Mission & Board of Directors

Mission

The Art Deco Society of New York is a non-profit organization that advocates for the appreciation, understanding, celebration, documentation, and preservation of Art Deco architecture, design, and culture in New York and around the world.

The Art Deco Society of New York is a recognized 501c3 not-for-profit, member supported organization and is a member of the International Coalition of Art Deco Societies (ICADS), an organization of Art Deco societies that hosts the World Congress on Art Deco every two years in an important Deco City around the world.

Board of Directors

President: Roberta Nusim

Vice-President: Anthony W. Robins

Treasurer: William Curry

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, Marilyn F. Friedman, David Gerrard Lowe, Vicki Gold Levy, Ken Gross, Susan Henshaw Jones, Audrey Lipton, Benjamin Macklowe, Kathleen Murphy Skolnik, Bob Rose, Linda Zagaria

ADSNY Leadership

President: Roberta Nusim holds a BA and MA from the City College of New York, and has a long career in education, in New York City, which began as a junior high school teacher and reading specialist in the southeast Bronx, before starting an international educational publishing company. For more than three decades her company provided innovative, award-winning free curriculum materials to students in grades K-12 in schools throughout New York City, New York State, and beyond. As a native New Yorker with a lifelong interest in architecture and design, Nusim began as an ADSNY volunteer in 2005 and in 2013 assumed the role of President of the Board. Her mission has been to share her passion for New York and its rich cultural history, architecture, and design in all the boroughs by providing innovative programs and resources—for young people to adults, and with native New Yorkers and newcomers alike. 

 

Vice-President: Anthony W. Robins, who created ADSNY’s first tour program in 1981, and has served as ADSNY’s Vice President since 2016, brings to ADSNY experience gained from his two decades on the staff of the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission where he created the Landmark Designation reports for many of New York City’s architectural treasures. Robins is an award-winning tour guide and author who brings the city’s architecture and history to life through his engaging and insightful tours, lectures, courses and publications. Robins teaches the history of New York City architecture at Columbia University and New York University, has designed the “How to research New York City Buildings” course for the Municipal Arts Society and is the author of five books, including the award-winning NEW YORK ART DECO: A Guide to Gotham’s Jazz Age Architecture. He is a preservation consultant and spreads the word about New York architecture and design to local, national and international audiences. 

 

Treasurer: Marie Tarmy, who holds an MBA in Finance from Seton Hall University, is a licensed CPA with over 30 years of financial and operational experience in varied industries, serving as Chief Financial Officer on both a full time and on a consulting basis. Tarmy has served on ADSNY’s Board as Treasurer since 2016 and guides the organization on all financial matters.  

 

Secretary: Aidan T. McManus is a retired Information Technology executive, whose interest in Art Deco goes back to the late 1980s. McManus’s areas of interest, regarding Art Deco, focus on preservation and documentation. His focus at ADSNY is on ensuring that Art Deco throughout the city is safe from the wrecking ball. He is also a member of the Art Deco Society of the Palm Beaches, the Miami Design Preservation League, as well as the Paris Art Deco Society.

 

Board Member: George Calderaro began his preservation career thirty years ago as a staff member at the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Since then, he has been an active volunteer member of and contributor to the New York City preservation movement as a board member of the Historic Districts Council, the 29th Street Neighborhood Association, the Friends of the Upper East Side, the Art Deco Society New York, and the Victorian Society New York where he chairs the preservation committee. Calderaro is founding director of the Tin Pan Alley American Popular Music Project which commemorates and continues the legacy of the birthplace of American popular music on West 28th Street. He was a founding member of Save Gansevoort Market and a member of the Landmarks Committee of Manhattan Community Board 1. 

 

Board Member: Devon Caraher holds a BA in History and Italian Studies, an MA in the History of Decorative Arts and Design from Parsons The New School of Design (in conjunction with the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum) and a Graduate Diamond and Colored Gemstones Degree from the Gemology Institute of America. She is currently a lecturer at the Parsons School of Design where she teaches classes on the history of jewelry. Caraher also serves on the Board of the Art Deco Society of New York and is an active member of the American Society of Jewelry Historians and the Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts. She is the founder of dbc.nyc.

 

Board Member: Kelly Carroll is an award-winning preservationist, educator, and writer. She teaches historic preservation courses at the Center for Applied Liberal Arts at NYU’s School of Professional Studies, and at Mather Building Arts & Craftsmanship High School, a NYC Career & Technical Education school in partnership with the National Park Service. Kelly is also a preservation consultant and specializes in community outreach, research, writing, and strategy. She served as the Director of Advocacy and Community Outreach at the Historic Districts Council. Working alongside communities, she was essential to the successful designation of several New York City Historic Districts and Individual Landmarks. Prior to joining HDC, she served as Director of Preservation for Landmark West in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Kelly has a Masters of Science in Historic Preservation from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

 

Board Member: Greer St. John, a native New Yorker, started in the Financial Service business in the late 1980s, after she decided to leave her acting career. St. John started with a boutique firm called Berkeley Securities, where she worked in commodities, and later became stockbroker with Lehman Brothers. Three years later she went on to become a Financial Planner with Prudential Individual Financial Services. After 19 years, she retired from YMCA Retirement Fund where she was Assistant Director of Education / Customer Service and is currently a voiceover artist.

 

Board Member: Stephen H. Van Dyk is the former head of the Smithsonian Libraries Art Department, and worked in art, design, and architecture libraries for nearly forty years. With his vast experience in and knowledge of the field, Van Dyk has overseen the creation and development of the New York Art Deco Registry and Map.

Executive Director: Lauren Miller Walsh is a design historian with a Master’s degree in the History of Design and Curatorial Studies from Cooper Hewitt/Parsons, where she specialized in late 19th—mid-20th-century European and American decorative arts and printed material. She has more than a decade of experience running a Manhattan cultural organization, and is also a practicing graphic artist, working in both print and digital media. Lauren is the author of several papers on Art Deco and modernist design, and her graduate thesis, Weimar Rococo: The Cinema Posters of Josef Fenneker in 1920s Berlin, examined how the era's film industry impacted German society and aesthetics, with comparative sections on contemporaneous work in France and the United States.

 

Brief History 

The Art Deco Society of New York (ADSNY) was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 1982. ADSNY’s mission remains the same today: to foster public appreciation and understanding of artistic expression in all aspects of Art Deco. Art Deco architecture and design was a major force in the cultural history of the United States in the Twentieth Century with New York at its center. ADSNY’s goal is to draw attention to the merits and significance of the dynamic Art Deco architecture, crafts, and decorative arts of the 1920s and 30s, as well as to implement greater understanding of aesthetic forces of Art Deco through tours, exhibits, publications, and community events. Crucial to its mission is the prevention any needless destruction of important architectural examples of the Art Deco period and to help protect and preserve those examples wherever possible.

In its early years, the ADSNY hosted many seminal events, including New York’s first Art Deco weekend in June of 1983. 
In September 1985 New York Art Deco Week celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the Paris 1925 L’Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes, which was the first time Art Deco was exhibited on an international stage. Programs included walking tours, lectures, symposia, galas, and an exhibition and sale in the Cloud Club, which all contributed to the important revival of the Art Deco movement in the 1980s. New Yorkers were excited to learn about this progressive and fascinating period. In the 1980s and 90s, ADSNY's publication, The Modernist, offered articles and timely reports on events, exhibits, and presentations. 
 
In May 2005 ADSNY hosted the 8th World Congress on Art Deco, which brought together more than 250 Art Deco aficionados from around the world to celebrate the wealth of New York’s magnificent Art Deco icons. The program included a lecture series at CUNY Graduate Center, walking tours, Art Deco excursions in and outside Manhattan, receptions, and celebrations at the Western Union Building, Top of the Tower, Lenox Lounge, the Empire State Building, Eugene’s, and a gala in the lobby of the Chrysler Building on the 75th Anniversary of the opening of their wonderful Art Deco doors.

Today, ADSNY continues the mission of its founders through a wide variety of important educational, preservation, and celebratory programs for its ever-expanding membership and supporters. Recognizing the need to reach out to new generations, in 2013 ADSNY introduced the Jazz Age Order group for students and young professionals in their 20s and 30s to come together to learn about, celebrate, and protect New York’s great Deco heritage.

In early 2014 ADSNY introduced the New York Art Deco Registry and Map project, the first comprehensive listing of residential, commercial, and municipal buildings in the five boroughs of New York that have Art Deco façades. Sortable by neighborhood, architect, and building function, this is a valuable resource for anyone interested in learning more about Deco treasures throughout the city or putting together their own neighborhood walking tours. It has become the foundation of many ADSNY initiatives. 

Since 2015 ADSNY has offered a free educational program, Documenting Deco, for K-12 students throughout the city to help them learn about the unique Art Deco architecture and design they pass by each day and gives them a better understanding of the rich history of their city. 

Since 2016 ADSNY has offered the Telling the Art Deco Stories of Our Neighborhoods program, which partners with local community organizations to teach residents about the special Art Deco architecture, design, and history of their own neighborhoods. That same year, ADSNY launched the Art Deco New York journal, filled with important articles on Art Deco architecture, design, and Jazz Age culture in New York and around the world. 

 

ADSNY continues its preservation roots in gathering support and presenting testimony at the New York City Landmark Commission when important NYC Art Deco buildings are threatened. ADSNY plays a key role in gaining landmark status for famed Art Deco buildings and public interior spaces, such as the Waldorf Astoria hotel. In 2016 ADSNY was awarded the Grassroots Preservation Award by the Historic Districts Council for its efforts to protect the Coney Island Pumping Station. 

​In 2018 ADSNY created its Destination Deco travel program to offer custom designed programs for its members to explore interwar architecture and design in other cities. Deco Destinations have included Paris, Havana, Tel Aviv, Miami, Chicago, and Dallas-Fort Worth. In 2019 ADSNY introduced the first Autumn in New York: Deco Weekend, an immersive experience for visitors and New Yorkers to come together to explore the city's great Art Deco architecture, design, and Jazz Age culture.

ADSNY has long been recognized for its vital role in the city and was the 2018 recipient of the Guides Association of New York’s Outstanding Achievement in Support of New York City Cultural Apple Award and has received grants from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts in support of its programing. 

In 2020, to continue to offer its members meaningful engagement and activities when the Covid Pandemic forced New City to pause all activities, ADSNY was one of the first cultural institutions in the city to pivot to online video programs and from April 2020 through the end of 2021, offered fifty engaging, informative programs on Art Deco architecture and design and the culture of the interwar period, which attracted a global audience.

As we continue on our Deco path, we proudly adhere to our original mission to preserve and promote the city’s rich Art Deco heritage and celebrate New York’s leading role in the unique aesthetic of the 1920s and 1930s in fine and decorative arts, fashion, entertainment, and preservation of the city’s architectural masterpieces.

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Past Presidents: Dennis Abbe, Michael Love, Larry Zim, David Gibson, William T. Weber, Shirley Gaynes, Kathy Hausman

 

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Art Deco Society of New York

P.O. Box 6205

New York, NY 10150-6205

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(212) 679–DECO (3326)

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