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 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 or New Zealand on Qantas/American Airlines flights to New York, arriving 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.

In the afternoon, visit the Verizon Building (previously known as the Barclay-Vesey building), followed by the 9/11 Memorial. The Memorial is a tribute to the past and a place of hope for the future. Two enormous pools with the largest man-made waterfalls in the United States comprise the footprints of the Twin Towers. The waterfalls are intended to mute the sounds of the city, making the site a contemplative sanctuary.

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.

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

The remainder of the day is at leisure. Fancy a stroll down Fifth Avenue?


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 Bronx and view the impressive Bronx Courthouse, Park Palace Apartments and the ‘Fish Building’ with delightful mosaic entrance and façade. Then step back in time to explore the Marine Air Terminal at La Guardia Airport in Queens.

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

Afternoon at leisure to continue exploring on your own, perhaps visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Neue Gallerie.

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


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 and 21st century American work. The building, designed by Renzo Piano lends itself to the industrial character of the neighbouring loft buildings.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in the revitalised former Meatpacking District.

After lunch, explore the Meatpacking District. The historic neighbourhood, once home to roughly 250 slaughterhouses and packing plants, is now the cultural hub of some of the trendiest shops, restaurants, bars and art Manhattan has to offer.


Today, enjoy a tour of one of New York City’s famous landmarks, the Grand Central Station. Explore the elegant Main Concourse and learn about the station’s history and architecture. Visit the Whispering Gallery and the Kissing Room, with lunch at a local restaurant.

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.


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. The afternoon is at leisure.

Enjoy an evening at the Metropolitan Opera House (Met) for Sir David McVicar’s ravishing new production of Puccini’s Tosca. Conducted by Andris Nelsons, with Jennifer Rowley in the title role, Vittorio Grigolo as Tosca’s revolutionary artist lover Cavaradossi and Bryn Terfel, as the depraved police chief Scarpia.


The morning is at leisure to browse the shops or visit galleries.

In the afternoon, celebrate the conclusion of the tour with a matinee performance of the iconic Broadway show Chicago at the Ambassador Theatre followed by a farewell dinner with Claudia and fellow travellers.


Tour arrangements conclude after breakfast. Suggested return flights to Australia or New Zealand on Qantas/American Airlines via Los Angeles, leaving New York in the early evening and arriving in Australia or New Zealand early in the 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

Qantas/American Airlines
Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current airfares and flight reservations.   


In order to visit the United States under the Visa Waiver Programme, all Australian and New Zealand passport holders require an ESTA pre-authorisation application (completed online in advance of travel).

Tour price includes

  • Accommodation in a centrally located four-star superior hotel with breakfast daily (B)
  • Meals as per itinerary (L = Lunch, D = Dinner), including wines with meals
  • Orchestra Premium tickets to Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera House
  • Orchestra tickets to Chicago on Broadway
  • A-reserve tickets (or best available) to a performance ‘off Broadway’ (TBA)
  • 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 (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
  • ESTA Pre-Authorisation application to visit the USA
  • Hotel/airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • Items of a personal nature, including telephone, laundry, room service etc.
  • Travel insurance (a condition of travel; please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
  • Airport porterage


Your hotel

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

King and Twin rooms (average room size 26 sq m)



Junior Suite – AUD 1520 per room

One-Bedroom Suite – AUD 2710 per room


NB. A hotel of a similar standard may be substituted