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The Artsy References You Missed In Gossip Girl
You know you love us, XOXO
Art Girls Jungle 18 Jul 2019

Gallery Girl here, your one and only source into the lives of Manhattan’s elite. OK, I lied, I’m based in London, not New York, and my accent is probably more akin to Emma Watson than it is to Kristen Bell. But hey, I am an art gossip know-all (duh, how else would I get this writing gig!?), and I also happen to be a Gossip Girl super fan. And I have the great pleasure of informing you gallerinas that after nearly seven years off our screens, it has just been announced that Gossip Girl will be returning with a new generation of Upper East Side private school teens who will be the target of a new Gossip Girl (probably now via WhatsApp, Instagram and Snapchat).
So, without further ado, here’s a list of all the times the art world made its presence known in the lives of Lonely Boy, Serena, Blair, Dan and Chuck. You know you love me, xoxo Gallery Girl.
On the steps of The Met
I mean, who doesn’t remember the early days, when Blair would sit at the top of the steps leading up to arguably one of the most important museums in the world, chatting and spreading rumours about her frenemies? The whole series basically begun at the entrance of an art gallery, and we’re totally here for that.
At School
The private schools attended by the cast – Constance Billard School for Girls and St. Jude School for Boys – are actually filmed outside the front of the Museum of the City of New York. It seems the location scout had a thing for museums…
Rufus Humphrey, Gallery Owner
In the very first episode we learn that Rufus is in art. He has a gallery space in Brooklyn too, a rock star turned art dealer – edgy. And don’t tell us your heart didn’t melt a little bit when Lily first paid it a visit.
When Lonely Boy Equated Getting Intimate With Artdownload

Who can forget that iconic moment when Dan Humphrey told us all that “sex is meaningful like art, and you don’t rush art.” Was he being a pretentious teenager, cute or both? Jury’s out on that one. But while he didn’t explicitly reference any artworks, we’ve got to admit that he gave a pretty big shout out to the emotional value of art.

Lily Van Der Woodsen’s Art Collection
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In season two we are graciously invited into Lily Van Der Woodsen’s home, where we first meet the now iconic Prada sign (by Elmgreen & Dragset), a long with work by Richard Philips, Kiki Smith and Ryan McGinley. In fact, the Gossip Girl team partnered with non-profit Art Production Fund to bring contemporary art to new audiences, so it’s no surprising that Lily didn’t just slay in the fashion game, she killed the art game too.
Bonus: a shout out needs to go here to Christina Tonkin, the set director of Gossip Girl, responsible for the now iconic Van Der Woodsen penthouse and curating the art across the series. We salute you sista!
Marilyn Minter in Serena’s Bedroom
I mean, who other than Serena Van Der Woodsen would have a Marilyn Minter in their bedroom?! The work is all glitter – like the costumes in the show – and the all seeing eye cleverly reminds us that Gossip Girl is always watching, ready to make her next blast.
Love Over A Manet at Musee D’Orsay
Blair first met Prince Louis Grimaldi at the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, which led to an engagement, and then a break-up. Their ill-fated love began in front of a painting by Manet. I wonder how many other art girls out there can relate to falling in love at a museum, only to be let down to find this love was actually just lust misguided by a mutual appreciation for art.
Lily Gets Schooled About Art
In one episode, we see Lily learning about a Brown – that’s Cecily Brown – available on the market by her art dealer. It seems art advisors are even hot on mega-rich clients even on fictional TV shows. There’s no price-tag on the laptop screen, so we know it’s expensive.
Blair And Chuck Go Head To Head At Sotheby’s
Of course the only way to test a relationship is to go up against each other over an expensive artwork. (If only we all had that kind of cash to splash). The pair go head to head over a Patrick McMullan photograph, both losing to Serena, in a bid to teach Blair and Chuck a lesson – you go girl!
Serena Interviews with Todd DiCiurcio
In season three, Serena lands a job interview with artist Todd DiCiurcio, with the artist making a cameo himself. Unfortunately, we never see Serena actually work at his gallery, but Ed Westwick (Chuck Bass) and his band did once perform at his gallery during an opening party.
Laurie Simmons Photographs the Van Der Woodsen’s
Lena Dunham’s mother Laurie Simmons stepped in to save the day, photographing the Van Der Woodsen clan when they were pulled from a book titled Modern Royalty. Rufus, ever the gallerist-in-shining-armour pulled it out of the bag to make Lily feel better. I’m pretty sure she felt a million dollars after that little favour.
Richard Philips Makes An Appearance
Having been paraded across Gossip Girl for seasons in the background of Lily’s home, Richard Philips finally makes an appearance in the final season, when Rufus’s gallery holds a benefit.
Words Lizzy Vartanian
Images via artspace, fanpop, pinterest, huffpost, accessibleart, @gossipgirlfeed, timeout, @gossipgirll, Insider

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