National Arts Club records, 1898-1960

National Arts Club (New York, N.Y.)

Collection size: 32.25 linear feet

Collection Summary: Records of the National Arts Club, spanning the period 1898 to 1960, document the founding of the organization, and its governance, administration, finances, exhibitions, and social activities. There are large gaps in the records and many of those surviving are incomplete, which can be explained by a 1932 resolution of the Board of Governors that "old files and letters and bills in the storeroom prior to 1922 may be destroyed at the discretion of the Secretary and Treasurer."

Biographical/Historical Note: National Arts Club (founded 1898) was founded by Charles de Kay for purposes of providing exhibition space for types of art not otherwise adequately shown in New York City, publishing and circulating news about the arts, and promoting social relations between artists and art lovers. The Club's focus includes performing and creative arts, as well as the visual arts. The Clubhouse on Gramercy Park, once the mansion of Samuel Tilden, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976; it provides studio space and living quarters for some members, accomodations for visitors, and meeting and office space for organizations with compatible interests.

The National Arts Club donated its records to the Archives of American Art in 1987. Although a limited amount of printed matter was available at various libraries and on microfilm through the Archives of American Art, scholars have not had access to unpublished records of the Club until this time.

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