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CONTENTS, November, 2008

Caricature of Glenn Loney by Sam Norkin.

Please click on " * " to skip to each subject in this index:

INTRO: Why The Disconnect & Delay in Museum-Notes Reports? *
STRANGE BED-FELLOWS:Between the Sheets with Gregor Samsa & Franz Kafka! *
THE ANGEL IN THE ARK:Or A Dream of Hay-Fever Transmuted Into A Revelation… *
Changing Dream-Channels at Mid-Night: From Bad to Worse! *
Imperfect Mental-Telepathy—From the Sierra Foothills to El Salvador: *
Up in Central Park: ZAHA HADID & MOBILE ART: *
At the American Folk Art Museum: *
At the American Museum of Natural History: *
At the Asia Society: *
At the Bard Graduate Center Gallery: *
At the Brooklyn Museum: *
At Christie’s: *
At the Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design: *
At the Fashion Institute Museum: *
At the Frick Collection: *
At the Galerie St. Etienne: *
At the Guggenheim Museum: *
At the ICP/International Center of Photography: *
At the Japan Society: *
At the Jewish Museum: *
At the Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library & Museum: *
At the Metropolitan Museum of Art: *
At the Morgan Library & Museum: *
At MoMA/The Museum of Modern Art: *
At the Municipal Art Society: *
At the Museum of the City of New York: *
At the Museum of TV & Radio: *
At the National Academy Museum: *
At the Neue Gallerie*
At the New York Botanical Garden: *
At the New-York Historical Society: *
At the New York Public Library: *
At the Rubin Museum of Art: *
At Sotheby’s: *
At the Whitney Museum of American Art: *
At the UBS Art Gallery *
At the Park Avenue Armory*

Report for Autumnal September & October 2008


INTRO: Why The Disconnect & Delay in Museum-Notes Reports?


It cannot have escaped the notice of Regular-Readers of these reports that nothing has been effectively posted for weeks & weeks.

The reason for that is that both Computer & Printer have been disconnected for nearly four months, shrouded in plastic-sheeting & hidden under layers of dust, with your Reporter physically & emotionally devastated & powerless to continue filing on either the NY Theatre-Wire or NY Museums websites.

And why & how did this come to pass?


STRANGE BED-FELLOWS:Between the Sheets with Gregor Samsa & Franz Kafka!


Depending upon the whims of Franz Kafkas translators, his unfortunate Anti-Hero Gregor Samsa awoke one morning to discover that he had been metamorphosed into either a Giant-Bedbug or a Giant-Cockroach.

As Your [almost equally-unfortunate] Reporter has learned, it is much easier to exterminate Roaches than it is to be rid of Bedbugs.

Apparently, with Roaches you can set-off some kind of Death-Bomb in closed but infested rooms that will terminate their unwanted tenancy. Room-Sealing is essential, as you do not want to go the way of your unwelcome Roach-Guests.

Bedbugs, as I have recently learnt to my Tremendous-CostFinancially, as well as Emotionally, Physically, & Spiritually—require far more complicated Extermination-Procedures.

When I returned—elated but exhausted—from a DC Theatre-Outing in mid-June, I debated changing the sheets before retiring. They had been in use the week before my departure to Maryland, Virginia, & Washington.

Tired, I thought: What the Hell! Like Scarlett O’Hara, I would think about it Tomorrow. Or was that Annie

But, during the night, I awoke several times to the sensation of an unusual itching. By Dawn’s Early Light, however, I discovered my arms & legs spotted with pairs of small Red-Dots, rather like the imagined bites of Vampire-Bats.

Leaping out of bed, I pulled back to top-sheet all the way to the bottom of the bed. There, in the long crevice between the top & the fitted-sheet was a horde of busily crawling bed-bugs!

I had never seen anything like this before, even though I habitually change the sheets every Sunday-Morning. Some of the bugs were tiny: others were gorged with what had to have been My Blood!

Horrified, Panicked & Instantly-Traumatized, I alerted my building’s Staff. Carefully shrouding the Bedding, Mattress, & Box-Springs in immense black plastic-bags, they removed these infested-items for disposal in some Distant-Landfill.

Worse, however, was the almost three-inch-high pile of dust under the bed—also crawling with bugs—where the Sun Doesn’t Shine & my otherwise-thorough Cleaning-Lady had never-vacuumed.

Although Bedbugs live only on Blood, they apparently love to snuggle-up between the pages of a Good-Book, into the seams of your Upholstery, & even into the frames & matting of your Family-Photos & Avant-Garde Artworks!

They will also climb up your Curtains, cuddle-up around the margins of your Wall-to-Wall Carpets, & make themselves at home in your folded Undies & your hanging Suits & Jackets.

Going On-Line, you can get All the Bad-News about Bedbugs by Googling.

My bedroom-walls were almost entirely clad in floor-to-ceiling Bookcasesincluding the bookshelf-headboard for my bed—all of them filled with Rare-Books or Archivally-Important Reference-Books on Art, Architecture, Maps, History, & the Performing-Arts.

Each book had to be minutely-examined & thoroughly-vacuumed to ensure that no bedbugs were hiding inside. Then these volumes—some very large & very old & fragile—were wrapped in clear-plastic clinging-sheetings, carefully recorded, & packed in Staples file-boxes.

All the wonderful blue bookcases—which I had built myself, bringing some of them over to Manhattan from my previous apartment in Brooklyn-Heights, where I had 16-foot-ceilingswere sawed-up into easily-disposable fragments. The carpets were sliced into small pieces & stuffed into big black bags.

I disposed of most of my sheets & towels immediately. I trashed all my shoes. Unable to sleep on the living-room floor—the infested-bed having vanished—I arose on the succeeding night to begin laundering all the things I really needed to keep.

Finishing about 11 am on Sunday morning, I lay down to rest but suddenly had the sensation of an impending Heart-Attack. As I have already survived two such Coronary-Incidentsin 1965 & 1991I panicked anew, ending up in Emergency at Lenox-Hill Hospital.

After the bedroom had been reduced to bare-walls & repainted—with shelves & closet-doors all trashed—the Exterminator sprayed his deadly Cyan-compound all around. A week later, he returned to check, having also put bug-traps in my Library-Study, as well as the Living & Dining-Rooms.

He said: "The Good-News is that the bugs are all gone from the bedroom. The Bad-News is that they have spread to the Study & the Living-Room!"

At first, I could not believe this. I had seen nothing on my Computer-Keyboard, for instance. But in the bug-traps were tiny specks, like sesame-seeds, only smaller. These, he informed me, were newly-hatched bed-bugs!

As all the rooms are/were filled with Bookcasescrammed with hundreds & hundreds of books—once again each book had to be examined, cleansed, wrapped, recorded, & packed.

In each room were teetering stacks of Staples-boxes, later transported to costly storage in Brooklyn, where they will remain under wraps for a Year-&-a-Half, by which time, lacking Fresh-Blood, they will have perished. Or so I have been told… [You can also freeze your books & bugs, but my Fridge isn’t big enough…]

The books can never return to this apartment, of course, lacking their familiar bookshelves. But they were, in any case, destined for an as-yet-to-be-funded physical ArtsArchive, to back-up the Lighting New Media website,

Given the Collapsing-Economy, untenanted new City-Rental-Spaces may well want to welcome a not-for-profit Informational & Cultural Reference-Resource, including as it will all the 375,000+ Slide, Print, & Digital Photographic-Images of the Glenn Loney INFOTOGRAPHY™ physical Photo-Archive.

But that’s not the end of this Traumatic-Tale.

After the hundreds of boxes of books, posters, art-works, & photo-volumes were carted-off to Brooklyn Storage, all the remaining artworks & antiques from half-a-century of World-Travelreporting on Performing-Arts & photographing Historic-Sites & Architecturehad to be inspected, wrapped, & boxed, until all the carpets could be cut-up & bagged, more shelves removed, most furnishings discarded, & the shabby old wooden flooring sanded & sealed against more buggery.

Then—and only then—could all the walls be newly painted, lost doors replaced, track-lighting installed, & all the Surviving-Treasures re-installed.

Unfortunately, as this demanding work is being done by friends who have other Serious Professional Contracts to honor, it is not yet completed as of this evening, which happens to be Hallowe’en!

During most of the summer, unable to sleep at home, having no bed, I spent depressing nights in a bunk-bed at the West 63rd Street YMCA, costing $119 per night!

[When I first returned to America in 1960, after four years teaching in Europe, Africa, & the Middle-East, I stayed at that Y & also at the Sloane House YMCA on West 34th Street—now transformed into Condosfor something like $5 a day…]

With all the remaining furniture stacked on-end & moved from room to room as the floor-sanding progressed, I tried to do some work at my dust-covered desk, only to have a bulging bedbug or two stroll across the surface. Also on the Kitchen-Counter. And sometimes on my cap or shirt!

This so distressed me that I felt I could not visit any friends all summer, not wishing to bring them bedbugs on my clothes or New-Balance sneakers. A very Lonely & Desolate Time

Totally-Demoralizing… Not to mention THE SHAMETHE SHAME

Friends warned me not to mention the bugs to anyone, but this experience has been so Totally-Devastating to me that I have to survey it once again in print…

Until this moment—having finally found the connecting-cables for Printer & ComputerI have not wanted to write anything, nor work on new INFOTOGRAPHY™ photo-images. The Computer & Printer weren’t Functional anyway, and they still have serious glitches, perhaps from all that floor-sanding?

Some friends insisted I must have brought the bugs back from Foreign-Travels: most recently from Jordan & Sinai, perhaps?

But when I found a big bug now & then in the bath-tub—obviously haven fallen down from the Ventilation-Shaft-Grill, surely from a floor above mine—I began to wonder…

Even though I had been repeatedly cautioned to say nothing about the Infestation, nonetheless, in shopping-around for Bug-Resistant-ReplacementsI now have an all-metal Zen bed & an Air-Mattress!—I have been amazed at the number of people who are dealing with the same Problem.

It is very difficult to get an Exterminator to come & Spritz the Cyanide, as there are so many calls every day now.

On its last day of publication, the New York Sun ran a column-long report on the current Bedbug-Plague. The New York Times has also removed some of the Secret-Shame by discussing this Hush-Hush Topic.

Now & then—despite the Cyanide-SpraysI still encounter a bug or two, but I’m not at all certain they are Blood-Gorged Bedbugs.

As I was spending much of July, August, & September sitting on dusty benches in Central Park, I realized that I had also picked-up a Wood-Tick or two…

I grew up on a farm in the California-Sierras, so I know very well what they look like. The silhouettes of some of my buggy-visitors were clearly those of Ticks, surely brought home from the Park. [Don’t pet those friendly Dogs!]

This was not at all reassuring, however, as Ticks—not Dogs—are carriers of Lyme-Disease, so named for Old Lyme, CT, where they were first detected. But then, the dogs do carry the Ticks. And so on & on…

Nonetheless, the Bedbugs may have been what is euphemistically-known as A Blessing In Disguise, as I am now on the brink of enjoying a beautiful all-new apartment, with gleamingly blonde-wood herringbone-flooring.

[A Floor-Sander-Sealer Contractorcontacted on the Internetquoted $500 for fixing the bedroom-floor, now newly minus carpet & bugs. When his crew arrived, they had 220-volt equipment, which cannot work in my electric-outlets. They tried & nearly blew the fuses, as well as the Super’s Temper.

[So they returned to Brooklyn—from Whence Cometh All Help—to fetch their 110-volt Sander. On their return, the Foreman informed me that the job would now cost me $1,000, although the floor-area is quite small.

[How come now so high?

["It’s not ordinary flooring: it’s herringbone-flooring!"

[What? Twice as much for wood-blocks laid at an angle?]

But I was so desperate to get the bed-room fixed, I caved, having been deserted by some colleagues on whom I was depending to help me complete the renovations.

But there may have been The Hand of God in all of this delay, in the Way things are Working-Out.

Almost four-years ago, I had an Angelic-Visitationwell, a Dream, actually—in which I was assured that at this time I would be "Translated."

As I will be 80-years-old on Christmas-Eve, perhaps the time is drawing near for my Fifteen-Minutes of Warholian-Fame!

When I was in Deepest-Despair over how to eradicate all the remaining Bedbugs & Ticks—as well as to renovate all the now desolate & dusty rooms of the apartment—I was invited by my former MFA & PhD student & friend, Prof. Seth Baumrin, to see his staging of Jacques Offenbachs Tales of Hoffmann on a Port Authority Dock over in Red Hook.

Seth quickly organized some of the Cast & Crew to remove furniture & filing-cabinets—as well as some Décorthat I would no longer need. And two of his Offenbachian Baritones volunteered to restore the apartment: at very reasonable rates, as well!

Of course we have had to work around Auditions & paid singing-gigs for Secular & Sacred-Services.

[I didn’t know my apartment-building was Circumcised until I discovered we were not permitted to do any work on walls or floors on Yom Kippur!

[Well, I suppose that’s only fair, as Decent Right-Thinking God-Fearing Patriotic Christian-Americans don’t do floors on Christmas or Easter, do they? Nonetheless, they may well have voted for that Madcap-Lady from Alaska: on a clear day you can see Vladivastok!]

For the Record, I want to praise & recommend the aspiring young baritone, Nathan Baer, who also does walls & floors superbly. From what he has done for me in this virtually-new apartment, I believe there is almost nothing he cannot do: a real Mr. Fix-It!

In ManhattanNathan goes everywhere, tools & all, on his bicycle, with a bike-trailer—you can ask for his excellent services, as well as those of his fellow-baritone, Will Browning, at Or try Nathan Baer at 646-542-2694.

At the moment, Will’s away, singing at the Wichita Opera, where he is also a Resident-Artistwhen he is In-Residence & not in Manhattan…

Nathan & Will describe themselves on their business-card as "Opera Singers & Craftsmen, Working for Our Song."

Walt Disneys’ Seven Dwarfs were into Whistling While They Worked, but Nathan & Will can enliven Apartment-Renovations with snatches of Baritone-Arias! Or how about a duet featuring Almaviva & Figaro, both baritones!

For those readers who may well wonder about the substance of an Angelic-Visitation, here is a report I drafted about this strange event four years ago—only a few hours after it occurred:


THE ANGEL IN THE ARK:Or A Dream of Hay-Fever Transmuted Into A Revelation…

Way back in the Depression-Thirties, when I was young and small, I used to earn 50 cents a day during haying-season by perching on Lee Frey’s hay-wagon and spreading around the stacks of hay as they were forked up onto the wagon by Lee and his hired-hands. I wasn’t yet big enough to toss an entire forkful of hay onto the wagon myself.

So there I was, dazed in a haze of hay-dust, coughing and snorting, trying to keep up with the volleys of hay and spread them around on the wagon-bed. Once in a while, a live snake would get tossed up along with the hay, writhing and twitching. There was no place to run, so I’d frantically try to fork the snake off the wagon.

This wasn’t the worst of it, however. Even though my eyes were itching and my face swollen, because I was the smallest on the hay-crew, I had to climb up into the haymow when the wagon reached the barn.

Scratching and sneezing, I waited for the great overhead hay-fork to loft big bundles of hay from the wagon into the barn and glide on its track to trip its load almost on top of me. Then I had to fork the hay around so it would lie evenly in the haymow.

On a very cold March night in 2004, I thought I was sneezing and coughing once again, back on Lee Frey’s dairy-farm in Penn Valley, California. This was an awful scene to re-visit, so I consciously decided to move away from the hay and take a look out the barn’s big upper-opening.

When I looked down, I saw an endless stream of animals, two by two, slowly serpentining out from the door below me. They were life-sized and moving with march-like precision.

But they weren’t only the animals we know from the zoo or as house-pets. Among them were pairs of Fabulous-Beasts: Rocs, Griffons, Wyverns, Sphinxes, and some I could not identify in this astonishing instant.

But what was really odd was that all these animals seemed to have been carved of wood by some 19th Century German Woodcarver! And yet they moved quite naturally…

I suddenly realized that I was on the Ark. And we had come to rest on dry land at last.

The Great Flood was over: the Forty Days & Forty Nights had passed at last. Deep darkness and turbulent storms were past: Life would begin again!

At once I realized that this was a Visual-Metaphor, in Dreamlife, for an end to my many uncertainties and fears about the Future and the survival my thousands of photographs, unpublished books, and valuable arts-collections.

At that moment, I turned back toward the haymow.

I was almost blinded by the brilliance of a Radiant-Being in the center of the hay.

I thought it must be an Angel, but the brightness was so intense I could not see wings behind the pulsing white outlines of his glowing form. He held his radiant arms upwards and outstretched, fingers extended.

I felt my arms and fingers powerfully drawn up to his. When our fingers touched, I had the most overwhelming sensation of a Cosmic-Orgasmnot sexual, but Spiritual. My entire being was thrilled, ecstatic…

Then he spoke to me, but without moving his lips. His words sounded and echoed in my head: In four years, you will be Translated.

That was all. Suddenly I was wide awake.

I was certain that this was a Visitation & a Message, not an ordinary dream of a Miserable-Childhood.

I had once dreamt of a potential auto-accident, and a year-and-a-half later, that dream—instantly recalled—saved my life. Since then, I have often dreamt of places and events before I actually see or experience them.

But what did this radiant Messenger mean by Translated?

Not Taken-Out… Nor Transmuted: TRANSLATED! --Glenn Loney


So much for the Possibilities of Recognition, even Fame

But, before we get on with a brief-survey of what has been happening in Metropolitan New York’s Art-Scene these past weeks, here’s another Dream-Scape:



I had just returned from a Theatre & Museum tour on the West Coast to have the phone ring the minute I entered my apartment. A Hollywood script-writer was calling to ask if I had read any of the letters both she & John Josephproducer of Unsolved Mysteries on TV—had been urgently sending me?

There, right in front of me on my desk, were the opened-letters, carefully sorted by a friend, alongside other mail. I was being invited to fly out to Los Angeles—from which I had just returned—to be interviewed on film about The Dream That Saved My Life.

I was momentarily baffled: what Dream was that? And how had Joseph known where to contact me?

The Unsolved Mysteries script-writer explained that John Joseph was always on the lookout for unusual stories of The Inexplicable that could be re-enacted for the weekly program, along with an interview with the person centrally concerned in each Mystery.

Waiting for a flight, he had picked up a Bantam paperback to read on the plane. Its title was Dreams That Come True.

As John Joseph read through the many testimonies of people who believed they had had Premonitory Dreamsthe script-writer explained—he thought my dream and its Real-Life Fulfillment would be the most understandable to the mass of TV-viewers.

Unlike some dreamers who had seen themselves floating over their own open-coffins just before their funerals… Or hovering over an Operating-Table, as they prepared to rush down that Dark Tunnel between Life & Death, when you review all the Events of Your Life, backward…

Still puzzled about my dream having been in-print, I called John Joseph in Los Angeles.

Who knew about my dream anyway? How had it found its way into a paperback?

I knew nothing about this—and certainly no one had asked my permission.

Joseph explained that the Bantam edition was a re-print of the original hard-cover Dreams That Come True, published by Harper’s. What he wanted—and as soon as possible—was for me to agree to have my dream shown on Unsolved Mysteries, reconstructed, plus me on-camera, talking about the experience.

His Production-Company, naturally, could not pay me a fee for the use of my published-account of the dream. Nor could it pay me for doing the filmed-interview.

What Unsolved Mysteries was offering, however, was a free Round-Trip Flight out to Los Angeles, together with a week’s stay at a fine hotel & the opportunity to See the Sights—even Disneyland!

I told Joseph this was a No-Starter, as I had only just come back from the City of The Angels.

Also, I was only too familiar with all the Sights—and more—as I then was a "Stringer" for the LA Times, covering Music & Theatre, especially from a Manhattan vantage-point.

Even if I had wanted to fly right back to the Coast, I could not. In five days, I had to leave for Warsaw for the annual Opera Festival at the Teatr Wielki.

Immediately, Joseph changed his plans: he & a camera-team would fly to New York & interview me in my Upper East Side apartment! Could I do this in a day or two, before boarding LOT for Poland?

I could & would do it, but I wasn’t having a film-crew in my cramped, book-stuffed co-op. They’d have to find another location.

The next day, Joseph phoned to say they’d rented someone else’s cramped, book-stuffed apartment for the Shoot. It was up in Washington Heights, near the Met Museum’s Cloisters.

After the on-camera interview—in which I also mentioned once seeing an Unidentified Flying-Object over a Sierra meadow, not included in the broadcast!—there was still one more section of footage needed.

As I was a Professor of Theatre at Brooklyn College, Joseph wanted a few establishing-shots of me in front of an Academic-Building.

But there was no time to drive all the way out to Flatbush. Should we instead pack-up the equipment & go down to Columbia University?

No, I said. Let’s just go up the hill to the Cloisters. Its Neo-Gothic Entrance could even suggest Yale!

No sooner had we set-up, than a furious guard rushed out to order us "off the property"—even though we were, in fact, standing on the Public-Sidewalk.

Apparently, the Cloisters was so sacrosanct, it could not even be used as a background… And this was long before 9/11 & The War on Terror!

The crew was flummoxed: where could we go now?

I said we should make a big show of packing-up & driving-off. Then we could go around to the Service-Port—which looks rather like the Main-Entry.

And so we did—and that is the "Brooklyn College" against which you will see me posing when next this episode of Unsolved Mysteries is re-run!

As it indeed is—every so often, no residuals, of course!—resulting in phone-calls from High-School Chums I have not seen in years: "Glenn, did you really have a dream that saved your life?"

To which I respond: "Unlike some of Our Leaders, I would never lie on Nation-wide Television!"

I had asked Joseph if—when I came back from Warsaw—I could play myself in the Dream-Reconstruction?

But there was no time for that, even though I had taught Elementary & Remedial-Acting at Brooklyn College.

In any case, he said he never used the Actual People involved in the various Unsolved Mysteries.

Joseph said they wouldn’t know how to act themselves on-camera! In the event, I still believe I could have been better than the "professional" actor they hired…

Nor does the Reconstruction look anything like what actually happened, even though I described it to Joseph on camera in detail. And it is also clearly described in my own words in the Bantam paperback.

Robert Stack hosted Unsolved Mysteries, so some who have seen the re-run ask: "What was Bob Stack really like?" I have no idea: my only live-contact with the program was that afternoon in Washington Heights.

In fact, I did not see the original "Live" Broadcast. I don’t have time to watch TV anyway: every evening & matinée I’m reviewing a play, musical, opera, or dance-program. I was sent a tape

When I read my own description of the "Dream That Saved My Life" in both hard-cover & paperback, I finally understood how this got into print.

One Sunday, in the NY Times Book-Review section—in the back, where someone writing a bio of Jane Austen would like to borrow any letters Jane might have written to your great-grandmother—a PhD Candidate at the University of Georgia, in Athens, requested any accounts of dreams that had somehow turned into reality for citation in his Psychology-Dissertation.

So I jotted down what I remembered of my dream & its Near-Fatal Aftermathwhich I could never forget—and sent it off to this Grad-student. And that was the last I ever heard about this Thesis…

But in the commercially-published-version of his research, it was noted that a Professional-Author had helped shape his Dissertation for the Commercial-Market.

But I—one of the book’s many Dreamers—am not identified by name in the book—only as "a Professor who does not put much stock in Psychic-Phenomena."

And that was largely true, until my dream came true, a year-and-half later…

But what was the actual Dream? How did it come true?


Changing Dream-Channels at Mid-Night: From Bad to Worse!

When I was very small, I used to have terrible Nightmares. Mostly about Abandonment or Loss. These probably occurred because I had been adopted at six-months from an Orphanage, and one of my mother’s favorite Correctional-Threats was: "If you don’t behave yourself, I’m sending you back to the Fred Finch Orphanage!"

Or she would put some underwear from my orange-crate clothes-cupboard into a brown-paper-bag, give it to me, & point toward the Marysville-Highway out in our desolate part of Nevada-County farm-country: "Go on down the road & see if anyone wants to take in a little boy who doesn’t know how to behave!"

These—and other forms of Parental-Punishmentdid not do much for my Self-Esteem or Sense of Security.

Then, at night, my many very Real Fears would often take Fantastic Forms. I would frequently wake screaming & shaking, only to be told to be quiet & go back to sleep.

This was always from my Mother, as my poor father—who never laid a hand on me—had to get up at 4:30 am to milk our 25 cows & then go off to work a shift in a dangerously-timbered quartz-goldmine in Smartsville.

Fortunately, I learned to fly in my sleep! When a nightmare was becoming too horrible—when I was being pushed over the edge of Devil’s-Slide, or dropped into a huge Hot-Pot of Tomato-SoupI discovered that, if I flapped both arms vigorously, I would rise up out of the Dream, looking down at it as if it were some kind of Box-without-a-Lid.

Then I found I could fly freely over Open-Landscapes, looking down into other Boxes, until I found one that looked Colorful & Welcoming! I say Colorful, because I never dreamt in Black-&-White: always in Color, even before Color-TV.

With the advent of Black-&-White TV, however, I did make an adaptation for my Dream-Life. There were few channels from which to choose & only NBC, CBS, & ABC programming. Still, one did have the option of Changing-Channels.

So—instead of Flying Up & Away from a Bad Dream—I could now Change the Channel, until I found a better dream/program in which to appear.

One dark night, however, I was into what started as a fairly bland dream, when it suddenly turned Terrible, before I could change the channel.

I was driving my beloved beat-up old blue Datsun station-wagon somewhere out in the mountains.

I was dimly conscious that there was someone on the other side of my driver’s-seat, in what we used to call—laughingly—The Death-Seat.

What I did swiftly notice was that we were now driving up a fairly steep inwardly-curved Incline. It was a narrow two-lane highway, with no visibility at the top of the Curve, where the road disappeared to the left, around the mountain-side.

On my right-side, however—looking beyond the nameless, faceless passenger—I could see that there was no Road-Shoulder & no Guard-Rail.

Somehow, I could also see that there was an almost Sheer-Drop on my side of the highway, perhaps two-thousand-feet down the steep mountain-side…

Before I had time to do more than sense the danger of this unprotected road-margin, I suddenly saw a car come round the Blind-Curve at the top of the highway. It began to swerve slightly, as a two-wheeled trailer hitched behind it wobbled badly.

In an instant, the trailer-wheel—virtually on the white dividing-line of the highway—sheared its nuts & bolts & rolled furiously, shedding sparks on the road, diagonally downward toward me on the driver’s-side

It was just about to hit the Datsun, when I stomped on the gas-pedal…

Then I woke up, shaking. I had never had a dream or nightmare like this, ever. It never repeated itself, as some Bad-Dreams do. In that moment, however, I knew it was a Warning.

From time to time, I thought about that dream. But Nothing Happeneddespite the fact that I was, almost every weekend, driving my Datsun to Regional-Theatres all over the Eastern-Seaboard: Baltimore, Boston, Providence, Philadelphia, DC, New Haven, & Hartford…

Having spent part of one summer reporting on all the Shakespeare Festivals in the US & Canada for Theatre Craftsalso resulting in the book: The Shakespeare Complexthe following summer I was checking-out all the Outdoor Historical Dramas, especially in the American Southeast.

After seeing several plays-with-music about Daniel Boonein different places, where he’d moved to get away from other Pioneer & SettlersI was driving my Datsun to Beckley, West Virginia, where I was to report on not one, but two Historical Dramas: Honey in the Rock & The Hatfields & the McCoys.

I had invited a theatre-professor-colleague to join me for these shows, as we had just seen The Long Road Home, in a little community in Virginia. With a Pot-Luck Supper afterward!

As we began the drive up a steep mountain two-lane highway, with the road curving out-of-sight to the left above—and a sheer drop, with no guard-rail, on Mike’s side of the station-wagon—I suddenly realized: My God! This Is My Dream!

"Mike! Don’t ask, but a car is going to come round that curve up there. Hold on tight! I’ll have to gun the gas & hope for the best…"

At that very moment, the swerving car appeared, the two-wheeled-trailer swaying dangerously. Its tire suddenly flew off, in a shower of sparks, rolling diagonally toward my door.

Would it hit us Broadside? Would we go skittering over the edge, plunging hundreds of feet down the mountain-side?

Actually, I had no time to consider those possibilities—which, in fact, I’d already itemized after my Dream.

I rammed the gas-pedal to the floorboard, gunned the Datsun round the blind-curve, with the rolling-wheel just nicking the rear-bumper as it careened over the edge.

I didn’t stop to find out what might have happened to the Endangered Car & its Occupants. I just kept on going as fast as I could until we came to Beckley.

Mike was In Shock

"How did you know that was going to happen? How?"

"Maybe you won’t believe it, but I dreamt it some time ago. So long ago, I thought it was never going to happen. But it just did!"

Looking back soon after—and, indeed, ever-afterI thought no matter what various Religions & Cults may Preach & Believe, there is Something Outside & Beyond Us that we do not Understand.

Something that may very well be Watching Us, if not always Watching-Over Us…

How else—if Everything that happens in the World is really Random, as in Chaos-Theoryis it possible to Dream accurately about Events That Have Not Yet Happened?

Is there a Guardian-Angel hovering above me? Do I hear a faint-fluttering of Wings

This must be another one of those Unsolved Mysteries



The Dream of the Angel in the Ark appeared to me in the middle of the night in the early Spring of 2004. As my Translation was forecast for four years forward, I made the not-so-difficult computation that it should occur in Spring or Summer 2008.

[Did the sudden Appearance of the Bedbugs portend this Translation?]

After a Virtual Lifetime of standing on the Sidelines or In The Wingswhile Interviewing Admirable Talents in the Arts & Reporting on notable Art Exhibitions & Performing-Arts productions—I found this Prophecy was very welcome: Would I at last have some recognition for all that I had been writing about the Arts for more than 50 years?

The summer of 2006 was my 50th Anniversary at four major European Festivals: Bayreuth, Bregenz, Munich, & Salzburg. Perhaps too soon for the Fests to take note of this work, but I was at least interviewed in Bregenz, with a handsome report & photo in the leading newspaper.

Over that 50-year-period, I had amassed a production-photo archive from these festivals, consisting of hundreds of black & white images of opera and drama-stagings by some of the most famed 20th Century directors, including Wieland Wagner, Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, & Günther Rennert.

Recently, my colleague, Prof. Cynthia Allenof Gallatin College, NYU—created 4 sub-websites for these production-photos from each of these fests. They & their respective photos will be available on, when funding can be found for identifying, organizing, & scanning the hundreds & hundreds of images. will also be home to the GLENN LONEY BOOK-SHOP, where anyone interested can read or print-out all of my Out-of-Print books, as well as previously unpublished book-manuscripts.

This will also be the Virtual-Venue for my fourteen-years of creating, writing, & photographing The Art Deco News and its successor, The Modernist. Hundreds of Performing-Arts, Architecture, & Visual Arts audio-interviews will also be available.

But my greatest hope—when the Angel appeared to me as either Dream or Vision—was that my more than 50 years of Photography of Arts & Architecture all over the world might at last be recognized. It has, of course, been used in publications & lectures, as well as being available from a photo-agency.

Now it has its own website, as INFOTOGRAPHY.bizbut there are still more than 300,000 images to be scanned, although almost all print & slide images have been computer-indexed for photo-volumes, now numbering over 350!

What puzzled me about the Ark-Dream was that the Translation was forecast for four years after, when I would be only 79.

Not for my 80th Birthdaywhich would seem a more striking time to Be Discoveredafter decades of being told: You are not Important…

But then, just last night, 3 May 2007again in the very depths of sleep—came another strange & vivid dream, this time without an Angelic Messenger.

Suddenly, I found myself on a large boat, drifting alone down a wide river, leading toward a great harbor-bay. On my left was a kind of closed Harbor-Enclave with signs warning the Unwelcome away.

Mysteriously, the harbor-gates opened for me, and I suddenly found myself in a rich but amorphous chamber, over which seemed to hover images of the Continents of the Earth.

A Titan of Immense Wealth had just died. He had divided his Considerable Investments into Foundations in many lands—all them furthering Education & Culture for All Mankind. But none of these funds was openly or obviously linked, so no one but his Executor knew the extent of the Fortunes or Influences involved.

The Unseen-Executor was explaining to me & the Titan’s young-adult son & daughter the varied operations of the Funds and our roles in advancing the Founder’s Hopes for the Future—in extending his Visions. I had mysteriously been Willed to join this Triad—not as an Inheritor, but as an Informed-Facilitator.

And then I suddenly woke up! Just as I had done from my Dream of the Angel & the Ark… --GML


Imperfect Mental-Telepathy—From the Sierra Foothills to El Salvador:

Despite the Life-Saving results of the Dream That Came True, even after that, I never thought of myself as having any kind of Psychic-Powers.

My mother certainly did, however. Whenever I would call her in California from Manhattan, she already seemed to know how my health was & how my week had been!

I had an even more striking—even chillingdemonstration of her powers when I was out of the country briefly one Spring-semester.

Friends were working in Salvador for the AID & they invited me to come down & write about the work of the Telemaestras they were training for TV, so whole Villages could be helped to Literacy & Good-Hygiene.

[This was, of course, well before the Death-Squads began their savage operations. But only shortly before the Minister for Education, Dr. Walter Benekewhom I had interviewed—was gunned down beside his car…]

Before I left New York, I both wrote & phoned my mother to give her the US Embassy phone-number in Salvador, if she needed to call me for any reason.

Ordinarily, she would never call me—even at home in New York—as Phone-Calls Cost Money & you can always Write a Letter!

The Family-Rule was: Do not phone, when you can Write. Never send a Western-Union Telegram! That would mean someone had Died!

For Birthdays & Xmas, Cards would do very well. The Shock of a Telegram arriving might give someone a Heart-Attack, only to discover its presumed Deadly-News was nothing more than a Happy Mother’s Day greeting…

But, in the middle of my visit to Salvador, one night I could not sleep. Tossing & turning in the heat, I felt something might be wrong in California, but what?

But Mother already had the Embassy phone-number, as well as the Embassy-address for telegrams…

It never occurred to me to phone her. If there was a Problem, she’d let me know in writing—as she had often done before.

When I returned to New York, three days later—on a Sunday evening—I immediately called her to find out if my restless-night in Salvador had any real cause.

When she finally answered, she sounded exhausted & stricken: also Angry!

"Where were you? I waited six days to bury your father!"

She actually thought I would have known the minute my father had passed.

Or at least that I would have understood her urgent telepathic-messages & then rushed to the airport to be with her & to bury my dear sweet long-suffering senile old father. --GLENN LONEY




Considering all the space devoted above to my Recent & Continuing Insect-Traumasas well as to my Baffling Dream-Life, all of which was recorded months & years ago—it may well seem some kind of Slacker Cop-Out to survey recently-opened Museum & Gallery Exhibitions & Events in the most cursory fashion.

Well before the Insect-Invasion, I decided at the end of the last season that I would change the format of the Museum-Notes reports: something more on the order of a Weekly-Blog, to keep comments more current.

Also—as I am fond of noting—because I am "neither paid nor thanked," I am not contractually-obligated to provide a detailed formal review for every exhibition I see. [Actually, my webmaster, Jonathan Slaff, does from time to time indicate his satisfaction that Curators Choice exists. Still, there’s no paycheck in sight…]

Nonetheless, there will soon be much less of this kind of attention to detail in arts-reviews as newspapers & magazines continue curtailing—or omitting entirely—professional-reviews in all areas of the Arts.

With the recent death of the New York Sun, not only has Israel has lost one of its Best-Friends, but New York Museums, Galleries, Artists, & Viewers have lost some of the Best Cultural-Coverage in the City!

Only last week, one of America’s most respected newspapers ceased print-publication entirely. This was the Christian Science Monitor, for which I was an Arts-Contributor in Europe & on the East Coast for a number of years.

Until I had a Heart-Attack

I was Terminated because the Editors believed I had Not Demonstrated Christian-Science, they having urged me to sign myself out of Maimonides Hospital & fly off to the Bayreuth Festival…

If Mary Baker Eddythe discoverer & founder of Christian Science—were still alive, the shock of this would surely kill her. Even though she believed Deathas well as Sin & Diseasewould eventually be Overcome.

Unfortunately, the Monitors sad demise could not have been prevented by Prayer & Positive-Thinking. The Problems were Monetary

The Christian Science Monitor continues only On-Line.

As well as for a number of my longtime-critic-colleagues who have lost their print-outlets, now Online & The Blog Is The Thing!

Your Reporter will explore a New-Format in the next filing. But, for now, this report will be little more than Listings of what is currentIy on view, most of which I have seen since the Advent of the Bedbugs. Just to Catch-Up

[So much for Good-Intentions… On re-reading this Screed to proof it, I see that I was unable to dismiss most of what I have seen in just a few words

[It also now occurs to me—looking at the text again—that I may have been sent some missed Press-Preview Invitations via e-mail, which it has been impossible to receive, what with everything packed-away to protect from Kafkan Bedbugs.]


Up in Central Park: ZAHA HADID & MOBILE ART:

[Closing 9 November 2008]

Mobile Art Chanel Contemporary Art Container by Zaha Hadid.

There is a charming bronze of Mother-Goose at the entrance of what was once a Children’s-Playground behind the Naumburg-Bandstand, not far from Central’s Parks Bethesda Fountain. In Summer, it is transformed into the venue for Summer-Stage concerts.

Now, in Autumn, however, it is dominated by a curiously-shaped undulating white structure, which could be a Grounded-UFO, were it not surrounded with signage that proclaims it to be Iranian/English Architect/Designer Zaha Hadids remarkable Chanel Contemporary Art Container!

This transportable-construction—officially-known as the Mobile Art Pavilionis on a kind of World-Tour, having already been shown in Hong Kong & Tokyo. From New York, it will travel to London, Moscow, & ParisCoco Chanels home-town.

It contains artworks that are said to have been inspired by one of Chanel’s Signature-Creations: THE QUILTED BAG.

Among the International Artists represented in this show are Daniel Buren, Yoko Ono, Pierre et Gilles, Yang Fudong, Wim Delvoye, Subodh Gupta, Loris Cecchini, Leandro Erlich, & Sylvie Fleury.

Unfortunately, although I have photographed the Hadid-Construction from the outside, I was not able to get a ticket to go inside—even as Arts-Pressfor the Total-Allocation was all gone almost when the Pavilion opened.

Nonetheless, the Chanel Press-Corps has provided me with some very impressive publications. One of them is a large envelope, depicting one of the specially-designed Chanel bag-inspired artworks.

But—like those ancient Chinese-Boxesthis contains a smaller envelope, which contains an even smaller envelope, until one has opened some 26 envelopes in decreasing sizes, each showing a bag-like artwork.

Considering the current Economic-Collapse that is now unfolding—engulfing even banks & businesses in the City of Lightthis trendy art & architecture exhibition—or elegantly-camouflaged Chanel Product-Promotionmay have materialized at the Wrong-Time, even though planned well before…

But so much money has already been expended on this on-going project, one would be churlish to suggest that Chanel should Bag It!

The Chanel Press-Materials contain a number of CDs relating to various aspects of this unusual exhibition. Here is Chanel’s commentary on Zaha Hadid’s contribution:



Zaha Hadid Portrait . Photo by Steve Double.

The Mobile Art Pavilion for CHANEL by Zaha Hadid Architects has been inspired by one of CHANEL’s signature creations, the quilted bag. CHANEL is renowned for its layering of the finest textiles and exquisite detailing which combine to create the most elegant and cohesive pieces for each collection. In her quest for complex, dynamic and fluid spaces, the work of Zaha Hadid has developed over the past 30 years through a rigorous integration of natural and man-made systems and experimentation with cutting-edge technologies. Hadid’s architecture transforms our vision of the future with new spatial concepts and bold, visionary forms. "I think through our architecture, we can give people a glimpse of another world, and enthuse them, make them excited about ideas. Our architecture is intuitive, radical, international and dynamic. We are concerned with constructing buildings that evoke original experiences, a kind of strangeness and newness that is comparable to the experience of going to a new country. The Mobile Art Pavilion for CHANEL follows these principles of inspiration," states Zaha Hadid.

Continuing to arouse one’s curiosity is a constant theme in the work of Zaha Hadid. The Mobile Art Pavilion for CHANEL is the very latest evolution of Hadid’s architectural language that generates a sculptural sensuality with a coherent formal logic. This new architecture flourishes via the new digital modelling tools that augment the design process with techniques of continuous fluidity.

Zaha Hadid explains this process: "The complexity and technological advances in digital imaging software and construction techniques have made the architecture of the Mobile Art Pavilion possible. It is an architectural language of fluidity and nature, driven by new digital design and manufacturing processes which have enabled us to create the Pavilion’s totally organic forms – instead of the serial order of repetition that marks the architecture of the industrial 20th century."

Hadid’s innovative architecture is the reason Karl Lagerfeld invited her to create the Mobile Art Pavilion. "She is the first architect to find a way to part with the all-dominating post-Bauhaus aesthetic. The value of her designs is similar to that of great poetry. The potential of her imagination is enormous," Karl Lagerfeld explained during the launch of the Mobile Art Pavilion at the 2007 Venice Art Biennale.

Zaha Hadid Architects’ recent explorations of natural organizational systems have generated the fluidity evident in the Pavilion for CHANEL. The Mobile Art Pavilion’s organic form has evolved from the spiralling shapes found in nature. This system of organization and growth offers an appropriate expansion towards its circumference, giving the Pavilion generous public areas at its entrance with a 128 m2 terrace.

The Pavilion follows the parametric distortion of a torus. In its purest geometric shape, the circular torus is the most fundamental diagram of an exhibition space. The distortion evident in the Pavilion creates a constant variety of exhibition spaces around its circumference, whilst at its centre, a large 65 m2 courtyard with natural lighting provides an area for visitors to meet and reflect on the exhibition. This arrangement also allows visitors to see each other moving through the space and interacting with the exhibition. In this way, the architecture facilitates the viewing of art as a collective experience. The central courtyard will also host evening events during the exhibition in each host city.

The organic shell of the Mobile Art Pavilion is created with a succession of reducing arched segments. As the Pavilion will travel over three continents, this segmentation also gives an appropriate system of partitioning – allowing the Pavilion to be easily transported in separate, manageable elements. Each structural element will be no wider than 2.25 m. The partitioning seams become a strong formal feature of the exterior façade cladding, whilst these seams also create a spatial rhythm of perspective views within the interior exhibition spaces.

The Mobile Art Pavilion for CHANEL, initially inspired by CHANEL’s signature quilted bag and conceived through a system of natural organization, is also shaped by the functional considerations of the exhibition. However, these further determinations remain secondary and precariously dependent on the overriding formal language of the Pavilion. An enigmatic strangeness has evolved between the Pavilion’s organic system of logic and these functional adaptations – arousing the visitor’s curiosity even further.

In creating the Mobile Art Pavilion for CHANEL, Zaha Hadid has developed the fluid geometries of natural systems into a continuum of fluent and dynamic space – where oppositions between exterior and interior, light and dark, natural and artificial landscapes are synthesized. Lines of energy converge within the Pavilion, constantly redefining the quality of each exhibition space whilst guiding movement through the exhibition. The work of selected artists has been commissioned for the exhibition. Hadid created an entire landscape for their work, rather than just an exhibition space. Visitors will be guided through the space using the latest digital technology developed in collaboration with the artists.

"The fascination of the Mobile Art Pavilion is the challenge of translating the intellectual and physical into the sensual – experimenting with completely unexpected and totally immersive environments for this global celebration of the iconic work of Chanel. I see the Pavilion as a kind of a total artwork that continually reinvents itself as it moves from Asia, to the USA and Europe." states Zaha Hadid.


At the American Folk Art Museum:

[45 West 53rd Street/NY, NY 10019/Phone: 212-265-1040]


[Closing xx xxx 2008]

Sorry about the Above, but I seem to have Fallen-Off the American Folk Art Museums press-list, not having been invited to any of their recent Press-Previews


At the American Museum of Natural History:

[Central Park West @79th Street/NY, NY 10024/Phone: 212-769-5100]

CLIMATE CHANGE: The Threat To Life & A New Energy Future

[Closing 16 August 2009]

Print is disappearing! Not only has the Christian Science Monitor vanished from news-stands & mail-boxes, to survive truncated On-Line, available only to those who are Technology-Adept, but even Press-Releases are now on CDs.

Here is what the American Museum of Natural History Communications-Department has to say about its fascinating, even frightening, new show on Climate-Change:



October 18, 2008, through August 16, 2009

[International Tour Begins in January 2009 and Includes

Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Mexico, and South America]

"Earth Info" in CLIMATE CHANGE: The Threat To Life & A New Energy Future through August 16, 2009 at American Museum of Natural History.

In its comprehensive new exhibition, Climate Change: The Threat to Life and A New Energy Future, the American Museum of Natural History addresses one of the most complex and urgent scientific and social issues of the 21st century: global climate change. The exhibition explains the science of climate change to visitors of all ages and explores the implications of unchecked climate change for future generations. While Climate Change makes clear that there is no single solution, it allows visitors to see how individual, collective, communal, and governmental actions in using energy more efficiently, in combination with pursuing promising new energy alternatives, can make a meaningful impact in reducing global warming. Climate Change opens at the American Museum of Natural History on Saturday, October 18, and will remain on view until August 16, 2009.


"This exhibition on climate change endeavors to empower visitors to understand and address this urgent and complex global challenge," said Ellen V. Futter, President of the American Museum of Natural History. "Presenting the latest information about what climate change is, what causes it, and alternative energy options, the exhibition makes clear both that there is no single solution for addressing this imperative issue and that a combination of individual and societal actions are necessary to and can successfully mitigate it. In addressing climate change, the Museum is seeking to demystify one of the most pressing and difficult issues of our time and to educate and better enable individuals to make thoughtful and wise choices for our shared future."

"Underwater Manhattan " in CLIMATE CHANGE: The Threat To Life & A New Energy Future. Through -August 16, 2009 at American Museum of Natural History.

Through interactive stations and videos as well as dioramas conveying the latest scientific concepts andresearch, the exhibition presents evidence that human activity over the past three hundred years—including, especially, the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, and other changes in land use—has dramatically altered the natural world. Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) have increased rapidly in the atmosphere, changing the Earth’s climate; Climate Change explains how the resulting global warming could severely stress human societies and damage ecosystems by causing sea levels to rise, increasing the incidence of drought and intense storms, drastically raising temperatures over areas of land and ocean surface, and bringing additional changes to the world around us.

"Climate Change presents the compelling scientific evidence for global warming as a result of human activity. At the same time it acknowledges the areas where the understanding of the problem, its impacts, and its solutions are less certain." said Michael Novacek, Senior Vice President and Provost for Science at the American Museum of Natural History. "Yet the basic message is that the problem is real and, given the right decisions and strategies, we have the means to deal with it."

The exhibition focuses on solutions and illustrates what is needed to move away from dependence on fossil fuels toward a more energy-efficient economy. To this end, future energy choices are vividly depicted, including solar power, wind power, nuclear power, and the use of carbon capture and storage (also known as carbon sequestration). The exhibition identifies how visitors can contribute to a global solution through simple changes in individual behavior, such as taking mass transit instead of driving, using energy-efficient appliances, and paying all your bills online

"The power of this exhibition lies in the appropriate weaving-together of the elements of a complex issue like climate change," says Edmond A. Mathez, Curator, Earth and Planetary Sciences in the Museum’s Division of Physical Sciences and curator of Climate Change. "We want to instill a sense of optimism by showing visitors that we have control over our future through innovation and imagination. This is a solvable problem."

Co-curator Michael Oppenheimer, Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School and Department of Geosciences, Princeton University, says, "Climate Change focuses on what the public needs to know to make smart decisions about this issue. The exhibition couldn’t be more timely because the window of opportunity to fix this problem is closing fast. But, as the exhibit shows, the future still remains largely in our hands."

Climate Change is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (, in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage, United Arab Emirates; The Cleveland Museum of Natural History; The Field Museum, Chicago; Instituto Sangari, São Paulo, Brazil; Junta de Castilla y León, Spain; Korea Green Foundation, Seoul; Natural History Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen; Papalote Museo del Niño, Mexico City, Mexico; and Saint Louis Science Center.

Climate Change at the American Museum of Natural History is proudly presented by Bank of America. Major support has also been provided by The Rockefeller Foundation. Additional support for Climate Change and its related educational programming has been provided by Mary and David Solomon, the Betsy and Jesse Fink Foundation, the Linden Trust for Conservation, and the Red Crane Foundation.

"As one of the world’s largest financial institutions, Bank of America strongly believes it has a responsibility to take a leadership role on key issues like global climate change," said Bank of America New York President Alan Rappaport. "Having recently announced a $20 billion, 10-year corporate initiative to address climate change, we are proud to support this landmark exhibition that will help to shed light and encourage further action on a critical issue affecting the future of our planet."

"The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to support Climate Change as part of our $70 million commitment to strengthen resilience to the global climate crisis," said Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation. "The most ambitious and innovative exhibition of its kind, Climate Change will inform and inspire individual, institutional, and community efforts to better prepare for and recover from climate disruptions around the world."

Highlights of the Exhibition

Although Earth’s climate has changed in the past due to a variety of natural causes, there is scientific consensus that human activity is causing the recent historical rise in global temperatures. While the severity of the impact of global warming in particular places cannot be predicted with precision, there is now arresting data on dramatic changes in polar ice and sea levels, the increase of acidity in the oceans, and the intensity of storms and droughts. Combined with other environmental stresses, such as deforestation, climate change threatens the survival prospects of diverse species, the sustainability of ecosystems, and the safety and comfort of millions of humans. The exhibition explores these issues in sections that, together, present scientific evidence for human-created climate change, explain the pressing challenges that lie ahead, describe the ways we are adapting to our changing environment, and highlight individual and societal solutions.

"Fossil Fuel Timeline" in CLIMATE CHANGE: The Threat To Life & A New Energy Future. Through August 16, 2009 at American Museum of Natural History.

Introduction: Burning Fossil Fuels Shaped Our World with a Cost We Haven’t Understood—Until Now. Upon entering the gallery, visitors to the Climate Change exhibition are presented with a 60-foot-long panoramic illustration of the technological advances that have reshaped our world since the Industrial Revolution, from incandescent light bulbs to jet airplanes. Running alongside this collage, a red LED (light-emitting diode) line tracks the corresponding rise in the CO2 content of the atmosphere. Landmark objects on display in this section include a model of the Newcomen steam engine, invented 300 years ago to pump water from coal mines, a filament light bulb from the 1900s, and a 1977 Tandy TR-80 personal computer.

Climate Change Today: Greenhouse Gases Trap Heat; Higher Concentrations Mean a Warmer Earth. A model of one metric ton of coal rises from the floor—a dramatic icon of human energy consumption that represents the amount of coal needed to power an average American home for two months, emitting about 2.5 metric tons of CO2. An 8-minute video presentation, "Changing Climate, Changing World," further describes the greenhouse effect and explores implications of the current global situation.

Making a Difference: There Are Many Ways to Save Energy and Consume Less—Right Away.

A lush wall of living plants—one of the largest on display in any museum—evokes the changes visitors can make to "green the world." Interactive stations demonstrate to visitors that making relatively small changes in their lives—such as switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, driving less, and planting trees and shrubs—can bring about massive savings in CO2 emissions. A running tally shows the total impact of all visitors’ choices on our collective carbon footprint.

The exhibition continues by describing how the four key areas of Atmosphere, Ice, Oceans, and Land are affected:

Changing Atmosphere: The Atmosphere is Warming; We’re Starting to Feel the Effects. Dramatic images of Hurricane Katrina and the European heat wave of 2003 remind visitors of the impact of extreme weather on human life. A 10-foot rain wall—literally a wall of pouring water—illustrates the heavy downpours that may become more common as the atmosphere continues to warm. Although some of these events may have other causes, evidence is building that global warming presents a threat in sustaining and intensifying periods of extreme weather, including storms, flooding, and drought. An 18-inch translucent globe, onto which relevant information from NASA and NOAA, like the movement of clouds and ocean currents, is projected from within, underscores the complex nature of Earth’s climate.

Changing Ice: Ice is Melting at the Poles; Impacts Will Be Global. Rising water levels are projected onto an architectural model of a flooded Lower Manhattan to show a sea-level rise of 10 and 16 feet above current levels. It is a dramatic reminder of scientists’ prediction that warming could cause portions of the Greenland and Western Antarctic ice sheets to melt, in which case one out of every 10 people worldwide—those who live near sea level—could be affected. A stark feature of this section is a large diorama of a polar bear reduced to foraging in a garbage dump, a graphic illustration of how polar bears will be forced to invade human-populated areas in response to the dwindling of their habitat. An interactive display allows visitors to explore how light and dark materials reflect energy, evoking the difference between ice sheets and dark ocean water on Earth’s surface.

Changing Ocean: The Ocean Regulates the Earth’s Climate, so a Changing Ocean Means a Changing Climate. Visitors confront a large model of dead white coral—the victim of "coral bleaching"—set against a backdrop of a healthy, colorful, and vibrant reef, highlighting the danger of the warming of the oceans. Oceans help in controlling climate by moving heat around the planet and removing CO2 from the atmosphere. In fact, about 30% of the CO2 released by human activity over the past 200 years has already been absorbed by the ocean, causing an increase in ocean acidification. The resulting high acid levels make it harder for corals, plankton, and other shell-forming organisms to grow shells. A 12-foot-tall Atlas buoy and a robotic Ocean Glider show how scientists collect information about the oceans.

Changing Land: Droughts, Floods, and Fires Will Cause Ecosystems and Societies to Suffer. Visitors examine hands-on real tree cross-sections to uncover the record of climate change revealed in the tree rings. They explore the long-term consequences of severe droughts, intense rains, and increased frequency of wildfires in this section. Arresting dioramas show various animal and plant species endangered by climate change and other environmental threats, including deforestation (the systematic reduction of the forests and jungles that absorb CO2 and generate oxygen.) Examples include the disruption of food sources for the pied flycatcher, the arctic fox’s competition for territory, and the potential extinction of a Malagasy chameleon.

Cleaning Up Our Energy Means a Safer Climate. To facilitate visitors’ understanding of how the Climate Change crisis can be addressed, the exhibition presents displays and explanations of some of the leading examples of alternative energy sources, including the glistening mirrors of a solar collector, the many metallic spheres in the cut-away core of a pebble-bed nuclear reactor, and a giant 15-foot segment of a wind turbine blade. This section also makes clear that even in the realm of alternative energy, there is no one solution, but rather that a carefully crafted combination of approaches is required, taking into account such factors as geographical differences, cost, scale of impact, and the pace of development. In a 9-minute film, Rethinking Our Energy Future, leading climate experts offer insights into how we might address climate change in the decades to come. New York City’s Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, describes the role of government and future technologies; Van Jones, the president of Green For All, talks about rethinking our green economy; and NASA’s Gavin Schmidt speaks about the need to take immediate action to heal our planet.

Visitors Respond. Before leaving the exhibition, visitors get the last word, with an opportunity to write down their thoughts and concerns for the future, answer questions, and read the responses of others, which are clipped to a 12-foot-wall.

An Inside View of Museum Science. To supplement the exhibition, a video located outside the entrance describes the research on this global crisis done by scientists at the Museum and its collaborating institutions. Topics include the measurement of the current carbon footprint of highly populated and industrial northeastern Ohio; the sweep of thousands of years of data provided by Greenland ice cores; the effect of clouds on climate; the potential loss of the South Amazon rainforest; and the socioeconomic impact of the rise in sea levels.

Exhibition Organization and Tour

Climate Change is designed and produced by the American Museum of Natural History’s Department of Exhibition under the direction of David Harvey, Senior Vice President for Exhibition.

Climate Change will remain at the Museum until August 16, 2009, when it will begin an international tour. Currently scheduled stops include Junta de Castilla y León, Spain (January 31, 2009, to June 21, 2009), Natural History Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen (October 5, 2009, to February 28, 2010), Papalote Museo del Niño, Mexico City, Mexico (October 2009 to March 2010), The Field Museum, Chicago (July 1 to November 28, 2010), The Cleveland Museum of Natural History (July 23, 2010, to January 1, 2012), Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, United Arab Emirates (November 21, 2010, to April 10, 2011), and the Saint Louis Science Center (January 8 to June 4, 2011).

Climate Change on the Museum Website

Online visitors can explore Climate Change by visiting the "On Exhibit" section of the Museum’s website, The website features facts about climate change, listings of exhibition-related public programs at the Museum, links to related educational resources, and curator biographies. A "behind the scenes" discussion among Ed Mathez, Michael Oppenheimer, and Michael Novacek, Senior Vice President and Provost for Science at the Museum, gives viewers insight into how Climate Change was pulled together. The discussion is complemented by photographs of exhibition highlights as they were developed, created, and installed. Finally, the Department of Education at the Museum is launching a blog that focuses on the positive contributions individuals are making to solve this global crisis. Visitors can share their personal stories about how climate change has affected their lives and changed their behavior. Visitors to the website can also purchase tickets online.


AMNH Expeditions offers the chance to travel aboard an icebreaker and board helicopters to view endangered icy landscapes. Arctic Odyssey: A Symposium at Sea will be led by Sam Donaldson, a 40-year ABC News reporter, and Ross MacPhee, Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at the Museum, from July 8–20, 2009.


At the Asia Society:

[725 Park Avenue @70th Street/NY, NY 10021/Phone: 212-288-6400]


[Closing 11 January 2009]

Tang Xiaohe (1941). Strive Forward in Wind and Tides. 1971. Oil on canvas. 68 5/16 x 116 in. Collection of T. Z. Chang. Photo by Eddie C.Y. Lam, in"Art and China's Revolution" September 5, 2008-January 11, 2009 at Asia Society.

On my first trip to Communist-Chinanow verging on Socialist-CapitalismI looked in vain for copies of The Thought of Chairman Mao or even small plaster busts of this Thinker whose Thought resulted in the starvation-deaths & political-murder of millions.

Only in Chegdufar to the West & home of the Pandasdid I finally find a larger-than-life statue of Chairman Mao, but I was told it was scheduled for "removal," so I hastened to photograph it for my INFOTOGRAPHY™ archive & website.

There is, of course, still a huge portrait of The Chairman over the Main-Gate into The Forbidden City, across Tienanmen-Square from his Massive-Mausoleum, where hordes of Chinese stand in line for hours to have a glimpse of the Corpse, embalmed by the Soviet-Undertakers who preserved Lenin & Stalin for Posterity.

What is now seldom seen are the cloying paintings, murals, & posters celebrating The Chairman & His Achievements, usually presented in a color-saturated version of Stalin’s favored Socialist-Realism. Not to mention the miniature busts, key-rings, notebooks, & other sentimental-souvenirs…

Now a High-Concentration of such Cringing-Artworks & Communist-Kitsch is on view at the Asia Society, assembled with great difficulty, as so much has conveniently disappeared, given recent political, economic, & cultural changes.

Some of the posters, however, are very striking, visually powerful. You do not have to read Mandarin to Get the Message!

There is even a rusty iron Chest of Chairman Mao opposite the Asia Society in the Park Avenue garden-divider. This is not a metal-trunk, but a headless bust of Mao. Half the Body, without the Thought.

By the way, whatever became of Mao’s Widow, Chiang-Ching & The Gang of Four?


At the Bard Graduate Center Gallery:

[18 West 86th Street/NY, NY 10024/Phone: 212-501-3000]

THOMAS HOPE: Regency Designer

[Closing 16 November 2008]

The fantastic Orientalisme of the Prince-Regent’s Royal-Pavilion in Brighton is, for some, the pinnacle of Regency-Style. But when compared with the designs, interiors, & collections of Thomas Hopewho is credited with defining that most elegant Neo-Classical-Stylethe Pavilion seems excessive

Hope designed furniture & interiors, but—as an extremely wealthy patron—he also commissioned paintings, sculptures, & objects d’art that echoed or replicated forms & decors of Ancient Egypt, Greece, & Rome.

He developed his Robert Adam-designed Duchess Street mansion in London as a magnificent showcase for his treasures & his impressive installations of these artworks. The Bard exhibition—which has already been shown at London’s Victoria & Albert Museumpresents Hope’s own Creations & his Collectibles against the rich backgrounds of their original Duchess Street home.

[This text has been re-cycled from the previous Curator’s Choice report. A new exhibition at the Bard Galleries is promised for 11 December! It is titled: Twixt Art & Nature: English Embroidery from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1580-1700.

[Does this mean that the Met is Outsourcing its exhibitions now?]


At the Brooklyn Museum:

[200 Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn, NY 11238/Phone: 718-638-5000]


[Closing 11 January 2009]

"WINTER FLOWERS," 1982 by Gilbert & George, The Carol and Arthur Goldberg Collection in "GILBERT & GEORGE." Through January 11, 2009 at Brooklyn Museum.

Gilbert & George were actually at the Press-Preview for their mammoth two-floor Retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum, but they now look rather older than they do in their most famous iconic-photographic-collage-constructions.

At first, I thought they might be Sponsors’-Representatives, prepared to offer A Few Remarks. Maybe it’s the Suits & the Mild-Manners? In the event, they spoke most forthcomingly about their Inspirations & Achievements.

This colorful show—with its large-scale photo-collages—comes to Brooklyn from the Tate Modern in London. What makes their early works so color-saturatedly-brilliant was their use of hand-applied color-dyes, working in a conventional darkroom.

Now they have gone Digital, with stunning labor-saving Results! Some of these massive works resemble bizarre stained-glass-windows, centrally honoring Sts. George & Gilbert. But their collages with images of East-End Rent-Boys are also on view, for those who like a bit of Rough-Trade.

The Decorative-Complexity of some of their compositions—such as Base, Chained-Up, or Apostasiais fascinating, even puzzling in their possible Symbolic-Significance.

Most interesting for Your Reporter, however, is their recent monotone series of G & G out in Nature, generically-titled: The Nature of Our Looking.


JESPER JUST: Romantic Delusions

[Closing 4 January 2009]

Bliss & Heaven, 2004 Super 16mm transferred to DVD Duration: 8 minutes 10 seconds, Image courtesy of the artist and Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York in "Jesper Just." Through January 4, 2009 at Brooklyn Museum.

Danish artist & art-film-maker Jesper Just is having his first NY Museum show & the US premiere of his new film, Romantic Delusions over in Brooklyn. Also in the galleries at the Brooklyn Museum are three other Just films: The Lonely Villa, No Man Is an Island, & Bliss & Heaven.

If you are already a Connoisseur of Video-Art as often shown at the Whitney Museum, you will have some idea of what to expect: not the kind of Moving-Images you would pay money to see at Film Forum

Nonetheless, here’s what Curatorial-Expertise suggests about Jesper’s Justness:

"Jesper Just’s films explore the complexities & contradictions of human emotion. Using overlapping cinematic, musical, & literary references, his films adapt popular songs to communicate the vulnerability & insecurity in personal relationships…"

This explanatory-praise continues for some sentences, only to conclude with this Affirmation:

"…more important, they present a broader, existential search for identity."

Oh! Well now, that really does put Just’s Visions In-Context, doesn’t it…



[Long-term Installation]

The Brooklyn Museum—like others of its extent & excellence: there are not that many, as Brooklyn is one of the best in the United States, after Met, of course—has many many more artworks in its Vaults than are ever on view in its galleries.

This eclectic new installation of recent works—some of them by Brooklyn Artistsshowcases Fascinating-Imaginations at work & Seekers after New Modes of Expression & Collectible-Trends.

"Burning African Village Play Set with Big House and Lynching," by Kara Walke in 2006, Painted laser cut steel, Brooklyn Museum Collection.

Among the talents on view: Kara Walker, with her powerful but now almost typical Burning African Village Play Set with Big House and Lynching; Valery Hegarty, showing her Fallen Bierstadt, an Afterthought on the Museum’s Essential-Bierstadt: A Storm in the Mountains, Mt. Rosalie, as well as works by Kiki Smith, Nari Ward, Terrence Koh, Donald Judd, & Do-Ho Suh!


At Christie’s:

[20 Rockefeller Plaza/NY, NY 10020/Phone: 212-636-2000]

The Fall Post-War & Contemporary Art Sales at Christie’s were scheduled for 12 & 13 November. An amazing range of modern artworks was displayed at the sales-viewings: including a plethora of Brand-Names.

Indeed, in the main Auction-Chamber, a series of dividers had been set-up to accommodate the overflow of paintings, engravings, drawings, lithographs, sculptures, & assemblages on offer.

This suggests some Financial-Desperation on the part of Collectors who have been Hard-Hit by the collapse of notable firms such as Bear-Stearns & Lehman Bros, as well as the Near-Death-Experiences of UBS & AIG.

Recent sales—both at Christie’s & Sotheby’s—have failed to dispose of a number of artworks, although Quality & Big-Names still attract buyers.

Other November sales at Christie’s include Latin American Art, Le Cirque, the Collection of Alice Lawrence, Finest & Rarest Wines, & Punk/Rock!


At the Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design:

[2 East 91st Street/NY, NY 10128/Phone: 212-849-8400]

HOUSE PROUD: 19th Century Watercolor Interiors from the Thaw Collection

[Closing 25 January 2009]

No bare, spare 19th Century New England nor lavish Gold-Rush San Franciscan Interiors are on view at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt. Nothing like that!

No, the 85 meticulously-detailed watercolors are all European-Interiors, which did, in turn, extensively influence newly prosperous Americans, especially in the Gilded Age.

These richly-colored scenes chronicle decades of development in Decorative Tastes & Styles: from Russia to England, from Italy to Austria. The contrasts between the relatively spare simplicity of the Germano-Austrian Biedermeier-Style & the lushly over-upholstered Late-Victorian are instructive, even amusing.

Gale Davidsonto whom I once offered my collection of thousands of vintage-posters for the Cooper-Hewitt’s file-drawers—has curated the show, with Floramae McCarron-Cates, a name to conjure with…

Over time, "House-Proud" became a way of disparaging those better-off, more-successful members of a Community who would invite their less-tasteful, less-fortunate, less-couth neighbors or fellow Church-Members to admire their Furnishings, Decorations, & Possessions.

These prideful House-Tours were often in lieu of interesting, even witty, Conversation: "Just look at my closet full of sheet-sets! But let’s not talk about those rascals in Washington…"

In the 19th Century—both in Europe & America—attractively decorating the more public rooms of a home—as well as bedrooms & playrooms—was also a positive & visible way for an emerging Upper-Middle-Class to demonstrate its Self-Awareness & Assurance.

The watercolors are enhanced by actual artifacts from the Museum’s extensive collections of Decorative-Arts.

The art-dealing & collecting Thaws have been generous donors not only to the Cooper-Hewitt, but also to the Morgan Library & other major institutions.



[Closing 5 April 2009]

As China’s Population grows—despite the One-Child/One-Couple Rulethe need for more modern & affordable Housing also increases.

Added to this problem is the ardent destruction by Chinese-Municipalities of centuries-old sub-standard housing for the poor & unfortunate. The wholesale trashing of massive sections of Beijingin preparation for the recent Olympicsis only one of the most visible examples.

Fortunately, in industrialized Guangzhouwasn’t that once Quangchu?—the Urbanus architects have devised a handsome solution which might work well, not only in Third World Countries, but even in the West, as it Declines under the Depressing-Effects of Mortgage-Derivatives, causing Millions to Lose Their Homes!

The Tulou Project features 250 small-scale—or compactapartment-units, a dorm, a small hotel, shops, gym, & library, as well as communal & public spaces. Up on Carnegie Hill, at the Cooper-Hewitt, a full-scale bedroom-unit is on display, with photos & architectural-outlines to offer more detail about the concept.


WALL STORIES: Children’s Wallpaper & Books

[Closing 5 April 2009]

A longtime centerpiece of the collections of Peter Cooper’s daughters was their wide-ranging selection of Wallpapers. This remains one of the Museum’s Core-Collections, but it needs an Exhibition-Focus to justify taking the samples out of the storage-drawers.

Matching Story-telling Wallpapers to popular Children’s Books, past & present, is a delightful excuse to look at the Cooper-Hewitt’s walls.

In the Mid-Nineteenth-Century, the rule of Children Should Be Seen & Not Heard also meant no one was going to pay good money to paper the bedrooms of their Issue with Fairy-Tale Images.

But with the dawning of the Gilded-Age, in the 1870s, specially-designed wallpapers for children began to appear. Nursery-Rhymes, Fairy-Tales, & even beloved fictions such as Alice in Wonderland & Peter Rabbit danced around bedroom-walls.

This charming new show also offers a rich selection of First-Editions of some very famous works, including Pop-Up books. There’s a Hey Diddle Diddle from 1882, as well as a Dick Tracy from 1935.


At the Fashion Institute Museum:

[Seventh Avenue @27th Street/NY, NY 100xx/Phone: 212-217-5800]


[Closing xx xxx 2008]

Sorry about the Above, but I seem to have Fallen-Off the Fashion Institute Museums press-list, not having been invited to any of their recent Press-Previews


At the Frick Collection:

[1 East 70th Street/NY, NY 10021/Phone: 212-288-0700]

ANDREA RICCIO: Renaissance Master of Bronze

[Closing 18 January 2009]

Andrea Riccio (1470-1532) in "ANDREA RICCIO: Renaissance Master of Bronze" at Frick Collection.

Although Andrea Riccio was regarded in his own era as the Master, his elegantly-detailed surviving bronzes are rather small-scale, compared with some life-sized Italian-Renaissnce bronzes that are now almost Iconic.

That is surely one of the reasons Riccio is so little-known today: a matter of scale. But the fact that his masterworks are widely-scattered in museums & private-collections also has necessarily limited public-awareness of his Genius.

The Frick’s exhibition is also—as usual & as required by space-constraints—small-scale, but it does include all the Riccios known to be in US collections, as well as major pieces from European museums: the Bargello, the Louvre, Vienna’s Kunsthistoriches-Museum, & the V & A.

Not only are there 30 autograph bronzes, but two fragmentary life-size terra-cottas are also on view. Unfortunately for this show, his great Candelabrum remains in place in Padua’s Basilica of St. Anthony.



ALSO AT THE FRICK: New Gift & Three Extended-Loans:

The Frick’s first canvas by Gabriel de Saint-Aubin is called The Private Academy It is a recent gift. The sedate title is almost a salacious pun: there is nothing conventionally Academic about it! A bewigged 18th Century French Artist sits eagerly sketching a voluptuous full-fleshed nude, breasts pointing Heavenward, arms behind her head in a most seductively inviting pose.

The Extended-Loans are far less titillating, though Nicolas Poussins Hannibal Crossing the Alps is certainly impressive, centered on a Immense-Elephant, dwarfing its rider, Hannibal, marching on Rome.

Then there’s a quite different kind of canvas, a Guardi View of Venice: The Giudecca & the Zattere.

The third loan is Johann Gottlieb Kirchners 1732 Meissen porcelain: the Great Bustard. As Bustards, like Cranes & Swans, have very long necks, Kirchner—like John James Audubonmodeled the great bird with its neck curved back on its right wing. Audubon was trying to keep the image in-frame, while Kirchner obviously was trying to avoid breakage.


At the Galerie St. Etienne:

[24 West 57th Street/NY, NY 10019/Phone: 212-245-6734]

ELLEPHANTS WE MUST NEVER FORGET: New Paintings, Drawings, & Prints by Sue Coe

[Closing 20 December 2008]

Sue Coe.Mary (detail) 2008 in "ELLEPHANTS WE MUST NEVER FORGET: New Paintings, Drawings, & Prints by Sue Coe" at the Galerie St. Etienne.

Animal-Rights Activist Sue Coe is best-known for her gruesome drawings & paintings of Savagely-Bloody Slaughter-Houses & their Bovine & Sheepish-Victims.

Coe has also used her powerful talents & obvious-outrage to visually indict the AgriBusiness Practice of force-fed closely-cramped animals, raised for succulent eating-treats on America’s-Tables. [Free-Range may seem More Humane, but they are only going to be eaten anyway, not pensioned for life to sit under Cork-Trees like Ferdinand the Bull…as long-ago described by Munro Leaf.]

Now Sue Coe has turned her attention to the Massive Mistreatment of Elephants, both by Hunters & by Exploiters. Teddy Roosevelt & Ernest Hemingway gained a certain kind of fame as Hunters of Big Game & Elephants are the Biggest.

But today, Elephants in Africa & Asia are more at risk from Ivory-Hunters than from so-called Sportsmen. They don’t need to eat the meat: they want the Ivory-Tusks only.

Coe throws a spotlight on this savagery, but many of the show’s images deal, instead, with the exploitation of Elephants in Circuses, Sideshows, & bizarre Promotions.

Did you know that the much-admired American inventor, Thomas Alva Edison, once electrocuted an Elephant in a giant Electric-Chair to prove that his invention of DC Electric-Current was more powerful than George Westinghouses Alternating-Current. As we now all have AC, Westinghouse won, but both Edison & the Elephant Lost!

When PT Barnums Star-Attraction, the immense elephant Jumbo died, Barnum had him stuffed & mounted. Then he imported from a London Circus Jumbo’s mate. He dressed her in Widow’s Weeds & when she was first confronted with her Taxidermied-Husbandit was reported—she turned away in Grief.

Elephants Never Forget! Neither does Sue Coe…

There are still one or two man-made elephants around: they do get the attention of bored motorists. But there once was a Giant Elephant HotelConey Island or Luna Park—which Sue Coe has also included in this unusual show.

But Coe shows the hotel in lengthwise cross-section. It is filled with Sex-Workers involved in a variety of curious positions & acts with their Clients! You might want to bring a Magnifying-Glass along with you when you come to see her artworks!


At the Guggenheim Museum:

[1071 Fifth Avenue @89th Street/NY, NY 10128/Phone: 212-423-3500]

CATHERINE OPIE: American Photographer

[Closing 7 January 2009]

Possibly the best-known, most Iconic-Image of Catherine Opies Optical-Oeuvre is her nude & tattooed Self-Portrait/Nursing. For some, it is a Powerful-Affirmation of Motherhood.

For me, however, well, it put me off milk for a month…

She seems a William Eggleston beyond the Southland, although she’s lensed-around in St. Louis. Among her most striking images are the color-saturated portraits of Heavily-Tattooed-Bikers & Other Outsiders.

Like Eggleston, she has turned her cameras on details of Human-Life & Urban-Landscapes.


"Opie has offered profound insights into the conditions in which communities form & the terms by which they are defined. All the while, she has maintained a strict formal rigor, working in lush & provocative color, as well as richly toned black & white."

"…Opie underscores & elevates the poignant yet unsettling veracity of her subjects."

Huh? Veracity in what sense?



[Closing 7 January 2009]

Bring back Thomas Krens & Blockbuster Motorcycle-Shows at the Guggenheim!

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus & his name is HUGO BOSS. His Minions have bankrolled this eclectic-catastrophic quasi-collective show of Group-Stuff. Other sponsors include Grand Marnier, which may have given the Curators too many Free-Samples.

Ten—count them, 10!so-called "Contemporary-Artists" were "invited" to "collectively-formulate" a Group-Exhibition of Individual-Installations for the Frank Lloyd Wright Rotunda of the Guggenheim.

The best thing about this appalling/amusing show is that many of the display-cells along the sloping Rotunda walkway are empty, completely free of anything pretending to be either Art or Installation. This throws segments of Wright’s Architectural-Imagination into sharp-focus. On their Own!

If you have some spare white T-shirts at home that do not already have VOTE FOR OBAMA printed on them, you will want to use the free TRANSFER BOOK created by Pierre Huyghe. Therein, you will find a series of his photos of the Rotunda & other aspects of the Guggenheim.

Although they are all a dull-brownish-color, you can iron them on your T-shirts! Or, if you want to emulate Catherine Opie, you could iron them on the naked flesh of some Goth!

Pierre is but one of the Sacred-Ten. Others include Jorge Pardo, Liam Gillick, Carsten Höller, Angela Bulloch, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Maurizio Cattelan, Philippe Parreno, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, & Douglas Gordon.

No, no! I kid you not: Douglas Gordon is his real name. The others may well be pseudonyms? Some of them are not easy to type, certainly…


At the ICP/International Center of Photography:

[1133 Sixth Avenue @43rd Street/NY, NY 10036/Phone: 212-857-0000]


[Closing xx xxx 2008]

Sorry about the Above, but I seem to have Fallen-Off the ICPs press-list, not having been invited to any of their recent Press-Previews


At the Japan Society:

[333 East 47th Street/NY, NY 10017/Phone: 212-832-1155]


[Closing xx xxx 2008]

Also sorry about the Above, but I seem to have Fallen-Off the Japan Societys press-list, not having been invited to any of their recent Press-Previews


At the Jewish Museum:

[1109 Fifth Avenue @92nd Street/NY, NY 10128/Phone: 212-423-3200]

THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS: Mysteries of the Ancient World

[Closing 4 January 2009]

Aramaic Apocryphon of Daniel in "THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS: MYSTERIES OF THE ANCIENT WORLD," September 21, 2008 – January 4, 2009 at The Jewish Museum.

Considering the crush of TV-Cameramen, Major-Media Photographers, & Mainstream Art-Critics in the small spaces allotted to the current exhibition of fragments of six Dead Sea Scrolls at the Press-Preview, I was glad that I had previously had unlimited access to photograph some Dead Sea Scrolls in the Citadel-Museum of Jordan’s capital-city, Amman!

Amman is not far from the Dead Sea, which I am sorry to report seems to be Dying. The water-level goes down a meter each year!

As there are some 900 Dead Sea Scrolls now discovered, they have given Biblical-Scholars much Food-for-Thought. At the Jewish Museum, there are fragments of the Book of Jeremiah, the Book of Tobit, the Community Rule, & the War Rule, for the Great War at the End of Days.

Although some have posited that Jesus may have been an Essenea group of Jewish-Dissidents credited by some with creation of the Scrolls—there are no specific mentions of the Christ in these fragments, only a reference of a "son of God," in the Aramaic Apochryphon of Daniel.

So, if you want to know "What Would Jesus Do?" these fragments won’t be of any use to you…



[Closing 22 March 2009]

Not only are there some of Marc Chagalls most amazing, dazzling, disorienting, & colorful images of Jewish Shtetl Life & Folklore on view in this handsomely-mounted new show at the Jewish Museum, but the boldly-lettered performance-posters, the stage-sets, the costumes, & the production-photos bring back to life a most important moment in 20th century Jewish Culture & History, one that was virtually stifled & exterminated by the Soviet-Dictator, Josef Stalin.

With the Triumph of the Russian Bolshevik-Revolution of 1917, artists of the new Soviet-Society were finally free of former Academic-Constraintsas well as racial & religious restraints—to experiment in many ways in all the Arts, not least in Performance.

Isaak Rabichev, Tailor Shop Workers and Rich Men (Costume designs for 200,000: A Musical Comedy), 1923 in " CHAGALL AND THE ARTISTS OF THE RUSSIAN JEWISH THEATER, 1919–1949," through March 22, 2009 at The Jewish Museum.

The Set & Costume-Sketches & Set-Models in this remarkable show demonstrate stunning new visions, including the new concepts of Constructivism & Suprematism.

Some of the surviving film-clips also show these visions in action with performers in the costumes & the sets. [Some, however, look like the worst kind of Hammy-Melodrama…]

Not only was Stalin—like Hitler—a foe of anything Avant-Garde in the Arts, he was also, like Der Führer, an Anti-Semite.

So the propagandistic-strictures of Socialist-Realism swept away the wonderfully innovative-designs of the artists of the Jewish Theatre. Not long after that, however, Stalin’s Racial-Policies swept the artists away as well.

The Spirit of the Russian Jewish Theatre—so brilliantly celebrated by the images of Marc Chagall—did not die, but emigrated to Palestine/Israel, with the creation of Habimah.

Considering how many of the Archival-Materials were destroyed or lost, it is astonishing how well-illustrated & texted the current exhibition is. Well worth seeing for the Chagalls alone, but not to be missed also because of the wealth of visual & textual information about the theatre, its artists, & its productions.


SUSAN HILLER: The J. Street Project

[Closing 1 February 2009]

Initially struck by a sign in a German town that instructed the passer-by that the narrow street was Judengasse, Susan Hiller then spent three years photographing such signage all over Germany. There are a lot of them, including such designations as Jüdengrab, Jüdenallee, Jüdenweg, Jüdenberg, Jüdenhof, & Jüdenplatz.

What most of them indicated—those that survived the Nazis or that have been replaced after World War IIis that the town or city’s Jews once lived in that street or district. In most cases, these had even once been Jewish-Ghettoes, which the inhabitants either could not leave, or needed special-permission to go outside the area.

Hiller has organized some 303 identically-scaled color-photos of such German signs & locales in a seven-foot-tall grid at the Jewish Museum. They are arranged alphabetically by city & town.

What is most striking about the photos is the very ordinariness of most of the places: in some cases, even their charm or historic-quaintness.

Your Reporter taught for the US Army in Germany in the late 1950s, photographing Concentration-Camps such as Dachau & Sachsenhausen, as well as Jüdengasse street-signs. What he soon discovered—as did Susan Hiller—was that No Jews live in those streets, ways, or alleys anymore.


THEATRES OF MEMORY: Art & the Holocaust

[Closing 1 February 2009]

Considering the great problems involved in creating Holocaust-Memorials, notably in Berlin & Viennabut also in cities far away from the Nazi Death-Campsit has long been considered by some as also Problematic to try to come to terms with the Mass-Murders of Millions in any Artistic-Statement.

The most impressive of the works now on view at the Jewish Museum—all drawn from its Permanent-Collections—is George Segals study of plaster-sculptures of Jewish-Victims for The Holocaust, which now stands in Lincoln Park in San Francisco, looking out toward the Golden Gate Bridge.

Also on view are Anselm Kieffers powerful Die Himmelspaläste, Frederic Matys Thurz’ Ashes & Dust, & Tadeusz Kantors The Desk. This sad piece relates to his most famed theatre-event, The Dead Class, in which a village school-room is filled with 19th century dead Poles, constantly repeat the mistakes they made in life, having learnt nothing.

The set-installation for The Dead Class is now on permanent-display at the German National Museum in Bonn.

[When Kantor brought The Dead Class to the Edinburgh Festival many years ago, Your Reporter was the first to interview him—in German & French, as he spoke no English then—but it was five long years before Ellen Stewart could bring Kantor & his unforgettable production to La MaMa in New York.]


At the Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library & Museum:

[40 Lincoln Center Plaza/NY /NY 10024/Phone: 212-870-1630]

FOCUS ON THE ‘70s: The Fabulous Photography of Kenn Duncan

[Closing 3 January 2008]

Kenn Duncan died way back in 1985, but his Photo-Archives live on at Lincoln Center. The new show in the Oenslager Gallery is a celebration not only of his unique genius in getting glamorous Performers & clamorous Celebrities to pose in often quirky & definitive ways, but also of a Very Special Time in Manhattan & the Arts.

With the Sexual-Liberation of the Love-Generation, the pre-AIDS Roaring-Seventies were something to behold. And even more strenuous to Live-Through.

Bette Midler, Angela Lansbury, Carmen de Lavallade: all the Big-Names in Theatre, Dance, & the Other Lively Arts paused & posed for Kenn’s lens. Many of his most memorable images were shot for After Dark & Dance Magazine.

As Your Reporter was a Contributing-Editor for both those at-times steamy publications, he enjoyed the reward of having some of his interviews & reports handsomely/sexily illustrated with Kenn Duncan photos!

Accompanying the exhibition is a Rizzoli book, Divas! If you don’t have a complete run of After Dark, you might well want to have this wonderful kaleidoscope of Dunncaniana. In color, which AD & Dance never were…


At the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

[1000 Fifth Avenue @82nd Street/NY, NY 10028/Phone: 212-535-7710]


Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions

[Closing 1 February 2009]

Philippe de Montebello in the galleries with Andres Segovia in 1986. Photo by Richard Lombard

Some of the remarkable artworks & antique artifacts now on display at the Met, Saluting & Celebrating Philippe de Montebellos 31-year-tenure as its brilliant Director, will look like Old Friends. As indeed they are, selected by Curators from the Met’s many Fiefdoms17 of them, to be exact—from the more than 84,000 works of art acquired under his direction & with his approval.

What is especially interesting about the ingenious Installation is the way in which works from quite different Periodseven Ageshave been juxtaposed! Antique informs Modern: Academic inspires Avant-Garde!

As there are some 300 paintings, sculptures, photographs, & decorative-objects on view, this is an extensive exhibition, not one to rush through.

Even the Press-Preview Invitation & Press-Kit were lavishly designed & illustrated: for what will surely not be M. de Montebello’s Last-Hurrah.

A Charming-Savant & a True-Gentleman, Philippe de Montebello knows too much about Art, Patrons, Projects, Museum-Management, & Public-Relations not to continue as a Major-Player in New York’s Cultural-Pantheon!

For many Met-Museum-visitors, making the rounds of Blockbuster-Shows with the Met-Headphones, Philippe de Montebello has become The Voice of the Met! Also for listeners to the NY Times’ "Good-Music" Station, WQXR, where his seductively-accented invitations to new exhibitions will surely be missed.

Giovanni Battista Foggini (Italian, 1652-1725), Grand Prince Ferdinando de'Medici (1669-1713) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1993.

What is more, M. de Montebello is no Social-Snob, no Cultural-Elitist, despite his Illustrious-Background. He has always been readily-accessible, even eager to discuss artworks in new shows or the problems the Met has about funding & operating.

Among the handsome Portraits by Jean Ingresan impressive recent display at the Met—was a lovely painting of a Duchesse de Montebello

"Was she…?" I asked. "Yes, indeed!" he replied.

Some time ago, when I was lensing Historic-Monuments around Paris for INFOTOGRAPHY™, I found a magnificent tomb—among several others—in the Crypt of the Pantheon, containing the Mortal-Remains of one of France’s Great-Military-Commanders, a Maréchal de Montebello.

And, yes, indeed! This was an Ancestor & M. de Montebello seemed amused at the under-exposed tomb-photo I offered him.



[Closing 16 February 2009]

While the De Montebello Tribute’s artworks range all over the Spectrum & the Ages, this breathtaking exhibition focuses specifically on Aspects of Love & Marriage in the Italian Renaissance, notably in Florence.

Not only are these galleries crammed with magnificent portraits of Young-Lovers, usually in pairs, with the man facing the woman, but there are also complicated Tondos & Octagonal Childbirth Trays, richly illustrated with both Mythical-Scenes & detailed depiction of Ceremonials & the Lives of Noble Families.

Sellaio_The Story of Cupid and Psyche in "ART & LOVE IN RENAISSANCE ITALY" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, through February 16, 2009.

For powerful Clans like the Medici & the Ruccellai, Betrothals, Marriages, & the Births of Heirs were the most important of Celebrationsaside from some religious-festivals—because they were centrally-concerned with the Survival, Continuity, & Prosperity of the Great Houses concerned.

A lavish Marriage-Ceremony was also an Occasion through which the wealth, taste, & power of a family could be manifested.

Satyr and Satyress in "ART & LOVE IN RENAISSANCE ITALY" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, November 18, 2008-February 16, 2009.

Among the 150 art-objects & paintings on view at the Met—many from its own collections—are a variety of handsomely shaped & decorated glass, ceramic, silver, & wood wonders. The scenes or symbols on some of the Majolica vessels & platters are well worth close study.

But some Renaissance artists & craftsmen also provided artworks for Patrons interested in something a bit more Salacious, even potentially Sexually-Stimulating. So this show includes some amusing, possibly shocking, images of Arousal & Intercourse, but made with the finest of Materials & the greatest of Craftsmanship.



LANDSCAPES CLEAR & RADIANT: The Art of Wang Hui, 1632-1717

[Closing 4 January 2009]

Detail of a waterfall, The Colors of Mount Taihang in "LANDSCAPES CLEAR & RADIANT: The Art of Wang Hui, 1632-1717" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, through January 4, 2009.

The delicate inked-outlines & subtle grey washes in the horizontally-unrolling—or vertically-hanging—scroll-paintings of Wang Hui are a marvel by the standards of any age.

But what is especially interesting in some of the works of this 17th Century Chinese-Master is the specific-detail he provides: how houses were constructed, how towns were laid-out, what boats looked like, & how the various classes of his time lived their lives!

These scrolls are not only Artworks, but also a visual-form of Historic-Preservation!

What is also ingenious is the way Wang Hui contrived to present High-Mountains on horizontal scrolls, which necessarily cannot have a vertical-extension pasted-on. He shrouds the mountain-peaks with highly-stylized Clouds, staying within the margins of the scroll!

The artifactual-detail in some of the major works on view has a Purpose: it is not merely the artist’s whim or style. Wang Hui was awarded the great honor of recording pictorially the Kangzi Emperors 1689 Epic Inspection-Tour of China’s Heartland!



[Closing 22 March 2009]

Between Earth and Heaven by El Anatsui (b. 1944 Ghanaian) 2006 Aluminum, copper wire
H. 86 3/4 x 128 in. (220.3 x 325.1 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art

If you are traveling along the West Coast of Africa & visit Native-Markets, you will be amazed at the brilliant colors & intricate repeated-designs on many fabrics & garments. This is not to suggest that you won’t find just as striking weaves & textiles in East Africa & South Africa, but in each tribal-area, patterns & weaves tend to be distinctive.

The new show in the Met’s Michael Rockefeller Wing presents some 40 works & weaves from the 19th Century to the present. Works of contemporary textile & decorative artists who have been inspired by more traditional designs, patterns, fibres, dyes, & colors are shown beside the historic fabrics & garments.

There is even a 30-foot-long Installation by Yinka Shonibare!

A.Untitled Portrait by Seydou Keita

Some designs are of course woven into the fabric. Others may be painted-on later or even applicquéd. In Nigerian Ife, plain white textiles are tie-dyed in mud-pots of Indigo-dye, sunken into the ground. Works from Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, & other areas are on view.

[This show was especially interesting for Your Reporter as he has collected various woven, dyed, & printed patterned-textiles in such places as Senegal, Côte-Ivoire, & Nigeria. Some are now in the Children’s Museum in Brooklyn.]





[Closing 9 August 2009]

"Coffee Service with Views of Imperial Palaces in Vienna" Imperial Porcelain Manufactory, Vienna, Austria, 1817, Hard-paste porcelain Decoration by Jakob Schufried in "Royal Porcelain from The Twinight Collection, 1800-1850" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Connoisseurs of elegantly-formed, handsomely-decorated 19th Century Porcelains will already have studied some splendid works from the Manufactories of Berlin, Sèvres, & Vienna at the Bard Galleries, but the new Met exhibition offers extended opportunities to savor the masteries of both the Sculptors & the Painters who embellished these wonders.

There are some 75 porcelains on view, categorized into Antiquity, Nature, Views, & Historic-Events.

If you are wondering if the Twinights are Royals you never heard of, not to worry. It is only the Porcelains that are Royal, having been created in Europe’s three major Royal Porcelain Factories, often commissioned as Royal-Gifts. [The Bard recently had a remarkable show of such Royal "Diplomatic" Porcelain Gifts.]

It may seem churlish to quarrel with press-releases—or the Curators who provide the content—but there are surely Porcelain-Connoisseurs who believe that Royal Meissen [Dresden] & Royal Nymphenburg [Bavarian Munich] are the equal of the three Royal-Factories represented in this show…


RHYTHMS OF MODERN LIFE: British Prints 1914-1939

[Closing 7 December 2008]

Sybil Andrews (British, 1898-1992) "In Full Cry", 1931, Color linocut, Johanna and Leslie Garfield Collection in "Rhythms of Modern Life: British Prints 1914-1939" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The influence of Art Deco geometric designs & bold, bright colors—what the British often called Art Moderneanimates many of the hundred or so prints & graphics now on view at the Met. Italian Futurism, with its emphasis on Action & Power, is also evident.

Although the Modern-Impetus here demonstrated & examined begins at the onset of the First World War, its immediate concerns are the epic Social, Political, & Economic Changes Between the Wars.

Most of the artists’ names will be unfamiliar to Met visitors: how many people make a point of discovering who actually designed a powerful Poster? Or a stunning magazine-illustration, even though the name may be printed in very small letters alongside the picture…

The important Names in the show are CRW Nevinson, Claude Flight, Cyril Powers, Sybil Andrews, & Lill Tschudi. Their works are often electrifying!

[For some 14 years, Your Reporter created Art Deco News, followed by The Modernistwhen I found concentrating on Art Deco too limiting. All the issues have been scanned & will soon be On-Line. But during that time, when I wrote, photographed, & edited these quarterlies, I was already transfixed by such British designers.

[London Transport even gave me a small collection of Vintage Deco Posters at one point…]


NEW YORK, N. WHY?: Photographs by Rudy Burckhardt, 1937-1940

[Closing 4 January 200]

"Pedestrians, New York City" (1939) in "New York, N. Why?"
Photographs by Rudy Burckhardt, 1937-1940. Through January 4, 2009 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This odd show features all 67 of the black-&-white snapshots Swiss-Émigré Rudy Burckhardt made of his new hometown, New York City, shortly before World War II. He posted them in a handmade album, which came to the Met’s Photo-Archives in 1972,

The Curatorial-Take on these seemingly random-shots of segments of NYC Life—including Signage & Store-frontsis that these photos are "some of the most lyrical, witty, & poetic images of the city ever created!" [Exclamation-Point added. ED]

Of course, it could well be argued that Burckhardt had, Album-Wise, packed a kind of Mini-Time-Capsule, filled with Metropolitan Visual-Trivia but he was no Weegee, no Friedlander, no Eggleston





[Closing 14 December 2008]

"Natura morta," 1914 in "Giorgio Morandi, 1890-1964" September 16 – December 14, 2008 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Studying the often wavering, unstable two-dimensional renderings of three-dimensional elemental geometric-solids & household-objects made by Italy’s Giorgio Morandi, one has the sense of: "I could have done that in Art 1-A!"

But of course you wouldn’t have been allowed to limit yourself so severely, especially as a Beginner. Morandi apparently—apart from the occasional Self-Portrait & some Landscapeswas fixated on such forms, repeating them with variations in etchings, water-colors, & oils.

At least the Still-Lifes among the 110+ works currently at the Met are described as Iconic. The others are apparently less-so.

Because some other rather similar Morandi-Images are being shown concurrently at the Instituto Italiano di Cultura, as well as down at NYU, at the Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, this triple-pronged Trident of Morandi-Artworks looks somewhat like a Promotion made by his Natal-City of Bologna.

So it is no surprise to discover that the Met’s extensive, though repetitive, show is a co-production of the Met & MAMBo, otherwise known as the Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna!

For the Record: Although no one can really replace Philippe de Montebello as Director of the Metropolitan Museum, Thomas P. Campbell is going to succeed him on New Year’s Day. Campbell will not either literally or figuratively "step into his shoes," as his operative-expertise at the Met has been in the Area of Tapestries, Textiles, & Fabrics.


At the Morgan Library & Museum:

[225 Madison Avenue @36th Street/NY, NY 10016/Phone: 212-685-0008]

DRAWING BARBAR: Early Drafts & Watercolors

[Closing 4 January 2009]

The cover for the published book "Histoire de Barbar, le petit éléphant" created by Jean de Brunhof in Drawing Babar: Early Drafts and Watercolors, Through January 4, 2009 at the Morgan Library & Museum.

That lovable Little Elephant Barbarcreated by Jean de Brunhofhas become the star of one of the most successful series of children’s books worldwide. Although Barbar is nominally & visually of French-Extraction, in his series, he has traveled widely & seems as at home in the Big-City as in the Jungle.

In 2004, the Morgan acquired sketches, drawings, & manuscript-material for De Brunhofs first book: Histoire de Barbar, le petit éléphant. Much of this is on view at the Morgan, as well as the first book of his son, Laurent de Brunhof, who is continuing the series.

The latter book is called Barbar et ce coquin d’Arthur, exploring the activities of Barbar’s Rascal-Cousin Arthur. The similarities & contrasts in the sketches & imaginings of this Artist-Father & his Successor-Son are both amusing & instructive.

It is especially illuminating to see the first water-colors for a projected book-illustration: areas of bright water-color washes are splashily laid-down, rather like sunlit panes in an abstract Stained-Glass Window. Only then are the definitive-outlines of characters in action drawn over the colors!

In print, both the outlines & the colorations are much tighter, more disciplined. But always delightful, amusing, sometimes even hilarious.

Father Jean died in 1937, before the Nazis occupied Paris. Son Laurent, however, is still alive, having come to the Morgan for the Opening, also promoting a Barbar/America-specific book, Barbar’s USA!


LISZT IN PARIS: Enduring Encounters

[Closing 16 November 2008]

Not only was Hungary’s famed composer/pianist Franz Liszt Richard Wagner’s Father-in-Law, he also is buried in the Bayreuth City-Cemetery, in a handsome Mausoleum, not far-distant from his Wagner-Relatives!

[Wagner himself & his widowed-wife—Liszt’s daughter, Cosima Liszt Von-Bülow Wagnerare buried inside a Raised-Tomb in the rear-garden of The Master’s Villa Wahnfried.]

But Wagner first came to know Liszt through his compositions & concertizing, making definitive contact when Wagner came to Paris to seek fame with his Tannhäuser. Despite his Hungarian-Origins, Liszt came to Paris as a Child-Prodigy when he was only 12-years-old.

50 Veränderungen über einen Walzer für das Piano-
Forte, Vienna: A. Diabelli, 1824 First edition, PMC 1270; The Mary Flagler Cary Music Collection in "LISZT IN PARIS: Enduring Encounters" at The Morgan Library & Museum.

For many years, despite Concert-Tours all over Europe, Liszt made Paris his base, where he was able to influence such composer-colleagues as Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Meyerbeer, Rossini, Chopin, & Paganini.

He was also a friend of Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Eugène Delacroix, Heinrich Heine, & George Sand & and an especially good friend of the Comtesse Marie d’Agoulton whom he sired Cosima & her sister, Blandine.

The Morgan exhibition draws largely on the Library’s own extensive collections of letters, musical-manuscripts, & memorabilia, including sketches & illustrations. Interesting & informative, even if you are not a Philharmonic-Fan.

[Personal-Note: My first awareness of Franz Liszt in childhood was memorizing a Musical-Reduction for Piano-Beginners, followed by the discovery that he had been the Lover of the "Spanish-Dancer," Lola Montez, one of Grass Valleys most famed/infamous Early-Residents! Gold-Rush boom-town GV is in CA for the Unaware…]


PARADISE LOST: John Milton’s Only Surviving Original Manuscript

[Closing 4 January 2009]

The New York Public Library just closed an impressive, if small-scaled, exhibition of John Miltons manuscripts & published books, as well as paintings & pictures of Milton & his amanuensis-daughters. Paradise Lost understandably had a High-Profile, thanks to NYPL holdings & loans.

But the Morgan Library owns the Prize: the only surviving Original-Manuscript of Paradise Lost : Book I, in fact. Not only is this on view, but also the English & US First-Editions of the printed-version of the Paradise Lost manuscripts.

The handsomely-bound Royal-Copy, from the library of King Charles IIis also on display. It is, after all, the 400th Birthday of England’s Most Famous Blind Poet!


At MoMA/The Museum of Modern Art:

[11 West 53rd Street/NY, NY 10019/Phone: 212-708-9400]


[Closing 5 January 2009]

Any Thematic-Excuse would be welcome if it provided the opportunity to study & savor once again Vincent Van Goghs flamboyantly Symbolical The Starry Night.

But, as there are not that many Van Gogh canvases similar in subject & execution to Starry Night, so Amsterdam & Manhattan Van Gogh curatorial-experts have had to stretch a bit, including Sunset or Twilight Landscapes with or without figures.

In this small but brilliant MoMA show, Night-time Interiors are also invoked, notably such famed canvases as The Dance Hall in Arles, & The Night Café. In that now celebrated lithograph, the Potato-Eaters are obviously ingesting tubers under lamp-light!

Note: There have been several other new fall shows at MoMA, some of them small-scale. They are not listed here as MoMA no longer sends out print-invitations or press-releases. E-Mail is easier & cheaper for their press-department, but I don’t do e-mail & the Computer has been disconnected during the Flight of the Bedbugs, if not the bumblebees…


At the Municipal Art Society:

[457 Madison Avenue/NY, NY 10022/Phone: 212-935-3960]


As a longtime Historic-Preservationistas was the late Brendan Gill, of New Yorker fame—I have been honored to be a Nominator for the Brendan Gill Prize for some years now. That’s also because I am a member of the Municipal Art Society, which annually presents this prestigious award.

It is given to an Artist, Author, Film-Maker, Poet, Composer, Videographer, Architect, Photographer who has—in the Prize-Jury’s estimation—created the most interesting work Saluting the City in some distinctive way in the past year.

My nomination was Frank Ghery, for the remarkable Barry Diller building he designed, across the street from the Chelsea Piers & near the High-Line. But both Barry’s building & that of his designing-wife, Diane von Furstenberg, a few paces away, were given Muni Arts Architecture Awards earlier in the season in the actual Ghery structure!

So the Gill Prize went instead to musician Sufjan Stevens, for The BQE, a work commissioned by BAMthe Brooklyn Academy of Music. In fact, the award was presented in BAM’s LePercq Space, once a theatre & banquet-venue, but now a kind of café. Small bite-sized hamburgers were served!

A Video was projected of the actual work in performance at BAM, including videography of the bustling Brooklyn-Queens-Expressway, but not lensed by Stevens himself. He composed Original-Music for the event, which he also Conceived.

In the Citation, The BQE was described as: "A large-scale performance-piece drawing inspiration from the Brooklyn-Queens-Expressway that incorporates original music, dance, multimedia projections, complex staging, and sophisticated design to celebrate the diverse, mundane, and jam-packed daily experience of living in the complex physical urban environment of New York City."

Whoever drafted that should also receive some form of Citation!

The hamburgers were tasty!


At the Museum of the City of New York:

[Fifth Avenue @103rd Street/NY, NY 10028/Phone: 212-534-1672]


[Closing xx xxx 2008]

Sorry about the Above, but I seem to have Fallen-Off the Museum of the City of New Yorks press-list, not having been invited to any of their recent Press-Previews


At the Museum of TV & Radio:

[25 West 52nd Street/NY, NY 10019/Phone: 212-621-6600]


[Closing xx xxx 2008]

Same Old Story…


At the National Academy Museum:

[1083 Fifth Avenue @89th Street/NY, NY 10028/Phone: 212-369-4880]


[Closing xx xxx 2008]

Sorry about the Above, but I seem to have Fallen-Off the National Academy Museums press-list, not having been invited to any of their recent Press-Previews

But I did see a poster for a George Tooker show there.


At the Neue Gallerie:

[1048 Fifth Avenue @86th Street/NY, NY 10028/Phone: 212-628-6200]

ALFRED KUBIN: Drawings, 1897-1909

[Closing 26 January 2009]

Die Promenade (The Promenade), ca. 1904-05 by Alfred KUBIN (1877-1959) in "ALFRED KUBIN: Drawings, 1897-1909" at The Neue Gallerie.

While Vienna’s Art-Culture at the Jahrhundertwende was definitely Deco-inclined with masterpieces of Jugendstil architecture, painting, sculpture, design, & decoration being created by Otto Wagner, Josef Hoffmann, Gustav Klimt, Kolo Moser, & artist/craftsmen of the Wiener-Werkstatte, one of their contemporaries, Alfred Kubin, was inspired, instead, by images of Death & Bizarre-Violence.

Kubin’s haunting, even frightening, Hallucinatory-Visions owe more to Goya, Ensor, & Münch than they do to Jugendstil. Edgar Allan Poe, as well as Gogol & Dostoevsky, are also obvious inspirations.

Very well-known in Mittel-Europa, Kubin’s pen & ink drawings, with tonal washes, are astonishing, sometimes verging on cartoons, as with Adoration, in which the Object of Worship is a comical-creature with pig-like trotters.

Not the least amusing, however, is Die Dame auf dem Pferd, with an elegantly black-clad horsewoman—complete with black top-hat, rather like the Empress Elizabeth of Austria—on a giant White Rocking-Horse. Its rockers, unfortunately, are great curved cleaver-knives, chopping up the unlucky men & women on the ground beneath.

In the last gasp of Central-European Königliche & Kaiserliche Monarchie, this could very well be a Symbolic-Satire of the indifferent, unfeeling Austrian-Rulers.


At the New York Botanical Garden:

[Bronx River Parkway @ Fordham Road/Bronx, NY 10024/Phone: 718-817-8700]

KIKU: The Art of the Japanese Chrysanthemum

[Closed Mid-November 2008]

Last Autumn’s colorful exhibition of specially-cultivated Japanese Chrysanthemums up in the Bronx at the New York Botanical Garden, was so much admired that it has been repeated. As staff-members even went to Japan to learn how to cultivate the amazing blooming plants that are involved in the Japanese Art of Kikuthe Japanese word for Mumssome these remarkable plants will surely become regular autumnal attractions.

As the impressive Outdoor-Exhibition of Henry Moore Sculptures is still on view as well, there are at least two good reasons to take a day-trip up to the Bronx.

And, because the current show of Mums is in effect a recycling of last fall’s splendid displays—plus a new large-scale abstract split-bamboo sculpture—Your Reporter is going to recycle some of that report.

What was most astonishing about this stunning flower-show was the Ozukuri Kiku, or Thousand-Bloom Chrysanthemum. This plant is grown from a small slip of Chrysanthemum, which becomes a single-stem, from which develop—thanks to intensive training—into a massive dome-shaped array of simultaneous blossoms.

Also on view were Ogiku Kiku & Kengai Kiku versions of Chrysanthemum-Culture.

The Ogiku bloom grows from a single-stem to a height of six feet or more. Each very large & perfect bloom is precisely balanced on its stem; they are arranged on diagonal lines that decrease from back to front. Colors featured are white, yellow, & pink. These are the Traditional-Hues of the Emperor’s Horse’s Bridle.

The Kengai, or Cascade, Chrysanthemums are small-blossomed flowers, trained on a boat-shaped form, so they can cascade down like a waterfall. This flower-fall can descend over six feet away from the root-ball!

Because the Chrysanthemum-Season in Japan is relatively short—while the exhibition in the Courtyards of the Enid Haupt Conservatory had to last most of the autumn—two sets of Ozukiri, Ogiku, & Kengai chrysanthemums had to be cultivated. One set was raised in relative darkness—to fool Nature.

The Kiku is the National Flower of Japan. It is also the Crest of the Imperial Family.

Although the Mums have to go back to the Conservatory mid-November, a special companion-exhibition will be on view in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library of the Botanical-Garden until 11 January 2009. This is The Chrysanthemum in Japanese Art.

THE HEIRLOOM TOMATO: Photographic Portraits of Historic Tomato Varieties from the Gardens of Amy Goldman by Victor Schrager

[Closing 30 August 2009]

Victor Schrager has posed his Succulent-Subjects very artfully & printed them in super-saturated color. They look almost Good Enough To Eat!


At the New-York Historical Society:

[170 Central Park West @77th Street/NY, NY 10458/Phone: 212-873-3400]


[Closing 29 March 2009]

“Let Us Have Peace,” The Golden Anniversary, April Ninth, 1865-1915, supplement of The New York Times, April 4, 1915 New-York Historical Society in "GRANT & LEE IN WAR & PEACE" October 17, 2008 - March 29, 2009 at The New-York Historical Society.

Not only is this super-informative & ingeniously-installed exhibition a Must for school-kids & teachers, it should also provide some startling-insights for Baby-Boomers, Golden-Agers, & Generation-Xers.

With the recent Electoral-Victory of America’s First Black President, Abe Lincoln’s plea to Bind Up the Nation’s Wounds is still at work. For, as this exhibition demonstrates, the close of the Civil Warwith Lee’s Surrender to General Ulysses S. Grantdid not heal the great rift between North & South. The Reconstruction did not work & the Newly-Freed Slaves were not truly free…

What is unusual about this show—although it thoroughly documents the process of Secession & the most significant clashes of the War Between the Statesis that it opens with young Officer-Candidates at West-Point, young Americans who trained as friends & colleagues, fighting together in the Mexican War, as well as rearranging the Native-Indian Populations, only to find themselves on opposite sides of the barricades after 1860.

[Oddly enough, no mention is made of General Worth, the youngest Commandant of West Point at the age of 22. Fort Worth in Texas & Lake Worth in Florida are named for him.

[Although Worth was sympathetic with the plight of the Seminole Indians of Florida—who were being dispossessed by Washington—he caught Cholera & died on that campaign.

[There are only two men buried on Public-Land in Manhattan, not in church-yards or cemeteries. General Worth is one of them. The other is interred in Grant’s Tomb, along with his widow, Julia Dent Grant.

[If you want to see the fairly-recently-restored Worth-Monumenta project of the Municipal Art Societyyou will find it in that triangular traffic-island between Broadway & Fifth Avenue, at 26th Street.]

[The Widow of the President of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis, after the Civil War made her home in Manhattan—which had been a pre-war Nest of Confederate-Sympathizers. I have her personally-signed Visiting-Card, which in fact bears a handsome photo of Mrs. Jefferson Davis!]


At the New York Public Library:

[5th Avenue @42nd Street/NY, NY 10018/Phone: 212-869-8089]

ART DECO DESIGN: Rhythm & Verve

[Closing 11 January 2009]

Forget about the Chrysler Building as being one of the most famed Icons of Art Deco! The current small-scale show at the New York Public Library is, instead, all about Art Deco Design, not about Deco-Architecture, although there are some Skyscraper-images.

Distinctions are made between the precedent style, Art Nouveau, which is also allied with the Concepts of Modernism. Posters, patterns, prints: all are not only colorful but also charged with rhythm & verve. Some Irving Berlin & George Gershwin tunes bear witness to that, as Deco was the visual Hallmark of The Jazz Age.

Oddly enough, Art Deco follows John Milton in the NYPL’s ground-floor intimate show-space, adjoining Gottesmann Hall, where Yaddo presides.


YADDO: Making American Culture

[Closing 15 February 2009]

Long before there were MacArthur Genius Grants to aid & encourage Certified American Artists, there was Yaddo. And also The Macdowell Colony… But a stint at Yaddo was more prestigious.

One could work on one’s new slim volume of Poetry, one’s provocative new Designs, one’s important Portrait-Painting, one’s new String-Quartet, one’s new Drama, one’s forthcoming Novel.

If you wanted some Outside-Stimulation, you could join other Famous-Talents for cocktails & dinner. Breakfast & lunch you could eat off a tray in your own quarters.

Launched on a baronial-estate in 1926, by 1980—the period of this show—no less than 1,700 artists, writers, composers, photographers, & even critics had enjoyed the Yaddo-Largesse. Today, that figure has swelled to some 6,500 artists!

Among the Critics have been Alfred Kazin, Malcolm Cowley, Lewis Mumford, & Van Wyck Brooks.

How about drinks with Syvia Plath, Carson McCullers, Lennie Bernstein, Marc Blitzstein, Eudora Welty, & Philip Roth? Not all on the same evening, of course…

Located in fashionable Saratoga Springs, Yaddo nonetheless had problems with the Locals. In 1942, a local bar-owner requested that the "colored-writer" Langston Hughes be accompanied by "someone else from Yaddo" if he wanted to come in for a drink. Someone else White, one assumes…


At the Rubin Museum of Art:

[150 West 17th Street/NY, NY 10011/Phone: 212-620-5000]


[Closing xx xxx 2008]

Sorry about the Above, but I seem to have Fallen-Off the Rubin Museum of Arts press-list, not having been invited to any of their recent Press-Previews


At Sotheby’s:

[1334 York Avenue/NY, NY 10021/Phone: 212-606-7100]

The Fall Contemporary Art Day Sale at Sotheby’s were scheduled for 11 & 12 November. An amazing range of modern artworks was displayed at the sales-viewings: including a plenitude of Brand-Names.

The artworks were spread out on several floors: not as crowded as at Christie’s offerings of Contemporary Art.

Recent sales—both at Christie’s & Sotheby’s—have failed to dispose of a number of artworks, although Quality & Big-Names still attract buyers.

Other November sales at Christie’s include the impressive Frieda & Milton Rosenthal Collection of African & Oceanic Art, some choice pieces of which were earlier acquired from the Helena Rubinstein & the Nelson Rockefeller auctions.

Latin American Art will be on the block on 18 & 19 November, with Four Fabulous Cellars slated for 22 November, followed by Carpets, on 25 November.


At the Whitney Museum of American Art:

[945 Madison Avenue @75th Street/NY, NY 10021/Phone: 800-WHITNEY]

ALEXANDER CALDER: The Paris Years, 1926-1933

[Closing 15 February 2009]

Here are all your Old-Favorite Sandy Calder Wire-Constructions, as well as his famous Circus, now completely laid-out. As this show is limited to his time in Paris, there is not yet a hint of the monumental Stabiles he would later create. But Mobiles? Yes!

Admirers of the novels of the very late Thomas Wolfenot the current Dandy of the same name—may remember his brief satire on Calder in You Can’t Go Home Again. Wolfe calls Calder Piggy Pennington & describes him sitting on the floor of a rich woman’s Salon, setting up figures from his Circus.


WILLIAM EGGLESTON: Democratic Camera: Photographs & Video, 1961-2008

[Closing 25 January 2009]

One might call William Eggleston the Poet/Photographer of the "Real America," so often recently invoked by the GOP’s Moose-Shooting Sarah Palin.

Casual observers of his richly color-saturated images—worn shoes under a bed, dishes in a sink—might dismiss his details of Ordinary-Life & the Plain-People who live it as focusing on "Red-Necks" & "White-Trash," but that is not the really case. He is of the Southland & that is where he finds the most prosaic of his subjects.

Had Eggleston been born & raised in the Dakotas, his photos would probably have the same Look & Quality, but feature more Cowboys & Rodeo-Corrals

The very special color-quality of his images—as well as their almost banal subject-matter—has made him an Icon in Modern-Photography. The Whitney has installed a number of white dividers to provide more wall-space for showing the 150+ Eggleston prints. Then there is also his cult-video: Stranded in Canton.



[Closing 4 January 2009]

Corin Hewitts "mundane" Performance-Art is on view at the Whitney only three days a week.

But you can only watch him perform such mundane, routine chores as casting, drying, wrapping, freezing, cutting, weaving, printing, shredding, composting, juicing, & canning through narrow slits in the corners of the enclosed ground-floor room in which he Recreates-Reality!

The Curatorial-Explanation of this is: "…our view of him is partial, almost voyeuristic…"

Will this become a New Trend: Living Artworks seen through Museum Glory-Holes?


At the UBS Art Gallery

[1285 Ave of the Americas/NY, NY 10019/Phone: 212-713-2885]


[Closing 31 October 2008]

PIPILOTTI RIST (b.1962, Switzerland) Unfrisiert mit Schneeblumen, 2001 Framed color photograph on Duraflex Glass 18 1/2 x 40 1/8 x 1 5/8 inches Courtesy of the artist and Luring Augustine Gallery, New York in "IMPLANT." Through October 31, 2008 at UBS Art Gallery .

Although UBS is a Swiss-based banking & investment corporation, it has, nonetheless, had to have a Cash-Infusion from the US Government to avoid the Disastrous-Fate of Lehman & Bear-Stearns. Its current financial-difficulties—as with other admired Corporate-Sponsors of the Arts—may cause it to cut back on such handsome exhibitions as Implant & the recent Wedgewood show.

That would be a real loss to New York, art-lovers & speculative-investors alike. Obviously curated & scheduled before the Sub-Prime Tsunami, the forthcoming UBS show, HEYDAY; Frederick W. Glasier’s American Circus, 1890-1925, clearly could not be cancelled, even if some Bail-Out Taxpayers might think that would be the Right Thing To Do.

Heyday comes to NYC from the Circus Museum of the Ringling Museum of Art in Florida, while Implant is Home-Grown in a sense, being mounted by the Horticultural Society of New York!

But this was not another Garden-Show. Instead, Botanically-Accurate Sculptures & Paintings of Flowers, Plants, & Trees shared the lofty UBS exhibition-halls with more fanciful images—even abstractions—inspired by the wonders found in Nature.

Among the 45 artists whose work is on view are William Eggleston, Tacita Dean, Gabriel Orozco, Ellsworth Kelly, Lothar Baumgarten, & Julia Margaret Cameron.


At the Park Avenue Armory:

[643 Park Avenue/NY, NY 10065/Phone: 212-249-5518]

Now that the Park Avenue Armory is not only resoundingly Land-marked, it is also becoming an important venue for major arts-events, such as the Whitney Biennial & impressive Performance-Works, most notably Bernd Alois Zimmermanns Die Soldaten.

The NYC Landmarks Commission has designated it as "the single most important collection of 19th-century interiors to survive intact in one building." Among the notable artist/designers of major chambers are Stanford White, Louis Comfort Tiffany, & the Herter Brothers.

More importantly—for Performances & Exhibitions, at least—the historic Drill-Hall is one of the largest unobstructed interiors in New York City, with the oldest extant "Balloon-Shed," an immense barrel-vaulted-roof, supported on visible arch-trusses, or ribs. This space has been compared to the grand concourse of Grand Central Station, as well as the tragically-lost Pennsylvania Station.

Originally, this grand space was primarily intended for military-drills by the Seventh Regiment, the first volunteer-militia to answer President Lincoln’s Call-to-Arms in 1861.

But, as the Vanderbilts, Harrimans, Livingstons, Van Rensselaers, & Roosevelts were members of this historic Regiment, the Hall soon became a center for Social & Cultural Events.

In recent years—aside from the periodic Art & Antique Shows in the Drill-Hall—the entire building has been the preserve of the Military, including an upstairs Army-style Mess, open to the public, with Army-style food…

Art-Dealers & those who organize their shows fear that they may be displaced in the takeover by the new arts-oriented management, known as the Park Avenue Armory. It’s to be hoped they can co-exist, but there have always been logistics-problems about setting-up Dealers’ Booths & stocking them with Art & Antique artifacts…


Sanford Smith’s ART 20: The International Art Fair: 1900 To Contemporary

Sanford Smith is not the only promoter of Art, Antique, & Book Fairs in the Armory, but his Art 20, Modernism, Works on Paper, & the NY Antiquarian Book Fair are always major-events.

They all feature Major-Dealers as well. As in previous seasons, Art 20 provided a rich palette of Big-Names in Modern Art, more of them Contemporary Living Artists rather than Modern Dead Artists, though there were a number of works by both Picasso & Andy Warhol.

What is most exciting, however, is to become suddenly aware of stunning works by a relatively new artist, even if one had passed them by last season, with so very much to see.

I was especially impressed by the works of Alice Dalton Brownat the Fischbach Gallery stall—who interposes almost transparent curtains or veils between the viewer & a sky or seascape. Magical: like a photo, but no camera could achieve such illuminative-effect.

The strange small human & humanoid sculptures of Varda Yatomat the Babcock Gallery booth—also fascinated me. A group of small ceramic men are sprouting electrical-wires, which also seem to be their arteries & veins. They stand on tall metal rods & are part of a larger ensemble symbolically exploring a traditional Jewish Wedding Ceremony. Among other Meaning-Potentials…

Three costly Joseph Cornell Boxes were on-offer from the Hollis Taggart Galleries. But very costly: Cornell could have used the money when he was alive. Under the rubric of Image in the Box, interesting works by Elspeth Halvorsen, Pierre Roy, Lucas Samaras, & Maureen McCabe were also on view & sale.

If you want to see for yourself which galleries were showing & examples of some of the outstanding works on-offer, the attractive show-booklet may be obtained with an e-mail to:


Oddments & Endpapers:

Knoedler is showing Frankenthaler at Eighty: Six Decades until 10 January 2009.

There are 18 Tree-Huts mounted high-up in the arboreal-denizens of Madison Square Park. These look fairly amateurish, but they are the result of an Artist-in-Residency Program involving Tadashi Kawamata. Anyway, there’s always the Shake-Shack in Mad Square Park, no matter what the Artworks on the grass or in the trees…

If you really want to Get-High in Chelsea, you could join the Friends of the High Line! And you can do that On-Line:

Then there’s the new MAD, or Museum of Art & Design, Brad Cloepfil’s make-over of Edward Durrell Stones oddly conceived Huntington Hartford Gallery of Art.

Your Reporter didn’t get an Invite, so he has only seen it from the Outside. Same with the New Museum… But the Bedbug-Disaster has rendered all here Chaos. So I will be both Mad & New very soon…

Copyright © Glenn Loney 2008. No re-publication or broadcast use without proper credit of authorship. Suggested credit line: "Glenn Loney, Curator's Choice." Reproduction rights please contact:

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