Private tours of art in New York City

While you’re in New York, why not indulge your love for uplifting art and history by booking a private tour? Each of my tours of outdoor sculpture, Central Park, and the Metropolitan Museum. includes a fun and fascinating array of facts, anecdotes, quotes, and supplementary images.

Want to learn more about me before you commit two hours of your finite leisure time to a tour? “Carving Out an Unlikely Writing Niche” (or, Why Dianne Writes about Outdoor Sculpture) is written the way I talk: jargon-free and decidedly non-academic. If you’re in NYC with kids, have a look at “How to Introduce Your Kid to Art.”

Central Park walking tours

Ever wondered why Central Park was built, and why it is where it is? In “Central Park: The Early Years,” I talk about the Park ca. 1850-1880, including quotes from its “Founding Fathers.” Details and a few of the many early pics that I’ll show you are here.

On the “Sims to Straus” tour, mostly within the north end of Central Park, we visit three joyful dancing maidens, Burnett’s Secret Garden, the Father of Gynecology, Duke Ellington, Frederick Douglass, and the lovely Straus Memorial. Details and photos of a few of the sculptures we’ll see are here.

On the Jagiello to Sherman tour, at the Park’s southeast end, meet two Alices in Wonderland, poets Shakespeare and Halleck, Jagiello, King of Poland, media mogul Joseph Pulitzer, and General William T. Sherman. Details and photos of a few of the sculptures we’ll see are here.

A hero and a scholar: Hamilton walking tour

If you’re a fan of Alexander Hamilton, take a tour with me of the four Manhattan sculptures of Hamilton. The tour includes substantial excerpts from his writings: you’re welcome to help read them … and break into song, if you’re so moved. Since January 2016, I’ve read a lot of Hamilton for my weekly blog posts on Hamilton: An American Musical. Why not spend a couple hours being Hamilton-obsessed with me?

If you show me a ticket stub from Hamilton: An American Musical, I’ll give you a 10% discount on the tour. If you give me a ticket to a forthcoming show, your tour is free! (Yes, really.)

Metropolitan Museum tours

Each of my two tours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art covers 5,000 years in about two hours. How? By focusing only on artists who created major innovations in painting or in sculpture. Either tour is a great introduction to the Met and a wonderful way to discover more art that thrills you.

Innovators in Sculpture and Innovators in Painting: each tour covers 5,000 years in 2 exhilarating hours
Innovators in Sculpture and Innovators in Painting: each tour covers 5,000 years in 2 exhilarating hours

Downtown walking tours

In the Battery Park tour, we look at Reflecting Absence (the World Trade Center memorial) in light of memorials to an inventor, an admiral, an infantryman, sailors in peril, and the New York Police Department. Details and photos of a few of the sculptures we’ll see are here.

The Financial District tour includes visits with two media moguls, the best Washington in the country, the spirit of 19th-century capitalism, a stunningly beautiful America, and a defiant Nathan Hale. Details and photos of a few of the sculptures we’ll see are here.

The tour of Washington Square begins at the elegant Washington Arch; then we head off to visit Generals Garibaldi and Sheridan, plus businessman Alexander Lyman Holley.

What to expect on the tours

  • Each tour runs between 1 1/2 and 2 hours – specifics are given on the page for each tour (see the links above or the pull-down Tour menu). If you ask a lot of questions – I love good questions! – the tour might run longer.
  • Each tour involves 1-2 miles of walking; again, see the pages for specific tours for the details. Wear comfortable shoes. Handicapped access can probably be arranged for most of these tours, but New York City is constantly changing, so ask if this matters to you.
  • Tour size: $400 covers you and 7 (at most) of your friends and family.
  • If it rains, we’ll talk inside or under cover, then walk.

What attitude and style to expect from me

To arrange a tour

  • Email:
  • Phone: 917-392-2695
  • Tours start at $400 per group (maximum 8 guests per group).
  • Main tour page is here; printable flyer with a list of tours and contact information is here.


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