Museums and Exhibitions in New York City and Vicinity
| Home | | Museum Guide | | International | | Architecture & Design | | Theater |


CONTENTS, June 2009

Caricature of Glenn Loney by Sam Norkin.

Please click on " * " to skip to each subject in this index:
Arts Scripts for GERMANY TODAY: *
Oral Arts Reportage at WBAI:
Creating Art Deco News & The Modernist:
About this Website: Hopes & Plans…
Teasing the Template: *
At the Ana Tzarev Gallery: *
At the Brooklyn Museum:
At the Cooper Hewitt National Museum of Design:
At the Frick Collection:
At the Galerie St. Etienne:
At the Grolier Club:
At the Guggenheim Museum:
At the Irish Arts Center:
At the Jewish Museum:
At Knoedler & Company:
At the Metropolitan Museum of Art:
At the Morgan Library & Museum:
At MAD/The Museum of Arts & Design
At the Municipal Art Society:
At the Neue Gallerie:
At the New York Historical Society:
At the Park Avenue Armory:
At the UBS Gallery:

Museum Report for Month of May 2009:


Taking Stock on Museum Reportage:

For many seasons now, Your Museum Reporter has been checking out new Exhibitions, Permanent Installations, & Museum/Gallery Make Overs for a variety of Media.

For a time, Your Reporter functioned as the Museum/Art Gallery critic/reporter for The East Sider, The West Sider, & The Chelsea Clinton News.

Each report or critique was rewarded with a check for $15—not exactly Big Bucks—but one had to cash it fast on Friday, as, by Monday, there might not be funds in the Publisher’s Account.

[The late Clay Felker bought The East Sider, intending to make it into a Society Photo Venue—the Very Rich & occasionally Unjustly Famous just love to see their faces & frocks in print!—but this rag soon died under his aegis.]

Other Loney Arts Reports have appeared, over the years, in a number of Main Stream Magazines & Newspapers, as well as Academic, Professional, & Specialist publications.


Arts Scripts for GERMANY TODAY:

For a number of years, Your Reporter wrote Arts Radio Scripts for the late David Berger’s Germany Today, created by Berger as a companion broadcast to his widely syndicated Music from Germany.

My scripts also covered West German Social Issues, Workplace Reforms, Religious Topics, Urban Planning, & Transcripts of my Interviews with Architects, Artists, Performing Arts Talents, & Social Leaders.

Although David & I had become close friends & colleagues, he would never let me read my own scripts on the Broadcast, although he did pay some of my CUNY PhD Students to do so! He did Audition me, but said I made the News sound Too Dramatic! Too Exciting!

But who wants Boring Old News anyway…


Oral Arts Reportage at WBAI:

For a time, I did get to read my own Arts Reports & Critiques on New York’s very own Pacifica Station, WBAI. At times, I felt myself surrounded by the Last Stalinists, as some of the Station’s Regulars certainly had Issues to promote.

My good friend & Fellow Arts Journalist, Mark Laiossa, who was a WBAI Mainstay, did the sound engineering & taping for these reports—which included my live interview with Christo & Jeanne Claude about their Wrapping of the Berlin Reichstag—the Process of which I had photographed for over a week the previous summer—as well as discussing their constantly rejected plans for The Gates in Central Park!

Finally, when the Program Chief mistook me for a Messenger & as I had never been Paid or Thanked for my contributions, I decided to spend more time sitting in Central Park & contemplating the Central Park West High Rise Art Deco Towers above the treetops…


Creating Art Deco News & The Modernist:

For virtually fourteen long years, Your Reporter was creating four quarterly issues of The Art Deco News, later re named The Modernist—when people were getting sick of Art Deco for the second time.

Although four issues were prepared each year, some never saw print—even though it cost only about $850 to print a run sufficient for NY Art Deco Society members & interested Professionals. Thus "virtually," as the prepared but unprinted issues died in the files, now in the Glenn Loney Papers at the University of California/Davis, which are some 140 Running Feet, at last count.

These two titles were almost entirely written, edited, & illustrated—often with Glenn Loney’s INFOTOGRAPHY™ images made at home & abroad—by Your Reporter.

The money that could have paid for publication—all other costs of editing, preparation, & production being absorbed by Your Reporter & his friend & colleague, lay out artist Debbie Lumpe Hughes—were used instead to pay for Invitations & Decors for such events as the Annual Art Deco Ball, with members dressed in Art Deco Roaring Twenties costumes…

For the final issues, former Christie’s expert & frequent lecturer on 20th Century Arts, Alastair Duncan, generously donated $1,000 for each issue!

The efforts of the Editor of The Modernist to enlist members in the search for Art Deco Themed Advertising went nowhere, as did the effort to expand publication so that copies could be distributed to Museums & Art Galleries around the Nation.

Once again, neither Paid nor Thanked.

When each new issue appeared—some were quite handsome & stylish, in fact—the President of the NY Art Deco Society [now deceased] would call to point out some Minor Typo: "The word THE is spelled TEH on page 14!"

But never anything like: "The new issue looks Great!"

Fortunately—I guess—for Posterity, I’ve had all the issues scanned, so they will, before long, appear On Line on the Internet on a new Website tentatively to be named the GlennLoneyArtsArchive.



Way back when he was Creating & Hosting EXPLORING YOUR MUSEUMS for Channel 31, Your Reporter already had a list of some Four Thousand Venues for Arts & Antiques. This weekly TV program was taped in the actual museums & also at Brooklyn College in the TV Department Studios.

[I also Hosted & Drafted—or "Winged"—another BC TV half hour show for Channel 31: Meet the Professor! The idea was to introduce a Brooklyn College Prof who was also an Expert in the Real World to a Real World Professional—who would always turn out to be an Adjunct Professor, evenings after his Day time Job! Preferably from NYU, Fordham, or Columbia!]

But, once again, I was neither Paid nor Thanked.

Although I was actually teaching Public Speaking & Speech Correction in the School of General Studies Evening Program—the Senior Professors in the Department wouldn’t permit me teach in the Undergrad Day Program!—I had to come in day times on Tuesdays & Thursdays to set up & tape the two shows.

This was devised for me as a kind of Penance—or they would put a Letter of Reprimand in my College Records—because I had criticized the construction of questions & the machine scoring of the Uniform IBM Exams for students in Speech 1A + 1B!

The work in these classes could not effectively be tested by a True False or All of These, None of These machine graded exam! But my Professorial Seniors didn’t want to waste their time reading a lot of scrawled Written Exams!

I was also required to come in day times to coach & judge the College Bowl hopefuls, as well as to coach the Debate Team, which preferred to lift/borrow/steal successful debate strategies from other college teams, before setting out on the Annual College Debate Circuit. I was most useful to these contentious students—as their Faculty Advisor—in signing the bills for Off Campus Debates

So, over time, for reports in Print or on Radio or TV, Your Reporter has visited a great number of New York City Museums & Art Galleries. There was, of course, for the BC Broadcasts No Way I could have covered all of them—even a week at a time.

But I did check out a great many, including the Museum of the American Piano, created by the Hungarian Immigrant son of a lady of Budapest who is the Best Friend of my best Budapest friend, Sari Balint—or Balint Sari, as the Magyars prefer to write their names…


About this Website: Hopes & Plans…

When Webmaster Jonathan Slaff created the website NYTheatre & I joined the Project with my regular column, Glenn Loney’s Show Notes, I suggested he might also establish a Museum/Gallery website, focusing on new New York Museum & Gallery Shows.

The late John Hammond—with whom I’d worked at the now defunct Theatre Week, Opera Monthly, & Christopher Street—devised all the listings & other essentials, as he had done for our previous publications. [For the Record: the New York Post’s premiere Show Biz Gossip Maven, Michael Riedel, was our Managing Editor!]

I put up some money so the websites could have a Scanner, so I have not only a Spiritual Investment in both sites, but also a fiduciary interest, which is yet to pay off. Although I really didn’t think it would, as you can hardly pay Contributors when there is no Huge Cash Flow inward

Readers who have checked out Your Reporter’s columns on both sites may realize how much time has been invested in seeing shows—both onstage & in museum venues—as well as reporting on them.

Now, at 80 years of age, I’m wearing out & want to sit in the sun for a bit…

But, if I do do that, who will continue Museum Notes? Or will it & this site have to Die?

Colleague friends have, in fact, written reports & critiques for the website, but, not being paid, did not want to continue contributing.

So I have projected a new Purpose, Content, & Design for the website.

Unfortunately, it is complex, labor intensive, & time consuming, extending its Coverage not only beyond New York, but across the Nation. Perhaps, across the Atlantic, even around the World?

When Your Reporter is in Europe on the Festival Circuit—or in Asia, Africa, Australia, or Central & South America, he has, from time to time, filed Arts & Museum reports on the website

There is No Way that Jonathan Slaff or I can make Museum Magic by ourselves.

Googling GOOGLE Doesn’t Work:

So I thought maybe I could ask the Experts at GOOGLE to come to our aid. People are using GOOGLE all the time to check out our websites, so why not? There is even a website—based in Berlin—that gets GOOGLED.

So—way back in March—I wrote two letters to two different GOOGLE Executives, whom I thought might be at least interested in my Proposals.

Guess What!

There have been No Answers!

Not even one of those Standard Dear John Editor’s Letters: "Thank you for thinking of Harpers/The Atlantic/The Nation/The New Republic, but your submission is not right for us at this time. Please do keep us in mind…"

For your possible interest, here is what I wrote, in part, to GOOGLE:


1 MARCH 2009

Dr. Urs Hölzle

Senior Vice President/Operations


1600 Amphitheatre Parkway

Mountain View, CA 94043

Dear Dr. Hölzle:

Way back in 1996, my friend & colleague Jonathan Slaff created the Performing Arts website, NYTheatre From its inception, we got a lot of hits, though later founded Broadway/Off Broadway site rivals insisted to me that was only because anyone who Google searched for New York Theatre would come up with our site first.

The non profit success of our site encouraged Slaff to create for me a companion site: This also makes no money. The depressing result—although I am Chief or Senior Correspondent for both sites—is that I am not now, nor have I ever been, paid for anything I write. Nor am I reimbursed for Arts Journeys around the world, which I do at my own cost.

The reason I am now writing to you at Google is the hope that I & Jonathan’s partner/wife, Shirley Slaff, might be able to meet with the relevant Google Officer in Manhattan to present my proposals for turning our Museum site into a Worldwide Finder Link for Museums, Art Galleries, Auction Houses, Art Schools, Art Fairs, & Arts Initiatives, etc. [But I do not know who the NYC Google contact might be…]

From our beginnings in 1996/97, I have always posted reports on visiting museums in Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix, Philly, San Francisco, Denver, Seattle—indeed, wherever I may go, initially to review theatre, opera, & dance events—even though the site, by its very name, seems New York Limited.

No way: I have also reported from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the Germanisches National Museum in Nürnberg, & the Tate Modern in London.

Wherever I may be, I file reports about Museum Shows, as well as Performing Arts events & Major Festivals, such as Salzburg, Edinburgh, Bayreuth, Munich, & Bregenz—its Tosca on Lake Constance was featured in the new Bond film: Quantum of Solace! So there’s also always a summer report on what’s new at the all glass Kunsthaus Bregenz!

But the on going Problem is that the site earns no money, so I am paid nothing for my work nor for my travel. Nor can Jonathan afford to pay fellow art critics who have in the past filed reports, but who quit contributing when no paycheck was forthcoming.

I should here note that I was 80 years old on Christmas Eve!

Not that I am wearing out, but I am also involved with my INFOTOGRAPHY™ 375,000 Slide, Print, & Digital Photo Image Archive, as well as writing my Memoirs, chapter by chapter, in four different computer book sites.

As an OCC Theatre Awards Nominator, as well as Chief Correspondent for NY Theatre Wire, I also see & report on almost everything produced in New York!

Things literally cannot go on this way! But if I collapse or stop writing for, Jonathan will have to terminate it, having no longer any freshly posted Commentary Content.

In itself, this might seem no loss—as Google is already supporting the Alliance for the Arts New York website, which lists & links to New York Museums. Our museum listings were made way back in 1996—the compiler long since dead—but there is now no one to update them.

What Jonathan has done, however, is to Archive all my Curators’ Choice reports since 1996, preserving them completely formatted, with often stunning Images!

But it costs money to maintain these on Servers, an expense he cannot continue to sustain, when no Income is on the Horizon. I would hate for these now historic records to be Lost, but what can I do about this? I have only my own report texts on my hard disk: no visuals or formatting…

As early as 1999, I devised a Business Plan, basing it on a possible Visa link, whereby both our websites could actually make some money for us & our contributors: not only carrying Advertising, but also providing Goods & Services On Line. Nothing came of that, as Jonathan functions more as a Public Relations consultant.

When the New York Sun definitively set for the last time in November, New Yorkers lost one of the most vivid displays of Major Museum Artworks & Show Posters, as the Editors used to splash such glowing, fascinating Images across entire pages!

It suddenly came to me—especially as my own reports were devoid of e mail images from most of these museums, unless they gave me them on CDs—that we could visually remake by filling the site with just such images!

And also make some money in doing this: so I devised a new Business Plan for the website. But this is not something I can do on my own…

So that is why Shirley Slaff & I would like to meet with someone from Google New York, to share both my Plans, which could be integrated to the benefit of a newly enlarged Worldwide Museum Finder Reporter! Unfortunately, looking at the Google website, I have no idea whom to see in NYC. Nor even at what address to ring the doorbell…

If this Officer finds the proposals of Initial Interest, I assume he or she could then forward them to the Appropriate Officials out in Mountain View. But I think I need to present them initially in person in NYC.

For the Record: Shirley Slaff is the factotum for Ann Gottlieb, who blends all those special fragrances for Calvin Klein, Unilever, Marc Jacobs, etc. But in the current Economic Collapse, neither of us really can afford to fly out to California…

In studying your GOOGLE website—trying to decide to whom I should send this letter—I was struck by how many of your Senior Staff have degrees from UC/Berkeley & Stanford. Not to overlook a University of Marylander, as well!

Not that this will necessarily inspire your Confidence in me as a responsible Planner & Provider of Website Content, but I thought I ought to mention that I graduated from UC/Berkeley—with a Group Major in Speech, Journalism, English, & Theatre in 1950, "with Highest Honors."

Not only that, but I also earned my PhD from Stanford in 1954—while I was in the US Army down at Fort Ord—"with Distinction."

As both a Golden Bear—I am, in fact, a member of the Order of the Golden Bear—& what once was called a Stanford Indian, I am always torn at Big Game Time: for whom shall I root?

We Stanford Alums here in Manhattan see one of your Board Members every so often, when President Hennessy is in search of Endowment Enrichments.

As for the University of Maryland, I was a Professor for the University of Maryland Overseas, from 1956 1960 in EUCOM, teaching in Europe, North Africa, & the Middle East, notably in Sa’udi Arabia, where I completed my first book, for McGraw Hill, in 1959: Briefing & Conference Techniques.

Between Berkeley & Palo Alto, for my MA I went halfway East to Madison, Wisconsin, where I studied—among other things at UWArt History, with actress/teacher Uta Hagen’s dad, Dr. Oskar Hagen [Dr. phil. from the Universität v. Göttingen], so I believe I have a good grounding to be writing about the Arts.

As for Historical Mountain View, working my way through Stanford, I mowed lawns on weekends for friends in Menlo Park, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Atherton, & even for some cousins over in Santa Clara

When the American Theatre Critics Assn. had its annual convention in San Francisco several summers ago, we were invited down to Mountain View to see a show in your handsome new Arts Complex. I was astonished how Google’s Success had transformed this formerly sleepy little Peninsula town!

As I know the Peninsula & the SF Bay Area well, I could possibly find the cash—but not Shirley, alas—to fly out to SFO & drive down to your offices if you or any of your colleagues would like to discuss possibilities for turning my vision of a Worldwide Website for Museums, Galleries, & All the Arts into a Google Internet Online Virtual Reality!

I do hope Google won’t find it contrary to Corporate Policy to consider talking about possibly working with an Octogenarian? I may be an Old Fart, but I’m still a Live Wire

Hoping for an Opportunity soon to discuss potential future developments of!

[If your or your colleagues would like more Background—including my extensive Publications List—please click on, a Berlin based web site created by my friend Victor Homola, office manager of the NY Times Berlin Bureau.]

Enclosed are some sample reports to show you what they look like & how they read…



PhD, Prof Emeritus/City University of New York Grad Center; Senior Correspondent: & NYTheatre; Cont. Editor: Western European Stages & Entertainment Design; Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, ATCA & International Theatre Critics Assn, Music Critics of North America, Dance Critics of America, NY Municipal Arts Society, etc.


I sent a kind of follow up letter to another Google Exec, whose Bio on line looked like she might be interested in the Proposals, as well as in an AIDS Art Show I had described in my column. Here are some excerpts from that unanswered letter:


3 MARCH 2009

Ms. Megan Smith

Vice President/New Business Development


1600 Amphitheatre Parkway

Mountain View, CA 94043

Dear Megan Smith:

Looking through the impressive roster of Google Officers, I noted your work with Gay & Lesbian Issues. I am wondering how a wider audience might be reached with serious reportage, rather than the campy screeds of some Manhattan based commentators.

As I have been attempting to locate someone/anyone at Google who might be interested in the Proposal I have made for to be transformed into a Worldwide Arts Link, I am sending you a copy of the letter I wrote to Dr. Urs Hölzle about this.

But, even more importantly, I’m sending you print outs of two reports I wrote about Art Exhibitions mounted at the Leslie Lohmann Gallery in Soho. Both were staged by my old friend, the stage designer & painter Peter Harvey, who has just returned from the Semper Oper in Dresden, where he replicated his original designs for George Balanchine’s Jewels.

The initial L&L show very handsomely demonstrated the genius & achievements in stage, costume, & lighting design by a number of our most outstanding & Award Winning Theatre Artists.

As you can see from the report, the real theme of this stunning show—it should have traveled—was not the Splendors & Wonders, but the fact that all the men & women involved are/were Gay. [Were, as in died of the Plague…]

The most recent of the two shows was composed entirely of Peter Harvey’s own paintings, colorfully & inventively evoking what we have lost in the Deaths of Gay & Lesbian Artists, who have given so much Culturally & Spiritually to an often spiteful Society that has all too often mocked & spurned these amazing talents.

Or, as with Garcia Lorca, beyond mockery, being shot to death by Franco’s Falangistasl.

Peter asked me to write about these two shows for publications that have special interests in such issues, but I don’t know any & am not paid for what I write in any case. But the very idea seems like Preaching to the Converted.

But what General Publications—if there are any left standing by June 2009—has any interest in Gay Designers or Great Writers, Poets, Painters, Sculptors, & Photographers who have either been dissed & dismissed for their "Lifestyle Choices" or who have been taken from us by Untimely Deaths?

If there were any interest in touring the Stage Design Show, Peter Harvey could re assemble it, but he has no idea who could fund & who could organize such a tour… Nor do I…

If there were any publication interested in using my two reports—even though the shows are now closed—that would be OK with me. I made some good color photos of Peter & his AIDS paintings for that report, but our Website Intern couldn‘t use all of them.

When I was writing about Peter’s AIDS Triangle Images, I most vividly remembered his sad comment about putting them away in storage, where they’d never be seen again. [Vermont, I think… No! He says Hartford, which is almost as bad…]

After I filed the report, I called Peter, who was packing the paintings. On the spot—although I really cannot now afford such splurges—I bought the Garcia Lorca & the Ganymede/Carravaggio.

Possibly, when you are next in NYC, you might like to see them? I also have some Duncan Grant originals…

I should here note that I was 80 years old on Christmas Eve! But you may already have read that in the other letter…

Yours Truly, as they say…




Knowledgeable Colleagues who have read these letters say, in General: "You are an Idiot if you think any of those guys out there at GOOGLE will even read your letters, let alone answer them…"

But Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained, as they say. But what do THEY really know?


Teasing the Template:

Your Reporter long ago devised a kind of Museum/Gallery Name, Address, & Phone Number Template. For each Museum or Gallery opening a show during the Report Period, the report or review could be typed in below the relevant Name.

When there was No New Show to report, the Museum Listing could easily be Deleted.

For this Report, however, I will present the Entire Template, so readers can see for themselves the many Venues I have reported on in past columns. Obviously, there are many more New York Museums & Galleries than are here listed, but I cannot be Everywhere. Nor do I have a Secretary or an Assistant, not that they could write my columns for me.

We also have no grant money, alas.

I should point out that many Museums now send out announcements of Press Previews only by e mail, instead of mailing handsome Printed Invitations as they used to do. Advance information about new Exhibitions, appointments, & architectural improvements are also e mailed now.

Thus, I may have missed a number of Press Previews, as my fairly new APPLE Computer just died—the Hard Disk expiring noisily, with the Capacitators in the Monitor Unit bleeding orange gunk!

I do hope things will improve when I get the e mail addresses of the venues listed below & they get mine, so I can stay well informed.

With the sudden Collapse of Our Economy, Press Previews are even disappearing.

Some Major Museums have for a long time been serving Coffee & Danish, even sometimes offering a Near Brunch to the Press Bunch: A Hungry Press is an Angry Press…

But, with the disappearance of mid morning Museum Spreads, some old time Regulars have now disappeared: Were they only there for the Muffins & Juice after all?

Now—especially with small scale shows at the Met & MoMA—surviving Arts Journalists, whose newspapers & magazines are still publishing, are receiving either snail mailed or e mailed Press Releases regarding the new shows.

If you wish to report or critique, you call the Press or Communications Office to arrange a convenient time to come to see & scribble about the Exhibition. But no Muffins & no Press Previews!

Even the handsome Press Kits are vanishing. As CDs of Press Images have already replaced print photos & color slides, it has occurred to the Metropolitan Museum’s Press Corps to include all the actual press releases, Wall Texts, Bios, & Check Lists on their Press CDs as well!

Everything Changes… All things Have an End

But then: Plus ça change…


At the Ana Tzarev Gallery:

[24 West 57th Street/NY, NY 10019/Phone: 212 586 9800]

FLOATING WORLD: Paintings Inspired by the Arts of Japan

[Closing 30 May2009]

Ana Tzarev "Floating Wolrd Paintings Inspired by the Arts of Japan" 2004. This exhibition features paintings inspired by the artist's longstanding interest in Japanese history, culture and the arts.

The bold & colorful paintings of Ana Tzarev feature heavy Impastos of paint, so that some of them seem almost to have been rendered in Relief. They are, in fact, so richly & forcefully Achieved, in broad, powerful brush strokes—possibly also palette knife dashes!—that they seem almost Tactile.

So that you may want to reach out & run your fingers along a ridge of rich red paint. But please do not Touch!

Actually, Art Lovers—or anyone strolling by Ana Tzarev’s handsome new Gallery on West 57th Street—are made more than welcome to study her Art Works.

Indeed, when Tzarev stages an Opening Night, there are live music, free drinks, & Goodie Bags for one & all! Your Reporter’s bag was generously stuffed with books & brochures about her varied areas of Arts Interest & a richly bound collection of her own designs as Note Cards.

Although her previous show—inaugurating her Gallery—featured Scenes & Characters from many Ethnic Cultures, often celebrating distinctive Dances & Ceremonies—Tzarev certainly is widely traveled!—the new Floating World exhibition focuses only on Japan, notably on Themes & Styles from the Edo Period.

Photo of the installation of the exhibit "Floating Wolrd Paintings Inspired by the Arts of Japan" by Ana Tzarev. Photo by Glenn Loney.

Although the Japanese People have, for centuries, found themselves stratified in fixed & ranked Social Classes, the rising Merchant Class in the Edo Era was not so stiffly regulated. These rising & newly wealthy men thus regarded themselves as living in a "Floating World."

This also offered them the freedom, money, & leisure time to pursue Pleasures such as the Kabuki Theatre, Tea House Ceremonies, the company of Geishas, as well as to patronize noted Artists who wonderfully recorded these often Highly Stylized Entertainments & Amusements.

Ana Tzarev has vitally captured many of these moments, some of her canvases suggesting actual & notable Edo art works. One long wall even has a black & white series of Kabuki Portraits!


FRAMES OF REALITY: Israeli Palestinian Photos

[Closing 9 June 2009]

"Frame of Reality." This exhibit features the works from a group of 18 Palestinian and Israeli photojournalists. Photo by Wissiam Nassar.

These often unsettling, but also affecting Images have been briefly set on mounting panels in the Tzarev Gallery, surrounded by the Floating World paintings. This is a co production with ArtAction, in the current instance dedicated to bringing together Two Divided Semitic Peoples.

[Did you know that Arabs are also Semites? So, to label Palestinian Protestors as Anti Semitic isn’t etymologically or Ethnically Justified…]

Taken by both Israeli & Palestinian Photographer Artists, these images of scenes & people depict a day to day Reality in which Arab Palestinians seem confined—not only by that Great Wall of Israel—but also by their own Customs & Traditions.

From studying these photos, it would seem that there is much about the situation & condition of both Arabs & Israelis in this Divided World that is not known to most Americans or reported by their Media.

This exhibition is the fruit of Workshops implemented by the Peres Center for Peace & "Local Testimony." Proceeds from the sales of the hardcover book Frames of Reality—featuring both the Photos & instructive Essays—will be donated to the Peres Center, founded by the Nobel Prize for Peace Laureate, Israel’s own Shimon Peres.


At the Brooklyn Museum:

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

GUSTAVE CAILLEBOTTE: Impressionist Paintings from Paris to the Sea

[Closing 5 July 2009]

Why are there so many Boat Plans & Yacht Sketches—not to overlook the actual Boat Models—now On View at the Brooklyn Museum?

Gustave Caillebotte (French, 1848–1894). Oarsman in a Top Hat, 1877–1878 Oil on canvas 35 7/16 x 46 1/16 in. (90 x 117 cm). Private collection.

It’s because Gustave Caillebotte was not only an Impressionist Painter—if a minor one—but he was also a great fan of Sailing & Yachting, as were some of his artist friends, such as Monet, Renoir, Degas, & Pissarro.

In the current show, there are also a number of handsome Boating, Rowing, & Fishing Scenes created by this ardent Oarsman Painter Engineer. For instance: Boats Moored on the Seine, Angler, Oarsmen Rowing on the Yerres, Regattas at Villers, & the show’s Signature Painting, Oarsman in a Top Hat, which shows Caillebotte on the Seine, with both hands on the oars of a rowboat.

There are some impressive Scenes of Paris in the galleries, but Caillebotte really was in his métier when he left Paris for the Seaside or the Country: Grassland on a Cliff in Normandy, Trouville Toques Valley, & Roses in the Garden at Petit Gennevilliers.

Also of special interest are Caillebotte’s paintings of Craftsmen at work, preserving for Our Time images of How Things Were Done in the 1870s: The House Painters, The Floor Scrapers.

Gustave Caillebotte (French, 1848–1894). A Traffic Island, Boulevard Haussmann, 1880 Oil on canvas 31 7/8 x 39 3/4 in. (81 x 101 cm). Private Collection.

Caillebotte was not exactly a Sunday Painter—though some of his scenes certainly look like Something Happening on a Sunday—perhaps Sunday in the Park with Gustave, rather than George?—but he did not have to Paint for a Living.

Photo of the installation of the exhibit "Gustave Caillebotte" at the Brooklyn Museum.

He was of a very Wealthy & Cultured Family, having been trained as a Lawyer & Engineer. But Paining & Boating were clearly Twin Passions.

The Brooklyn Museum showcased Caillebotte way back in 1977, so the new exhibition is a welcome Reprise. In fact, the Museum owns two of his more impressive canvases, notably Apple Trees in Bloom & The Seine & the Railway Bridge at Argenteuil. The latter will be, for some Museum Visitors, a Familiar Image!



The Islamic Galleries Reinstalled

[Permanent Installation, opening 5 June 2009]

When you view this Re Installation of the Brooklyn Museum’s Islamic Galleries, do not forget that not all Muslims are Arabs. Nor are all Arabs Muslims: There are Coptic Christian Arabs in Egypt & Maronite Christian Arabs in Lebanon.

And in the United States, as well—but who is going to fuss about such Minority Ethno Religious Sects when it’s The Taliban we really fear?

After 9/11, it was interesting to note the sudden Birth of—or Increase inInterest in Who Muslims Are & What They Believe, with the All American Sub Text of : Why Do They Hate Us?

Although only 134 Islamic Objects will be newly on view in the Museum’s Islamic Galleries, there are some 1,700 works in Storage that represent the Diverse Cultures & Contexts of the Islamic World!

There will also be Rotating Exhibitions in this new setting. Currently, the Blessed Qu’ran, Prayer Books, & bios of Islamic Religious Figures will be showcased.

Somehow, these will "address the Common Misconception that Figural Imagery is prohibited in Islamic Art."

This Curatorial View poses a Generality that is not really Common, as most Americans know almost Nothing about Islam, Sunnis, Shiites, Ismailis, Sufis, or Wahabbes.

Inspired by one of those Hebraic Ten Commandments forbidding the making of Images of Man, Animals, or BirdsFish also?—The Prophet, Praised Be His Name! also forbade such Image Making.

The Original Object of such a Prohibition—just as Americans constantly seek to interpret the Original Intent of the Framers of the US Constitution: Do we really have the Right to Keep Assault Weapons in the Bedroom Closet?—was to prevent the Worship of Images of anything, reserving Prayers & Praise for the One True & Unseen/Unseeable God, Allah, Jaweh

When Your Reporter was teaching in Sa’udi Arabia, way back in 1958, the Muslim Clerics were so PuritanicalSharia Law very much enforced!—that pictures or posters were not to be seen outside the American Compounds for ARAMCO engineers, administrators, & workers.

Forget about Persian Miniatures! The Mughals weren’t Arabs anyway, were they? Muslims, yes, Arabs, NO.

You might have thought the Sa’udi National Flag would have a Camel —the Nomadic Arab’s Ship of the Desert—on it, but NO.

Only Crossed Swords & Two Palm Trees!

But all our ARAMCO classrooms had black & white Photos of the Old King, Ibn Sa’ud Abd al Aziz, right up front, over the Blackboard! Didn’t that break The Commandment?

"No. Not really. Photos, you must understand, are not Graven Images, which is what Allah, Praised Be His Holy Name, forbids!"


Light of the Sufis: The Mystical Arts of Islam

[Closing 6 September 2009]

Peter Brook’s memorable production of The Conference of the Birds—which Your Reporter first saw in rehearsal in Paris at les Gobelins, the Tapestry Factory where Brook created his remarkable Internationally Touring Productions—was solidly based on a new translation of an Ancient Sufi Fable.

The Sufi Inspired Birds make an Arduous Journey—which not all of them survive—in Search of the Simurge, a kind of Mystical God Source. But what they finally discover is that they could have found what they were seeking at Home, in Themselves!

During the Last Great Depression in the United States, this Sufi Wisdom was popularized by H. Russell Conwell, in his widely delivered & frequently reprinted Inspirational Sermon: Acres of Diamonds.

The Essence of this Celebrated Insight was that you could wear yourself out, traveling all over the World, looking for Great Fields Studded with Diamonds—as had been discovered in South Africa’s Kimberley Diamond Mines, where my father’s Cousin, the California Engineer Charles Stocks, died of Cholera years before I was born.

Failed, Despairing, returning Home in Shame & Poverty, the Everyman in Conwell’s Sermon turned over the doorstep in front of his back door, only to find Hordes of Diamonds under the stone!

You don’t have to Leave Home to Find God or Your Fortune!

Well, the Sufi Mystics were not only great Fabulists & Poets, but they were also effectively Acolytes of THE LIGHT & ENLIGHTENMENT.

Ignorance, for them, was not Bliss

Find out more about the Sufis at the Brooklyn Museum. Discover why their Insights & Teachings continue to inspire men & women all over the World. Not just Muslims

In fact, Fundamentalist Muslims often vigorously reject Sufi Ideas.


Yinke Shonibare MBE

[Closing 20 September 2009]

Yinka Shonibare, MBE. (United Kingdom, 1961). Leisure Lady (with Ocelots), 2001.Life size fiberglass mannequin, three fiberglass ocelots, Dutch wax printed cotton, leather, glass. Vanhaerents Art Collection.

This potentially challenging show does not open until 26 June, but posting news of it here now can alert both Brooklynites & Beyonders, as the Nigerian born, but British based Yinke Shonibare is widely recognized as an interesting & eloquent metaphorical arts analyst of the Relationship of European Colonialism to Contemporary African Identity!

His Artworks & Cultural Tastes have already been celebrated at the Cooper Hewitt Museum.

The MBE signifies that Queen Elizabeth II has honored Shonibare as a Member of the Order of the British Empire, so some aspects of Colonialism are still in operation. Nigeria’s Yoruba Culture doesn’t confer MBEs!

At the Brooklyn Museum, over 20 Sculptures, Paintings, Films, Photographs, & Large Scale Installations created by Shonibare will be on view.



[Closing 10 January 2009]

On View in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art are Seven Up & Coming New Video Artists, who are placing greater emphasis on their Performances for the Video Camera than did Previous Women Video Artists, who were occasionally interested in Complex Narratives & Special Effects.

You might find Stanya Khan’s Whacker amusing: Outfitted in Halter Dress, Heels & Sunglasses, she wields a Weed Whacker to mow an Overgrown Lot.

The Curatorial Insight on this short Video is that the Artwork "…plays with Gender Stereotypes by having a glamorously dressed Woman doing Yard Work, but [it] also suggests the Transformative Power of Meditative Labor."

Emily Dickinson herself could not have said that better. Gertrude Stein? Perhaps…

Kate Gilmore’s Site Specific specially Video taped for this show Film & Installation "captures Gilmore testing her Physical Endurance by repeatedly moving heavy Plaster Cubes onto Paint Covered Shelves, installed in the gallery. When the Cubes are placed on the Shelves, the Paint will splatter & drip, creating a Visceral Impression, related to her Physical Labor."

Wow! And here you thought that Women had it Really Bad in Darfur!

Obviously, both Manhattanites & Brooklynites have No Idea how much Hard Work goes into Creating a Feminist Video!

But you can now actually see the Video Documentation of Gilmore’s Cube Moving on site, as well as "observe the Physical Remnants left in the Gallery."

Artemisia Gentileschi, Mary Cassatt, & Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, eat your Hearts out!


At the Cooper Hewitt National Museum of Design:

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

[These Summary Reports are Too Brief because Your Reporter is Wearing Out!]



[Closing 7 September 2009]

It’s remarkable how many Useful & Artistic objects & constructions can be made from Felt. It’s also instructive to discover how many kinds of Felt there are.

postcard of the exhibit Fashioning Felt at the Cooper Hewitt National Museum of Design.

This ingeniously designed & displayed Felt Show at the Cooper Hewitt emphasizes that Felt is unlike any other fabrics or textiles made from Wool. Usually, Wool is spun or twisted as Yarn & then is knitted, crocheted, or woven, but Felting is achieved by simply matting together wool fibers with Humidity, Friction & Pressure.

The show demonstrates many interesting uses for Felt in Fashion, as well as in Architecture, Interior Design, & Industrial Uses. Not only can Felt be shaped three dimensionally, even to form Furniture—especially cutting edge Chairs!—but it is also water resistant, wind proof, & fire retardant.

What is more, it is a Renewable Resource: Wool bearing Sheep can be shorn as often as twice a year. Worn out or discarded Wool Garments can be shredded & turned into Felts!

Although Felts are often used in Haute Couture—some Name Designers are represented in this show—Felt has been known & used since the Neolithic Period! It is, in fact, the first known Man Made Cloth!

Nomads have used Felt—especially for Tentings, Blankets, & Garments for Centuries. At the Cooper Hewitt, there is even a Felt & Silk Palace Yurt in the Carnegie Mansion’s Conservatory! For a moment, Live like a Mongol Chieftan!



[Closing 4 January 2010]

Wool also is featured in this Eco Friendly installation, showing how Sustainably Grown & Harvested Natural Materials can be used in a variety of Practical & Decorative Applications. Of course, Bamboo can do some things that Wool cannot…

This attractively designed, touring ready Exhibition is a co production of the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt & The Nature Conservancy: Protecting Nature, Preserving Life!

Not only does this show—often with magnificent photographs of the Lands & Sites where such Growable Natural Resources originate—demonstrate how the materials can be used, but it also emphasizes the value of Cultivating These Resources by Stressed Economies in the Third World.

One of the Conservancy’s Exhibition Facilitators proved to be a valued if longtime no see colleague. He was eager to point out the virtues of such resources as Bamboo & Natural Wool.

I do understand this, but I couldn’t resist praising Un Natural Wool, namely Synthetic Wools: "Whatever you may say about Wool, it still Shrinks. Synthetics do not!"

"Just buy your next Wool Sweater two sizes larger & let it shrink to fit!’

What is special about this show is the commissioning of Design Names from various Countries, Areas, & even some of our States to put these products to work: Maya Lin/Maine, Isaac Mizrahi/Alaska, & Kate Spade/Marshall Islands!

Will Isaac Mizrahi be able to help Alaska’s Fashion Challenged Governor, Sarah Palin, to Improve her Look?

She may need something more Maternal than Gubernatorial for daytime TV appearances, defending her Daughter, Unwed Mother Bristol Palin, who is now apparently the Poster Girl for Teenage Sexual Abstinence, in place of forthright & honest Teen Sex Education.

This past week, Bristol was pictured on the front cover of PEOPLE, dressed in a smart red Cap & Gown, clutching her Out of Wedlock Kid in her arms.

What kind of Family Values are these, especially as the known inseminator has now refused to marry her, since the Palin Family has not gone—as Karl Rove hoped—off to the White House?

Now she is paid to promote Abstinence Before Marriage, holding that unfortunate little baby in her arms on the cover of a National Magazine—not to overlook her TV appearances. What can Sarah Palin have been thinking, to allow this to happen!

What would Gov. Palin have done—had she become President, in the event of John McCain’s rupturing his Aorta—when North Korea’s crazed President & Dear Leader flew his Piper Cub airplane, loaded with Weapons of Mass Destruction, right into the Front Entrance of the Presidential Manse?

For that matter, what would Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, William Kristol, or George Will have done in the same situation? William Buckley is dead, so he can alas no longer Protect the Republic


SHAZIA SIKANDER SELECTS: Works from the Permanent Collection

[Closing 7 September 2009]

This is a really clever way to get some of the Cooper Hewitt Treasures out of Storage. In fact, Yinke Shonibare—now at the Brooklyn Museum with his own show—had previously done the SELECTS Honors at the Cooper Hewitt.

Shazia Sikander—the Ninth Guest Curator—is already a well known South Asian Artist: "Internationally Acclaimed," in fact.

That Sikander studied in Lahore, Pakistan, & is also a Woman make her especially attractive to Show Curators now.

Fortunately, she is also tremendously Talented, so her distinctive work with traditional Miniature Painting—combined with Contemporary Forms & Styles—makes her In Demand. She has even created a new work especially for this show!


At the Frick Collection:

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

PORTRAITS, PASTELS, PRINTS: Whistler in the Frick Collection

[Closing 23 August 2009]

The Frick Collection presents "Portraits, Pastels, Prints." James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834–1903), "Harmony in Pink and Grey: Portrait of Lady Meux,” 1881–82, oil on canvas, 76¼ by 36 5/8 inches.

Did you know that James Abbott McNeill Whistler was one of Henry Clay Frick’s favorite modern artists?

At least Frick acquired more of Whistler’s work than he did for any other artist in his magnificent Collection.

What he missed hanging on the walls of his Fifth Avenue Mansion was Whistler’s Arrangement in Grey & Black—or should this be Black & Grey? [Thanks to bedbugs, all my reference books are now in storage…]

For many Americans—at least of the Older Generations—this famous canvas is perhaps his best known artwork. But it is generally, if incorrectly, known as Whistler’s Mother.

This summer at the Frick, his four full length Whistler portraits of elegant & beautiful Society Ladies will be shown together with pastels & etchings of his sojourn in Venice. This is the first time in two decades that these artworks are being shown together.

They will be shown in the Oval Room, as the East Room—where they are often, but not always, on View—is to be re furbished this coming summer.

As with his title for his Mother, Whistler often named his canvases, not for the actual Sitter or Subject, but for the Dominant Colors or Color that unified the painting for him.

Thus, his notable Frick Portrait of Lady Meux is correctly titled Harmony in Pink & Grey. But Mrs. Francis Leyland’s portrait is actually titled: Symphony in Flesh Colour & Pink.

Similarly, Frick’s two other full length Whistler Portraits are titled Arrangement in Brown & Black [Miss Rosa Corder] & Arrangement in Black & Gold [Comte Robert de Montesquiou Fezensac.]


At the Galerie St. Etienne:

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


The Meanings of Modernity in Germany, 1905 1933


[Closing 26 June 2009]

Once again, Jane Kallir’s illuminating essay—introducing her new show at Galerie St. Etienne—is a Mini Masterpiece. Looking backward, she notes that there was a widespread Ambivalence toward Modernity in Germany, unlike other Western Nations.

Ernst Ludwig kirchner. Two Female Nudes. Circa 1908. Pastel on Paper. Galerie Saint Etienne, New York.

The reasons are several, not just because Industrialization had gradually changed the Basis & Character of many Societies, with Rural People abandoning the farms or estates—on which they were often only Workers, not Owners—flocking to the Cities & Factories.

But the Industrial Revolution also came later & much faster to Germany than to, say England or France. This was because Germany only became a True Nation—a Political Entity—in 1871, when the scores of Kingdoms, Principalities, Dukedoms, Counties, & City States were Unified by Count Bismarck.

This may well be why Expressionism found such Fertile Soil, both in Germany & Austria. Not to overlook the astonishing developments in Design—from Jugendstil to Bauhaus Modernity

Among the Artists & Designers on view in this new show are some Old Standbys but also some less well known names. How about Herbert Bayer, Lucian Bernhard, Edmund Edel, Hans Rudi Erdt, Werner Daid Fest, Karl Hubbuch, Heinz Loew, Walter Dexel, Bruno Paul, Rudolph Schlichter, Georg Scholz, & Jan Tschichold?

Chances are you’ve never heard of most of them. Your Reporter knows some of them from his research on German & Austrian Jugendstil & Modernity for The Art Deco News & The Modernist—both of which he created, wrote, & edited for some years for the Art Deco Society of New York.

Other talents on display are rather better known: Otto Dix, Peter Behrens, Max Pechstein, Lyonel Feininger, Georg Grosz, Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Otto Mueller, Emil Nolde, Karl Schmidt Rottluff, Marianne Brandt, & Max Beckmann.


At the Grolier Club:

[47 East 60th Street, NY, NY 10022/Phone: 212 838 6690]


Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of Henry VIII’s Accession to the Throne

[Closed 2 May 2009]

The Spanish Inquisition censored Shakespeare!

Poscard of the exhibit "Vivat Rex!" commemorating the 500th Anniversary of Henry VIII's accesion to the throne.

Fortunately, the Bard lived in Protestant England, beyond the reach of their Spies, Informers, Racks. Water Boardings, Iron Maidens, & Burnings at the Stake!

That Shakespeare’s England was actually Protestant—although occasionally threatened by European Catholic Powers: think Spanish Armada!—was owing to King Henry VIII, whose 500th Anniversary was recently celebrated in Manhattan at the Grolier Society.

Among the original letters, papers, manuscripts, books, engravings, portraits, maps, artifacts, & objects once belonging to—or relating to—King Henry on view in the Grolier’s imposing two story Library Chamber was a First Edition of Shakespeare’s Plays, once owned by the Spanish Inquisition.

What made this rare volume so very Special—it is not the only Surviving First Edition, after all—is that the Roman Catholic Inquisition’s Censor had blacked out any Negative References to the Holy Roman & Apostolic Catholic Church, its Popes, its Saints, its Rituals, its Beliefs & Superstitions.

References to Saint Joan of Arc—whom Shakespeare’s English Warrior Lords regarded as a Witch—drowned in a Sea of Black Ink!

But this Historically Damaged Bibliophiliac Treasure was only one of many Rarities in the Grolier Exhibition. But, if you missed it—the various components having been returned to the shelves of the Grolier, the Folger Library in DC, the Morgan Library on Madison, & the Houghton Library at Harvard University—there is a handsome Catalogue available from the Grolier Society.

What I missed from this fascinating show was that famous Engraving—made from a large scale painting in the Royal Academy—of a fat, gouty King Henry, his leg extended onto a Cushion, flanked by his Chief Advisors & his last Queen, whom he did not Behead, as he had done to two of his five previous Queens. [The engraving & the painting are of Special Interest to Your Reporter as the Artist was a Distant Relative, Edward Armitage, RA.]

Although King Henry had been honored by Pope Leo X for his pamphlet denouncing the Protestant Heresies of Dr. Martin Luther—he accepted & retained the title of DEFENDER OF THE FAITH, even after he renounced that Faith to found his Very Own Church, of the Anglican Confession.

The New Church’s Immediate Basis & Necessity was to permit King Henry to divorce his Queen & Consort, Catherine of Aragon, who had given him No Male Heir, only a daughter, who briefly Restored the Faith, ordering the Execution of Protestants & earning for herself, throughout History, the nickname Bloody Mary!

The Exhibition included a pathetic letter from the Abandoned & Disgraced Queen Catherine to her Nephew, The Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, initially a Spanish King, who put away his own Mother, "Mad" Juana, "for reasons of State."

So, is that where our word ARROGANT is to be traced back: to the Arrogance of the Aragons? After all, Ferdinand of Aragon & Isabella of Castille crushed the last of the Muslims in Spain, exiled or executed the Jews, & financed Columbus’ Voyage to the Americas.

Although the Grolier is now—as it was when founded in 1884—a Private Club of like minded Collectors & Lovers of Fine Books, to which membership is by Invitation Only, its frequent Exhibitions are free & open to the General Public. Qualified Scholars are also welcome to use its vast & valuable collections for Research. [For more Info:]

In mid September, the Grolier will honor the 600th Anniversary of Leipzig University with an In Depth Exhibition: In Pursuit of Knowledge: Six Hundred Years of Leipzig University, 1409 2009.

This Great University—even under East Germany’s Version of Communism, it maintained Standards—has produced many Great Men. But Not Hamlet—he went to the University of Wittenberg, although he never graduated, as you may remember…


At the Guggenheim Museum:

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

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT: From Within Outward

[Closing 23 August 2009]

Among the scores of Frank Lloyd Wright Models, Sketches, & Plans that currently spiral down the Circular Ramp of the Great Wright Rotunda in the Guggenheim Museum are plans & models for remarkable new Wright Moderne Monuments & Buildings for the City of Baghdad!

These, like so many of Wright’s Design Projects, were never built.

Gordon Strong Automobile Objective and Planetarium (unbuilt). Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland 1924 25. Perspective, colored pencil on tracing paper 50*78. The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

Considering the Carnage that "Mission Accomplished" Geo. W. Bush, "Stuff Happens" Donald Rumsfeld, & "Slam Dunk" Dick Cheney unleashed upon that Unfortunate Mesopotamian Metropolis, it is doubtful that the US Government could—or would—now replace what has been destroyed with Wright’s Visions

The Keeper of the Wright Archives in the Taliesin West HQ—a Scottsdale, AZ, suburban enclave—informed the Press that there is enough Wright Material on file to mount a completely new exhibition of the same size as the current show, with No Repeats, for the next 110 years!

Fortunately for those who like to see New Shows by or about a Variety of Artists & Architects at the Guggenheim, this is not going to happen!




At the Irish Arts Center:

[553 West 51st Street/NY, NY 100xx/Phone: 212 757 3318

A DIFFERENT LAND: Irish Bogland Interpretations

"A Different Land: Irish Bogland Interpretations."


These are interesting—but often Stark—paintings of Scenes from the Irish Boglands in Eire’s Count Kerry by Native Irish Artists. They are being shown in tandem with Theatre Productions & other Eire Oriented Cultural Events, having been unveiled for the impressive staging of the true story of Fugitive Slave Frederick Douglass’ escape from Slave Catchers in America to a Welcoming Ireland. [For more Info about Paintings & Programs, check out their website:]



At the Jewish Museum:

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


Painted Memories of a Jewish Chilhood in Poland Before the Holocaust

[Closing 1 October 2009]

Mayer Kirshenblatt, "The Black Wedding in the Cemetery," c. 1892, 1996, acrylic on canvas. Collection of Barbara Kirshenblatt Gimblett and Max Gimblett, New York. Courtesy of Barbara Kirshenblatt Gimblett.

These vibrant Naïve Paintings of Mayer Kirshenblatt’s Memories of Shtetl Life in Polish Opatow—before the invasion of the Nazis & the institution of the Holocaust—are both Wonderfully Alive but also a Minutely Detailed Testimony to the way Oppressed Jews lived their lives early in the 20th Century.

Kirshenblatt & his family left Poland for Canada in 1934—only shortly after Hitler came to Power in Germany, but at a time when departure was relatively easy. There is even a painting of the Kirshenblatts selling their possessions for the trip across the Atlantic.

Mayer Kirshenblatt, "Escorting the Groom to the Wedding," 1995, acrylic on canvas. Collection of the artist. Courtesy of Barbara Kirshenblatt Gimblett.

Mayer Kirshenblatt—who now is 97 years old!—had no artistic training, but began painting these scenes from the Past from Memory when he was already 73! They chronicle not only Family Life—including all sorts of neighbors, even the Catholics, who also lived in Opatow—but also Jewish Rituals & Customs.

You certainly do not have to be Jewish to savor these scenes & what they mean. There is a kind of Universal Bond in the Humanity they reveal! The paintings are also crammed with physical & emotional power, underscored by Kirshenblatt’s use of rich & varied colors.


Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club Sponsors:

The 37th Annual Decorator Show House 2008

[Closed 17 May 2009]

Every Spring, the Kips Bay Boys Club People—who now include Girls in their title—raises money for their Youth Welfare Projects by inviting Major Manhattan Interior Designers to decorate individual rooms in some Major Mansion that is currently Vacant between Croesus Rich Owners.

Lichten Craig Architects, LLP. 2009 Kips Bay Decorator Show House, Middle Bedroom and adjacent sitting area.

This Spring, the Election fell upon a remarkable Mansion/Villa just down the street from Your Reporter’s Modest Abode. This was the former venue of the notorious Salander O’Reilly Art Gallery, recently forced into Bankruptcy & Auction Sale of its Treasures somewhere Upstate, rather than in Manhattan, where Competing Bidders—not just Dealers!—might have been able to pay better prices. But who knows how these things shake out?

If the Real Estate Mavens of The Observer are correct, the Manse or Townhouse, as it is described by Sotheby’s—who is the Sales Agent—is now the property of Developer Aby Rosen. But it is said he’s asking some $75 Million for the Baronial Residence or Urban Palace, although he probably doesn’t need more money. Whatever…

"Upstairs Sitting room" 2009 Kips Bay Decorator Show House. Photo by Durston Saylor. Design by Maru Leon Design.

The Exhibition Catalogue must weigh ten pounds or more. It is crammed the Great Names of Interior Decoration! It is, in fact, so handsome, so packed with information & innovative Design Ideas that it is definitely a Keeper!

As for Names, how about Albert Hadley, Ann Getty, Clodagh, Kenneth Alpert, Mario Buatta, Gunkelman/Flesher, Sandra Steele Schneider, Kathy Abbott, Charles Pavarini, Ike Kligerman Barkley, Lichten Craig, Christopher Corcoran, Charlotte Moss, Bunny Williams, & Florian Papp.

Among the Kips Bay Trustees, one remarkable name stands out: Ketty Pucci Sisti Maisonrouge!

Rather than offer detailed descriptions of the many handsome—as well as Antique & Artwork StuffedDecorator Interiors, Your Reporter is giving Our Lovely Intern from France a selection of the various Decorator Cards which show sections of their Interiors: she will choose, so Readers may have some idea visually of the Wonders of the Annual Kips Bay Decorator Houses.

I do have to note the rather unusual War Room! This was a small squared space that reeked of Masculinity—it even had what appeared to be a Stainless Steel or Chrome Toilet on a Dais in an Alcove.

"The Lounge" 37th Annual Kips Bay Showhouse 2009. Photo by Dan Eifert.

But what made it stand out among all the rather Feminine Interiors were the two glass cases flanking the Fireplace, well stocked with Rifles, Attack Weapons, Grenades, Ammo Belts, Flak Jackets, Bullet Proof Vests & similar testimonies to the American Man’s Right To Bear Arms in the Privacy of His Own Home!

Were this Room the Domain of such a Dominant Alpha Male as, say Ted Turner, you can imagine this Invitation to a Conversation with the Spouse: "Honey, come in here! I need to talk with you about the way you always interrupt me when we have Guests! And that $15,000 you just spent for a Gucci Bag! Make it snappy, now!"

As with the East Side Settlement House, the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club doesn’t any longer seem to be where it initially doled out its Largesse to Under Privileged Kids. The Club house is in the Bronx!


At Knoedler & Company:

[19 East 70th Street/NY 10021/Phone: 212 794 0550]

Postcard of "Mimmo Rotella, American Icons and Early Work." Mimmo Rotella (1918 2006) "La dernière Marilyn," 1966 d écolage.

MIMMO ROTELLA: American Icons & Early Works

[Closing 31 July 2009]

Oddly Interesting!


Amanda Hughen, "Whorl of Bracts," 2009, Ink, graphite, and acrylic paint on drafting film, 38*38.


[Closing 22 May 2009]

These intriguing drawings are attractive, interesting, & imaginative, something you do not often expect to discover in a typical exhibition of recent works by Contemporary Artists! You might even enjoy having one or more at home, where they will be with you longer than merely in Memory. They also seem reasonably priced…





James Caslte Drawings "Vision and Touch." James Castle (1899 1977), Untitled, not dated, found paper, soot, 4*6 inches (two sides drawing)


[Closed 28 April 2009]

Fascinating, even Haunting

At Madison Square:

[Madison Square/Between Fifth & Madison Aves@23rd Street/NY/Phone: 212 538 7042]

JESSICA STOCKHOLDER: Flooded Chambers Maid

[Closing 15 August 2009]

This Site Specific Multi Media Genre Bending Stockholder Installation "effortlessly embraces the Landscape & Ethos of Madison Square Park."

It is also "born of an experiential approach to Art Making." Its Major Feature is an 1300 square foot Arrow Shaped Platform "sprawling across the Northern End of the Park’s Oval Lawn."

This is "Wildly Colorful"—an Intricately Patterned combination of Custom Cut & Colored Industrial Steel & Molded Fiberglass Grating—& it emerges from a shock of Colored Rubber Mulch!

There is also a Stairway to a Viewing Platform so you can have an Over View.

And don’t forget the Shake Shack, which is almost the most Popular Feature of Madison Square Park!


At the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

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


Part 2: The Charles Engelhard Court & the Period Rooms

[Permanent Installations]

Reconfigured Charles Engelhard Court, Balcony Galleries, &

Historic Rooms Represent Second Part of Multi Year Construction Project:

After two years of major construction & renovation, The Charles Engelhard Court—the spectacular, light filled pavilion along Central Park that has long served as the Grand Entrance to The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s American Wing—now features a totally transformed presentation of the Museum’s superlative collection of American Sculpture & Decorative Arts.

Matt Morgan Art Pottery (1883–1884.) Matthew A. Daly (1860–1937) Vase, 1883–84 Earthenware Cincinnati, Ohio H: 22–7/8 (58.1 cm) Promised Gift of Robert A. Ellison Jr. (L.2009.22.53) Photograph Robert A. Ellison Jr.

The Museum’s unparalleled holdings of American Ceramics, Sculpture, Stained glass, Architectural Elements, Silver, Pewter, Glass, & Jewelry are now seen in all their glory. So, too, for its Early American Period Rooms—12 of the Met’s Historic Interiors, mostly from the Colonial Period, located on three floors of the wing’s historic core—that have been Re Ordered, Renovated, & Re Interpreted. The popular American Wing Café will also reopen in its previous location on the Park side of the Court.

Highlights include 33 examples of newly installed American Statuary in the Court; a newly constructed mezzanine level balcony gallery, where some 300 examples of American Art Pottery—the recently announced promised gift of Robert A. Ellison, jr, never before displayed in public—will be unveiled; the introduction of touch screen monitors & fiber optic lighting in many of the Period Rooms; and a new Glass Elevator. The opening of the Galleries marks the completion of the second part [begun in May 2007] of a project to re configure, renovate, or up grade nearly every section of The American Wing by 2011.

Thomas P. Campbell—Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art—commented: "The Re opening of several major areas in The American Wing marks an important moment for this Institution. From its very beginning in 1870 & continuing to the present day, the Museum has collected & displayed American Art, building a collection of extraordinary breadth & depth that is unsurpassed anywhere.

"Nearly three decades have elapsed since The Charles Engelhard Court and many of the galleries for American Art were built in 1980, and this renovation project answers the need for up graded galleries in which to house the Museum’s Great American Treasures & provide ready access to information about them, thus ensuring the best possible experience for our visitors."

The Charles Engelhard Court:

Upon entering The Charles Engelhard Court, visitors will immediately encounter a new display of some 60 examples of Large Scale Sculpture, Mosaics, Stained glass, & Architectural Elements.

The Monumental Sculpture Collection will be installed on a new Main Floor level—near the stunning Loggia, designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, for the Main Entrance of Laurelton Hall [about 1905], his Oyster Bay, Long Island, residence—as well as on a lower level in front of the façade of Martin E. Thompson's Branch Bank of the United States [1822–24], originally located at 15 1/2 Wall Street in New York City.

Included will be marble & bronze figurative works by such American Master Sculptors as Hiram Powers [1805–1873], Augustus Saint Gaudens [1848–1907], Harriet Whitney Frishmuth [1880–1980], & Paul Manship [1885–1966]. These familiar works have been re installed in new groupings to encourage aesthetic & thematic comparisons & to allow viewers unprecedented up close access.

Notable is the re location of the marble Milmore & Melvin Memorials by Daniel Chester French [1850–1931] from the balcony to the first floor, where they can be appreciated in proximity to other superlative American Beaux Arts Sculptures.

The popular Pool feature has been re designed to show case two bronze fountains by Frederick William MacMonnies [1863–1937] & Janet Scudder [1869–1940] that are piped to spout water.

John La Farge’s ambitious allegorical Welcome Window [1908–9]—a virtuosic work in Stained glass—is now installed next to Saint Gaudens’ marble & mosaic tour de force Vanderbilt Mantelpiece [1881–83].

American Neo Classical Marbles of the Mid 19th Century will return to the Courtyard, displayed in a distinct group between a new seating area & the Branch Bank façade.

Among the works on loan are two bronzed plaster presentation panels Truth & Research [1896–1898] that for many years were installed in the library at Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn [Collection of the City of New York]. They were created by Olin Levi Warner [1894–1896] & Herbert Adams [1858–1945], in preparation for the final bronze doors in the Jefferson Building, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Balcony Galleries:

The American Wing’s outstanding collections of Ceramics, Glass, Silver, & Pewter is installed in the Balcony Galleries in an integrated chronological sequence, beginning with the Colonial Period on the east side & continuing into the 20th Century on the west side—overlooking Central Park. Individual cases are arranged by Medium or Theme.

Among the highlights of the Silver Display are the works of such familiar names as Paul Revere, jr. & Tiffany & Company.

Paul Revere Pottery of the Saturday Evening Girls (1908–42) Executed by Ida Goldstein (b.1894) Vase, ca. 1911–12 Earthenware Boston or Brighton, Massachusetts H: 8–3/4 in. (22.2 cm) Promised Gift of Robert A. Ellison Jr. (L.2009.22.233) Photograph Robert A. Ellison Jr.

A newly constructed Mezzanine level Balcony—accessible via a staircase in the northwest corner—is devoted almost entirely to the display of a major recent acquisition: more than 250 superb examples of American Art Pottery, crafted between 1876 & 1956, a promised gift of Robert A. Ellison, jr—that has never before been publicly seen.

Stained glass Windows of the same period—by Frank Lloyd Wright [1867–1959], William Gray Purcell [1880–1965] & George Grant Elmslie [1869–1952], & George Washington Maher [1864–1926]—that incorporate large amounts of Clear Glass, are also installed nearby, with Central Park visible through them.

Additional stunning examples of Mid 19th Century Ecclesiastical Stained glass Windows—installed on the upper balcony to allow for close examination by visitors—are now visible from the Courtyard, approximating their original vantage points. Works by every major designer of American Stained glass are represented in this display, the most comprehensive presentation in any American Museum.

In all, nearly 1,000 Works of Art are on exhibition! These include two new cases, devoted entirely to American Jewelry, ranging from Early 18th Century Mourning Rings to surprising works of the Arts & Crafts Period.

Viewed from the Courtyard below, the new glass fronted balconies now reveal a Panoply of Color, Form, & Brilliance.

Period Rooms:

The American Wing’s 20 Period Rooms19 of which returned to view this spring—provide an unparalleled view of American Domestic Architecture & Interior Design over Three Centuries.

Twelve rooms—dating from 1680 to 1810—have been newly renovated. The new installation also involved the removal of several interiors of Minor Interest, the re location of two 18th Century rooms [the Verplanck Room, 1767, & the Marmion Room, 1756], & the addition of one new room—from the 1751 Daniel Peter Winne House near Albany, New York.

Built in the Dutch Architectural Tradition, the Winne Room is also used as a gallery for the display of the Museum’s superb collection of Furniture, Silver, Painted glass, & early Portraiture, made & used in the Dutch Cultural Areas of Colonial New York.

With the renovation of the Period Rooms, visitors cn now take a complete tour of American Interiors & Decorative Arts, in chronological sequence, from the 17th Century [the Hart Room, 1680] to the 20th Century [the Frank Lloyd Wright Room, 1912–14]. A new Glass Elevator now carries visitors directly to the third floor, where the earliest rooms are located.

[Recent research has led to changes in the appearance or interpretation of several of the rooms.[

Touch screen Computers now allow the Public to access many layers of information about each room, with sections on the Objects that are displayed in it, the Architecture of the house that the room came from, the original Owners, & the History of the room—& its Installation after it came to the Metropolitan Museum.

The rooms on each floor surround three main Decorative Arts Galleries, which will be newly installed with fine examples of American furniture & portraiture.

These will include Masterpieces by 18th Century Cabinetmakers such as John Townsend of Newport & Thomas Affleck of Philadelphia & 19th Century counterparts Duncan Phyfe & Charles Honoré Lannuier of New York, as well as paintings by John Singleton Copley & Gilbert Stuart.

The Erving & Joyce Wolf Gallery:

W. Hunt Diederich (1884–1953) Charger, 1925–35 Earthenware
New York City Diam: 16–5/8 in. (6.7 x 42.2 cm) Promised Gift of Robert A. Ellison Jr. (L.2009.22.76) Photograph Robert A. Ellison Jr.

Located within The American Wing, The Erving & Joyce Wolf Gallery is one of some 20 spaces at the Museum specifically designed to accommodate several Special Exhibitions per year. As part of this second phase of renovations, new wood floors & new lighting were installed in the space. The first Exhibition to be housed in the renovated gallery is Augustus Saint Gaudens in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, opening 30 June 2009.

The final phase of the American Wing renovation project will include the American Paintings & Sculpture Galleries & the addition of eight completely new galleries for the display of the Museum’s superb collection of this material.

Special on line features about The American Wing are available on the Museum’s web site []. These include Conversations with American Wing Curators that are part of the Met Podcast Series.

Also available is a special Video Presentation from the Museum’s YouTube channel, [] in which Director Thomas P. Campbell & Morrison H. Heckscher, the Lawrence A. Fleischman Chairman of The American Wing, tour The Charles Engelhard Court.

Audio Guides for The American Wing are available. Forty two new Audio Messages—featuring conversations with American Wing Curators—have been produced about the works in the new galleries. The fee for rentals is $6 for members of the Museum, $7 for non members, & $5 for children under 12.

The Audio Guide Program is sponsored by Bloomberg.



The project is under the general direction of Morrison H. Heckscher, the Lawrence A.Fleischman Chairman of The American Wing, & Peter M. Kenny, the Ruth Bigelow Wriston Curator of American Decorative Arts & Administrator of The American Wing.

The installations within The Charles Engelhard Court were coordinated by Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen, the Anthony W. & Lulu C. Wang Curator of American Decorative Arts, together with Beth Carver Wees, Curator of American Decorative Arts, & Thayer Tolles, Associate Curator of American Painting & Sculpture.

The Period Room Installations were overseen by Amelia Peck, the Marica Vilcek Curator of American Decorative Arts.

The Overall Project Architect is Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo & Associates LLP; the Engelhard Court installations are by Michael Lapthorn, Exhibition Designer; the gallery installations are by Stephen Saitas Design; & lighting is by Richard Renfro Associates & Clint Ross Coller & Richard Lichte, Lighting Design Managers.

New technology was overseen by Carrie Rebora Barratt, Curator, American Paintings & Sculpture, & Manager, The Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art. Visitor Signage & Object Labeling—including the Period Room Interactive Screens—were designed by Small Design Firm, with the help of Juliette Cezzar.

Conservation of works of art in various media was carried out under the general direction of Lawrence Becker, Sherman Fairchild Conservator in Charge, with Linda Borsch, Marijn Manuels, & Drew Anderson, Conservators, all of the Department of Objects Conservation.

Michael Gallagher, the Sherman Fairchild Conservator in Charge, & Dorothy Mahon, Conservator, both of the Department of Paintings Conservation, examined & treated many of the paintings on view in the galleries.

The Metropolitan Museum gratefully acknowledges the following lead contributors to the Project: Margaret & Raymond J. Horowitz & Anthony W. & Lulu C. Wang; Mr. & Mrs. Richard L. Chilton, jr, The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, & Juliana & Peter Terian; & Jan & Warren Adelson, Max & Heidi Berry, Ambassador & Mrs. W. L. Lyons Brown, Joyce Berger Cowin, Jane & Maurice Cunniffe, Barbara G. Fleischman & Martha J. Fleischman, Peggy N. & Roger G. Gerry Charitable Trust, The Henry Luce Foundation, Elizabeth & Richard Miller, City of New York, Oceanic Heritage Foundation, Doris & Stanley Tananbaum, Barrie & Deedee Wigmore, & Roy J. Zuckerberg.




As one of the Major Sources for Aspiring American Artists of Thematic Inspiration & Potential Subject Matter has become the APPROPRIATION of Other & Earlier Artists’ Works—through Collage [aka Cut & Paste], Cannibalism, Painting from Photos, & Re Photographing

Your Reporter has been attempting to develop something similar by Re Working Curatorial Inspired Press Releases, using Bold Face, Italics, Caps, lower case, Repetition, Repetition, Repetition, Repetition, & Underlining to achieve a New Graphic Look for Ordinary Prose Formulations!

Postcard of the exhibit "Roxy Paine on the Roof."





[Closing 25 October 2009]




Paine on the Roof:

Paine on the Roof:

Paine on the Roof:

Paine on the Roof:




For the Record:

Maelstrom features a 130 foot long by 45 foot wide stainless steel sculpture, Maelstrom [2009], that encompasses the nearly 8,000 square foot Roof Garden, & is the largest sculpture to have been installed on the roof of the Metropolitan. Set against—& in dialogue with—the greensward of Central Park & its Architectural Backdrop, this swirling entanglement of Stainless Steel Pipe show cases the work of an artist keenly interested in the interplay between the Natural World & the Built Environment, as well as the Human Desire for Order amid Nature’s inherently chaotic Processes.

[This Exhibition is made possible by Bloomberg. Some seasons ago, Mayor Bloomberg stood in the metaphoric shade of a Roxy Paine Stainless Steel Tree in Central Park. More recently, there were some splendid Silver Trees—could you call them Paine Trees, borrowed from Pine Trees?—in Madison Square Park, where they virtually up staged the Real Trees!]

[Additional Support is provided by Cynthia Hazen Polsky & Leon B. Polsky. The Exhibition is also made possible in part by Jill & Peter Kraus.]

Gary Tinterow, the Museum’s Engelhard Chairman of the Department of Nineteenth Century, Modern, & Contemporary Art, stated: "Roxy Paine has created for the Metropolitan Museum his most remarkable work to date, a stunning sculpture that commands the environment through interaction. I feel certain that our visitors to Maelstrom will marvel at the complexity of the structure, & delight in its beauty."

[Italics & Bold Faces added, of course, to make a necessarily bland Official Statement more interesting Visually. –Ed.]

A Provocateur, Paine builds elaborate & complex Constructions to address conceptually [recast: to avoid a Split Infinitive!] Complex Concerns, providing Fertile Ground for Thought & Contemplation. Since the Mid 1990s, he has created a diverse body of work that falls into several distinct yet related categories:

Naturalistic Works [startlingly realistic, hand formed Replicas of botanical forms and fungi, rendered with Synthetic Materials & featuring various stages of Growth & Decay]; Machine Based Works [intricate, computer driven machines that mechanically produce Abstract Paintings, Sculptures, & Drawings]; and a series of large scale stainless steel Dendroids, fabricated from Industrial Components.

In the latter category, Maelstrom is Paine’s most complex & ambitious Sculpture to date, evoking a Da Vinci like study of Whirling Water or a Neural Network.

It is part of a series of works, based on Dendrites’ branching structures such as Trees, Neurons, Industrial Pipelines, or Vascular Networks.

The Dendroids—as the series is called—began in 1998, with installations studying the Innate Logic of Trees.

Exquisitely crafted & largely hand wrought, Maelstrom is composed of thousands of variously sized, cylindrical stainless steel pipes & rods that have been welded together.

More than seven tons of material comprise the Sculpture, which was hand welded in the artist’s Upstate New York Studio.

Familiar Themes are at play—Artificiality & the Natural World, Sly Humor & Irony, Control & Chaos, Abstraction & Figuration, & the Machine Made & the Hand made—while Conceptually Complex Concerns are addressed, such as the Human Desire to control Nature & Nature’s indifference to that desire.

Visitors are encouraged to move throughout the Installation: to experience its Inherent Drama & Turbulence.

Born in New York in 1966, Paine grew up in the suburbs of Northern Virginia. He left home at age 15, criss crossing the United States. Paine studied Art at the College of Santa Fé, New Mexico [1985–86], & Pratt Institute, New York [1986–88].

Since 1990, his work has been exhibited Internationally & is included in a Wide Spectrum of Public & Private Collections in the United States and Abroad. He lives and works in Brooklyn, Long Island City, & Treadwell, New York.


Statement by Artist Roxy Paine about Maelstrom [2009]

Statement by Artist Roxy Paine about Maelstrom [2009]

Statement by Artist Roxy Paine about Maelstrom [2009]

Statement by Artist Roxy Paine about Maelstrom [2009]

Statement by Artist Roxy Paine about Maelstrom [2009]


This Title exists in 5 States simultaneously:

1. A Forest that’s been Downed by an Unseen, Violent, Catastrophic Force, either Natural or Man Made [The Tunguska Meteor Event in Siberia is one reference.]

2. A Chaotic, Uncontrolled Force of Nature: Swirling, Grinding, Boiling, Disordered, Tumultuous, like a Maelstrom.

3. A Tree that is in the Process of becoming Abstract; that is Stretching, Expanding & Contracting, Breaking Apart & Coalescing again.

4. A Metaphor for a Mental Storm, such as occurs during an Epileptic Seizure. The Dendritic Forms suggest Neural Forms; they reference Neural Networks.

5. An Industrial Pipeline run amok; acknowledging & embracing the Industrial Origins of the Material itself. This is industrial pipe used typically in pharmaceutical and chemical facilities.

I call these Projects "Dendroids" because it is a Term which opens up a Conceptual Framework. These Projects have always referred to, & resonated with, not only Botanical Structures such as Trees, but also Vascular, Neural, & Geologic Systems, as well as Engineered Structures. The "oid" part of "Dendroid" is important to me as it suggests "Android" Hybridization and Robotization.


FRANCIS BACON: A Centenary Retrospective

[Closing 16 August 2009]

Francis Bacon (British, 1909–1992) Portrait of Michel Leiris, 1976. Oil on canvas, 13 3/8 x 11 7/16 in. (34 x 29 cm)
Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Photo: Philippe Migeat.

The first major New York Exhibition in 20 years devoted to Francis Bacon [British, 1909–1992]—one of the most important painters of the 20th Century—is now on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Marking the 100th Anniversary of the artist’s birth, Francis Bacon: A Centenary Retrospective brings together Bacon’s most significant works.

Drawn from public & private collections around the world, this Landmark Exhibition consists of 66 paintings, complemented by never before seen artworks & Archival Material from the Francis Bacon Estate, which will shed new light on the Artist’s Career and Working Practices. The Metropolitan Museum is the sole US venue of the Exhibition Tour.

[The Exhibition is made possible in part by the Daniel & Estrellita Brodsky Foundation & Paula Cussi. The Exhibition was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and Tate Britain, London, in partnership with the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.]

"Bacon is more compelling than ever: despite the passage of time, his paintings remain fresh, urgent, & mysterious. Never before has this work been more relevant to young artists," noted Gary Tinterow, Engelhard Chairman of the Metropolitan Museum’s Department of Nineteenth Century, Modern, & Contemporary Art. "For these reasons, we are very pleased to be able to present a Retrospective spanning his entire career to our Viewing Public."

Francis Bacon (British, 1909–1992). Self Portrait, 1973. Oil on canvas, 77 15/16 x 58 1/16 in. (198 x 147.5 cm).

Entirely Self Taught, Francis Bacon emerged, in 1945, as a Major Force in British Painting. He rose to prominence over the subsequent 45 years, securing his reputation as one of the Seminal Artists of his Generation. With a predilection for Shocking Imagery, Bacon’s oeuvre was dominated by emotionally charged depictions of the Human Body that are among the Most Powerful Images in the History of Art.

The Exhibition’s loosely chronological structure traces Critical Themes in Bacon’s Work & explore his Philosophy about Mankind & the Modern Condition with visually arresting Examples.

The earliest group of works—from the 1940s & ’50s—focuses on the Animalistic Qualities of Man, including: paintings of Heads with snarling mouths [Head I, 1947–1948, The Metropolitan Museum of Art]; images of Men as pathetic & alone [Study for a Portrait, 1953, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Germany]; & the Human Figure portrayed as base & bestial [Figures in a Landscape, 1956, Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery, England].

The Exhibition also features numerous versions of Bacon’s Iconic Studies [1949 1953] after Diego Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X [1650]. Mortality is addressed directly in his Last Works [Triptych, 1991, The Museum of Modern Art, New York].

In the 1960s, working in his Classic Style of much looser, colorful, & expressive painting, Bacon showed the Human Body exposed & violated as in, for example, Lying Figure, 1969 [Foundation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel, Switzerland].

Francis Bacon’s studio at 7 Reece Mews, London. Collection Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Land. Photography by Perry Ogden.

In the following decade, he increasingly used Narrative, Autobiography, & Myth to mediate ideas about Violence & Emotion, as in the 1971 painting In Memory of George Dyer [Foundation Beyeler] & Triptych Inspired by the Orestia of Aeschylus, 1981 [Astrup Fearnley Collection, Oslo, Norway].

A number of important works by Bacon will only be presented at the Metropolitan Museum, including Painting, 1946 [The Museum of Modern Art, New York]; Study for Portrait I, 1953 [Denise and Andrew Saul]; & Self Portrait, 1973 [private collection, courtesy Richard Nagy, London].

Central to an Understanding of the Artist’s Working Methods are the large caches of Archival Materials that have only become available since Bacon’s Death, especially the contents of the artist’s famously cluttered London Studio.

A rich selection of 61 items from the Studio, his Estate, & other Archives is also included in the Exhibition. The objects include pages the artist tore from books & magazines, Photographs, & Sketches—all of which are Source Materials for the finished paintings on view.

The Curators of Francis Bacon: A Centenary Retrospective are Gary Tinterow, Matthew Gale, Head of Displays, Tate Modern, & Chris Stephens, Head of Displays, Tate Britain. The presentation of the Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum is organized by Gary Tinterow & Anne L. Strauss, Associate Curator, assisted by Ian Alteveer, Research Associate, all in the Department of Nineteenth Century, Modern, & Contemporary Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Francis Bacon (British, 1909–1992) Portrait of Isabel Rawsthorne, 1966
Oil on canvas, 31 7/8 x 27 3/16 in. (81 x 69 cm).

Exhibition Design is by Michael Langley, Senior Exhibition Designer, with graphic design by Sophia Geronimus, Senior Graphic Designer, & lighting by Clint Ross Coller & Richard Lichte, Senior Lighting Designers, all of the Museum's Design Department.

The Exhibition is also accompanied by a fully illustrated Catalogue, with essays by Martin Harrison, David Mellor, Simon Ofield, Rachel Tant, Gary Tinterow, & Victoria Walsh. The Catalogue is published by Tate Publishing & is now available in the Museum’s Book Shops [$60 cloth, $40 paperback].

Francis Bacon: A Centenary Retrospective was exhibited at Tate Britain & the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, before its presentation at the Metropolitan Museum [May 20–August 16, 2009].




[Closing 21 June 2009]

The early Joseon Period—a time of extraordinary artistic achievements in Korea—is now being explored in a Loan Exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Showcasing approximately 47 spectacular works—Painting, Ceramics, Metalwork, & LacquerArt of the Korean Renaissance, 1400 1600 illustrates the lively & nuanced story of the formidable Cultural Renaissance that flourished during these two centuries.

Portrait of Sin Sukju, 18th century. Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk; 65 3/4 x 43 1/8 in. (167 x 109.5 cm)
Goryeong Sin Family, Yeongseong gun Branch, Cheongju.

Drawn from Major Museums & Collections in Korea, Japan, Germany, & the United States, the Exhibition also includes the Metropolitan’s recently acquired Mid 16th Century Hanging Scroll, Gathering of Government Officials. This new Presentation launches a series of Focused Exhibitions on important periods in Korean Art History, to be held at the Museum over the next 10 to 15 years.

The Exhibition is made possible by the Korea Foundation & The Kun Hee Lee Fund for Korean Art.

With the establishment of the Joseon"Fresh Dawn"Dynasty in 1392, Secular Art & Culture throve. The Neo Confucian Royal Court & elite Scholar Officials—the Primary Patrons of the Arts—created an Environment in which Korean & East Asian Classical Traditions were re emphasized, & Innovative Art Forms were celebrated.

At the same time, Buddhism—which had been the State Religion on the Korean Peninsula for over 1,000 years—though actively suppressed publicly, remained an enduring part of the Korean Culture during the Early Joseon Period.

Organized into six Thematic Sections, the Exhibition displays many seldom seen Masterpieces. Among them are a rare set of eight Hanging Scrolls, titled Eight Views of the Xiao & Xiang Rivers [Jinju National Museum of Korea], which exemplifies the Korean transformation of an earlier Chinese Pictorial Tradition.

There are also on view a number of superlative examples of early Joseon White Porcelain, including a striking flask shaped bottle [Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art]; an exceptional Buddhist Painting [dated to 1576; Seizan Bunko] illustrating a Popular Narrative & featuring Inscriptions, written in the Korean Alphabet, which was invented in 1443; & a winsome painting titled Mother Dog & Puppies [National Museum of Korea] by Yi Am [1507 66], a descendent of the Great King Sejong [r. 1418–50] & an artist renowned for his unique paintings of Royal Breeding Animals.

Yi Jing (1581–after 1645)
Gold Painted Landscape, first half of the 17th century. Hanging scroll; gold on silk; 34 9/16 x 24 1/8 in. (87.8 x 61.2 cm). National Museum of Korea, Seou.

A painting of a Majestic Falcon [Museum of Fine Arts, Boston]—formerly attributed to a Chinese painter & recently reattributed to Yi Am—is now being shown for the first time as a Korean Painting.

The Exhibition is organized by Soyoung Lee, Assistant Curator in the Metropolitan Museum’s Department of Asian Art.

It is also accompanied by a fully illustrated Catalogue, written by Soyoung Lee, with JaHyun Kim Haboush [Columbia University], Sunpyo Hong [Ewha Woman’s University], & Chin Sung Chang [Seoul National University].

Yi Am (1507–1566). Mother Dog and Puppies, first half of the 16th century. Hanging scroll; ink and colors on silk; 28 3/4 x 16 5/8 in. (73 x 42.2 cm). National Museum of Korea, Seou.

The first English language publication on this subject, the book will be an important addition to a field that still has a paucity of Scholarly—yet accessiblePublications in English. Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press, the Catalogue will be available in the Metropolitan Museum’s Book Shops.

The Catalogue is made possible by The Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Foundation & The Kun Hee Lee Fund for Korean Art. Additional support is provided by the Korea Foundation.

The Exhibition will be featured on the Museum’s web site [], including a podcast episode recorded by Soyoung Lee, in both English & Korean.

The lenders to the Exhibition are: the National Museum of Korea; Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art; AMOREPACIFIC Museum of Art; Dongguk University Museum; Dongguk University Library; Goryeong Sin Family [Yeongseonggun Branch]; Horim Museum; Jinju National Museum of Korea; Kyushu National Museum of Japan; Museum of Oriental Ceramics, Osaka; Seizan Bunko, Sakawa; Yomei Bunko, Kyoto; Museum of East Asian Art, Cologne; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Cleveland Museum of Art; Mary & Jackson Burke Foundation; & the Florence & Herbert Irving Collection.


THE MODEL AS MUSE: Embodying Fashion

[Closing 9 August 2009]




Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute Explores

The Role of Fashion Models as Muses of Recent Era:

[Gala Benefit May 4, 2009, with Honorary Chair Marc Jacobs &

Co Chairs Kate Moss, Justin Timberlake, & Anna Wintour]

The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion, the Spring 2009 Exhibition organized by The Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, explores the Reciprocal Relationship between High Fashion & evolving Ideals of Beauty, focusing on Iconic Fashion Models in the latter half of the 20th Century & their Roles in projecting—& sometimes inspiring—the Fashion of their respective Eras.

The Model as Muse Catalogue Cover.

The Exhibition is made possible by Marc Jacobs. Additional support is provided by Condé Nast.

"The Exhibition examines a Time Line of Fashion, from 1947 to 1997, through the Idealized Aesthetic of the Fashion Model," said Harold Koda, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute.

"We look at the Power of Clothing, Fashion Photography, & the Model to project the Look of an Era. With a mere Gesture, a truly Stellar Model can sum up the Attitude of her Time—becoming not only a Muse to Designers or Photographers, but a Muse to a Generation."

The Exhibition features approximately 80 Masterworks of Haute Couture & ready to wear. Fashion Editorial, Advertising, & Runway Photography, plus large scale projections from Feature Films are used throughout the galleries to contextualize the Fashion Zeitgeist.

Exhibition Overview:

The Exhibition—in the Museum’s second floor Tisch Galleries—explores how Models transmit Cultural Change via photographs that document Turning Points in Society & Design.

Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington, and
Cindy Crawford in tops, 1990, by Giorgio di Sant’Angelo (American, born
Italy, 1933 1989). British Vogue, January 1990. Photograph by Peter Lindbergh (German, born 1944)
Photograph courtesy of Peter Lindbergh.

With the Post WW II resurgence of the American Fashion & Advertising Industries, the launch of Dior’s New Look & a proliferation of Model Agencies, an environment in which High Fashion Models, with Celebrated Personalities & Distinctive Identities, emerged.

Lisa Fonssagrives, Dovima, Suzy Parker, Sunny Harnett, & Dorian Leigh personified this Golden Age of Haute Couture.

Photographers such as Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, & Cecil Beaton portrayed the New Ideal of Feminine Artifice. Day wear from Christian Dior & evening wear from Charles James evoke the mood of the time, & in some cases, recreate scenes from important photographs.

A large gallery inspired by William Klein’s 1966 film Qui êtes vous, Polly Maggoo? evokes the Sixties "Youthquake" with Bernard & François Baschet’s metallic dresses from the movie & ensembles from Paco Rabanne, Pierre Cardin, André Courrèges, & Rudi Gernreich, designers who heralded the transformation from a Sophisticated to a Youthful Ideal, with Jean Shrimpton, Peggy Moffitt, Veruschka, & Twiggy.

Models in Christian Dior, 1957
Photograph by Loomis Dean.

The next gallery focuses on the 1970s, when athletic All American Models such as Lisa Taylor & Jerry Hall enlivened the simple, unstructured Goddess Dresses of Halston, & an emerging group of Ethnic Beauties like Mounia & Kirat presented the Haute Bohemian Looks of Yves Saint Laurent.

In the 1980s, Supermodels expressed an idealized glamour, dissolving boundaries between Runway, Editorial, & Advertising work. Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, & Christy Turlington emerged as the "Trinity," appearing in Global Campaigns for Designer Brands seeking to bolster their Identities. These models could morph into a different persona at each Photo Shoot, & still manage to convey their priceless Individual Distinction.

By the 1990s, Grunge & Street Style led to a radical shift from Glamorous Beauty to the Rebel Chic of Kate Moss, much as Twiggy supplanted Jean Shrimpton in the 1960s.

The Exhibition’s presentation of the Minimalism of Donna Karan, Helmut Lang, & Prada that immediately followed shows how Models of this Era became an Anonymous Cadre of Replicated Perfection, allowing the clothing to supersede all.

A coda to the Exhibition features the Richard Prince & Marc Jacobs collaboration of masked, anonymous nurses (Stephanie Seymour & Natalia Vodianova) in Louis Vuitton, versus selections from John Galliano’s 2007 Supermodel fueled runway show in Versailles for the 60th Anniversary of Christian Dior.

Cindy Crawford, Tatjana Patitz, Helena Christensen, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Karen Mulder, Stephanie Seymour in Gianni Versace (Italian, 1946 1997), Autumn/Winter 1991 1992. Vogue, September 1991. Photograph by Peter Lindbergh (German, born 1944). Photograph courtesy of Peter Lindbergh.

Designers in the Exhibition include Giorgio Armani, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Pierre Cardin, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, André Courrèges, Christian Dior, John Galliano for Christian Dior, Rudi Gernreich, Halston, Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis & Louis Vuitton, Charles James, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Helmut Lang, Ralph Lauren, Prada, Paco Rabanne, Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio di Sant’Angelo, & Gianni Versace.

Iconic Models featured include Nadja Auermann, Naomi Campbell, Janice Dickinson, Dovima, Linda Evangelista, Lisa Fonssagrives, Jerry Hall, Shalom Harlow, Sunny Harnett, Lauren Hutton, Iman, Dorian Leigh, Donyale Luna, Peggy Moffitt, Kate Moss, Suzy Parker, Jean Shrimpton, Christy Turlington, Twiggy, Amber Valletta, & Veruschka, among others.

Installation of the exhibit 'The Model as the Muse" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Photographers whose images capture the Mood of Fashion via their Subjects, & whose work is in the Exhibition, include Richard Avedon, David Bailey, Cecil Beaton, Gilles Bensimon, William Claxton, Patrick Demarchelier, Arthur Elgort, Hiro, William Klein, Annie Leibovitz, Peter Lindbergh, Steven Meisel, Helmut Newton, Norman Parkinson, Irving Penn, Gösta Peterson, Franco Rubartelli, Francesco Scavullo, Melvin Sokolsky, Bert Stern, Juergen Teller, Deborah Turbeville, Ellen von Unwerth, & Chris Von Wangenheim.

Credits & Related Programs:

The Exhibition is organized by Harold Koda & Kohle Yohannan, guest co curator & a Cultural Historian.

John Myhre, an Academy Award winning Production Designer & Art Director for Films, including Dreamgirls, Chicago, & Memoirs of a Geisha, serves as Creative Consultant.

Heads & wigs are created & styled by Julien d’Ys & the Tamaris Team. The graphic design of the Exhibition is by Connie Norkin, & the lighting is by Clint Collier & Richard Lichte, all of the Museum’s Design Department.

The design for the 2009 Costume Institute Gala Benefit was created by John Myhre with Raul Avila.

A book, The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion, written by Harold Koda & Kohle Yohannan, accompanies the Exhibition. It is published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art & distributed by Yale University Press: $50 for the hardcover & $35 for the paperback edition.

A T shirt designed by Marc Jacobs, on the occasion of the Exhibition, is available in red or fuchsia in the Museum’s on site shops & for $35.



[Closing 2 August 2009]

Laurie Simmons (American, born 1949)
Big Camera, Small Camera, 1977
Gelatin silver print 20.3 x 25.4 cm (8 x 10 in.). Collection of B.Z. and Michael Schwartz.

The first Major Museum Exhibition to focus on the highly influential group of New York Artists known as the "Pictures Generation" is now on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Pictures Generation, 1974–1984 will trace the development of one of the most important Art Movements of the last quarter of the 20th Century, which included some of the Key Figures in Contemporary Art: Robert Longo, Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, Sherrie Levine, David Salle, Matt Mullican, Jack Goldstein, James Welling, & Troy Brauntuch.

The "Pictures Generation" worked in all mediums—Photography chief among them—to explore how Images shape our perceptions of Ourselves & the World.

Drawing from the Museum’s Collection—as well as from public & private collections—the Exhibition features more than 160 works by 30 artists, including photographic works by Barbara Kruger, Laurie Simmons, James Casebere, Allan McCollum, Sarah Charlesworth, & Louise Lawler, & film & video by Ericka Beckman, Michael Smith, & Dara Birnbaum. The Exhibition will also examine the pivotal roles played by lesser known artists such as Paul McMahon & Michael Zwack.

The Exhibition is made possible by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation & The Andy Warhol Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, Inc.

The Metropolitan’s Exhibition takes its name from the Landmark 1977 "Pictures" Exhibition at the not for profit New York Venue Artists Space, which featured works by Robert Longo, Jack Goldstein, Sherrie Levine, & Troy Brauntuch.

Dara Birnbaum (American, born 1947)
Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman 1978–79.

This Exhibition was particularly notable for the Artists’ renewed interest in using recognizable imagery—a clear departure from the predominance of Minimal and Conceptual Art in the 1960s and early 1970s.

The tightly knit group of artists who came to be known as the "Pictures Generation" includes artists such as Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, David Salle, & Matt Mullican, who were not featured in the Artists Space Exhibition, but share similar interests & backgrounds.

The "Pictures Generation" was born into the rapidly expanding post war consumer culture of Advertising, Movies, Magazines, Television, & Pop Music. However, as artists, they were educated in the cerebral & visually reductivist approaches of Minimal & Conceptual Art.

As Adults, the Social & Political Upheavals of the 1970s fostered their Skepticism & Ironic Detachment. [This Press Release sentence is Odd: the Upheavals were not, in fact, Adults!] As a result, "Pictures" artists brought both a critical & playful attitude toward the Plethora of Images that surrounded them.

The Pictures Generation, 1974–1984 takes a broad look at this phenomenon through the works of 30 artists who were unified around the concept that the Media saturated Culture had come to usurp Reality & frame all our Perceptions.

With Images as their Subject, the emergence of the "Pictures" artists marked a return to Representation across all Media, including Photography, Painting & Sculpture, Drawings & Prints, Film & Video, even Music & Performance.

The Artists set out to make Art that was as Thought Provoking & radical as Conceptual Art, but that was also Visually Seductive—even entertaining.

While the "Pictures" artists have been considered most often in isolation from one another, this Exhibition & its accompanying Catalogue traces their Complex Interrelationships & Mutual Development during the first decade of their work.

The Exhibition begins with the early works of John Baldessari’s students at California Institute of the Arts, including Matt Mullican, David Salle, & Jack Goldstein, whose willfully unprepossessing works challenged the Notion of what constituted a Work of Art.

Baldessari’s Teaching Assistant, Jack Goldstein, was the Ringleader of this group that came to be known in New York, & he was one of the most important Innovators of the "Pictures" Artists.

Barbara Kruger (American, born 1945). Untitled (You Are Not Yourself), 1982
Gelatin silver print 182.9 x 121.9 cm (72 x 48 in.) Private collection.

In 1975, he made a ground breaking 16mm film by copying footage of the Roaring Lion, from the Opening Credits of MGM Movies. He isolated this well known Image against a bright red background & repeated its ROAR for over three minutes, creating a Work that amused & attracted the Viewer, but that was nevertheless Provocative.

In a New Era of readily available forms of Mechanical Reproduction, such as VCRs, Photo copiers, & Audio cassettes, the "Pictures" Artists questioned what is an "original" & what it means to be an "author."

In the late 1970s, as the Sensibility of the "Pictures" artists developed, one of the most critical Shared Aspects of their Works was the borrowing—or "appropriation"—of Images from every corner of Contemporary Culture.

Cindy Sherman & Laurie Simmons drew on both Personal & Collective Memory, reflecting on the Throwaway Products of their Youth—such as B Movies & Dollhouses—as representations of Untenable Illusions.

Richard Prince based his Work on Magazine Advertisements of Gleaming Luxury Goods & Impossibly Perfect Models; he Manipulated, Cropped, Enlarged, & Re photographed the Advertisements, in order to "turn the lie back on itself," as he put it.

The Image Scavenging of these artists was not restricted to the Child’s Play of Popular Culture: Louise Lawler photographed Masterpieces of Modern Art, as arranged in Corporate Boardrooms & cloistered Private Homes, while Sherrie Levine re shot the works of Master Photographers, lifting their Canonical Images from books & posters and claiming them as her own.

In the early 1980s—in a marked shift from the Predominance of Photo based Works—some of the "Pictures" artists turned to Traditional Mediums, such as Painting.

The final rooms of the Exhibition showcase the spectacular large scale paintings & Assemblages made by Jack Goldstein, Troy Brauntuch, Robert Longo, & David Salle, & the often contentious Responses by Women Artists, such as Barbara Kruger, Ericka Beckman, & Dara Birnbaum, who chose to continue their work in Photography, Film, & Installation.

The Exhibition also includes works by John Baldessari, Barbara Bloom, Eric Bogosian, Glenn Branca, Rhys Chatham, Charles Clough, Nancy Dwyer, MICA TV [Carole Ann Klonarides & Michael Owen], & Thomas Lawson.

The Pictures Generation, 1974–1984 is organized by Douglas Eklund, Associate Curator in the Department of Photographs.

In conjunction with the Exhibition, there is a fully illustrated Catalogue—also by Douglas Eklund. The Catalogue Essays trace the Evolution of the Artists’ Work—including the influence of Conceptual Art, the development of Appropriation Art, & an eventual return to an interest in Painting. The catalogue is published by the Metropolitan Museum & distributed by Yale University Press, & will sell for $60 [hardcover] and $40 [paperback].

[The Truth is that since about 1968 there has been a Slag Heap of Aggressive Arts Crap produced—as well as also being Eagerly Consumed by Taste Challenged Millionaire Collectors, desperate for the Next Big Thing—because of the Artists’ Certainty that their Pretentious Assemblages would be Celebrated to the Heavens. Or at least to the Galleries of MoMA, the Whitney, & the Met…]


At the Morgan Library & Museum:

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


Designs for Theatre & Opera

[Closing 16 August 2009]

It is a very good thing that the distinguished Broadway Scenic Designer, Donald Oenslager, married a very rich woman—who also had both Good Taste & Good Sense.

Karl Walser Swiss, Teufen 1877–1943 Zurich Verona: A Public Place, for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Act 1, Scene 1, 1907. Gouache and graphite
Inscribed at lower center, Romeo u Julia; signed at lower right, Karl Walser.Gift of Mrs. Donald M. Oenslage
Photography by Schecter Lee, 2009.

When Oenslager—who had a deservedly Long Career in the American Theatre—was in his Prime, Broadway set & costume designers were paid relatively little for giving later famous Productions their Defining Look: the Vision or Image by which theatre fans remembered great stagings.

As late as 1965, for instance, creating a set of Broadway stage designs would earn the designer only $5,000—with no extra fees for replicated productions on the Road or in Chicago, LA, or London!—& he or she was also expected to supervise the Painting & Construction of the sets.

What was more Painful, however, was that the original sketches, elevations, & set models were not returned to the designer. They were the Property of the Producer—who might give them to his wife, to friends, or to the Director.

Only with the establishment of a strong Union were these problems rectified. Now many Collectors are eager to acquire set & costume designs from Major Designers. Fortunately, many Donald Oenslager designs have been preserved, & not just at the Morgan.

But the Oenslagers did choose the Morgan Library as the permanent repository of their remarkable collection of Modern

Russian, Belostok, Russia
Gouache, with graphite and pen and black ink, over graphite, on paper prepared with a blue gray ground.
Photography by Schecter Lee, 2009.

Stage Designs, beginning with such early Innovators as Adolphe Appia, whose semi abstract visions of Richard Wagner’s Ring were never realized by the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth.

[Actually, the Appia Ideas were finally given Life in the Jugendstil Arts Colony in Hellerau, just outside Dresden. Before the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Soviet Soldiers had made an Epic Mess of the wonderful buildings & grounds, but they have since been restored.]

Not only are the sketches & renderings now on view Powerful Artworks in their own right, but they are also Important Documents of the emerging New Stagecraft in Europe, which Stewart Cheney was bringing to America through his own designs & the founding of Theatre Arts Magazine—for which Your Reporter wrote before it died: because of the Publisher’s Failure to Pay the Bills! [The young John Simon was also a fellow critic then!]


NEW AT THE MORGAN: Acquisitions Since 2004

[Closing 18 October 2009]

Roy Lichenstein (1923–1977)
Paris Review poster, 1966
Silkscreen, no. 1 of 150. Printed by Chiron Press, New York.
Jean Antoine Watteau (1684–1721). Head of a Woman, Turned Three Quarters to the Right, ca. 1717. Red and black chalks.2 3/4 x 2 1/2 in. (70 x 65 mm).

There is a lot of really Good Stuff here! Some of it almost Priceless, but all of it of interest to both Scholars & to those Laymen who can understand the Significance of what they are looking at & reading!

Adding to Mr, Morgan’s already fabulous [even Golden?] Hoard of Medieval Manuscripts are 11 newly acquired Medieval & Renaissance Mss. There are also some 23 Literary & Historical Manuscripts, 14 Printed Books & Bindings, & 15 Music Manuscripts & Printed Scores.

Richard Wagner & Ludwig van Beethoven—who is now on Broadway, in 33 Variations, along with Jane Fonda—both are represented among the new Holdings.

When Ancient Manuscripts are bound with covers of Gold & Silver, studded with rich Gems, & ornamented with remarkable Figures & Designs, it is often not surprising that the contents of such books are not on display: By Their Bindings Shall Ye Know Them!



PAGES OF GOLD: Medieval illuminations from the Morgan

[Closing 13 September 2009]

Postcard of "Pages of Gold Medieval Illuminations from the Morgan."

This show opens on 19 June, after this Report has been posted. From advance reports & images, this is certain to be a glittering display, with a Magnificent Page from the Winchester Bible, completed during the last quarter of the 12th Century.

This is not the Entire Bible, only its "Finest Leaf," as all the 50 Illuminated Pages to be shown are Singles, cut, slashed, or carefully extracted from their original manuscript books. To see their richly jeweled & tooled covers, you’ll have to wait for a Book Bindings exhibit at the Morgan!

The Intricacy of the Detail & the Intensity of the Colors—after all these Centuries!—on some of the pages to be displayed are stunning.


At MAD/The Museum of Arts & Design

[2 Columbus Circle@59th Street/NY, NY 10019/Phone: 212 299 7727]

Huntington Hartford—the Arts Loving Heir to the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company or A&P Fortune—was a former employer of Your Reporter. When Hunt created SHOW magazine, I came aboard briefly to write about the Performing Arts, which Hunt adored. So much so that he even made a film with one of his Lady Loves: The Bride Comes To Yellow Sky.

Kondo Takahiro, "Blue Mist Object, 2004" Photo by Maggie Nimkin.

[After it expired—Show Business Illustrated & other fierce competition did it in—I was once again briefly on board when Gloria Vanderbilt bought the title [& probably the debts] for her husband—Anderson Cooper’s dad—Wyatt Cooper.

[Wyatt & I had been buddies in University Theatre at UC/Berkeley & he knew my interviews & reports from Dance, After Dark, Theatre Crafts,Opera News, & other arts publications.

[Like many of Hunt’s own Never Thought Through Projects, this did not Last Long. One day, Wyatt called: "Gloria’s pulled the plug on us! This is taking too much of my time away from all those Benefit Galas!"]

I have never seen Hunt’s Paradise Island Idea become Reality, but I was around when he asked Edward Durrell Stone to create an Art Museum on the downtown side of Columbus Circle. As everyone knows by now, that Footprint is small, oddly shaped, & awkward, especially awkward of Access from the surrounding Street Grid.

The result was—despite Stone’s beloved Venetian "Lollypop" Pillars seemingly supporting the Upper Floors of the Museum—an almost impossible space for exhibiting large scale paintings, notably those of Salvador Dali.

The individual exhibition floors were/are so small, narrow, almost Linear, that if you backed off to view a picture from a distance, you ran the risk of falling down the stairs at the entrance to the gallery floor!

So the unloved interior spaces of the apparently Much Loved Stone Exterior—noted in the Landmark Fights over the transformation of the building into MAD, the Museum of Art & Design—were taken over by the City of New York, for various kinds of Under Usage.

For a time, former Miss America, Bess Myerson, held sway, overseeing the Arts in New York as a kind of Cultural Commissioner. Former Mayor Ed Koch—whose Election Campaign she Visually Aided—had previously appointed her Consumer Affairs Maven, to be followed by the Arts Gig.

Myerson—who before Florida Retirement used to live in my Coop: disclosure!—governed with what she called "Tough Love." One of my Arts Management Grads from Brooklyn College, who had become her Press Rep, had other names for it…

Even if you cannot really SEE Stone’s Stone Lollypops anymore—so well camouflaged are they now—the Floor Conformations now prove almost Ideal for showing the generally small scale arts objects & drawings that are currently favored.

You may have to Learn to Love the Exterior Make Over, but you should fall in love with the interiors & their colorful exhibitions on your first visit! There are also arts workshops, activities for kids, lectures, films, & all that Good Stuff!

Paul Villinski, "My Back Pages," 2006 2008. Photo: Courtesy Morgan Lehman Gallery New York.

Not being on MAD’s Press List, I was not invited to the Opening of the Museum, nor to any of the recent Exhibitions. [Even though I used to write for the publication of the Museum’s West 53rd Street predecessor, Craft Horizons & reviewed their new shows. Oh well…]

Deciding to take matters into my own hands, I called the MAD Press Office. Imagine my surprise to discover that the Associate Vice President, Public Relations, is Heidi Riegler. When she was Heidi Feldman, she had been a student of mine!

So I can now share some of the shows with readers.

Oh, MAD on Thursdays is Pay What You Wish, which a student informed me means FREE! Just try it…


PERMANENTLY MAD: Revealing the Collection

[Rotating Installation]

MAD has amazing Collections—most of which have to be consigned to Storage, as there is not space enough to show all the Treasures at the same time.

One elegantly designed Rosewood Rocking Chair immediately caught my eye: this is the Signature Furniture Piece of Alta Loma’s Sam Maloof, a California & a National Treasure himself.

An Old Friend—I did the wall texts for Sam’s Furniture, shown at the Opening of the new Renwick Gallery, in DC, some seasons ago—Sam early on made for me not only the earliest version of the Rocker, but also an Arm chair, & a Music Stand. His & my name are burned into the wood of the undersides!

Examples of the Sam Maloff Rocking Chair—as well as other pieces of his design art—are also in the Collections of MoMA, the Met Museum, SF MoMA, & other Major US Museums.


ELEGANT ARMOR: The Art of Jewelry

[Closing 5 July 2009]

Although its gallery sponsored by Tiffany’s, this show is not a collection of your Grandma’s Louis Comfort Tiffany Heirlooms. No Way! Every object is ferociously Modern or Post Post Modern.

Most of these handsome pieces have been inspired by The Natural World & the Human Form, which leaves out only Autobahns & Industries. So the jewelry designers represented had a wide range of subject models indeed.

There are some 240 objects On View, drawn from MAD’s collection of 450 Modern Treasures—from 1948 to the present.

Styles range from Minimal to Theatrical, the Materials, from Mundane to Opulent.

The impetus of the show is to demonstrate that these are not mere Adornments but also Artworks. It’s divided into four sections: Sculptural Forms, Narratives, Painted & Textured Surfaces, & Radical Edge.

These jewelry designs may be thought of as Armor, but only in the Metaphoric Sense of making a mere vulnerable human woman—you won’t find many Men wearing stuff like this: they only Pay for It!—more remote, removed, unaccessible, even powerful.

If a Street Thug wants your Golden Carapace Collar, its "Armor" won’t protect you from one of his random Slashings or Bullets!


TOTALLY RAD: Karim Rashad Does Radiators

[Closed 17 May 2009]

Although the Cairo born, half Egyptian/half English designer, Karim Rashid, has in fact designed a handsome Modern RadiatorKlobs, round moving parts that radiate heat & hold bath towels—he has effectively Curated this exhibit by selecting outstanding new Radiator Designs created by other gifted Contemporary Designers.

Most of them look like amazing and/or amusing Modernist Sculptures or Objects. But all of them are also functional: they can heat a room, a space, or even a bed!

Considering that most Manhattanites—not to mention Middle Americans across the Country—still have those old steam leaking, water dripping cast iron radiators of the Early 20th Century, the time for more efficient heating, delivered in what are also Artworks, is definitely HERE!

Among Radiators displayed: designs produced by Antrax, Caleido, Delacalor Irsap, Helios, Runtai, & Gruppo Ragaini.

If you didn’t get to see this show, MAD has graphics & text to show you what you missed, so you can Upgrade your own Heating & become an Art Collector at the same time!


GLASS ARTIST KLAUS MOJE: 30 Years of Innovation

[Closing 16 August 2009]

William Harper, "Shove causes a Push" (Neckpiece for Twyla Tharp Movement), 1955.

Klaus Moje—over 30 years of experimentation & development—has raised the Art of Studio Glass to Heights & Plateaus that Lalique & Gallé could not have imagined.

What especially catches one’s attention among the 68 objects on view at MAD are those in which Moje’s unique Layerings & Fusions of variously colored Glass provide a saturated luminescent color that is not possible to achieve in other Media.

Although MAD’s predecessor was created to celebrate American Crafts & Craftsmen, even then Curators realized they were dealing with Artist/Craftsmen & Works of Art, not merely Useful Objects that were handsomely designed & carefully crafted.

Moje’s widely & eagerlycollected Creations are not, in that sense, Useful, but his Glass Fusions are regarded as "elaborate abstract arrangements of brilliant hues," among other admiring descriptions of their attractions.

For his MAD show, Moje has designed a large scale Glass Mural!


OBJECTS FACTORY: The Art of Industrial Ceramics

[Closing 23 August 2009]

These are fascinating. Worth the Trip & all that… [But I’ve been working on this column for six days already, so it’s time to come to a Halt…]


At MoMA/The Museum of Modern Art:

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


INTO THE SUNSET: Photography’s Image of the American West

[Closing 8 June 2009]

Postcard of the exhibit "Into the Sunset: Photography's Image of the American West."

Aside from some Famed & Vintage Images of the West by Carleton E. Watkins, Eadweard Muybridge, William Henry Jackson, Edward Weston, Arnold Genthe, Edward Curtis, & Ansel Adams, many of the Western Photos in this show are more like Point & Shoot Pix of Trailer Trash in Southern California Suburbias.

This sense is not dissipated by the images of some more modern, more celebrated artists, such as David Hockney, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Lee Friedlander, Richard Prince, & Ed Ruscha.


TANGLED ALPHABETS: León Ferrari & Mira Schendel

[Closing 15 June 2009]

These Alpha bet & Omega bet artworks are both fascinating & often Challenging


For the Record: Some MoMA Press Previews ago, Your Reporter noted to Glenn Lowry, MoMA’s Chief, that we shared the first name Glenn, but that my Family Name of LONEY was, in fact, Irish!

Glenn Lowry laughed: "So is Lowry! You may know it in another form: Loughrey!"

So at least Glenn Lowry recognizes me at the Press Previews—some of which I miss, as MoMA sends e mails, not Printed Invitations now.

Postcard of "Tangled Alphabets" by Leon Ferrari and Mira Schendel.

As I had previously shown him some of my INFOTOGRAPHY™ photo images of MoMA’s home in Queens & am now 80 years of ageNearing the End of the Road—owning some Unusual Works of Art that I have commissioned from Artists not known to MoMA, I though Glenn might be interested to see some of them. MoMA could be a nice Retirement Home for them, when I am gone…

So I asked him if he’d come by & he said he would when he had time. To confirm this on paper, I wrote him the letter reproduced in part below.

But I heard nothing until I managed to get through to his Personal Secretary. She explained that Mr. Lowry is so very busy with his many duties that he simply cannot visit a lot of Artists’ Studios.

But this is not a Studio. It is a Co op Apartment—in a handsome, if unassuming, apartment block Behind the Frick! Not only that: Miss America, Bess Myerson, once lived here!

Maybe even Holden Caulfied, even though he’s fictional, but women & girls turn up on his birthday to photograph Our Entrance!



25 MARCH 2009/Year of the OX!

Dr. Glenn D. Lowry, Director

MoMA/Museum of Modern Art

11 West 53rd Street

New York, NY 10019

Dear Glenn Lowry!

This missive is to provide some background about me & my work before you are able to come up & have a look at my various arts odds & ends. Including the Flip Flops I have developed since discovering this photo novelty after my visit to MoMA’s Swingline Stapler Factory out in Queens.

Among other treasures, I have one of Sam Maloof’s First Rockers: its runners are shorter than those of the one in your Collections. I also have a Maloof Armchair—both of these have Maloof & Loney burned into the wood of the undersides.

As you may know, way back when, Sam insisted on visiting your home & getting to know you before he would commit to creating a piece for you. Actually, I had come to know him at Alta Loma long before he came to my Brooklyn Heights apartment. Friends at the Assoc. Colleges in Claremont were early collectors & introduced me to Sam & Alfreda, who was always especially kind to me.

When the Renwick Gallery was inaugurated in DC—formerly the Corcoran—I did the Wall Texts for Sam’s pieces. George & Wendell were the other Three American Woodworker/Artists. I had already done an interview with Sam for Craft Horizons, & Sam wanted me to work with him on a book for Kodama, but they wanted someone famous: in the event, the guy from Boston

Sam also made a Music Stand for me: it stands in my bedroom now. Over the years, every time I would visit the Maloofs—my mother was in a "home" in Santa Paula & I was a "Stringer" in Music & Theatre for the LA Times, so I went West every six months—Sam would plaintively ask why I had not commissioned another piece from him? I had always wanted that fabulous swinging Cradle, but I had no room for it in my apartment.

Sam said if it was a problem about the money, he’d make me anything I wanted at the Original Price! Alfreda looked squarely at me: No, Sam! We can’t do that. We have bills to pay. Glenn, you understand!

Among my other treasures are a number of colored engravings by Michael Matthias Prechtl, who did that famous Schirmer’s poster, with an Orchestra in Beethoven’s Hair. We became friends years ago in Nürnberg: I stopped off every summer on my way to Bayreuth, where I’d always pay a visit to Winifred Wagner, who gave her Best Friend the pencil & paper to write Mein Kampf, which she never regretted.

Prechtl, like Gunter Grass & the Pope, had been a teen age draftee into the Wehrmacht, so he spent six long POW years in a Soviet Quarry, breaking stones as they tried to kill him off. I probably have the largest Prechtl Collection in the US. He did two covers for Opera News, at my behest, when I was still writing for that august journal: Richard Wagner & Alban Berg!

He is now long gone, but in his lifetime, he had only one US show, at the Goethe Haus opposite the Met.

I also have two remarkable articulated wood sculptures made for me—to my design suggestions—by the late Brit Frank Egerton, whose work I first reviewed at a special Victoria & Albert show. One is Loney’s Flying Theatre, with Pigs with Wings: the other evokes the Four Evangelists, with a flying Lion of St. Mark on its Summit. Frank was going to make a half section of the Parthenon for me, with the Great Statue of Athena on her Golden Throne, but he died before he could finish it…

As I was 80 years old on last Christmas Eve, you can understand my concern that these do not end up in the Madison Avenue Dumpster. Some Sundays long ago, I’d see Andy & Jean Michel rooting around in our city garbage basket at Madison & 71st! [I used to write for Andy’s Interview, before it became fashionable…]

Anyway, there’s a lot of stuff here, as well as tons in storage. I’ve been commissioning small works by the calligrapher Bernard Maisner, whose class in Gold Leafing I once took at the Morgan. He creates intricate works based on famous lines from famous poets: Dante, John Donne, Wm Shakespeare, WB Yeats, & Emily Dickinson. He’s now working on Walt Whitman for me…

Bernie’s is the hand you see in Ichabod Crane & other films when a long dead hand has to write some antique script. His Calligraphies are now on sale at Bergdorf’s on the 7th Floor! He can do Medieval Illuminations & the Book of Kells like no one else! I told Bernie he can borrow back my Maisners if & when he gets an important show…

Anyway, I do hope you will find a Loney Grand Tour of interest: everything in the apartment has a Story! I have also been photographing archivally all over the world for the past 50 years: now some 375,000 slides, prints, & digitals, collectively called INFOTOGRAPHY™… The collection was to have gone to the NYPL, but in their financial crisis, they could not service it, so it is mostly in storage now.

I’ve enclosed some Backgrounders for your interest.

Please call me so we can arrange a day & time for a visit to my Mini Museum! As I am Chief Correspondent for both & NYTheatre, I am always in motion, but late Friday afternoons are best for me.



PhD, Prof Emeritus/City University of New York Grad Center; Senior Correspondent: & NYTheatre; Cont. Editor: Western European Stages & Entertainment Design; Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, ATCA & International Theatre Critics Assn, Music Critics of North America, Dance Critics of America, NY Municipal Art Society, World Monument Fund, National Trust for Historic Preservation, etc.


At the Municipal Art Society:

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

CONEY ISLAND: The Walking Tour

The newly restored above ground Stillwell Avenue D, F, & Q Subway Terminus at Coney Island is worth a trip to the End of the Line by itself. But it’s also worthwhile to see the Remnants of Former Greatness—especially the wild & wonderful Rides, Freak shows, & Foodie posters—that still survive.

The World’s Fair Parachute Jump Tower is still by the beach—where you can both swim & get sun burned—but there are no longer any Parachutes. The Cyclone still works, however, with Atmen Beraubenden Dives & Swoops.

The Steeplechase is Long Gone: a small Stadium now sits on the site. The broad, long Boardwalk is in excellent condition. A number of Rides still function.

The New York Aquarium, just off the Boardwalk, is very much in business.

Some of the Attractions have already been sold off: No one knows the Future of the once fabled Coney, as many of the shops & stores are now boarded up, owned by the Developer who does not have Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Vision of a Re Vitalized Coney Island—named for the Conies or Rabbits that once infested the place.

This is a Tour you can do for yourself. But without the Muni Art Society’s Info Stuffed Guide, you will miss much of the History: What Coney once was to New Yorkers who could not afford to escape to Long Island, Long Branch, or Tuxedo Park

Take a Guidebook! A lot of Summer Events are planned: do take them in!


TERRA INCOGNITA: The Great Circle Tour

I thought we’d end up on the actual Circle Line, cruising round the Isle of Manhattan. But by the time we’d landed at Sailors’ Snug Harbor on Staten Island, we’d lost most of our Golden Agers.

What I had No Idea would happen was that I—at 80 years!—actually WALKED ACROSS the Bayonne Bridge, from Bayonne Heights to Staten Island!

I thought somehow we’d take a bus across, but no, we needed to stop along the Bridge Walkway, from time to time, to look at various Mud flats & Shore lines.

One object of this All Encompassing TourMTA Bus, NJ Light Rail, PATH, & the Staten Island Ferry—was to understand some of the Historic Problems that have arisen in NY & NJ trying—or blocking—working together on Bridges & Harbor Related Projects that have their Roots in the way in which the Dutch & the British set up Original Enclaves & Areas of Influence.

This Summer, you can replicate some of this Tour yourself by purchasing an All Day Ticket on PATH, New Jersey Light Rail, & a day long Metrocard.

If you’ve only looked at the New Jersey Shoreline, across from Manhattan, you will be astounded at what you may discover Over There. Get off at each Light Rail stop, just to enjoy the etched glass local scenes at each station!

Don’t miss the Mona Lisa Ristorante in Bayonne: Leonardo’s Enigmatic Image is everywhere: on the Wall, on the Menu, even on the Delivery Truck!



At the Neue Gallerie:

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


[Closing 5 October 2009]

This focus show from the Neue Galerie’s Collections opens on 16 July, featuring some of Oskar Kokoschka’s Portraits, as well as his drawings. He was noted for his ability to paint a sitter directly onto canvas, without prior sketches or studies.

K’s portraits definitely urge Expressionism’s Fractured Vision of Life, but they are certainly less abstracted than, say, the Portraits of De Kooning



[Closing 5 October 2009]

The Major Focus of this special survey of the Collection will be on Social Issues very much in the news today. Georg Grosz’s savage caricatures of Corrupt Weimar Era Plutocrats in a "debauched Civic Landscape" will share the spotlight with Otto Dix’s etchings of Crippled War Veterans "facing a pitiless Society."

In addition to Gustav Klimt’s Masterpiece, "Die Goldene Adele," his glittering portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer, other treasures include works by Egon Schiele, Max Beckmann, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Joseph Hoffmann, Kolo Moser, Mariannne Brandt, & Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.


At the New York Botanical Garden:

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



[Through June 2009]

This you have to see for yourself, even if it surges over into June! It’s Alive & all around you up in the Bronx!

Most of the Spring Blossoms outdoors are fading, but they bloom anew indoors in the wonderful Victorian Glass Palace that is the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.

A special show is The Glory of Dutch Bulbs: A Legacy of 400 Years: this could be Tulip Mania not far from neighboring Fordham University.

But it’s now too late for Earth Month—that was in April—with its "Plethora of Programming," but not to worry as there are always Multiple Programs at the Botanical Garden.


GEORG EHRET: The Greatest Botanical Artist of the 1700s

[Closing 19 July 2009]

These are remarkable Botanical Illustrations, not only for their Accuracy of Detail but also for their Beguiling Beauty!

Georg Ehret—whose middle name was Dionysius!—was certainly both Dionysian & Apollonian in his artistry. Even though his name is not so well known today—not on a par with, say, Sybille Merian—he was clearly a Master of Arts.

These drawings are now on view in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library, which has amazing holdings of manuscripts & books on Matters Botanical, Antique & Modern.

Even if you miss this show, you can always make an appointment to study works from the extensive collections!



A Celebration of Growing & Cooking Great Food

[Closing 13 September 2009]

Of course you will be able to see & study all kinds of Vegetables & Fruits at the Botanical Garden this summer. But, what is more, there will also be Top Chefs on hand & the Audio Tour is narrated by Mario Batali & Bette Midler—now a noted Activist in restoring & creating NYC Parks & Community Gardens!

Among the Scheduled Chefs are Martha Stewart, Lidia Bastianich, Daisy Martinez, Dan Barber, Emeril Lagasse, Aida Mollenkamp, Sunny Anderson, & Anne Burrell.

Martha Stewart’s Culinary Herb Garden, the Beginner’s Vegetable Garden, & Tropical Fruits, Roots, & Shoots are special attractions.

There will be two Festive Weekends, one in June, the other in September, saying Farewell to Summer. For more Info on Events, Dates, & Times, check out the web site:


At the New York Historical Society:

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


[Permanent Panel Exhibition]

Not to be Missed, especially by School Classes! Do not think that just because New York City was North of the Mason Dixon Line that there had never been Slavery in Manhattan. Not all of it involving Africans, either…



[Closing 12 July 2009]

In celebration of Lincoln’s 200th Anniversary, these Letters, Papers, & Documents—many of them significant during Lincoln’s Civil War Presidency—are well worth close study.

There is also a book that enlarges on this exhibition of Holdings from the Gilder Lehrman Collection, now housed at the N YHS: Great Lincoln Documents: Historians Present Treasures from the Gilder Lehrman Collection. Obviously, Richard Gilder & Lou Lehrman are very proud of their ability to amass such valuable original materials.

There’ even a Telegram from Lincoln to General US Grant: Encouragement at a Turning Point in the Civil War!



[Two Sections: First Closing mid July 2009; Second Section: September 2009 to March 2010]

The Historical Society has more than 100 famed paintings by American Artists of the so called Hudson River School. [No, it was not an Art School: they did not learn how to paint there!]

Among the painters to be exhibited are such talents as Albert Bierstadt [actually of German Origin], Thomas Cole, John F. Kensett, Asher B. Durand, & Jasper F. Cropsey.


HARLEM IN TRANSITION: 1979 2009: Photographs by Camilo José Vergara

[Closing 9 July 2009]

You don’t have to live in Harlem or Bedford Stuyvesant to be intrigued by this Photo Show. Gentrification is on the way. Check it Out!



[Closing 9 July 2009]

Yes, such buildings as Fraunces Tavern & the US Customs House are notable Historic Landmarks, but there are more recent buildings that also have Historical Significance, for their Designs, for what they Are or Represent, or for what has happened in them or to them.

The photos in this show were taken when these Landmarks were deemed worth Preserving. They are not all buildings, either, but include Monuments, Museums, & Parks.

Check it Out!


French Literary Life Under Nazi Occupation

[Closing 25 July 2009]

Louis Althusser at Stalag XA. Schleswig, Germany, January 1941.

Considering the great fondness often expressed by American Jews for Paris & French Culture in general, it is surprising that so many are not really aware of the Depths of Anti Semitism that have long roiled beneath the Grand Avenues of the City of Light & under the Vineyards of the French Provinces.

Few seem to remember—if they are that old—or to realize that it was the Paris Gendarmerie that rounded up the French Jews & Jewish Refugees from Nazi Germany & Eastern Europe.

They did this before being requested by the Gestapo to do so. Rather too eager

As the Police didn’t have prisons large enough—or Detention Centers—the hundreds & hundreds who were seized were confined in the Vél d’Hiver, the Winter Bike Racing/Riding Arena. This collection point made it easier for the Nazis to ship them off to "Relocation Centers" in the East. From which most did not return…

Curiously, although the Nazis Occupied Paris & Northern France, they made no attempt to take over what was to become Vichy France, governed by the Collaborator Puppet Regime of Pierre Laval & le Grand Marechal Henri Pétain.

But for those French Poets, Painters, Playwrights, Film makers, Essayists, Novelists, & Performing Artists who remained in Paris, the Problem was how to continue their Work in the Arts under the Heel & Censorship of the Nazis—who were already looting their Museums & Galleries.

In 1941, French Artists, Writers, & Performers could have had no inkling that the Thousand Year Reich of the Nazis would collapse in 1945.

Actors, Dancers, & Singers—also Cinema Directors—needed to perform: they couldn’t sit at home, waiting for some eventual Defeat of Germany. Going Underground in the Resistance, they would have No Audiences!

The current exhibition at the NY Public Library shows in photos, posters, film clips, letters, diaries, books, & manuscripts how some Famous Names & some not so famous met the Challenges that Defeat & Occupation presented them.

L R: Emmanuel Mounier, Yvonne Leenhardt, Max Pol Fouchet, and Loÿs Masson at the Lourmarin Meetings to discuss the future of French culture. Lourmarin, September 1941.

Some of these now mute Testimonies have never before been seen in the United States. You will be able to discover how Jean Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Jean Cocteau, Paul Claudel, Jules Romains, Antoine de St. Exupéry, Jacques Maritan, Sacha Guitry, Pablo Picasso, & André Malraux navigated the dangerous currents of these times.

Some, like Louis Ferdiand Celine were favored by the Nazis. After the Germans were defeated, Celine finally left France. Others who had, in effect, collaborated were punished, blacklisted, or ignored. The beloved actress Arletty had an affair with a German Officer: when this became known, it was an Outrage to many.

Maurice Chevalier entertained: that’s what Entertainers do, but the Post War French Public did not soon forget.

There was a Problem, however, even in the French Resistance—many of whom were already committed Leftists or Communists—as some Political Conservatives also detested the Nazis & the Occupation of their beloved Paris, thus wishing also to Resist, but not being eager to cooperate with those who took their Orders from Moscow.

Nonetheless, some notable works of Art & Literature were created during these Difficult Times: Marcel Carné’s brilliant film: Les Enfants du Paradis, for instance…


At the Park Avenue Armory:

[643 Park Avenue@65th Street/NY10065/Phone: 212 616 3930]

SANFORD SMITH PRESENTS: The New York Antiquarian Book Fair

As usual every Spring, the Antiquarian Book Fair brought out a number of Important Dealers with a wealth of rare & remarkable books, some especially Collectible because of their Art Bindings. Others, of course, because they were First Editions. Almost every booth had attractive Catalogues of their stocks on offer.

Your Reporter actually brought home some twenty pounds of fascinating Catalogues. Had this column not already grown too long, he intended to note some of the most interesting items. One certainly was the Catalogue listing & describing an astonishing group of books by or about Charles Dickens.

My favorite catalogue—from Peter Harrington Antiquarian Bookseller—shows the Children’s Book Collection of Pat McInally. Most of the most famous Titles are here, often in both the London & the American Editions.

What is especially attractive about the catalogue—which also offers detailed descriptions of the books—is that it depicts in full color the Covers or Dust Jackets of Children’s stories that have become Iconic Images of their tales: the OZ books, for instance.

Your Reporter was delighted to find Helen Bannerman’s long beloved Little Black Sambo on offer. Unfortunately, it is now also excoriated by some African Americans, who see it as an Insult to African Children & Africans in general.

Actually, it is nothing of the sort. This brave little boy from India is a hero: he turns the fierce Tiger into butter! There are no Native Tigers in Africa!

Helen Bannerman, who was my Grandmother Alice’s Cousin—Family Connection!—was residing in British India, in the Day of the Raj, where her husband was stationed. She wrote illustrated letters home to Scotland—they are now in the National Library in Edinburgh—which contained, in installments, the story of Little Black Sambo, a little Hindu boy!


At the UBS Gallery:

[UBS Bldg: 1285 Avenue of the Americas/btwn 51 & 52/NY, NY 10019/Phone: 713 2885]


The National Association of Women Artists, 1889 2009

[Closing 31 July 2009]

Virginia Snedeker, 1909–2000
Self portrait, 1933. Oil on board.
30 x 24 in. Collection of Robert B. Taylor and Richard S. Snedeker. Photo: Morven Museum and Garden,

One of New York’s best known women artists of the Past is Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney—whose early Village studio space gave other women the opportunity to show their artworks. Her Vision has long since grown into the Whitney Museum.

But even before her Name & her Artworks commanded attention—way back in 1889, in fact—the National Association of Women Artists was founded. The attractive new exhibit in the ground floor galleries of the UBS Building celebrates both the NAWA artists & its 120th Anniversary!

Some 56 Women Artists are represented with Works on view, including: Louise Nevelson, Pat Adams, Faith Ringgold, Virginia Snedeker, Bessie Potter Vonnoh & Edith Prellwitz, one of the original five Founders.

The Artworks span a wide range of Media, including Video, a current craze.

Snedeker’s Self Portrait—which shows the trousered artist at her easel—with a Manhattan Skyline seen through her Studio Window, is the Cover Image for the free catalogue. The exhibition is also free, UBS being one of those Financial Institutions that was Bailed Out.

Currently, there are some 800 Women Members of NAWA, representing 42 States—though they may not always be in their Home State.

You cannot just Join! When it was founded, the First Five decided there would have to be an Admissions Jury, to evaluate the Quality of the work submitted.

The Venice Biennale: 53rd International Art Exhibition:

KUB 09 & Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo

JAN FABRE: From the Feet to the Brain

[On view in Venice from 6 June to 20 September 2009]

Photo of the "Feet to the Brain." by Jan Fabre.

The celebrated Belgian Artist/Poet/Photographer/Performer JAN FABRE seems to be Everywhere. His works were Major Presences at a recent Salzburg Festival.

Last summer, his From the Feet to the Brain Installations filled all the broad floors of Kunsthaus Bregenz, a Post Modernist Concrete Block House, its exterior sheathed in huge glass slabs, lit from behind.

Postcard of the exhibit "Jean Fabre, From the Feet to the Brain."

Now Fabre’s Five Corporeal Elements of His Idea of the Human Body will be shown in Venice in the New Arsenal: The Feet, The Sex, The Belly, The Heart, & The Brain. Not quite Gray’s Anatomy, but certainly Fabre’s Quixotic Visual Analysis of Body Parts.

Fabre’s Heart is Immense. But his Sex consists of 150 Cracked Tombstones, with Fabre lying in the midst of the heap with an Erection! Normal Size, not Immense

Surely this show will have to be exposed in Manhattan? But where? Not the Whitney as Fabre is not an American Artist. Not at the Guggenheim, as it won’t fit on the Spiral Ramp.

So MoMA & the Brooklyn Museum seem the most likely Venues. The New Museum possibly?


Arts Oddments:


Who would have thought it! There were/are some 48 Galleries & 1 Museum—The Whitney—included in the Madison Ave Gallery Walk! The once yearly Walk stretches from East 57th Street—where the Art Deco Fuller Building is crammed with Galleries—up to 83rd Street, so that Guild Antiques II can be included.

Sad to say, but the Shop Premises next to the Guild is Vacant: Prime Gallery Space Available!

As Vacancies increase all along this stretch of Madison, there may be fewer venues to visit next Spring…

Caroline Kennedy was an Honorary Chairman this year. Among the Big Name Galleries on the route: Knoedler, Leo Castelli, Gagosian, Didier Aron, DeLorenzo, Neuhoff, & Arader.

Sorry, you missed it. But it is a Great Idea, so catch it next Spring! Funds raised support Art Education in New York City Public Schools!


Another Gallery Heard From:

Someone must actually be reading this web site! Here’s a very handsome catalogue from the June Kelly Gallery for her latest show: SU KWAK: Light & Time. This is closing 7 July, to be followed by a group show, Hidden Gems.

Unfortunately, as Your Reporter hardly has time to study adequately the Major Museum Shows, he cannot check out all the hundreds & hundreds of NYC Galleries. But such attractive catalogues are always welcome! The Kelly Gallery is sited at 591 Broadway, NY, NY 10012/Phone: 212 226 1660.


Mod Wing of Chicago Art Institute!

And here’s an Invitation to a Press Luncheon from the Board of Trustees of the Art Institute of Chicago—in NYC, most Museums don’t even serve the Press Muffins & Coffee anymore!—to share in the Opening of the new Modern Wing of the famed Institute.

This handsome facility—judging only from the Photo, as I couldn’t afford to fly out to the Windy City—is designed by Renzo Piano, whose team also made over the Morgan Library on Madison.

With this addition, the Art Institute is now the Second Largest Art Museum in the United States. At least that’s what the Invitation indicates…

Has the Brooklyn Museum lost out in the Size Sweepstakes?

The Goodman Theatre—now with impressive new quarters in the Loop—used to be in the Art Institute Basement. What have they done with that space: Mount their own shows there now?

Copyright © Glenn Loney 2009. No re publication or broadcast use without proper credit of authorship. Suggested credit line: "Glenn Loney, Curator's Choice." Reproduction rights please contact:

Return to Curator's Choice Table of Contents