The Rockefeller Center Public Art Tour
Murals - Sculptures - Reliefs - Architecture - History - Interesting Pictures and Stories

Click to buy a ticket for a publicly scheduled walking tour on November 18

A Walking Tour or Slide Show of Rockefeller Center's Public Art

Private Walking Tours (about 2 hours) and Slideshows (about 1½ hours) are available all year (212 979 2388)

Both the walking tour & the slideshow feature an exploration of the art, history and architecture of Rockefeller Center with biographical information about John D. Rockefeller. The walking tour includes a walk through the underground plaza, with its shops, restaurants and passageways that connect the Center's original 12 buildings. Both the tour & the slideshow examine some of Manhattan's finest and most interesting examples of sculpture and murals that are mistakenly passed over daily - as just architectural sculptures or public paintings - and people fail to realize that right here on the streets and on the public walls and ceilings of Rockefeller Center, are works from some of the great artists of the twentieth century. The purpose of the tour / slideshow is to examine the art and increase our awareness and appreciation of the art that has been on display for over 3/4 of a century at the center.

Featuring information and pictures about:
  • John D. Rockefeller and his nemesis - Who was she? Why was she so vindictive?
  • Rockefeller Center's site - What was here before? Who owns Rockefeller Center?
  • Diego Rivera's mural in the lobby of Rockefeller's RCA Bldg. - What happened to it? And why?
  • Who was the ostentatious holdout who outsmarted and outlasted the Rockefellers and Columbia University for 19 years even though his lease had long expired.

Find out about the controversies connected to Rockefeller Center's art works:
  • "Tumbling Woman" is gone !
  • Does he really look like Mussolini ?
  • This panel "Art is labor....Labor is Art" was removed because?
  • One of the leading figurative sculptors of the 20th century had his work cut in half at the center
  • The artist who lost 10 percent of his commission because he would not back down on the French Coat of Arms but did back down on male nudity
  • Find out about a well known artist who had been Rodin's assistant, his work was dismissed and he was insulted by the management of Rockefeller Center.
    He sued the center and won. Later members of the Rockefeller family personally contacted him and commissioned him for three wood statues still a part of Rockefeller Center
  • Find out about the world famous artist who had his work destroyed by Rockefeller Center

We will see the works of such widely acclaimed sculptors and painters as:
  • Lee Lawrie 1890 - 1970, was the in house sculptor for Rockefeller Center with over 8 works including: "Atlas"; "Wisdom, Knowledge, Light and Sound"
    He received: the "Gold Medal" from the AIA; a "Medal of Honor" from the Architectural League of N. Y. Laurie has works at West Point, U.S. Military Academy; St. Thomas Church: Church of St. Vincent Ferrer and many others
  • Paul Manship 1885 - 1966, has exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; The Woodrow Wilson Memorial; The Detroit Art Institute; the Art Institute in Chicago, and works at the League of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Musee de Luxenbough in Paris, France and more
  • Jose Sert 1876 - 1945, was the son of an affluent textile industry family, a Catalan Spanish muralist and a friend of Salvador Dalí. He was particularly known for his grisaille style, often in gold and black. His best known public murals are at the Council Building of League of Nations, Geneva, Switzerland and in the Hôtel de Ville in Paris. Sert had works at The Waldorf Astoria (lost in a renovation), NY and became involved on a personal and private level with the group of artist known as Les Nabis, including Paul Ranson (1864–1909), who had studied at the renowned private Académie Julian, founded in 1868 by painter Rodolphe Julian. The Académie Julian, along with Académie Colarossi, were frequented by both male and female would-be foreign painters, engravers and sculptors including Americans and, unlike the École des Beaux Arts, accepted women as students and allowed them to draw from male nude male models. Many of the nude models gracing today millionaires' homes and the world's museums came, either as students or models or both, from such private, none-too-prudish Paris art schools.
  • Attilio Piccirili 1866- 1945, Sculptor, Stone Cutter and Modeler, migrated from Italy with his brothers, Orazio and Getulio. They had their studio on E. 142 the Bronx. The Piccirili brothers are responsible for most of the on site carving at Rockefeller Center. The brothers were sculptors but also worked as model makers and carvers for other sculptors. They still practiced the ancient stone carving techniques that they brought here from Italy. As a sculptor Attilio Piccirili has his `Fragilina' at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC; and created, `The Maine Memorial' at Columbus Circle, NY; "Fireman's Memorial" W.100 St. NYC and much more
  • Leo Lentelli (1879 - 1961) Italian Sculptor, came to the U.S. at the age of 24 and became a naturalized citizen at the age of 34. His works can be found across the U.S. Including works at: The National Academy of Design, NY; Dept. of the Interior, Wash. DC;
    Dept of the Interior, Wash. DC; U.S. General Services Administration Wash. DC; Brookgreen Gardens, SC; Oakland Museum CA; 16th Bridge Pittsburg, PA; Cathedral Church of Christ the King, Kalamazoo, MI.
  • Giacomo Manazu (1908 - 1990) Italian Artist - is best known for his `Standing Cardinals' at St. Peter's Church in Rome, Italy and 1948 won the`Grand Prize for Sculpture' at the Venice Biennial. He is considered the leading figurative sculptor of the 20th century
    His works are recognized by Western museums and collectors and also celebrated by the Soviet art world as well. A Roman Catholic, he was a personal friend of Pope John XXIII
    and had important liturgical commissions for the Vatican. In the U.S., architect Minoru Yamasaki commissioned Manazu for the statue, Passo di Danza (dance step) at the 1 Woodward Ave. building in Detroit.
    He also carved the Nymph and Faun at Wayne State University's McGreagor Memorial sculpture garden.
  • Carl P. Jennewein1890 - 1978,has exhibits at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, Arlington Memorial Bridge, Washington D.C., Brooklyn Central Library in NY, Tampa Museum of Fine Arts in Florida, Brookgreen Gardens, SC and more.
    Jennewein came to the U.S. in 1907 and became a citizen in 1915. He studied at the Arts Students League in Manhattan and became a Prix de Rome scholar.
  • Alfred Janniot <1889 - 1996 one of France's leading civic sculptors gained international recognition and awarded the `Chevalier of the Legion of Honor' for his "Tapestry in Stone" in France and more.
  • Gaston Lachaise 1882 - 1935 - Born in Paris, France he did many nudes that celebrated sex as part of human love. His works are part of the collections at: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC; The Whitney Museum, NYC; The PA Museum of Fine Art, Philadelphia; His work also appears on the old AT&T Building on Broadway and he has works at Rockefeller Center. Much of Lachaise's sculpture was considered beyond good taste - the Rockefellers, Raymond Hood and MOMA are considered ahead of their times because of their support for his work. Much of that credit belongs to Abbey Rockefeller. Lachaise did portraits of Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keef, John Deering, and Edward M. Warberg
  • Frank Brangwin 1867- 1956, In 1885, was the youngest artist to exhibit at the Royal Academy in London and in 1952 was the first living artists to have a one man show at the Royal Academy, London. His canvas "Funeral at Sea" won a gold medal at the 1888 Paris Salon and much more)
  • Barry Faulkner 1881 - 1966, had exhibits in the National Archives, Washington D.C.; The American Academy in Rome; and has works at the State House in Concord New Hampshire; and the state capitol in Salem, Oregon: plus inspiring, dramatic murals in buildings in New York, Washington, Rochester, Hartford and Andove.
  • Hildreth Meiere 1893 - 1961, has works in St. Patrick's Cathedral and St. Bartholomew's Church in New York City; the House and Senate wings of the U.S. Capitol, the National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C., and at one Wall St.
  • Carl Milles, 1875 - 1955, worked as an assistant of Roden, became, Director of the Sculpture Dept. of Cranbrook School in Michigan, Ohio. His works include: "The Fountain of the Muses" at: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y.; and the "Saint Louis Fountain" (The Meeting of the Waters) in St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Isamu Noguchi 1904 - 1994, has works at exhibited at: Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Whitney Museum; The Museum of Modern Art in NY; and there is a Noguchi Gardens in Long Island City and The Red Cube at the entrance to 140 Broadway and the Sunken Plaza Rock Garden at 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza, Pine St and rock gardens across the world.
  • Michio Ihara 1928 - , is self described as an architectural sculptor and works with abstract forms in steel and brass using light, shadows and movement as elements. His first one man show was in Manhattan at Staempfli Gallery that used to be at: 47 E. 77 St. Ihara has received architectural commissions in Japan, New Zealand, and dozens of locations in the U.S.
  • Rene P. Chambellan 1893 - 1985, American sculptor, studied at ecole des Beaux Arts and Academie Julian in Pairs and with Solon Borglum in New York city. Chambellan specialized in architectural sculpture and a foremost practitioner of what was known as the French Modern style (Zig-Zag Moderne or Art Deco) His works are at Rockefeller Center, Radio City, Channin Bldg., Majestic Apts. Daily News Bldg. Kings County Hospital, NY Life Insurance Bldg.
  • Dean Cornwell 1892 - 1960, Exhibited at: the Whitney Museum; The Chicago Arts Institute; The Royal Academy in London; the National Academy of Design in New York City, and at the 1939 World's Fair; Cornwell illustrated the popular novels: The Robe in 1947 & The Big Fisherman in 192 by Lloyd Douglas

The 2 hour walking tour ($120.) includes an itinerary with 26 stops or a 3 hour ($180.) version with 36 stops
The 3 hour tour includes 2 landmark buildings on 5th Ave. that are not a part of Rockefeller Center. The 3 hour tour will sometimes include some of the next generation of artist represented in the additions to Rockefeller Center in the 1960's (between 6th & 7th Avenues) with the works of artist such as:
Fritz Glarner (1899 - 1972); and Josef Albers (1888 - 1976)William Crovello (1929 - )

The 3 hour walking tour also includes works by such well known and accomplished artist of the day as,:

Leo Frielander (1890 - 1966); Gaston Lachaise (1882 - 1935); Robert Garison (1895 - 1946); Hildreh Meiere (1893 - 1961)

The walking tour meets: between Madison Ave. & 5th Ave on E. 51 St. at: 645 Olympic Tower, Atrium Entrance,
E & F Train to 5 Ave.(53 St) or #6 Train to E. 51 St. (Lex. Ave.) or N & R Train to 5 Ave.

The walking tour or the slideshow will be hosted by Alfred Pommer a college graduate, an author, an informative native New Yorker and a Licensed New York City Guide,
who has spent over 27 years researching, creating and leading walking tours in Manhattan's many diverse neighborhoods.
And he has written four Manhattan guide books published by The History Press and Arcadia Publishing.
"Exploring Gramercy Park and Union Square"   "Exploring Manhattan's Murray Hill"  "Exploring New York's SoHo"
& "Exploring the Original West Village"     This is a link to Alfred Pommer's author page at

Interested in a Private Walking Tour or Slide Show ?
Call: (212) 979-2388 for details  
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