Author: Natalie Espinosa

“Women Artists in Paris, 1850-1900” and their Contemporary Counterparts

September 7, 2017
6-8 pm
The Cultural Services of The French Embassy
972 5th Avenue, NYC
Free. RSVP Required


In this conversation organized on occasion of the exhibition Women Artists in Paris, 1850-1900, Laurence Madeline, the exhibition’s curator, and Bridget Alsdorf, scholar and catalogue contributor, will discuss the experience of women artists working in Paris at the end of the nineteenth century, and that of their contemporary counterparts.

During the second half of the nineteenth century, as a hub of opportunity and inspiration, Paris welcomed artists into dynamic circles of creative and intellectual dialogue and innovation. However, the persistence of restricting gender norms made it difficult for women to be recognized as creators and pioneers in their own right. Drawn from prominent collections across the United States and abroad, Women Artists in Paris, 1850-1900 features close to 90 paintings by 37 artists who helped to fuel the first avant-garde movements and challenged the conservative discourse of the acceptable expressions of femininity.

The accompanying catalogue, edited by the American Federation of Arts in conjunction with Yale University Press, will be available for sale at the event, courtesy of Albertine.

Laurence Madeline is the former Chief Curator of the fine arts division of the Musées d’art et d’histoire (MAH), Geneva. In addition, she has served as Director of the Musée Léon Dierx, Saint-Denis de La Réunion; Curator at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; and Curator at the Musée Picasso, Paris.

Bridget Alsdorf is an Associate Professor at Princeton University specializing in European art of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She is the author of Fellow Men: Fantin-Latour and the Problem of the Group in Nineteenth-Century French Painting (2012).

Women Artists in Paris, 1850–1900 is organized by the American Federation of Arts and curated by independent curator Laurence Madeline.

The exhibition is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding is provided by the JFM Foundation, Elizabeth K. Belfer, the Florence Gould Foundation, Monique Schoen Warshaw, the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, Clare McKeon, Steph and Jody La Nasa, Victoria Ershova Triplett, the American-Scandinavian Foundation, and the Finlandia Foundation.


We thank The Cultural Services of The French Embassy in the U.S. for their support of this event.

Day of Art: Hamptons

10 AM-5 PM

Join Pauline Willis, director of the AFA, at our annual summer event in the Hamptons. This art-filled day features celebrated private collections, lunch, and studio visits.

Highlights include:

Private Tour of Light | Waves by Clifford Ross at the Parrish Art Museum
We will start our day of art at the Parrish Art Museum for a special tour of Light | Waves, a mixed media installation by artist Clifford Ross that uses new photographic techniques to simulate and enhance the force and rhythm of nature. This work is part of the museum’s “Platform” series that invites a single artist to consider the entire museum as a site, thus transcending disciplinary boundaries and encouraging new ways to experience art.

Private Tour at the home of Louise and Leonard Riggio
Our day continues at the home of Louise and Leonard Riggio, Founder and Chairman of Barnes & Noble. Since we first visited in 2014, the couple has acquired several new outdoor sculptures, including Lay of the Land (2016), a commissioned work by Maya Lin; the impressive De Maria Garden and Pavilion, housing a series of Walter De Maria works; and Richard Serra’s Grief and Reason (for Walter), created in honor of De Maria upon his death in 2013. The work indoors rotates between genres of the late 1960s and 70s, such as Minimalism, Pop, Conceptual Art, and Arte Povera with works by the likes of Ed Ruscha, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol.

Prix-Fixe Lunch at Bobby Van’s Steakhouse
We still stop for lunch at the original Bobby Van’s Steakhouse, first opened  in the summer of 1969, where he tended bar and played piano. The restaurant quickly became famous with local musicians, writers, poets, and artists.

Farewell Cocktails & Private Tour at the Home of Barbara and Richard Lane
To end this wonderful day of art, we invite you to the home of Barbara and Rick Lanea longstanding AFA Trusteefor cocktails and a private tour of their outstanding collection. With an emphasis on international contemporary photography, their home features work by artists such as Vik Muniz, Cindy Sherman, Adam McEwen and Barbara Kruger to name a few.

Please note: We will meet at the Parrish Art Museum and will carpool between locations. Participants will be responsible for their own transportation; parking is available at each location. Addresses will be provided upon reservation. Business casual attire recommended.

* Ticket price includes lunch. All but $50 is tax deductible. Space is limited.

For questions, please contact / 212.988.7700 x 209.

Private Tour of Galerie Mourlot

September 14, 2017
6:00–7:00 pm
Galerie Mourlot
16 East 79th Street,
Suite 21, NYC
For AFA Members Only / Free

RSVP: / 212.988.7700  x 209


This intimate tour will offer AFA Members an inside look at the history of Galerie Mourlot. Eric Mourlot, current owner and descendant of the gallery’s founders, will host this special visit.


Established in 1852, the Atelier Mourlot began as a producer of fine wallpaper in Paris, later expanding its operation to print illustrated books and lithographic posters for art institutions. By the late 1930s, with Fernand Mourlot at the helm, Atelier Mourlot became one of the largest and most famous print shops of the 20th century.

Fernand introduced the color lithography process to some of the greatest Modernists of his day, including Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, and Georges Braque. In 1967, the print shop opened a second location in New York, where Fernand collaborated with well-known artists such as Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Marc Chagall, and Alex Katz.

Although the studio is no longer open today, the works and the process of its art remain available at Galerie Mourlot.

For more information about Galerie Mourlot, please visit

Private Tour of “John Lockwood Kipling: Arts & Crafts in the Punjab and London” Led by Susan Weber

September 25, 2017
6–7 pm
Bard Graduate Center
18 West 86TH Street, NYC

Please email to be placed on the waiting list.

Join us on this private tour of John Lockwood Kipling: Arts & Crafts in the Punjab and London with Susan Weber, co-curator of the exhibition and director of the Bard Graduate Center. This is the first major exhibition to examine the work of John Lockwood Kipling (1837-1911)—designer, architectural sculptor, curator, educator, illustrator, and journalist—whose role in the nineteenth‐century Arts and Crafts revival in British India is little known. Featuring nearly 300 objects from metalwork and furniture to paintings and relief sculpture, the show reveals this charismatic Victorian designer’s expertise, promotion of traditional Indian arts and crafts, and lasting impact on his son Rudyard, author of The Jungle Book.

The catalogue accompanying the exhibition will be available for purchase after the tour. Attendees will receive a 10% discount off the list price.

John Lockwood Kipling: Arts & Crafts in the Punjab and London is curated by Susan Weber, Director, Bard Graduate Center, and Julius Bryant, Keeper of Word & Image, Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Patrons Trip To Denver For The Opening of “Women Artists in Paris: 1850-1900”

OCTOBER 2022, 2017


Join Pauline Willis, director of the AFA, on a special three-day trip to Denver in celebration of the AFA exhibition, Women Artists in Paris: 1850-1900 (presented locally as Her Paris: Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism)that will begin its national tour with a grand opening at the Denver Art Museum on October 22.

Patrons will enjoy a private tour of the exhibition in advance of the public opening, an invitation to the museum’s gala, and visits to other museums and renowned private collections.

Highlights include:

Private Tour of Her Paris: Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism Denver Art Museum
We will kick off our trip with a private tour of Her Paris with Laurence Madeline, curator of the exhibition and former Chief Curator of the fine arts division of the Musées d’art et d’histoire (MAH), Geneva.

Opening Gala Denver Art Museum
AFA patrons receive an exclusive invitation to attend the Denver Art Museum’s annual black-tie Opening Gala. It is an opportunity to celebrate with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, music, and, of course, to explore the exhibition!

Private Collection Visit | Cathey and Dick Finlon
Former President of the Denver Art Museum, Cathey Finlon, and her husband Dick will welcome AFA patrons to their home in Denver’s historic Polo Club neighborhood. The couple has assembled an extraordinary collection of contemporary photography, which is artfully arranged throughout their home. We will also be joined by the Finlons’ curator, Dianne Vanderlip, who will discuss the formation of this collection.

Private Collection Visit | RedHOUSE
Guests are invited to RedHOUSE, the home of former AFA President Jan Mayer, for a special collection visit and dinner. This beautiful townhouse, designed by Seattle architect Jim Olson, showcases the incredible collection formed by Mrs. Mayer and her late husband Frederick. It includes Greek antiquities, Costa Rican pre-Columbian art, 20th-century American prints and watercolors, and features artists such as Milton Avery, Hans Hoffman, George Innes, and John Singer Sargent.

Contribution: $2,250 for individuals / $4,000 for shared room;
includes lodging at the Four Seasons Hotel, meals and local transportation. It does not include airfare and airport transfers.

* The itinerary is subject to change. Tour price includes a fully tax-deductible contribution of $500 for individuals or $750 for couples to the American Federation of Arts.

For information or to RSVP, please contact or 212.988.7700 x 209. 

Buddha and Shiva, Lotus and Dragon: Masterworks from the Rockefeller Collection at Asia Society

Available from 2020 through 2021


First venue: March 19 – June 14, 2020
Second venue: July 23 – October 18, 2020
Third venue: December 3, 2020 – February 28, 2021
Fourth venue: April 1 – June 27, 2021

Buddha and Shiva, Lotus and Dragon: Masterworks from the Rockefeller Collection at Asia Society will present sixty-seven masterpieces collected by John D. Rockefeller 3rd and his wife, illuminating the cultures and history of Asia. This important collection underscores art’s capacity to encourage cross-cultural dialogue and influence economic and public policy. The selection of sculptures, bronzes, and ceramics ranges from the late sixth century BCE to the early nineteenth century CE, and originates from Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tibet, and Vietnam. Highlights include a spectacular Gupta-period Buddha and a Chola-period bronze Parvati from India; an extraordinary bronze gui (food vessel) from China’s Zhou dynasty; a rare seventeenth-century jar by the great Japanese potter Nonomura Ninsei; and an eighth-century bronze Maitreya Buddha from Thailand.

John D. Rockefeller 3rd (1906–1978) and his wife Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller (1909–1992) believed that by building a collection of the highest quality and sharing it with the public, they could educate Americans about the importance and diversity of Asian art, as a means to elevate their understanding of Asian cultures and create bridges to future economic and sociopolitical dialogue and engagement. Sherman E. Lee (1918–2008), an important art museum director and scholar of Asian art, worked with the Rockefellers as an advisor to their collection, and his influence will be addressed throughout this exhibition. The Rockefeller collection was bequeathed to Asia Society in New York City following the death of John D. Rockefeller 3rd in 1978.

Rockefeller played an instrumental role in fostering cultural understanding and cooperation between Asia and America after the Second World War. Early on he was influenced by the collection of Chinese and Japanese art amassed by his parents, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and his interest in Asian art was tied directly to his increasing involvement in international politics, particularly relations between Asia and the West. In 1951 he joined the peace mission to Japan led by John Foster Dulles, and two years later he established the Council on Economic and Cultural Affairs, which necessitated frequent travels throughout the region.

A selection of Japanese works reflects the Rockefellers’ working relationship with their art advisor Sherman Lee set against the backdrop of postwar Japan, when political and economic circumstances led to the sale of many privately owned works and provided an unprecedented opportunity for American collectors. Similarly, the superb ceramics and sculptures in the exhibition bring to light the impact of Chinese civil strife and economic distress on the international art market during the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries, as well as the rise of interest in South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Himalayan art.


For more information, contact Curator Richard P. Townsend at 212.988.7700 ext. 225 or


This exhibition is co-organized by the American Federation of Arts and Asia Society Museum.

Women Artists in Paris, 1850-1900

Authors: Laurence Madeline
With Bridget Alsdorf, Richard Kendall, Jane R. Becker, Vibeke Waallann Hansen, and Joëlle Bolloch
Publishers: American Federation of Arts & Yale University Press (2017)
Dimensions: 9 1/2 x 11 in.
Format: Softcover, 288 pp
ISBN: 978-1-885-444-45-5
Price: $40
(Available September 2017)

In the second half of the nineteenth century, Paris attracted an international gathering of women artists, drawn to the French capital by its academies and museums, studios and salons. Featuring thirty-seven women from eleven different countries, this sumptuously illustrated book explores the strength of these artists’ creative achievements, through paintings by acclaimed Impressionists such as Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot, and exceptional lesser-known artists such as Anna Ancher, Marie Bashkirtseff, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Hanna Pauli, and Lilla Cabot Perry. It examines their work against the sociopolitical background of the period, when women were mostly barred from formal artistic education but skillfully navigated the city’s network of private studio schools, salons, and galleries. Essays consider the powerfully influential work of women Impressionists, representations of the female artist in portraiture, the unique experiences of Nordic women artists, and the significant presence of women artists throughout the history of the Paris Salon. By addressing the long-undervalued contributions of women to the art of the later nineteenth century, Women Artists in Paris pays tribute to pioneers who not only created remarkable paintings but also generated momentum toward a more egalitarian art world.

Read more about the exhibition Women Artists in Paris, 1850-1900.

Private Tour of “Independent Visions: Helene Schjerfbeck and Her Contemporaries from The Collection of Ateneum, Finnish National Gallery”

JUNE 14, 2017
6:00–7:00 PM



Private tour of Independent Visions: Helene Schjerfbeck and Her Contemporaries, from the Collection of Ateneum, Finnish National Gallery, an exhibition that presents fifty-five works by four celebrated Finnish female artists: Helene Schjerfbeck, Sigrid Schauman, Ellen Thesleff, and Elga Sesemann. Sharing the experience of traveling and studying in France and Italy while maintaining strong attachments to their home country of Finland, these artists that remain relatively unknown to American audiences, reveal the excitement and turbulence of late 19th and early 20th centuries.

This tour will offer a preview of the work of two artists, Helene Schjerfbeck and Ellen Thesleff, also included in the AFA’s upcoming exhibition, Women Artists in Paris, 1850-1900, that begins its national tour at the Denver Museum of Art on October 22, 2017.

2017 Gala & Cultural Leadership Awards

October 26, 2017
6:30-11:00 pm
The Metropolitan Club
1 East 60th Street, NYC

Honoring Charles & Valerie Diker and William Wegman



At this year’s AFA Gala we are thrilled to honor noteworthy collectors and philanthropists Charles and Valerie Diker, and artist William Wegman for their extraordinary contributions to the visual arts. The awards will be presented by Alice Walton, Chairwoman of the Board of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and Jeff Rosenheim, Curator in Charge of the Department of Photography at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Mr. and Mrs. Diker are recognized primarily for their significant advancement of the understanding of Native American art. With a promised gift of more than 90 works to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Dikers seek to have Native American art and artists acknowledged as integral to the broader history of American art.

William Wegman is widely known for his large-scale Polaroids of Weimaraners, merging performance, humor and representation. This ability to amuse and transform has been prevalent throughout his four decades-long career, as evidenced by his earliest conceptual works and pioneering video art from the 1970s. Today, he continues to challenge the perception of everyday objects and ideas in his drawings, collages, paintings and altered photographs.


Sandra Warshawsky



Ruth Appelhof & Gary Adamek
Betsy & Robert Barbanell
Jonathan Binstock
Stephanie & Frederick Clark
Charlotte Eyerman
Ashleigh Fernandez
Tom L. Freudenheim
Lee White Galvis & Sergio Galvis
Agnes Gund
Anthony Hirschel
Mary & Brian Kennedy
Steph & Jody La Nasa
NancyJane & Jeffrey Loewy
Martha MacMillan
Merrill & Chris Mahan
Clare E. McKeon
Jennifer New
Arcmanoro Niles
Kimerly Rorschach
Capera Ryan
Betsy Pinover Schiff
James Snyder
Ellen & Bill Taubman
Ian Taylor
Alice Walton
Monique Schoen Warshaw
Elaine & James Wolfensohn
Pamala Wright


Special Thanks

Chronicle Books
Project Projects
Matthew Robbins Design

(list in formation as of 08.22.17)



For more information, please contact Kristin Sarli at or 212.988.7700 x 209.

To buy an advertisement in the gala journal, download our order form.

Estimated fair-market value of the gala dinner is $250 per person. Contributions in excess of that amount are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

Jeff Koons to be Guest Speaker at American Federation of Arts’ 2017 Spring Luncheon

(New York, April 11, 2017)—The American Federation of Arts (AFA) is delighted to announce that its annual Spring Luncheon will take place on May 17, 2017 at the JW Marriott Essex House in New York City. This year’s guest speaker will be world-renowned artist Jeff Koons, who will be in conversation with Scott Rothkopf, Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

“We are extremely happy to have Jeff Koons at our Spring Luncheon. He is undoubtedly one of the most important, influential and rebellious artists in the postwar generation,” stated Pauline Willis, Director of the American Federation of Arts.

Jeff Koons is an American artist celebrated for his work with banal objects and subjects from popular culture. He is widely known for his sculptures Rabbit and Balloon Dog, as well as monumental floral works such as Puppy and Split Rocker. Since his first solo exhibition in 1980, Koons’s work has been shown in important museums and galleries throughout the world. In 2014, his work was the subject of Jeff Koons: A Retrospective, a major exhibition organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art and curated by Scott Rothkopf, which traveled to the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Guggenheim Bilbao. Koons lives and works in New York City.

This year marks the sixth anniversary of the Spring Luncheon. Past speakers include: Anne Pasternak, director of the Brooklyn Museum (2016); Will Cotton, artist (2015); Reed Krakoff, fashion designer (2014); Charles Renfro, partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro (2013); Adam Gopnik, writer and essayist (2012); and Angela Westwater, co-founder of Sperone Westwater Gallery (2011).

The Luncheon will be chaired by AFA President, Clare E. McKeon, along with co-chairs Elizabeth Belfer, Stephanie Borynack Clark, Charlotte Eyerman, Ashleigh Fernandez, Lee White Galvis, Merril Mahan, Jennifer New, Capera Ryan, and Jennifer Wright. This event is one of two main fundraisers that help the AFA bring inspiring and thought-provoking art to communities across the nation. Proceeds from the Spring Luncheon directly support curatorial research and exhibition development for future AFA projects.

$350 Individual Ticket ▪ $600 Supporter Ticket ▪ $3,500 Sponsor Table ▪ $6,000 Patron Table. Click here for tickets or contact us at 212.988.7700 x 209 or

The 2017 AFA Spring Luncheon is sponsored by

Additional support provided by

Special thanks to
Matthew Robbins Design, Stella Giovanni, and David Zwirner Gallery
The American Federation of Arts is the leader in traveling exhibitions internationally. A nonprofit organization founded in 1909, the AFA is dedicated to enriching the public’s experience and understanding of the visual arts.

Press Contact: Natalie Espinosa,
or 212.988.7700 x 205.