2021–2022 Annual Report
It is my great honor to greet you as I enter my tenth year as the President of the Art Deco Society of New York (ADSNY). In June each year ADSNY holds an Annual Meeting to share important highlights of the last 12 months with our Members. We had hoped that we would be able to host this year's Annual Meeting in person but with the recent rise in COVID–19 cases it still seems prudent not to gather indoors. Therefore, I would like to share with you here an overview of ADSNY’s achievements during our 2021–22 year.
I’d like to begin by thanking Meghan Weatherby, ADSNY’s Executive Director, now entering her ninth year at ADSNY, our Board of Directors, our dedicated volunteers, and especially you, our Members, for your generous support and dedication this past year.
It is due to our extraordinary team and our Members that ADSNY continues to meet the many challenges caused by COVID–19. When we quickly pivoted to online programming in March of 2020 we were one of the first to recognize the potential of this new platform. Since then ADSNY has offered our Members a diverse range of meaningful programs with distinguished Deco experts from around the globe. To date, ADSNY has presented 63 live online programs (24 in the past year) with the added benefit that you now have the option of viewing ADSNY’s engaging, illustrated events live––or at a time most convenient for you––through our current library of 59 Deco On Demand video recordings.
These live and recorded web-based programs have also allowed us to continue to offer tours of New York City's Art Deco enclaves, both familiar and newly discovered. They offer additional benefits of allowing us to see architectural and design details up close that can’t be seen from street level: interiors not usually open on our tours, maps and ephemera such as original building plans, brochures, and more.
But we know that nothing replaces in-person walking tours, so in the past year we have combined our online programs with live walking tours that safely observe all COVID–19 protocols.
We are also excited to announce that this fall, ADSNY will resume our very successful and highly-anticipated Autumn in New York weekend, September 21–24. We will again offer an immersive extended-weekend of programming, including walking and bus tours, behind the scenes and special-access visits, and unique dining experiences that are sure to delight any Deco enthusiast.
We are also pleased to be resuming our Destination Deco travel programs, rescheduling ADSNY’s postponed Destination Deco: Los Angeles trip in early November. There will be spaces available for this travel experience, so make sure to watch for details in the coming weeks.
This spring, ADSNY resumed live classroom visits to New York City schools with our K-12 education program, Documenting Deco. Under the leadership of our Teaching Artist, Rachel Sanchez, the program reached students in 11 public schools within underserved communities in all the Boroughs. Documenting Deco is made possible by generous donations from our Members, in addition to a grant from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. If you are interested in adopting a school to honor someone special in your life, give back to a school you once attended, or support a school in your neighborhood––contact us at Info@ArtDeco.org. It’s a great way to spread the Deco word to new generations and you will be invited to meet the students and see up close the impact this program has on young lives.
Since an important part of ADSNY's mission is preservation, we are delighted that ADSNY's Board of Directors includes a dynamic and knowledgeable team––George Calderaldo, and Kelly Carroll, Aidan McManus, Anthony Robins––who weekly monitor the calendar of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission and quickly make ADSNY’s support known when one of New York’s Deco gems is challenged.
We were also pleased to continue ADSNY’s Telling The Art Deco Stories of our Neighborhoods series virtually and in-person this past year. This program calls attention to the distinctive Art Deco buildings that shaped many New York City neighborhoods in often under-recognized communities. This program is funded by contributions from our Members and grants from the New York State Council on the Arts and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. We especially thank Matt Postal and Anthony Robins for their work on this important initiative.
We are pleased that, despite the many challenges of the pandemic, the 2021 issue of the Art Deco New York journal came to fruition––digitally. This issue celebrates innovation in the interwar period with a rich variety of informative, engaging articles. The journal is always a major undertaking that is only possible through the major efforts of Board Member, Stephen Van Dyk; ADSNY's Executive Director, Meghan Weatherby; and our talented volunteer team, Alma Kadragic, Diane Nottle, Peter Singer, and Sandra Tansky.
Our website ArtDeco.org continues to offer information about our past, present, and future events, as well as many useful resources for those wanting to learn more about Art Deco or explore their own neighborhoods.
So, if you have not already, please check these out:
Our New York Art Deco Registry and Map, a listing of existing Art Deco buildings in the five boroughs grew to 682 this year, through the efforts of Shelbye Doyen, our trusty intern and our valued volunteers Harriet Abramson, Lindsay Cohen, Brita Okin, and Catherine Perebinossoff who twice monthly embark on walking the streets of our city to unearth overlooked Art Deco treasures. This resource, free to everyone interested in learning about buildings throughout the city, is a great source for creating personalized self-guided walking tours. New volunteers for the Registry and Map committee are always welcome. Please contact us a Info@ArtDeco.org if you want to join the search for undiscovered Deco gems as part of the walking team, or by doing research from the comfort of your home.
This year, we also developed a robust What is Art Deco? section of our website to include informative articles on 1920s and 1930s Architecture, Art Deco and Early Modern Design, Interwar Culture, a Book List of important publications as well as Exploring Deco In, self-guided walking tours that focus on the unique Art Deco architecture and culture of different neighborhoods. We are also looking forward to sharing an engaging video that gives an overview on New York's Art Deco heritage, thanks to the expert work of Board Member, Greer St. John.
We’ve also expanded our exclusive line of special Art Deco-inspired merchandise, including our very popular Art Deco greeting cards, tote and beach bags, puzzles, and more. Each of your purchases helps support ADSNY’s mission so please check out our gift items regularly for additions and seasonal designs.
And, for those of you who regularly tune in to ADSNY's Facebook and Instagram, you are sure to have noticed the engaging #TravelTuesday, #FineArtsFriday, and Saturday posts created by our passionate and knowledgeable volunteer team of Mary, Lynn, and Kiely Schultz. We also thank them for facilitating the development and inclusion of ADSNY's article in Daily Art Magazine for World Art Deco Day.
Many of you, our Members, recognized the difficult challenges of the past two years and generously increased your donations and raised your Membership Levels. We want to thank you for your recognition and support. Your financial contributions continue to be crucial to our continuing to survive and flourish. So, please consider renewing or raising your Membership Level now. Becoming a Supporting-Level Member not only helps ADSNY, but also offers you special benefits and access throughout the year. Special thanks to Marie Tarmy, ADSNY's Board Treasurer, who expertly oversees ADSNY's financial matters.
We appreciate your continued interest and support in helping ADSNY play a vital role in this, the greatest Art Deco city in the world, especially during these ever-changing days.
We always welcome your suggestions for ideas, topics, potential speakers, and tours, so please keep sending us your ideas and feedback. Stay well and stay engaged!
Have a good and safe summer.
President | Art Deco Society of New York
Board of Directors
President: Roberta Nusim
Vice-President: Anthony W. Robins
Treasurer: Marie Tarmy
Secretary: Aidan T. McManus
Board Members: George Calderaro, Devon Caraher, Kelly Carroll, Greer St. John, Stephen H. Van Dyk
Advisory Board Members: Donald Albrecht, Simeon Bankoff, Andrew S. Dolkart, Marilyn F. Friedman, David Gerrard Lowe, Vicki Gold Levy, Ken Gross, Susan Henshaw Jones, Audrey Lipton, Benjamin Macklowe, Kathleen Murphy Skolnik, Bob Rose, John Tauranac