Take The Best Art Museum Tour In NYC

Shady Ladies Tours is a new kind of tour company…one that puts the fun back into history and art! We take you to the places that other tours don’t and show you the artworks that other tours won’t—complete with the sexy, saucy, and downright scandalous backstories that cast them in an entirely new light.

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Take The Best Art Museum Tour In NYC

Meet history's greatest "nasty women" on our tours.

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

Shady Ladies of Paris

Let Shady Ladies Tours introduce you to the royal mistresses and courtesans of Paris' history, from Madame de Pompadour to the (real!) Lady of the Camellias. Discover them with Professor Andrew Lear...


Shady Ladies


Courtesans, royal mistresses, scandalous women of every sort—the walls of the Metropolitan Museum are lined with them, from ancient Greek hetaerae to Sargent’s Madame XThese women, famous not only for sex-appeal...

Nasty Women

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...

Scandalous Secrets

Guided Museum Tours NYC

Great art is full of hidden meanings—and more often than not, they’re all about sex. Broken eggs symbolizing lost virginity…a lute standing in for a man's desires... a lady’s slack shoulder strap suggesting adultery...



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Who Created Shady Ladies Tours?


Professor Andrew Lear

All of our art museum tours are designed by Professor Andrew Lear and led by a team of dedicated scholar guides.

Professor Lear, a leading scholar on the history of sexuality and a master guide, is the founder of Shady Ladies Tours. With a B.A. from Harvard and a Ph.D. from UCLA, Professor Lear is one of the foremost authorities on the erotic in Greek and Roman art.

His book on Greek vase-painting won widespread praise for its erudition and accessibility, and was hailed by the American Journal of Archaeology as “destined for Classic status.” First and foremost, however, Professor Lear is a teacher. He prides himself on his ability to make high culture accessible to everyone, honed through years of teaching at Columbia, NYU and Harvard—where he won the Harvard Certificate for Excellence in Teaching four times.

We are so grateful for being included on the ‘Gratitude Meter‘ 5 Things We’re Smiling About in this month’s issue of O, The Op

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nasty women museum of fine arts

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is of course one of the world’s great museums.  It is also a great place for a women’s history tour.  Th

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Madame du Barry Shady Ladies Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is not as big as the Metropolitan, and it might not be possible to arrange all the theme tours that we can in NYC. Howe

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