Eric Goode

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Eric Goode
Eric Goode.jpg
Born 1957 (age 57–58)
Rhode Island
Occupation Conservationist
Known for Founder of the Turtle Conservancy

Eric Goode (born 1957) is an American conservationist, naturalist, and entrepreneur. He is known as the founder of the Turtle Conservancy as well as the creator of the nightclub Area and B Bar in New York City, and recently of the Bowery Hotel.


Born in Rhode Island in 1957 and raised in New York until the age of 8, Eric relocated with his family to California. He is the second of five children born to Marilyn Goode, a naturalist and conservationist, and Fredrick Goode, a painter and teacher. He has lived in New York City since 1977.

Eric began his career as an artist, educated at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and Parsons School of Design. Much of his early work was displayed in group shows with other upcoming artists of the day, the earliest in 1981 which was curated by Keith Haring.[1][2] He continued to make and show his art throughout the 1980s and into the early 1990s.[3]

Eric Goode chose an unorthodox career path as a conservationist, decidedly not taking a conventional path into the sciences. Instead he became an entrepreneur, which allowed him to have both the freedom and resources to conduct his own research and fund many of his own conservation initiatives. In Goode's early life in California he was privileged to have worked in the field with renowned herpetologist Robert Stebbins. Eric later created the Turtle and Tortoise Propagation center in 1980 to breed and manage endangered chelonians.

In 1983, Goode formed the nightclub Area with his brother, Chris Goode, and friends Shawn Hausman and Darius Azari. Area was known for its constantly changing themes and collaboration with artists of the time (Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Hockney, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, and others). Area was Goode's first business venture where he merged art into the context of a nightclub.

In the early to mid-1990s, he directed several music videos for bands such as Nine Inch Nails and Robbie Robertson. He and Serge Becker earned a music video production award for their work on "Pinion".

Over the next two decades Goode opened several other nightclubs, and eventually transitioned into restaurants[4] and then hotels, many of which in collaboration with his partners Serge Becker and more recently Sean MacPherson.[5] His most recent projects include the Bowery Hotel and the Jane Street Hotel.

Eric Goode currently lives in New York City and California.


Goode has spent most of his life researching turtles[6] and tortoises. He has traveled to over 40 countries around the world for chelonian research and conservation (Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, Madagascar, Namibia, South Africa, Morocco, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, India, the Caribbean Islands, and many others).[7] Several of these trips are featured in a series of documentary films chronicling the Turtle Conservancy's conservation efforts.

In 2004 in collaboration with the curator of herpetology at WCS he started the not-for-profit Chelonian Conservation Center which was later renamed the Behler Chelonian Center in honor of John L. Behler. The center is certified by the AZA (American Zoos and Aquariums)[8] and run by the Turtle Conservancy, a not-for-profit NGO. Its primary goal is to ensure the survival of turtle and tortoise species worldwide, and to promote the conservation of chelonian habitat in the wild.

In 2008 Goode created the Turtle Conservancy, which works on conservation initiatives around the world.[9] Goode sits on the board of the Chelonian Research Institute, the Turtle Conservation Fund, and is an active member of the IUCN Turtle and Tortoise Specialist Group. He has authored and coauthored both popular and scientific publications and has received a number of conservation awards, the James A. St. Amant Special Award from the Desert Tortoise Council, and the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival award, among others.

Through Goode's and the Turtle Conservancy’s global awareness campaigns the organization has reached tens of millions of people, shining a spotlight on the plight of the worlds most threatened group of animals.

In September 2011, writer William Finnegan traveled with Goode to western Madagascar to document the illegal smuggling of the critically endangered ploughshare tortoise (Astrochelys yniphora).[10] The article was published in The New Yorker on January 23, 2012 [11]

In August 2012, Goode hosted a launch party at The Waverly for the Turtle Conservancy's publication, The Tortoise.[12][13] CBS's 60 Minutes aired a December 2012 segment hosted by Lesley Stahl, "The Race to Save the Tortoise", documenting the Turtle Conservancy's work in battling the extinction crisis of the ploughshare tortoise in Madagascar.

Other major achievements include the purchase of land in one of the last remaining strong holds for the critically endangered geometric tortoise endemic to South Africa. By securing this land the Turtle Conservancy is playing a critical role in saving the species from extinction.

The Turtle Conservancy also runs the world's most successful captive breeding facilities for endangered chelonians. It manages 15 of the world's most endangered turtles and tortoises, with notable breeding success, including the first successful reproduction of the Assam roofed turtle. The Turtle Conservancy was the first institution to ever return captive-bred turtles to their home country for reintroduction to the wild. In this case they sent golden coin turtles back to their native Hong Kong.


Year Documentary
2005 John L. Behler Chelonian Center
2006 Galapagos Islands
2007 Madagascar
2008 The Argentine Tortoise
2009 In Search of the Okinawa Leaf Turtle
2010 The Great Tortoise Transect
2011 In Search of the Impressed Tortoise


The Tortoise[edit]

The Tortoise is an annual magazine publication of the Turtle Conservancy dedicated to the conservation of turtles and tortoises. The wide scope of the magazine reaches readers from all over the world. Its audience includes everyone from world-renowned scientists and biologists, to travelers, naturalists, ecologists and conservationists, as well as a general audience interested in wildlife preservation and environmental protection. It is not a scientific journal. It is a publication about the wonder of turtles and tortoises and about the conservation challenges they face, and it is about the people who are devoted to saving these creatures from extinction.

The Area Book[edit]

In 2013 Abrams published a 360-page coffee table book on the seminal nightclub AREA, authored by Eric and Jennifer Goode. Drawing from a rich archive of material, Eric and Jennifer tell the behind-the-scenes story of the club and its people, creating an illustrated memoir of an exciting time and place in the history of New York nightlife. To accompany the launch of the book Eric collaborated with Jeffrey Deitch to curate an exhibition at The Hole gallery.[14][15] The show consisted of original installations as well as pieces from many of the artists that participated or were influenced by the club.[16]

Nightclubs, restaurants and hotels[edit]


Most of Goode's art is created as a vitrine, or display case, with three-dimensional artwork inside. Similar to Joseph Cornell, his work incorporates many aspects of assemblage. Goode's work also has notable similarities to Damien Hirst and Jeff Vaughan, especially his tendency to represent elements of the natural world in his mixed-media installations.[citation needed]


  • 1981 – Group Show curated by Keith Haring, Mudd Club
  • 1987 – "Subject Object", Group Show, 56 Bleecker Gallery
  • 1988 – Group Show, Bess Butler Gallery
  • 1989 – One Man Show, Bess Cutler Gallery
  • 1989 - "American Pie", Group Show, Bess Cutler Gallery
  • 1989 - "Don't Bungle the Jungle", Group Show, Tony Shafrazi Gallery
  • 1989 - "New Work, New York", Group Show, Helander Gallery
  • 1990 – "Amnesty International", Group Show, Tony Shafrazi Gallery
  • 2013 - "AREA: The Exhibition", Group Show, The Hole Gallery, curated by Jeffrey Deitch and Glenn O'Brien

Music videos[edit]

Year Artist Music video
1992 Nine Inch Nails "Help Me I Am in Hell"
1992 Nine Inch Nails "Pinion"
1993 Digital Orgasm "Time to Believe"
1994 CeCe Peniston "Hit by Love"
1994 Terrorvision "Oblivion"
1998 Robbie Robertson "Unbound"


  1. ^ Kim, Levin (4 March 1981). "Anarchy in the M.C.". Village Voice. 
  2. ^ Trebay, Guy (11 December 1984). "Articles of Faith". Village Voice. 
  3. ^ Stephen, Saban (27 May 1981). "The Night of the Iguana". The Soho News. 
  4. ^ Rubenstein, Hai. "Goode Old Days". New York Magazine. 
  5. ^ Verini, James (June 15, 2003). "Without reservation". Los Angeles Times. 
  6. ^ Fritz, Uwe; Eric Goode (9 Feb 2012). "Northern genetic richness and southern purity, but just one species in the Chelonoidis chilensis complex". Zoologica Scripta 41 (3): 220–232. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2012.00533.x. 
  7. ^ Carter, Stinson (June–July 2007). "LOVE on the half shell" (PDF). BlackBook. 
  8. ^ "AZA Currently Certified Institutions". 
  9. ^ Kuchling, Gerald; Owen Griffiths (June 2012). "Endoscopic Imaging of Gonads, Sex Ratios, and Occurrence of Intersexes in Juvenile Captive-Bred Aldabra Giant Tortoises". Chelonian Research Foundation. 1 11: 91–96. doi:10.2744/CCB-0901.1. 
  10. ^ Kiester, A. Ross; Angelo R. Mandimbihasina (30 October 2013). "Conservation of the Angonoka (Ploughshare Tortoise), Astrochelys yniphora". Chelonian Research Monographs 6. doi:10.3854/crm.6.a26p162. 
  11. ^ William, Finnegan (January 2012). "Slow and Steady". The New Yorker: 56–65. 
  12. ^ "Hotelier Fights for Turtles". New York Post. Retrieved 26 October 2012. 
  13. ^ "Inaugural Issue of The Tortoise". Retrieved 26 October 2012. 
  14. ^ AREA: The Exhibition
  16. ^ Lee, Denny. "Waking Area Nightclub from the Dead". New York Times. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 
  17. ^ Davis, Peter. "A Look Back at AREA, the '80s Club That Turned Partying into an Art.". PAPER. Retrieved November 6, 2013.