Art Deco to Art Now

Continuing her sold-out series ‘Art Deco to Art Now’, Claudia Chan Shaw turns her attention to New York City, renowned for its rich heritage of Art Deco and embrace of the Jazz Age.

On this tour, see, experience and marvel at New York’s most identifiable architectural style beginning with a fresh look at well-known landmarks such as the Chrysler Building and Chanin Building, followed by a discovery of hidden gems in Brooklyn, the Bronx and beyond.

Then, come right up to date with the art and architecture of today, plus a feast of opera, music and theatre.


This tour is part of the World Art Tours program organised by the Art Gallery Society of NSW in partnership with Renaissance Tours.


Suggested departure from Australia with Qantas; arrive in New York late-afternoon on the same day. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your travel arrangements.

After breakfast, join Claudia for a welcome briefing and talk. Begin your exploration of New York with a look at the major Deco icons that are part of Midtown’s celebrated skyline. Stop at the Daily News Building and the world-famous Chrysler Building designed by William Van Alen. Across Lexington Avenue and 42nd Street, view the brick and terracotta Chanin Building with its sculptural relief by Rene Paul Chambellan. Continue to the General Electric Building to see its elaborate Art Deco decoration of lightning bolts showing the power of electricity and see Raymond Hood’s colourful 1932 McGraw Hill Building.

Get transported back to the joie-de-vivre of Paris of the 1930s during brunch in the intimate Paris-inspired restaurant, Chez Josephine.

Continue to Downtown, an area boasting a great concentration of 1920s and 1930s skyscrapers, including memorable works by Ralph Walker, architect of the Barclay-Vesey Building, arguably New York’s first Art Deco tower, as well as the former Western Union Building and 1 Wall Street.

Tonight, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.


This morning visit the Rockefeller Centre, built by the business magnate John D Rockefeller Jr. Enjoy a guided tour through the Centre’s most significant buildings and spaces and view the intriguing and beautiful art work that permeates the venue, such as ‘joie’, a breathtaking three-storey cascading chandelier by artist Michael Hammers. Ascend 70 floors into the sky and take in the breathtaking views of New York City from the ‘Top of The Rock’ observation deck.

Follow with a decadent Sunday brunch at the famous ‘Rainbow Room’, a quintessential New York venue.

The remainder of the day is at leisure.


After breakfast, enjoy an early-access guided tour of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), often identified as the most influential (and certainly one of the largest) museums of modern art in the world. The museum’s collection offers an overview of modern and contemporary art, including works of contemporary architecture and design, drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, prints, illustrated books and artists’ books, film and electronic media.

This afternoon, take a tour of Radio City Music Hall. Explore the Art Deco public areas, meet a Rockette and go behind the scenes of this iconic New York entertainment venue.


Today we view New York’s luxury Art Deco residential buildings along Central Park West which include The Century, The Majestic, The Eldorado and Ardsley Apartments.

Continue to the northern tip of Manhattan to visit Washington Heights, a residential neighbourhood perched high above the Hudson River. Now easily accessible to Wall Street and Midtown Manhattan, Washington Heights sprouted dozens of six-story apartment buildings, many of them built in the Art Deco style. Stops include the entrance to a 1930s subway station designed by Squire J. Vickers, residences along Fort Washington Avenue and Cabrini Boulevard and one of the city’s few Art Deco religious structures, the Hebrew Tabernacle of Washington Heights (originally the Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist).

Next, head to the Bronx, a borough filled with Art Deco splendour. Travel along the Grand Concourse, a grand boulevard of Art Deco residences, featuring corner casement windows, colourful geometric brickwork, and sunken living rooms. Stop at the Rainey Gates at the Bronx Zoo, and public buildings such as the Bronx County Court House and the Herman Ridder Junior High School, recently restored to its 1931 grandeur.


Travel through SoHo and Chelsea, the heart of New York’s avant-garde art world. Begin with a visit to the Whitney Museum of American Art. Founded in 1931 by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, the museum houses a superb collection of 20th century work by leading exponents, including Edward Hopper, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, David Smith, Frank Stella and Roy Lichtenstein.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in the revitalised former Meatpacking District, now officially known as Gansevoort Market. Take a walk on the High Line, a 1.6 km linear park built on a section of the former elevated New York Central Railroad spur called the West Side Line, which runs along the lower west side of Manhattan.

Tonight, enjoy a performance ‘off Broadway’ (performance details to be announced).


Today, begin with a visit to the borough of Queens and its choice collection of Deco structures. See two rare Art Deco churches, the Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia Airport, a gorgeously ornamental bank in Forest Hills, a late Modern theatre, two department stores and an unusual surviving nightclub in downtown Jamaica.

Lunch is at the famed 1972 Jackson Hole Diner, which harks back to the iconic Art Deco diners of the 1930s.

Continue to the borough of Brooklyn. View Flatbush in the borough’s centre, the small but stunning skyscraper by Corbett, Harrison & MacMurray; an elevated subway station, and the borough’s central library. Complete the day with a visit to Brighton Beach, at the far end on the Atlantic shore.


This morning visit the magnificent Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum located on Fifth Avenue. The Guggenheim is home to one of the world’s most integrated collections of modern and contemporary art in one of the greatest modern architectural icons of the 20th century.

Afternoon at leisure.

Tonight, enjoy a concert or show at the Met, Carnegie Hall or a Broadway theatre (performance details to be announced).


This morning is at leisure to browse the shops or visit galleries. Celebrate the conclusion of the tour with a Broadway show (performance details to be announced) followed by a farewell dinner.


Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast. Suggested return flights to Australia with Qantas leaving New York in the early-evening via Los Angeles, and arriving in Australia early-morning on Tuesday, 16 January. Same-day onward connections to other cities.


Per person, twin-share

AUD 8,500

Single supplement*

AUD 1,500

Deposit per person (at time of booking)

AUD 500

*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.

Final payment due

02 November 2017

Tour code


Fitness level

Please see Terms & Conditions for fitness levels definitions.

Suggested airline

Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current airfares and flight reservations.   


All Australian and New Zealand passport holders require an ESTA Pre-Authorisation application to visit the USA (completed on-line).

Tour price includes

  • Accommodation in a centrally located four-star superior hotel with breakfast daily (B)
  • Meals as per itinerary (L=Lunch, D=Dinner). Wines with meals
  • A-reserve tickets (or best available) for three performances
  • Lectures and talks with your tour leader throughout
  • Sightseeing, including entrance fees as per itinerary, in comfortable air-conditioned coaches
  • Gratuities for local guides and drivers
  • Hotel porterage (one piece per person)

Tour price does not include

  • International airfares
  • ESTA Pre-Authorisation application to visit the USA
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • Items of a personal nature, including telephone, laundry, room service etc.
  • Travel insurance (a condition of travel)
  • Airport porterage


Your hotel****

New York – The Lexington New York City Hotel, Autograph Collection

NB. Hotels of a similar standard may be substituted