examples of his extraordinary work still standing in New York City… Read More

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Podcasts The Jazz Age Writers and Artists

Dorothy Parker’s Last Party: A strange afterlife for the Jazz Age writer

PODCAST Dorothy Parker was not only the wittiest writer of the Jazz Age, she was also obsessively morbid. Her talents rose at a very receptive moment for such a sharp, dour outlook, after the first world war and right as the country went dry. Dorothy Parker’s greatest lines are as bracing and intoxicating as a… Read More

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Christmas Writers and Artists

Sacred Santa: How a self-proclaimed Messiah became a popular Santa Claus model

Early one spring day in 1922, while dutifully posing at the Art Students League on West 57th Street, Santa Claus had a fatal heart attack in front of a classroom of students. Above — He knows when you’ve been bad or good: A Christmas issue of Judge Magazine from 1919 by Guy Lowy, who studied at the… Read More

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Know Your Mayors Parks and Recreation Writers and Artists

Mayor Philip Hone, the party host who made Washington Square Park

We’re just a few weeks away from a new mayor in New York City so we think it is time that you Know Your Mayors! Become familiar with other men who’ve held the job, from the ultra-powerful to the political puppets, the most effective to the most useless leaders in New York City history. This… Read More

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Know Your Mayors Writers and Artists

Mayor William Paulding, the very respectable brother

We’re just a couple months away from a new mayor in New York City so we think it is time that you Know Your Mayors! Become familiar with other men who’ve held the job, from the ultra-powerful to the political puppets, the most effective to the most useless leaders in New York City history. This… Read More

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Podcasts Writers and Artists

Tragic Muse: The Life of Audrey Munson

PODCAST By the time Audrey Munson turned 25 years old, she had became a muse for some of the most famous artists in America, the busiest artist’s model of her day. She was such a fixture of the Greenwich Village art world in the early 20th century that she was called the Venus of Washington Square, although by 1913… Read More

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Neighborhoods Writers and Artists

Greenwich Village, through the eyes of Jean Shepherd

Jean Shepherd was born 100 years ago today in Chicago, so I’m bumping up this older post in tribute to this wonderful New Yorker.  Jean Shepherd, probably best known today as the voice of ‘A Christmas Story‘, was a regular presence on New York radio in the 1950s and 60s thanks to his memorable program… Read More

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Writers and Artists

‘Republic of Detours’: Paying great writers to discover New Deal America

For the hundreds of thousands of people employed by New Deal programs during the Great Depression, it was always infrastructure week. Even for those employed by the WPA’s Federal Writers’ Project, aimed at giving paychecks to unemployed writers by creating meaningful employment that benefited the public good. But their objectives weren’t to build new infrastructure;… Read More

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Podcasts Writers and Artists

Edith Wharton’s New York: An Insider’s View of the Gilded Age

PODCAST New York’s upper class families of the late 19th century lived lives of old-money pursuits and rigid, self-maintained social restrictions — from the opera boxes to the carriages, from the well-appointed parlors to the table settings. It was leisure without relaxation. EPISODE 357 In this show we examine the story of Edith Wharton —… Read More

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Bowery Boys Bookshelf Writers and Artists

American Daredevil: A New Book on Comic Book Anti-Fascist Lev Gleason

Comic books were invented in New York City during the 1930s, the product of a low-key publishing trade combining the popularity of newspaper comic strips with the gloss of the magazine revolution. That was also a decade of social activism — with the Great Depression at home and the rise of fascism in Europe —… Read More

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Podcasts Writers and Artists

A New Deal for the Arts: How the WPA funded an American creative revolution

PART TWO of a two-part podcast series A NEW DEAL FOR NEW YORK. In this episode, we look at how one aspect of FDR’s New Deal — the WPA’s Federal Project Number One — was used to put the country’s creative community back to work and lift the spirits of downtrodden Americans. EPISODE 338 Federal… Read More