$40-$48 Purchase Tickets

Mansions of the Gilded Age Symposium

June 11

Venue Details

635 South Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591 United States

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From Tiffany to McKim, Meade and White, this symposium of five speakers concludes with a behind-the-scenes reception in the mansion.


9:00 AM                       Optional Special Tour of Lyndhurst Mansion – SOLD OUT – regular guided tour also offered during lunch break at 12:30 pm
Executive Director Howard Zar leads a tour through the first and second floor of Lyndhurst mansion exclusively for symposium participants. Purchase a combined symposium and tour ticket and receive half off the regular tour price. Limited space.

10:00 AM             Fifth Avenue Châteaux: Fifth Avenue’s Glorious French Mansions During the Gilded Age
Gary Lawrance
In a period not so long ago, there were palaces that lined New York’s Fifth Avenue from Washington Square to the upper reaches of the avenue, built by some of the most prominent architects of the day for America’s newly rich Millionaires: the Astors, Vanderbilts, Whitneys, Phipps, Goulds, and many others. While many great fortunes of the time were made in other parts of the country, to be truly recognized as a success, a mansion on New York’s Fifth Avenue was the ultimate accomplishment.

11:15 AM            Three Parlors by Pottier & Stymus
Walter G. Ritchie, Jr.
This lecture will discuss three documented parlors from which several pieces of furniture survive and for which there are period photographs showing how the parlors appeared after they were decorated and furnished by Pottier & Stymus. One of the parlor suites survives in a little-known historic house museum in Providence, Rhode Island, while another is owned by the Barnum Museum. Pieces from the third documented suite belong to the Center for Mark Twain Studies, which is not open to the public. Befittingly, Mark Twain himself coined the term “The Gilded Age,” and this suite was commissioned by his in-laws from Pottier & Stymus.

12:30 PM          Lunch
Optional guided mansion tour with Lyndhurst docent (Tour with Howard Zar is sold out)

1:30 PM            The Tiffany Empire
Frank Maraschiello
Explore The Tiffany Empire, and the contributions of the Tiffany family shaped by Charles Lewis Tiffany and his son, Louis Comfort Tiffany. Featuring the extraordinary interior designs, glass, lamps, jewelry and silver produced by the allied firms of Associated Artists, Tiffany & Co. and Tiffany Studios & Furnaces, which shaped the taste of our nation, continuing even to today.

2:45 PM            The Domestic and Landscape Architecture of “Weld” – A Gilded Age Country Estate (1887-1948)
Stephen T. Moskey
Ambassador and Mrs. Larz Anderson were an elite Gilded Age couple whose lives spanned almost a century of American history, from 1866 to 1948. Like many of their peers, they held English, Italian, and Japanese art and architecture in especially high regard and incorporated these traditions into their personal aesthetics. This aesthetic vision informed the domestic and landscape architecture of the couple’s beloved and once-famous country estate “Weld” in Brookline, Mass. Using archival, modern, and aerial photography, schematics, and floor plans, the presentation will provide an overview of the domestic and landscape architecture of “Weld” during the Andersons’ lives, highlighting what has been lost on the estate since 1948 through neglect or demolition, especially an Italian garden designed by Charles A. Platt and a country home designed by Edmund M. Wheelwright.

4:00 PM            Art Collecting in the Gilded Age:  the Taste of the Gentleman Collector
Lynn Villency Cohen
The Gilded Age saw the emergence and evolution of the roles of the art agent, dealer, and collector as newly minted millionaires competed to build their art collections. Explore the tastes of the collector class – railroad magnates, bankers, and real estate speculators – and their preferences for certain subjects, and artists. The Gould collection at Lyndhurst, as one of the few intact art collections from the Gilded Age, serves as a prime example of the collecting taste and unprecedented buying power of the immense wealth amassed after the Civil War. We will examine the artists and paintings that form the basis of Jay Gould’s Lyndhurst collection such as Bouguereau, Gerome and Lesson, and look at the way they were displayed by Gould in the Lyndhurst picture gallery, comparing it to the look of the Paris Salon.  Finally, we will touch upon today’s collectors – in the second Gilded Age.

5:00 PM            Champagne Reception
Free for all symposium participants

Sponsored in part by Rago Auctions