Upper East Side: Inner Sanctum

Upper East Side: Inner Sanctum


Step off the leafy, residential streets of the UES and across the thresholds of two different townhouses to discover two very different and unexpected art venues.   Once a vital hub of 20th-century art activity, and largely forsaken in recent decades by artists and galleries in favor of SoHo and Chelsea, more and more galleries with both traditional and less conventional programs are popping up in this section of town.  As the internet, art fairs and decreased foot traffic hasten the increasing decentralization of NYC’s commercial art hub throughout NYC’s neighborhoods and boroughs, sometimes the most interesting art stories can be found behind unexpected doors.

Waterfall Mansion & Gallery, the vision of founder and developer Kate Shin, showcases artful living. As we peruse the wide range of international art that fills the many floors of the mansion, Kate will recount the carriage house's legacy as the former residence and studio of postwar textile designers to the stars, Leslie and D.D. Tillett, whose work continues to influence today’s young artisans; and the radical transformation of the mansion into a state-of-the-art art gallery. Featured on our visit will be the work of Hiroko Otake, a contemporary Japanese painter of butterflies and flowers steeped in the traditional Japanese painting technique of Nihonga, a practice over a thousand years old and specific to Japanese artistic conventions, techniques and materials.

Then we will take a short walk to the Victoria Munroe Gallery for a contrasting look at contemporary artists also inspired by nature. Spot on for our year exploring “art influencers”, the gallery has assembled a group show of contemporary work specifically influenced by and responding to that of female botanical women artists of the 17th-century. Victoria will explain the program and contemplate with us the ways artists look back to other historical times and genres for inspiration.