This weekend is your last chance in 2017 to experience New York’s hottest art tours, the Shady Ladies tours of the Met. Founded by art historian Professor Andrew Lear, and led exclusively by art history PhDs, the Shady Ladies tours reveal the secret, sexy, and downright scandalous backstories behind the Met’s masterpieces.
There are three options.
The original Shady Ladies tour, Sunday at 2:15 pm, introduces you to the courtesans and royal mistresses that fascinated patrons and artists from Ancient Athens to Belle Epoque Paris. Meet the courtesan who inspired the first female nude of the Western tradition; learn about the pleasure quarter of old Tokyo; meet King Charles I’s bastard son, and more!
On Saturday at 1:15, the “Nasty Women” tour introduces you to a whole different cast of characters: ambitious and powerful women among the Met’s sitters, artists, and even donors, from a female Pharaoh to Gertrude Stein, with stops along the way to meet the most famous woman artist of the Renaissance, a female scientist of 18th century Paris, and so on.
On Saturday at 4, you can experience Professor Lear’s newest offering, the Fashion and Beauty tour, which explores shifting standards of beauty in cultures from pre-Columbian Ecuador to Edwardian New York and the fabulous—and crazy—things that people have done to live up to them. See neck rings and beauty marks, foot high powdered wigs and hoop skirts—and learn the answer to the inevitable question: why did they wear that?
Gifts certificates are available—the Shady Ladies tours make a wonderful Christmas present! Tours will resume in mid-January.
And check out the Shady Ladies tour of Paris, which will resume in July.