Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sketch Nights at the Society of Illustrators

The Society of Illustrators is housed in a lovely old townhouse on 63rd Street here in Manhattan. Founded in 1901 it was established to 'promote generally the art of illustration and to hold exhibitions from time to time'. Dinners were attended by artists such as Maxfield Parish, N.C. Whyeth, Charles Dana Gibson and guests such as Mark Twain and Andrew Carnegie visited on occasion. The walls are graced with original artworks from great Hall of Fame illustrators from throughout the 20th Century. My eyes nearly popped out the first time I saw some originals by fashion illustrators I had written about in my college thesis, not to mention other illustrators whose work I had only seen in reference books. I am in awe and yet feel 'at home' every time I visit. The society hosts sketch nights twice a week where anyone can join in, have a glass of wine, listen to live jazz and sketch the models in poses from 2 to 20 minutes, sometimes nude, sometimes in costume, all of them professional and creative with their poses.

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