The Rockefeller Center Public Art Tour
Architecture -- History -- Interesting Pictures and Stories
A Walking Tour of the Past and the Present
Murals - Sculptures - Reliefs - Architecture - History - Interesting Pictures and Stories
Private tours and slide shows available all year
Includes an exploration of the art, history and architecture of Rockefeller Center with
biographical information about John D. Rockefeller and a walk through the underground plaza,
with its shops, restaurants and passageways that connect the Center's original 12 buildings.
Some of the finest and most interesting examples of sculpture and murals 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
this tour is to examine the art and increase our awareness and appreciation of the art that has been on display for over a half 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:
We will see the works of such widely acclaimed sculptors and painters as: 1890 - 1970, was the in house sculptor for Rockefeller Center with over 8 works including: "Atlas"; "Wisdom, Knowledge, Light and Sound"
- "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
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, has exhibits at the League of Nations, Geneva, Switzerland and had works at The Waldorf Astoria, NY and more)
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 St.in 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 `Frangel' 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 (on the 3 hour tour), 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 and the National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C.
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
About 2 hours ($120.) long with 24 stops or a 3 hour ($180.) version with 35 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 - )
Included in the 3 hour version are works by such well known and accomplished artist of the day as,:MEETING AT: 645 Olympic Tower, Atrium Entrance, On East 51 Street Between:
Fifth Avenue & Madison Avenue
Leo Frielander (1890 - 1966); Gaston Lachaise (1882 - 1935); Robert Garison (1895 - 1946); Hildreh Meiere (1893 - 1961)
E & F Train to 5 Ave.(53 St) or #6
Train to E. 51 St. (Lex. Ave.) or N & R Train to 5 Ave.
Guided by Alfred Pommer a college graduate, an author, an
informative native New Yorker and a Licensed New York City Guide,
Interested in a Private Walking Tour" ?
who has spent over
25 years researching, creating and leading walking tours in Manhattan's many diverse neighborhoods.
Call: (212) 979-2388 for details www.nycwalk.com
Or : Click Here for advance ticket sales