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GLENN LONEY'S MUSEUM NOTES
JANUARY, 2015 RAMBLES ROUND MUSEUMS, GALLERIES, INSTALLATIONS, & AUCTIONS
Caricature of Glenn Loney by Sam Norkin.
Please click on " * " to skip to each subject in this index:
At The Asia Society: TAKAHIRO IWASKAI: In Focus *
BUDDHIST ART OF MYANMAR *
At The Brooklyn Museum of Art: KEHIND WILEY: A New Republic *
At The CUNY Grad Center's James Gallery: SPECTERS OF COMMUNISM: Contemporary Russian Art *
At The Frick Collection: COYPEL'S DON QUIXOTE TAPESTRIES: Illustrating a Spanish Novel in Eighteenth Century France *
At The Galerie St Etienne: ALTERNATE HISTORIES: Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Galerie St Etienne *
At The Grolier Club: ALDUS MANUTIUS: A Legacy More Lasting Than Bronze *
LITERATURE OF THE LIBERATION: The French Experience in Print--1944 46 *
At LCLPA--The Lincoln Center Library for The Performing Arts' Vincent Astor Gallery: BROADWAY REVEALED: Behind the Theatre Curtain *
At MMA--The Metropolitan Museum of Art: CAPTAIN LINNAEUS TRIPE: Photographer of India & Burma--1832 1860 *
At The MLM--The Morgan Library & Museum: The World Monuments Fund 2015 Paul Mellon Lecture, RENAISSANCE & BAROQUE ROME: The Art of Urban Form *
LINCOLN SPEAKS: Words That Transformed a Nation *
PIRANESI & THE TEMPLES OF PAESTUM: Drawings from Sir John Soane's Museum *
HEBREW ILLUMINATION FOR OUR TIME: The Art of Barbara Wolff *
EMBRACING MODERNISM: Ten Years of Drawing Acquisitions *
At MCNY--The Museum of the City of New York: EVERYTHING IS DESIGN: The Work of Paul Rand *
SAVING PLACE: 50 Years of New York City Landmarks *
At The Park Avenue Armory: WAS--The Annual Winter Antiques Show: A Benefit for the East Side House Settlement. *
At Bonhams Auction House:
On April Fools Day, the Last of Lauren Bacall's Artworks & House Furnishings will be sold at Bonhams.
Lavish Catalogue Photos suggest that Nothing will be Omitted, but--unlike that Barbra Striesand
Sale at Sotheby's years ago--her Lawnmower & Garden Hose won't be on offer.
At The Asia Society: TAKAHIRO IWASKAI: In Focus
[Closing 26 April 2015 ]
Growing Up in Hiroshima can leave a Mark on an Emerging Japanese Artist like Takahiro Iwasaki.
But studying at the fabled Edinburgh College of Art opened New Vistas to him.
Iwasaki began constructing Miniature Landscapes from "Found" or Recycled Materials.
For his Solo Show at the Asia Society, Iwasaki has chosen a Six Panel Seventeenth Century Folding Screen from the Asia Society's Rockefeller Collection as Inspiration: Flowers & Grasses of the Four Seasons.
Into Six Plexiglass Boxes--Folded to Echo the Screen--Iwasaki has stuffed Sedimentary Layers of Shredded Japanese Kimonos.
On top of this Unlikely Landscape, he has imposed some incredibly intricate Models of High Tension Towers, Construction Cranes, & even a Blue Ferris Wheel…
[Closing 10 May 2015 ]
Look! Over here!
Those Two Green Ceramic Monkey Men!
They look rather like the Ceramic Tile Figures I photographed when I was last in Burma…
Whoops! I meant Myanmar!
On the Road to Mandalay, I did not see any Flying Fishes Play, but I did get to Lens some Scores of the Hundreds--even Thousands--of Buddhist Temples scattered about an Immense Sacred Valley.
Myanmar was, at that time, almost Closed Off from the Western World, especially to the British--who had for so long treated it as a Sub Colony.
The Ancient Military Clique that then ran Myanmar didn't welcome Outsiders, especially Tourists with Leica & Nikkon Cameras.
But Something Magical happened in 2012: Myanmar opened its Gates, if not its Centuries Old Secrets…
Thanks to this new Open Door Policy, the Asia Society is now able to Showcase over Seventy Sacred Statues & Ritual Objects from Myanmar itself. Not On Loan from the Metropolitan Museum!
The Buddha, it would seem, can take Many Forms.
Mysterious Symbols can Stand In for Transformations & States of Being.
If you cannot get to the Asia Society over on Park Avenue, click onto its Website for a Colorful Preview of what has been temporarily transported to Secular Manhattan.
Not to worry about Ancient Curses: Elephant Ganesh is still downstairs in the Lobby, standing Guard.
At The Brooklyn Museum of Art: KEHIND WILEY: A New Republic
[Closing 24 May 2015]
The Magnificent Stained Glass Windows--depicting Heroic African American Men, Saintly & Otherwise, now on view in the Brooklyn Museum Rotunda--are the latest of Arts Amazements from Kehind Wiley.
They would not be out of place in the Al Sharpton Memorial Church…
Quite aside from Kehind Wiley's Focus on Modern Black Men & Women, his Remarkable Painting Techniques are reminiscent of Renaissance Masters.
Wiley has even conceived a Series in which Harlem Males are depicted in Poses made Famous by Titian, Van Dyke, & even Manet.
But there are also some Amazing Bronzes, one of which features Four Female Faces almost trapped in the Elaborate Corn Braided Hair that Loops Above Them.
There are some Sixty Wiley Works on view, filling the Fifth Floor Galleries.
Not To Be Missed!
At The CUNY Grad Center's James Gallery: SPECTERS OF COMMUNISM: Contemporary Russian Art
[Closing Date Not Cited--but surely sometime in 2015]
This is a Small Scale but nonetheless Fascinating Exposure to some aspects of Russian Post Conceptual Realism.
Not all these Artists are now living & working in the Former Soviet Union.
Some are Struggling Slavics right here in New York City.
How about Jeff & Alina Blumis?
Judging from a Wall Totally Covered with Color Photos of Jeff sitting with Families who Cooked Him Dinner in Exchange for a Jeff Blumis Painting, he is certainly not one of those Starving Artists one is always hearing about!
Here's Pussy Riot, at least in Video Incarnations.
But what are we to think of Vladimir Putin's Pattern on the Frozen Window, an Acrylic on Canvas?
Sir Winston Churchill, George Bush, & Vlad the Impaler all Painters?
There's also a Souvenir Card Rack filled with Free/Take Home Actual Postcard Views of the Ornate Lenin Museum in Moscow!
Not to forget all those Lectures, Seminar, & Programs about Russian Post Conceptual Realism.
At The Frick Collection: COYPEL'S DON QUIXOTE TAPESTRIES: Illustrating a Spanish Novel in Eighteenth Century France
[Closing 17 May 2015]
Considering the Initial Spectacle of Don Quixote--Cervantes' Mournful Knight--a Pathetic Sight, astride his Almost Skeletal Mount, Rosinante, it is amazing that the Tapestries woven from Charles Coypel's Original Cartoons at the Gobelins Factory in Paris are so Richly & Ornately Baroque.
Tilting at Windmills was all very well for a Satirist like Miguel de Cervantes, showing his Foolish Knight Errant trying to revive a Bygone Era, when Noble Knights slayed Dragons & rescued Endangered Damsels.
More Elegant Scenes were required by Royalty, Nobility, & Wealthy Merchants in Paris & even across Europe, where the Fame of this Novel had spread.
Indeed, Don Quixote soon came to be regarded as a Classic of World Literature--a Judgment that still stands.
Not only are the Individual Tapestry Scenes from Don Quixote Lavish & Elaborate, but they are also almost like Cameos, centered in even more Elaborate Borders & Design Flourishes.
At the Frick, the Three Coypel Panels are on loan from the J. Paul Getty Museum in LA, joined by Two Flemish Tapestries from its Own Collections.
There are also Five of Coypel's Cartoons--from which the Gobelin Weavers fashioned these Wonders--as well as relevant Prints & Books from the Hispanic Society of America.
Pablo Picasso depicted Cervantes' Anti Hero in Boney Black Strokes, which have also been Transformed into Tapestries.
These are much closer to the Satiric Spirit of the Two Volume Original, but Picasso surely wouldn't have found a Gallery to show his Sketches in Paris during the Excesses of the Baroque & Rococo…
At The Galerie St Etienne: ALTERNATE HISTORIES: Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Galerie St Etienne
[Closing 11 April 2015]
The Three Fold Brochure for this Historical Survey is, as usual, made a "Keeper," thanks to Jane Kallir's thoughtful Backward Glance at Gallery Founder Otto Kallir, who escaped the Nazis & lived to celebrate German & Austrian Expressionist Artists of the Pre War Period at his Manhattan Gallery.
What's More, Otto Kallir discovered Grandma Moses & championed Leonard Baskin, John Kane, & Morris Hirschfield.
Without Kallir's dedication to Expressionism in Mittel Europa, it might have taken much longer for American Art Lovers to come to know the works of Egon Schiele, Oscar Kokoschka, Gustav Klimt, Alfred Kubin, & Käthe Kollwitz.
Sue Coe is Jane Kallir's Own Discovery…
At The Grolier Club: ALDUS MANUTIUS: A Legacy More Lasting Than Bronze
[Closing 25 April 2015]
Had he lived, Venice's Master Printer/Publisher Aldus Manutius would now be celebrating his 500th Birthday.
Grolier Collectors are honoring this Anniversary by showing some of the Rarest & Most Celebrated of Renaissance Printings & Bindings from the World Famed Aldine Press.
Not only were Aldine Books widely admired for their Type Faces, Layouts, Woodcuts, Engravings, & Bindings, but their Content was often Unique, for Aldus was the first to print Definitive Texts of Aristotle, Aristophanes, Socrates, Euripides, Plato, Herodotus, & Sophocles.
In Greek, as well as in Italian Translation…
Without these Aldine Masterpieces, most of these Classics would have been Lost to Posterity.
In effect, Aldus also invented the Pocket Book, enabling such Masters as Erasmus to have a Portable Library.
The Unique Typeface that Aldus developed is now called Italic…
Not To Be Missed--if you Love Lovely Books.
LITERATURE OF THE LIBERATION: The French Experience in Print--1944 46
[Closing 14 March 2015]
Considering how quick some French were to Collaborate with the Nazis when they Occupied Paris & sanctioned Pierre Laval's Vichy Government, it is Salutary to see Books, Posters, Pamphlets, Photos, & Artwork that Bear Testimony to the Experiences of Those Who Didn't Give In.
Here's a Testimony from a Survivor of Auschwitz. There are Images from Buchenwald.
Over here are Poems by Louis Aragon & Paul Èluard.
There are Special Sections for the Liberation of Paris & the Heroism of General Charles DeGaulle.
How about a Vintage Photo of Humiliated French Women, who have just had their Heads Shaved for Collaborating with the Nazi Germans?
Those Feisty French! They really do know How To Get Even.
After all, why would an Honorable French Women want to sleep with a Wehrmacht Officer when she could service a French Lover?
At LCLPA--The Lincoln Center Library for The Performing Arts' Vincent Astor Gallery: BROADWAY REVEALED: Behind the Theatre Curtain
[Closed 31 January 2015]
If you are a Theatre Addict, you may well have wondered how all that Glitz & Glamour for Major Broadway Musicals is Imagined, Designed, Fabricated, & Fitted Pre Premiere?
Stephen Joseph recently took Manhattanites on a Magical Backstage Tour, thanks to his Ingenious 360° Lensing.
Actually, we were not only permitted Backstage, but also into the Design Offices & Costume Workshops of Major Creative Talents working on such Major Productions as American Idiot & Julie Taymor's Glitch Plagued Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark.
If you have ever been in, say, Barbara Matera's Costume Workshop, you may have marveled at how much gets done in such Confined Spaces.
But, with Stephen Joseph's Remarkable 360° Lens, Space Seems Infinite…
The Extended Color Prints enlarge & expand Everything.
In some Eye Catching Visions, the 360° Lens Camera seems to have made Five Stops.
In Others, only Four, but we are always Right There, in the Front Row, so to speak, with Actual Designers smiling at us, as they push forward Designs & Fabric Samples.
At Awards Time--at every Spring Season End--Costume Designer William Ivey Long seems to be Everywhere, winning almost all the Costume Awards: Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, & The Antoinette Perry Award©.
In Stephen Joseph's Multi Vision Photo of a William Ivey Long Costumed Show, Long seems to be Everywhere on Stage as well…
Stephen Joseph's Magnificently Conceived & Achieved 360° Lens Photo Shoots have Special Appeal for me because, for many, many years at Theatre Crafts, I was often in some of these Costume, Prop, & Set Construction Shops, photographing & reporting on the Design Creations of Upcoming Broadway Shows.
Although Behind the Theatre Curtain was originally conceived & mounted in Walnut Creek--not far from Stanford & UC/Berkeley--at the Bedford Gallery of the Lesher Center for the Arts, it has been Artistically Enhanced at Lincoln Center with Archival Artifacts such as those Long Red Boots from the Long Running Broadway Musical Kinky Boots.
There's also that Witch's Hat from Wicked, as well as Design Sketches & Fabric Swatches: you get to see some Working Actualities, echoing what's depicted Up on the Gallery Walls.
As a Native Son of The Golden West, I'm also fascinated by the Photo Documentation of Joseph's 360° Lens Photo Shoots of Mount Diablo & Muir Woods.
Out in the SF/Bay Area, they like Stephen Joseph's Photographic Artworks so well that he was named The Muir Woods National Monument Centennial Photographer.
If you missed BROADWAY REVEALED: Behind the Theatre Curtain at Lincoln Center, it's now On the Road to Scottsdale & Lynchburg, ending in San Francisco in 2016!
At MMA--The Metropolitan Museum of Art: CAPTAIN LINNAEUS TRIPE: Photographer of India & Burma--1832 1860
[Closing 25 May 2015]
Photography was in its Infancy when Linnaeus Tripe was posted to India & Burma--now called Myanmar--to make Visual Records of Historic Sites & Important Areas for Lands that had been recently incorporated into the British Empire, of which it was said: The Sun Never Sets…
Although he was, in a sense, working as a Surveyor, he also had an Artistic Flair.
Also, although he was given the Science Honored Name of Linnaeus--after the Great Botanist, who developed the First Definitive Classification System--he suffered under the Patronymic of Tripe, which is, essentially, Stomach Lining, primarily used for Digesting Food, but, After Death, very good for Tripe Soup.
One Hundred & Fifty Years Later, I lensed many of the Same Subjects for INFOTOGRAPHY™ that Tripe took for King & Country.
But I had far more Sophisticated Cameras & Ingenious Lenses.
Thank You, Leica, Nikkon, & Olympus!
Just think what Tripe might have done, had he a Carl Zeiss Lens from Jena…
At The MLM--The Morgan Library & Museum: The World Monuments Fund 2015 Paul Mellon Lecture, RENAISSANCE & BAROQUE ROME: The Art of Urban Form
[One Night Only: 9 February 2015]
It has long been said: All Roads Lead To Rome…
But, Over the Millennia, what happened when they smacked up against the City Walls?
Inside what had been Republican Rome, followed by Imperial Rome--which was followed by Goths & Vandals--some Odd Streets & Crooked Alleyways were always being Nudged or Shoved into Smaller Spaces to accommodate Grand Avenues of Approach or Great Piazzas for the Baroque Façades of the Palaces of Farnese, Medici, & Chigi Cardinals.
Dr. Joseph Connors gave WMFers a Birds Eye View of the Changing Streetscapes of Vatican Dominated Central Rome.
Harvard Prof of Art & Architecture, Dr. Connors also provided a Super Slide Show of the Imposing Baroque Churches & the Palazzo Complexes.
Early on, the Great Baroque Bernini Colonnade--leading up to the Façade of Saint Peter's Basilica--was somewhat Obscured by Clots of Medieval Houses that finally had to be Bought & Demolished.
This could now be seen as a kind of Baroque Gentrification Project.
Nonetheless--especially now that the Farnese Palace has been so Carefully Restored-- Dr. Connors' Stunning Photos of such Monumental Architectures should make any Monument Funder want to Book the Next Flight to Rome Fumacino Airport!
LINCOLN SPEAKS: Words That Transformed a Nation
[Closing 7 June 2015]
The Power of the Gettysburg Address--as well as the Message of the Second Inaugural Address--helped Heal the Wounds of the Civil War & put the Nation's Disenfranchised African Americans on Freedom Road.
Drawn largely from the Priceless Manuscript Collection of the Gilder Lehrman Institute, this Astounding Array of Lincolniana focuses on Our Martyr President's Development as a Master of Language, both as a Writer & as a Public Speaker.
But there are also Photographs, Personal Letters, & Military Memos, in addition to Lincoln's Speech Manuscripts & Books from his Personal Library--which influenced the Development, not only of His Thought, but also of His Style.
PIRANESI & THE TEMPLES OF PAESTUM: Drawings from Sir John Soane's Museum
[Closing 17 May 2015]
Rome has a Superfluity of Ruined Temples to Pagan Gods, but there are some Impressive Ruin Sites far, far from formerly Imperial Rome.
In Sicilian Agrigento, a Chain of Temples runs East to West, so that the Morning Sun always Hits their High Altars before it floods down into their Forests of Ruined Columns.
When I was Teaching Our Troops down at NATO HQ in Naples, I set sail for Sicily to photograph the Agrigentan Mysteries--as well as Pirandello's Death Mask, in his Villa in Agrigento.
Only after I returned, did I discover that there was also a Forgotten Complex of Pagan Temples at Paestum, not far South from Naples & Vesuvius.
In 1777, Giovanni Piranesi--who imagined those Darkly Imposing Fantasy Prisons, The Carceri--made a Series of Monumental Drawings of the Column Studded Paestum Ruins, in preparation for his set of Magnificent Etchings: Differents Vues de Pesto.
In 1817--Forty Years later--Sir John Soane acquired Fifteen of these Piranesi Originals.
These he installed in his Baronial London Home--better known today as Sir John Soane's Museum, which has loaned them to the Morgan…
HEBREW ILLUMINATION FOR OUR TIME: The Art of Barbara Wolff
[Closing 3 May 2015]
Yes, Rivka Dear, Woman's Place is in the Orthodox Home, preferably in the Kitchen!
But here's the Multi Talented & Ingenious Barbara Woolf illuminating Psalm 104 with Wondrous Nature Images, backed by Gold, Silver, & Platinum Foils!
It has taken Woolf Ten Folios to do this, however. She calls this Series: You Renew the Face of the Earth.
Woolf's Rose Haggadah, however, required Seventeen Bifolios to Outline the Passover Seder Ritual in a Modern Vision.
On Line, at the Morgan Website, you can see some of Woolf's Stunning Designs, but there are also Varied Programs at the Morgan Museum itself to help both Insiders & Outsiders learn more about Hebrew Illuminations.
Barbara Woolf will even conduct a Workshop for Kids, showing them how to put Gold Leaf on Paper or Vellum!
Years & Years Ago, I also learned how to Apply Gold Leaf in a Morgan Manuscript Workshop:
Bernard Maisner--who was then a Morgan Expert in Restoring Illuminated Manuscripts--showed us how to make Old Vellum Gleam Again…
Barbara Woolf is now giving this Old Art a New Life!
EMBRACING MODERNISM: Ten Years of Drawing Acquisitions
[Closing 24 May 2015]
If you did not already have enough of Contemporary Modernism with that Entire Morgan Gallery filled with an Endless Mark Tobey Chalk Talk, now you will be able to see what else the Morgan Museum has been acquiring over the Past Ten Years.
Fortunately, these Modernisms have been spawned--not over Ten Years, but since the Jahrhundertwende, 1900.
In addition to the Requisite Warhols, the Perennial Pollocks, & the Cartoonish Lichtensteins, there are also Dumas, Matisse, Mondrian, & Schiele.
There are some Eighty Artworks on view, but No Real Surprises…
At MCNY--The Museum of the City of New York: EVERYTHING IS DESIGN: The Work of Paul Rand
[Closing 19 July 2015]
Paul Rand was born Peretz Rosenbaum in Brooklyn.
But after he changed his name & left Brooklyn, he revolutionized Magazine Advertising, not to overlook his Magazine Covers & Book Jackets.
Rand also devised the Corporate Logos for such Big Brands as IBM, ABC, & UPS.
Notable were his Innovations in Type Faces & Decorative Details.
His Wide Ranging Career--On & Off Madison Avenue--is handsomely surveyed in a series of Floor Cases & Wall Displays.
Not To Be Missed!
SAVING PLACE: 50 Years of New York City Landmarks
[Closing 24 May 2015]
Vienna's Joseph Urban--a famed Jugendstil/Art Deco Designer & Architect, who relocated to Manhattan--might well be horrified to see that Bizarre Glass Tower that has been added by Sir Norman Foster to the Landmarked Hearst Building that he created.
Now you can see an Actual Model of the Foster Glass Skyscraper up at The Museum of the City of New York.
There are also some Mind Boggling Photographic Panoramas of Architectural Manhattan, made by Holland's Iwan Baan.
The Occasion for all this Interest in Architecture & Design is the Fiftieth Anniversary of our Landmarking Law.
Before its Passage, Developers & Exploiters could destroy Noble Buildings at will.
Penn Station was Reduced to Rubble, but this Catastrophic Loss inspired Movers & Shakers to create the Landmark Commision.
When Grand Central Station was also threatened with Demolition, even Jackie Kennedy Onassis joined the Protest, organized by Brendan Gill, of The New Yorker.
Architect Hugh Hardy--who saved & restored the original Belasco Theatre on 42nd Street, now the New Victory--is a Co Chair of this fascinating Exhibition.
At The Park Avenue Armory: WAS--The Annual Winter Antiques Show: A Benefit for the East Side House Settlement.
The handsomely designed WAS Catalogue, as usual, weighs a Ton.
The East Side to which WAS is dedicated is actually up in the Bronx, the Original Dead End Kids having long ago deserted the Shabby, Downscale East Side where now stands the United Nations Bldg.
The WAS Catalogue is neither shabby, nor downscale. In fact, its opening pages--at least 8 of them--are devoted to Full Color Full Dress Photos of Worthy Patrons at the 2014 Opening Gala, all having a Smiling Good Time!
But the Best Thing about the WAS Catalogue is being able to study the Antique Treasures of various Leading International Dealers at Leisure in Full Page Full Color Print Outs, rather than in their often handsomely designed & frequently crowded Show Booths
I may have been Visually Overwhelmed, but it seemed to me that there has never been such a Winter Antiques Show, with so many Historically Important & Ingeniously Designed Period Artifacts on Offer.
A number of Major Dealers gave me Splendidly Designed Copies of their Major Catalogues, so, for me, the Winter Antiques Show can Last All Year Long!
Allan Katz Americana had a small booth, but it was crowded with Eager Collectors & Quirky Collectibles.
So I eagerly acquired one of Katz's Catalogues…
Each Allan Katz Americana Catalogue features Full Page Full Color Photos of Individual Outsider Artworks such as that Seated Uncle Sam or that Leaping Deer Weather Vane.
At First Glance, that Full Page Photo of an old Black & White Barber Chair makes it look Too Big for your Manhattan Apartment, until you notice that Small Gillette Foam Dispenser standing beside it, up to its Seat Level!
As is customary, the Winter Antiques Show honored a Major Museum, giving it the Central Entrance Accommodation to display the Outstanding Strengths of Its Prized Collections.
This Year's Honors went to the Newark Museum, which was Redesigned some Years Ago, incorporating the Historic Balllantyne House.
It opened under the Artistic Aegis of my old Stanford University Friend, Sam Miller, who invited me to the Formal Opening.
But, no longer having a Volkswagen, I've not driven over to Newark for Years, alas.
Not only did the WAS Catalogue give Extensive Coverage to the Newark Museum, but it was also Photographically Profiled in various Art Journals, such as Antiques & Fine Arts.
Among the Notable Dealers--whose Full Page Full Color Ads appear in the Art Journals as well as in the WAS Catalogue--are:
Aronson of Amsterdam
Wartski of London: By Royal Appointment, showing a Lost Fabergé Imperial Easter Egg…
The Old Print Shop, with Maps Galore.
Lost City Arts
Hirschl & Adler Galleries
Connor Rosenkranz Galleries
Les Enluminurs de Paris
Copyright © Glenn Loney 2015. No re publication or broadcast use without proper credit of authorship. Suggested credit line: "Glenn Loney, Curator's Choice." Reproduction rights please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.