Artists Resurrect Allegory For Important Commission

Figures Tell A Story 150 Years In The Making


NEW YORK, New York, (November 9, 2021) – Beginning November 8th and continuing to the 19th, Salmagundi presents Allegory Today: The Library Commission in the Pool Gallery of their historic 1853 townhouse. The show displays color allegorical figurative studies for a two-panel composition that was to be placed within the Salmagundi library’s main doors. The studies were part of a competition proposal celebrating the organization’s 150th year,  participated in by some of America’s most important and promising Realist artists. The competition challenged artists to use figurative allegory to explore sentiments about the club’s library, learning, and more.

Patricia Watwood [RA 2019] : Library commission color study, 2021.
Patricia Watwood [RA 2019] : Library commission color study, 2021.

Salmagundi’s library committee, chaired by Alexander W. Katlan, who serves as one of the official club historians, headed the competition.  “The committee was tasked to develop an important event to celebrate the club’s 150th year. Inspired by a recent trip to the Florence Griswold Museum, it occurred to me that artist-painted doors might be a great idea for our library. Several of our historic artists were associated with the Griswold. Thirty-one of America’s top Realist artists entered the competition, which was judged by Jacob Collins, Jordan Sokol, Amaya Gurpide, Robert Telenick and Steven Assael,” says Katlan.


Twenty-one of the thirty-one artists who entered the competition are participating in Allegory Today. The forty-seven works, executed in oil and the occasional pencil work, are for sale to the general public and can be purchased on the club’s website or in person. Each artist was asked to submit discussions of their allegory, which can be accessed through the organization’s website.

The exhibition is the sister show to Noah Buchanan: Library Studies, an exhibition in the Salmagundi library featuring the work of competition winner Noah Buchanan.  Both shows are part of the library’s fund-raising effort, and will culminate in their yearly Library Dinner, which was delayed several times due to the pandemic.  On November 17 the sold-out dinner will be honoring art historian and curator Franklin Hill Perrell and Rebecca Shaykin, Associate Curator at the Jewish Museum.


Salmagundi is a non-profit 501(c)(3) professional and social club, created in 1871 by artists and patrons to support one another. It is one of America’s oldest arts organizations with more than 1,100 current

members throughout the United States and abroad. The club is open to the public  Monday – Friday 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM EST, and Saturday/ Sunday 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST.

The Club has continuously championed representational art from its founding with iconic members, including Thomas Moran (1837-1926), William Merritt Chase (1849-1916), Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933), Emil Carlsen (1848-1932), N.C. Wyeth (1882-1945), Childe Hassam (1859-1935) and Winston Churchill (1874-1965).

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Joseph Ralph Fraia, Chair – Charity Henderson, Vice-Chair

Salmagundi Public Relations Committee

(917) 930-1494 or (315) 506-8108

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