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Throughout our Society's history, we have held most of our annual programs at the elegant National Arts Club, a private club in Gramercy Park, Manhattan. Our namesake, William Butler Yeats, spoke and slept there a number of times when visiting New York from Ireland. His father, John Butler Yeats, renowned Irish painter and intellectual, also spoke there on at least one occasion and was planning to give another talk to its members when he died in February 1922.

The NAC was founded in 1898 by Charles DeKay, a New York Times' art and literary critic, to "stimulate, foster, and promote public interest in the arts and to educate the American people in the fine arts." Today, the club offers a variety of exhibitions, educational programs, and awards in theater, visual arts, film, literature, and music. Since 1906, it has occupied the Samuel J. Tilden House, a Victorian Gothic Revival brownstone, next door to the Players Club, which was founded in 1888 by the famous actor Edwin Thomas Booth as an association of artists and art lovers drawn from stage and screen, the visual arts, music, and literature. ​ The mansion has been designated both a New York City as well as a national landmark. 

Booth was an American actor who toured throughout the United States and the major capitals of Europe, performing Shakespearean plays. In 1869, he founded Booth's Theatre in New York. Some theatrical historians consider him the greatest American actor, and greatest Prince Hamlet, of the 19th century. His achievements are often overshadowed by his relationship with his younger brother John Wilkes Booth, also an actor who is infamous for assassinating the 16th U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln.

National Arts Club
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