Inside The Players in Gramercy Park

The financially beleaguered The Players club had some good news yesterday. A prized John Singer Sargent painting of one of its founders, Joseph Jefferson, will be returned by the end of August. The club had essentially pawned the painting to lender in order to meet expenses, as it faced a crippling debt of a reported $2 million. For the last year, the painting had been in possession of gallery owner Warren Adelson, who had been paying the insurance. He also bought another Sargent painting at the Players Club in 2000 of club fouder Edwin Booth.

DNAInfo wryly noted that the Sargent room at The Players was “slowly losing its Sargent work,” which once included a portrait of founder Edwin Booth, actor Lawrence Barrett (sold anonymously) and Joseph Jefferson. While yesterday’s email to Players Club members suggested the painting would be welcomed home permanently, a July email indicated that the painting would be resold at market value to pay for the debt.

See our behind-the-scenes tour of the Players Club from earlier this year.