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Discover the backstories of some of the most famous and celebrated paintings in the world.

NYC
New York
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Shady Ladies Tour

Courtesans and royal mistresses line the walls of the Met, from ancient Greek hetaeras to Sargent's Madame X. But who were they? How did they rise to their positions? To find out, join us as we explore the lives and loves that lie behind the paintings.

Shady-Ladies-Fashion-Beauty-Tour-99

Nasty Women Tour

On this fun and informative two-hour tour, you will meet the women who shattered the glass ceilings of their day—as artists who broke with convention, scientists who toppled stereotypes, and political figures who poisoned, slept and protested their way to power.

Fashion-and-beauty-tours-of-the-metropoloitian-museum-of-art

Fashion & Beauty Tour

How Do We Present Ourselves To The World? If you’ve never thought much about that question, you certainly will after this tour. That’s because you’ll learn about some of the most fascinating, bizarre and painful things people have done throughout history to look impressive, alluring and downright stunning.

hiddenSecretspic

Hidden Secrets Tour

On a typical museum audio guide, you’ll never hear these stories. That’s because art tours focus on matters of style alone—not the context that created it. But with our Hidden Secrets of the Met, you’ll hear it all: the messy, intriguing, fun side of history that makes art come alive.

NYC
New York
art-museum-tours-things-to-do-in-nyc

Shady Ladies Tour

Courtesans and royal mistresses line the walls of the Met, from ancient Greek hetaeras to Sargent's Madame X. But who were they? How did they rise to their positions? To find out, join us as we explore the lives and loves that lie behind the paintings.

Shady-Ladies-Fashion-Beauty-Tour-99

Nasty Women Tour

On this fun and informative two-hour tour, you will meet the women who shattered the glass ceilings of their day—as artists who broke with convention, scientists who toppled stereotypes, and political figures who poisoned, slept and protested their way to power.

Fashion-and-beauty-tours-of-the-metropoloitian-museum-of-art

Fashion & Beauty Tour

How Do We Present Ourselves To The World? If you’ve never thought much about that question, you certainly will after this tour. That’s because you’ll learn about some of the most fascinating, bizarre and painful things people have done throughout history to look impressive, alluring and downright stunning.

hiddenSecretspic

Hidden Secrets Tour

On a typical museum audio guide, you’ll never hear these stories. That’s because art tours focus on matters of style alone—not the context that created it. But with our Hidden Secrets of the Met, you’ll hear it all: the messy, intriguing, fun side of history that makes art come alive.

BOSTON

Massachusetts
nastyWoman2

Shady Ladies Tour

Boston's great art museum has an amazing collection of art on women's issues, from the courtesans of Ancient Greece to an Afro-American woman artist's homage to Josephine Baker. Come learn about the museum's Shady Ladies, its Nasty Women, and some fashion and beauty too on this combination of all of our women's history themes!

Cassatt-In-a-Loge

Hidden Secrets Tour

Coming Soon! Boston is known for its Puritanism, but somehow the MFA never got the memo. This great art museum is full of scandalous, sexy secrets that no one has ever told you about: from the gay couple who were the founders of the first democracy to John Singer Sargent's secret crush! Come on the Hidden Secrets of the MFA Tour, and find out the backstories that bring its masterpieces alive. Coming soon! Coming soon!

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BOSTON

Massachusetts
nastyWoman2

Shady Ladies Tour

Boston is supposedly a conservative city, but somehow the MFA never got the memo. In fact it has an amazing collection of art on women's issues, from the courtesans of Ancient Greece to an Afro-American woman artist's homage to Josephine Baker. And there is much to see on the way: a great portrait of the first famous tragedienne, the Boston lady who wrote the first history of the Revolution, works by several early women artists.... Shady Ladies tours are different from standard museum tours. We focus on the gripping stories that other tours ignore—while also paying due respect to those serious formal questions that make up the history of art. Once you’ve toured the MFA with us, you’ll see art—and women’s history—in a whole new light. Book your tour today, and learn just how fresh and exciting an art museum can be!

Cassatt-In-a-Loge

Hidden Secrets Tour

Coming Soon! Coming Soon! Coming Soon! Coming Soon! Coming Soon! Coming Soon! Coming Soon! Coming Soon! Coming Soon! Coming Soon! Coming Soon! Coming Soon! Coming Soon! Coming Soon! Coming Soon! Coming Soon! Coming Soon! Coming Soon! Coming Soon! Coming Soon! Coming Soon!

LEARN MORE    BUY TICKETS ONLINE
PHILLY
Pennsylvania
Steen-Doctors-Visit

Shady Ladies Tour

Come enjoy a museum tour unlike any you’ve ever been on! You’ll see a scene from the Dutch Golden Age of a quack doctor treating a pregnant prostitute; a portrait of Madame Du Barry, one of the most famous royal mistresses of all time; a Mary Cassatt canvas that shows clearly how revolutionary her paintings of women’s lives were; and so much more. Taken together, the works on this tour will paint a tableau of women’s lives through the centuries. They’ll give you a whole new perspective on what it means to be a woman today by showing what it meant to be a woman back then.

PHILLY
Pennsylvania
Steen-Doctors-Visit

Shady Ladies Tour

Get on your walking shoes and whip out your lorgnettes. With Shady Ladies of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, you’re going to enjoy a tour unlike any you’ve ever been on! You’ll see a scene from the Dutch Golden Age of a quack doctor treating a pregnant prostitute; a portrait of Madame Du Barry, one of the most famous royal mistresses of all time; a Mary Cassatt canvas that shows clearly how revolutionary her paintings of women’s lives were; and so much more. Taken together, the works on this tour will paint a tableau of women’s lives through the centuries. They’ll give you a whole new perspective on what it means to be a woman today by showing what it meant to be a woman back then.

PARIS

France
some-wonderful-the-shady5

Shady Ladies Tour

Let Shady Ladies Tours introduce you to the Shady Ladies of Paris—the royal mistresses and courtesans that ruled over the great city’s history and art, from Madame de Pompadour to the (real!) Lady of the Camellias. Discover them with Professor Andrew Lear, world-renowned scholar of sexuality and art, and founder of our company.

188528-131-D58974EF-1

Marie Antoinette Tour

The aristocrat who despised the poor. The wife who cuckolded her husband. The queen who brought down the monarchy. Her name is legend, and few figures in history conjure such drama: extravagant, decadent, sensual, cruel. Yet is all of it—or even any of it—true? This is your chance to find out.

PARIS

France
some-wonderful-the-shady5

Shady Ladies Tour

Let Shady Ladies Tours introduce you to the Shady Ladies of Paris—the royal mistresses and courtesans that ruled over the great city’s history and art, from Madame de Pompadour to the (real!) Lady of the Camellias. Discover them with Professor Andrew Lear, world-renowned scholar of sexuality and art, and founder of our company.

188528-131-D58974EF-1

Marie Antoinette Tour

The aristocrat who despised the poor. The wife who cuckolded her husband. The queen who brought down the monarchy. Her name is legend, and few figures in history conjure such drama: extravagant, decadent, sensual, cruel. Yet is all of it—or even any of it—true? This is your chance to find out.

Purchase A Gift Card Today

Looking to give the perfect gift that is cultural, unique and fun this holiday season? Our Shady Ladies e-cards makes the perfect gift for the art and history lover in your life. Available immediately after purchase. Our electronic gift cards can be made for any amount and used on any of our art museum tours.

ABOUT US

Shady Ladies Tours is about erudition and scholarship—our offerings are for people who take their culture seriously. But it’s also about fun.

CONTACT US

Let us know if you have any questions, or tell us what you thought of our tours. What was your favorite experience? We would love to hear from you!

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