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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Gilded New York

Gilded New York • © Julie Saad Photography; courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York

If you are museum-hopping this holiday season, be sure to check out the new show at the Museum of the City of New York, "Gilded New York." This compact exhibition focuses on the fashion, grand balls, and over-the-top architecture of the period after the Civil War when wealthy New Yorkers were become richer than ever before.

As it is the inaugural exhibition in the new Tiffany & Co. Foundation Gallery, the jewelry is the star of the show:

Marcus & Co., Necklace, 1900 • Gold, natural pearls, demantoid garnet, enamel • Courtesy of Siegelson, New York

Tiffany & Co., Pendant brooch, ca. 1900 • Platinum, diamond, sapphire • Museum of the City of New York, Bequest of Mrs. V. S. Young, 82.163.1

Also worth exploring are the video monitors outside the gallery, which cycle through images of Gilded-Age parties (some of the clothes and accessories from which are on display), along with an excellent slideshow of the extravagant Fifth Avenue mansions that, in many cases, lasted just one generation.

* * * *

Four chapters in our new book Footprints in New York cover the Gilded Age, from Mrs. Astor's grand balls to J. Pierpont Morgan's contributions to the city. The book is out April 15, 2014, but you can pre-order today.

And, of course, Inside the Apple has some wonderful insights on the period as well. With priority shipping from Amazon, you can still get it there in time for Christmas!

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