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Tartan Night

As part of New York City Tartan Week, The Explorers Cub is proud to bring the people and the culture of the Hebrides to the big city. With presentations from Club Fellows on expedition around the Scottish archipelago, a whisky tasting with a Master of Whisky, a display of art depicting the sublime beauty of the islands, authentic tartans from Harris Tweed, live music from the Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band of South Uist, and a sampling of cuisine from the region, this event will transport you across the Atlantic.

Featuring —
  •   Rodrick B. MacLennan & Dr. June Julian on expedition to the isle of Vallay
  •   Justin Fornal, Chad Anderson, and Johnnie Mundell on the Great Islay Swim
  •   Whisky tasting with Senior Master of Whisky Spike McClure
  •   The music of Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band from South Uist
  •   Explorers Club Tartan selections with Harris Tweed of the Isle of Harris
  •   The expedition art of Dr. June Julian on display

Over the course of eight days in July 2017, Explorers Club Members Justin Fornal and Chad Anderson, along with Whisky Ambassador Johnnie Mundell, became the first people in history to swim around the island of Islay Scotland. Their expedition, the Great Islay Swim, set out to build on the work of the late historian Alfred Barnard who walked the island in the 1880s while writing his book The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom.

Over the course of the expedition, the swimmers stopped by each of the operating distilleries, filling a 30 gallon oak cask with selected whiskies from each. The resulting pillage blend has been bottled by Single Cask Nation and is selling to benefit the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institute).

The three swimmers will discuss the planning, training, and gear that went into making the swim happen. They will also present a short film that shows the highs and frigid lows of their intrepid journey.

Senior Master of Whisky for Diageo, Spike McClure will present an educated tasting of two premiere Islay whiskies: Lagavulin and Coal Ila.

Rodrick B. MacLennan, FN '98, and Dr. June Julian carried Explorers Club Flag #109 on two recent expeditions to the wild and uninhabited island of Vallay, to record the effects of rising seas and violent storms on endangered coastal archaeology sites there. Their research objective was to document the current status of sites that were first discovered by 19th century archaeologist Erskine Beveridge by using archeological survey and fine art methods.

Furthering the tradition of expedition art in the spirit of Carl Akeley, June Julian has created numerous watercolor paintings of these wild landscapes that had supported early human habitation for thousands of years. The paintings depict the dramatic backdrop for their fieldwork and convey the sublime beauty of these remote islands.

Lastly, the world-famous Harris Tweed, of the Isle of Harris, has created several tartan designs, from which the Explorers Club will pick our official Explorers Club tartan. These Tartan samples were designed specifically for the Club by Harris Tweed to represent exploration. They will then register that design with tartan authority, and that design will be uniquely limited to Explorers Club usage. We will display these design samples to guests at the event, and you will be asked to share your opinions with the Club to help inform our decision.

© June Julian, "Dun Sticar Shoreline, North Uist", watercolor, 22 in. X 30 in., 2017

Date: Thursday, April 5

Time: 6:00 pm Reception, 7:00 pm Programming

Location: Explorers Club Headquarters, 46 E 70th Street, New York, NY, 10021

Member Ticket Price: $35

Guest Ticket Price: $45

Reservation Notes:

Click here to purchase tickets online

Reservations are allotted on a first-come, first-serve basis. To secure a reservation, you may also email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call us at 212.628.8383.

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Background image photography courtesy of members Christoph Baumer, Neil Laughton, Matt Harris and Don Walsh's image of the Bathyscape Trieste