The Century Association Clubhouse
One of New York City’s most prestigious club is the Century Association, founded in 1847 by a group including William Cullen Bryant to bring together (originally, 100) men of achievement in the fine arts and literature. The Renaissance-Style 43rd Street clubhouse’s arrogant second-floor loggia seems to sneer down at neighboring mere university-based clubhouses. A Century Club membership has long been a token of full membership in New York City’s intellectual establishment. These days the club has more than 2400 members. The Century’s cuisine is reputedly grand, and its membership enjoys exclusive access to a notable private art collection.
The Century Club began admitting female members in 1989, and this has produced in the minds of many of today’s New York’s most illustrious representatives of the life of the mind A PROBLEM.
The Century Club long maintained reciprocal relations with London’s Garrick Club (founded 1831), allowing members visiting the British capital to enjoy similar exclusive perqs and accomodations, but the Garrick Club’s membership is limited to men, and ladies are permitted entrance to the club only in the company of a gentleman member.
A group of 50 eguality-minded Centurians began agitating for the severance of ties to the wicked Garrick, and after months of the customary argle-bargling, the left as usual got its way.
The membership of the British Garrick Club does not seem to care very much about the loss of the relationship to its colonial cousin . According to the Telegraph, one of them remarked:
It is America’s obsession with political correctness that helps make it such a charmless, humourless and paranoid society, frankly.
Another Garrick member did not think the issue was very important. “The Century’s a crap club anyway.” he said.