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Museums, Galleries & Exhibitions

New York’s Gilded Age Mansions

The Gilded Age marks the first time the titans of American finance and industry had more wealth than their European counterparts. As the center of this dynamic economy, New York City attracted immigrant works and millionaires alike. It was not enough for the self-appointed elite to just build their own grand chateaux and palazzo along Fifth Avenue, as collectively they dreamed of creating a new metropolis to rival the great cultural capitals of London, Paris, and Rome. To flaunt their newly acquired wealth they needed an architecture dripping in embellishment and historical reference. Enter the Beaux-Arts.

Join the Driehaus Museum in collaboration with the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art as we explore all five of the mansions featured in Phillip James Dodd’s recent book, An American Renaissance: Beaux-Arts Architecture of New York City. While showing public exteriors, the main focus of our evening will be the lavish interiors associated with the opulence of the Gilded Age, as well as the stories of the millionaires that commissioned them – names that Julian Fellowes (the creator of Downtown Abbey and HBO series The Gilded Age) notes in the foreword, “still reek of money.”

Led by the book’s author, Phillip James Dodd, and showcasing new lavish photography taken by Jonathan Wallen, the talk will focus on the stories of the patrons and architects who designed these magnificent mansions.

Doors will open at 5:15 for a reception.

Please note: Due to the ongoing renovations next door at the Murphy Auditorium, the Driehaus Museum elevator is unavailable to staff and guests, including access to the Third Floor Ballroom, where this event will be.

About the Speaker

Phillip James Dodd is a practicing architect and Principal at Phillip James Dodd: Bespoke Residential Design LLC. He has authored several books, and lectured extensively throughout the United States on the subject of classical architecture and is the author of three best-selling books. His most recent volume on the architecture of The Gilded Age – An American Renaissance: Beaux-Arts Architecture in New York City (2021) – includes a foreword by Julian Fellowes (the acclaimed creator of Downton Abbey and the new HBO series The Gilded Age), and has been featured in Architectural DigestThe Associated Press, and The World of Interiors.

Image: Ballroom at the James Burdon Mansion. By Jonathan Wallen, from The Gilded Age – An American Renaissance: Beaux-Arts Architecture in New York City


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