Gilded glories once again at Lyndhurst

Having attended the inaugural “Mansions of the Gilded Age” symposium last year at Lyndhurst, WAG looked with anticipation to the second annual edition held in Tarrytown earlier this month.

And it proved to be another thoughtful – and enjoyable – day spent traveling back in time, thanks to a panel of experts who offered quite a detailed travelogue.

Before things got started, we had the chance to catch up with Jenny Pitman, the regional representative of Rago Arts & Auction Center in Lambertville, New Jersey. We had profiled the longtime Westchester resident in our January issue. Having earned her master’s degree in decorative arts, Pitman shared that she was also looking forward to the day, sponsored in part by Rago Auctions.

Following an introduction from Lyndhurst’s executive director Howard Zar, the program kicked off right on time and continued at a steady pace throughout the day.

Gary Lawrance, architect, author and founder of the popular “Mansions of the Gilded Age” group on Facebook and other social media, set the mood with “Fifth Avenue Châteaux: Fifth Avenue’s Glorious French Mansions During the Gilded Age,” followed by a tour of “Three Parlors by Pottier & Stymus” by Walter G. Ritchie, Jr., a scholar and architectural historian currently at work on a book about the furniture firm.

After a lunch break – that found us savoring a visit to Lyndhurst’s incredible Rose Garden – Frank Maraschiello of Rago’s 20th/21st Century Decorative Art & Design Department took us on a delightful tour through “The Tiffany Empire.” Next, author Stephen T. Moskey discussed “Reimagining Weld: A Lost Gilded Age Estate,” formerly in Brookline, Massachusetts, while art historian, appraiser and writer Lynn Villency Cohen wrapped up the presentations with “Art Collecting in the Gilded Age: The Taste of the Gentleman Collector.”

As you can see, the scope was broad, and the details were plentiful – and transporting.

We’re already looking forward to next year’s event.

For more, visit Lyndhurst.org.

– Mary Shustack

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