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The Famous Waldorf Astoria Lobby Clock, Now Marking Time At The New-York Historical Society

On March 1, 2017, the Waldorf Astoria — the fabled “Host to the World” where room service, Eggs Benedict and Waldorf Salad were invented and where every president from Hoover to Obama spent the night — shut its massive doors for a gut renovation that was supposed to take two to three years.

We’re still awaiting the hotel’s reopening — and not holding our breath, because who wants to unveil a billion dollar renovation during a pandemic? 

But for Waldorf aficionados starved for a glimpse of Park Avenue’s Art Deco beauty, the New-York Historical Society offers a tantalizing teaser. Standing just past the check-in desk in an arched alcove is the Waldorf Astoria Lobby Clock, the 19th-century tour-de-force feast of walnut, mahogany, marble and copper that greeted hotel guests for over 85 years and was renowned as a popular interior landmark as in “Meet me by the clock.” Read more

Celebrating the Iconic Line Art of Al Hirschfeld At The New-York Historical Society — And the Algonquin Hotel

Those who think in black and white are buzzing about the newly opened The Hirschfeld Century: The Art of Al Hirschfeld at the New-York Historical Society. During his jaw-dropping 75 years as a New York Times linesman, Hirschfeld’s inimitable renderings captured the essence of his boldface subjects — actors, musicians, artists, dancers and other cultural denizens — with an added helping of wit. Not surprisingly, collectors clamored for his original drawings. A cool 100 of them are on view — a sly wink to the number of years he lived. Look for Ella Fitzgerald, Ringo Starr and Hirschfeld’s timeless self-portrait from 1985 for starters. Read more

Madeline and the Ritz — How Hotels Influenced the Life and Art of Ludwig Bemelmans

The New-York Historical Society is a labyrinthine building, but it’s not hard to find Madeline in New York: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans, on view through October 19. You just follow the mob of kids (and trailing parents) to the enormous rendering of the Bemelmans’ red-headed imp that heralds the show. Read more