Monday, May 14, 2018

METLIVEARTS ENTERTAINMENT: Review by Polly Guerin


Artist in Residence JULIA BULLOCK
Visiting a museum today is not just about the art works and statues it's become something more performance-centric connecting entertainment to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's iconic METLIVEARTS series and Artist in Residence programming. Throughout 2018-1019, leading artists will connect with the museum's exhibitions and individual works of art through original commissions and site-specific performances.
      Believe me, this is an innovative approach in the life of this storied cultural institution.  It is a transforming experience, particularly in the galleries, where music and dance interact, respond to and are inspired by the works of art and sculpture.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
     The stunning opera singer Julia Bullock has created five programs that will be presented throughout the year. This is an impressive feat for the bi-racial St. Louis born singer, as most opera singers don't even begin their careers till 28, she will be able to add The Met to her resume, as their new Artist in Residence. Her residency will include collaborations with renowned guest performers and will draw on the lives, legacies and words of Josephine Baker, Langston Hughes, and Thornton Dial, among others.                    Hailed as "opulent and glorious" by Opera News, Bullock brings her rich and resonant soprano vocals to poems by Langston Hughes, such as, "Harlem,"  "Genius Child," and "Song for a Dark Girl," in which she will be joined by other stellar performers. (December 2, 3 p.m., The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium). 
       An all new chamber music version of contemporary master John Adam's Christmas oratorio, El Nino is also on the schedule. In Meditations for Josephine, January 2019, Bullock will re- imagine Josephine Baker on the steps of The Met's Great Hall.  
SONNAMBULA at The Met Cloisters 
THE MET CLOISTERS
      The 2018-19 season also features a new artist residency focusing specifically on The Met Cloisters The historical performance ensemble SONNAMBULA will invigorate the location's medieval galleries through a series of concerts that bring a contemporary sensibility to the group's historically informed performances. During their residency at The Met Cloisters, Sonnambula will perform with world -renowned artists including the renaissance wind ensemble Piffaro, lute virtuoso Esteban La Rotta and author and photographer Teju Cole.
      "MetLiveArts commissions powerful artists to explore the Museum's collection and create relevant thought-provoking performances," said Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO of The Met.
"This upcoming season of programming will connect our three locations with a broad and diverse audience, creating new pathways for engagement with our exhibitions and encyclopedic collection and exhibitions."
BATTLE HIP=HOP IN ARMOR 
IT'S SHOWTIME NYC! Among the seasons other highlights The Met's Department of Arms and Armor will showcase dance performances in the Arms and Armor Court, Battle! Hip-Hop in Armor in which the world hip-hop dance culture collides with the bygone age of armor when these freestyle dancers meet chainmail, leather, and metal armor from around the world. The MetLiveArts has commissioned the fierce artists of it's Showtime NYC! from the South Bronx's Dancing in the Streets urban dance organization to preform a series of pop-up dance battles in the gallery wearing pieces from The Met.
       The MetLiveArts explores contemporary performances through the lens of the Museum's exhibitions and gallery spaces with an extensive and multi-faceted line-up of performances.For program information information, visit www.metmuseum.org/metlivearts. For tickets visit www.metmuseum.org/tickets or call 212.570-3949. Tickets are also available at the Great Hall Box Office, which is open Monday-Saturday 11 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. 
      Ta Ta Darlings!!! The MetLiveArts world premieres and site-specific performances have been named some of the most "memorable" and "best of" performances in New York City by the New York Times, New Yorker and Broadway World. Innovative and mesmerizing the MetLiveArts is the new way to go for an unforgettable entertainment experience. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalkfromnewyork.com and click in the left hand column to the Blog for a direct link to the Blog that meets your interest.
      


      

Monday, May 7, 2018

Ecclesiastical Fashion Show at the MET: Review By Polly Guerin

Evening Coat Cristobal Balenciaga for House of Balenciaga
Fashion is becoming more than ever devout and the worshipers trending this inspiration include Christian Dior, Gianni Versace, Cristobal Balenciaga, Valentino, Dolce &Gabbana and Yves Saint Laurent, to name a few. Their fashion garments culled in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's fascinating Spring exhibition, HEAVENLY BODIES: FASHION AND THE CATHOLIC IMAGINATION, opens to the public this Thursday, May 10th.  Image 1 (left) El Greco, Cardinal Fernando Nino de Guevara (1541-1609), Oil on Canvas; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, H.O Havermeyer Collection Bequest f Mrs. H. O. Havermeyer (1929); Image (c) Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image 2 (right( Evening Coat, Cristobal Balenciaga for House of Balenciaga, autumn/winter 1954-55; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Digital
Collection Scan by Katerina Jebb.
      Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, at the press opening this morning, responded to something that may have been on the minds of some of the attendees; "You may be asking, what's this church doing here?" He explained that the Catholic imagination embodied not only truth and goodness, but beauty, too! "The truth, goodness and beauty of God is revealed all over the place, even in fashion," he said. 
Dolce & Gabbana
The thematic exhibition is presented in three distinct gallery locations---the medieval galleries and the Anna Wintour Costume Center where a group of papal robes and accessories from the Vatican occupy space and at The Met Cloisters. 

       "Fashion and religion have long been intertwined, mutually inspiring and informing one another." said Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute. "Although this relationship has been complex and sometimes contested, it has produced some of the most inventive and innovative creations in the history of fashion."
        Approximately 150 ensembles, primarily women's wear from the early 20th century to the present captivate your attention in the medieval galleries alongside religious art from The Met collection, providing visitors with with a mesmerizing view of fashion's engagement with Catholicism. "Fashion and religion have long been intertwined, mutually inspiring and informing one another," added Bolton. Some designers initially told Bolton that their work wasn't influenced by religion, but later added that it played a roll in their creative imagination.     
Modern Nuns and Parochial Schoolgirls
The ecclesiastical fashions are obviously from couture collections where the runway shows are more about fantasy and entertainment than wearable art.  Nonetheless, fashionistas will be making a pilgrimage of sorts to view the collections enriched with religious symbolism, tiaras encrusted with thousands of diamonds, emeralds and rubies, papal cloaks and vestments encrusted with gold

embroidery richly designed with a Midas touch.  
     Ta Ta Darlings!!! This is one fashion statement you do not want to miss, which includes some rather parochial school-inspired black garments, a Chanel wedding gown inspired by a communion dress and saintly gowns with gold crowns to match. Fan mail welcome, please email
pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.org and click on the Blog link in the
left hand column to the subject that interests you on visionary men, women determined to succeed, the fashion historian and poetry from the heart.
     

Monday, April 23, 2018

HILMA KLINT: Mother of Abstraction Review By Polly Guerin


 Hilma af Klint's "Paintings for the Future" 
La Mere de L'Abstraction, Hilma af Klint, (1862-1944), whose work originated on the threshold of modernism, gets her overdue recognition with the first major solo exhibition in the United States of the Swedish artist's oeuvre. Dubbed, The Mother of Abstraction, she was an iconoclast, creating a genre never seen before.
      So why in the annals of the art world has she been so obscure? For one thing, she never exhibited her remarkably forward-looking paintings, and, convinced that the world was not ready for them, stipulated that they not be shown for twenty years following her death. 
    When af Klint began creating radically abstract paintings in 1906, they were like little that had been seem before; bold, colorful, and untethered from recognizable references to the physical world. 
      It is interesting to note that her oeuvre emerged several years before Vasily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, Piet Mondrian, and other artists who would take similar strides to free their artwork of representational content. While others took the spotlight, her work was not exhibited until 1986, and it is only over the past three decades that her paintings and works on paper have received serious attention.    
       
Hilma af Klint, La Mere de l'Abstraction
Who was this innovative artist who shunned publicity?  Hilma af Klint was born in Stockholm 
in 1862 and went on to study painting at the city's Royal Academy of Fine Arts, graduating with honors in 1887.  She soon established herself as a respected painter in Stockholm, exhibiting deftly rendered figurative paintings and serving briefly as secretary of the Society for Swedish Women Artists.  During these years, she also became deeply engaged with with spiritualism, Rosicrucianism and Theosophy. These forms of spirituality, also of keen interest to other artists, including Kandinsky, Frantisek, Kupka, Malevich and Mondrian, were widely popular across Europe and the United States.
     Af Klint developed her new approach to art making together with her spiritual practice, outside of Stockholm's male-dominated art world. She had begun to regularly hold seances with four other women by 1896. During a meeting in 1906, one of the spirits that the group had channeled asked 
af Klint to create a cycle of paintings. Af Klint immediately accepted. She worked on the project between 1906 and 1915, completing 193 paintings and works on paper collectively called, The Paintings for the Temple. 
     
Hilma af Klint, The Ten Largest, No.7
These works, which included her first forays into nonobjectivity, were a radical break from the more staid paintings she produced as part of her public practice. Stylistically there were strikingly diverse, utilizing biomorphic and geometric forms, expansive and intimate scales and innovative approaches to composition and color. She imagined installing the in a spiral temple, but the building never came to fruition.  After she completed The Paintings for the Temple, af Klint continued to test the limits of her new abstract vocabulary.  In these years, she experimented with form, theme, and seriality creating some of her most remarkable works.

     The solo exhibition, HILMA af KLINT: PAINTINGS FOR THE FUTURE will offer an opportunity to experience af Klint's artistic achievements in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum's rotunda more than a century after she began her daring work. Organized with the cooperation of the Hilma Klint Foundation, Stockholm, the exhibition will feature more than 160 of af Klint's artworks and focus on the artist's breakthrough years, 1906-20. It is during this period that she began to produce nonobjective and stunningly imaginative paintings, creating a singular body of work that invites a re-evaluation of modernism and its development. Image: Hilma af Klint, The Ten Largest, No 7 Group IV, 1907. Tempura on paper mounted on canvas. The Hilma Klint Foundation. Photo: Albin Dahlstrom, Moderna Museet.
      The exhibition, from October 12, 2018, to January 27, 2019, is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue featuring eight scholarly essays and a roundtable discussion. Contributions by leading art historians and contemporary artists delve in such topics as af Klint's relationship
to modernism, her engagement with new understandings of science and spirituality.
     Alas, Hilma af Klint also gets her due recognition with a series of educational programs. Information and schedules are available at guggenheim.org/calendar.
      Music for the Temple: A Tribute to Hilma af Klint by composer, John Zorn, presents new music composed in response to the work of Hilma af Klint.
     Ta Ta Darlings!!!  This is an early announcement so please mark your calendar to meet a remarkable woman who defied all the odds in a male-dominated Stockholm. Love to hear from
you, send email to: pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Follow Polly's Blogs on www.pollytalk.com and
in the left-hand column click on the link that resonates with your interest including visionary men, women determined to succeed, the fashion historian, and poetry from the heart 

Monday, April 16, 2018

VISITORS TO VERSAILLES: Review By Polly Guerin

In its lavish new exhibit VISITORS TO VERSAILLES you are invited to vicariously visit the famous Chateau from the perspective of a diverse representation of people who passed through its gates between the year Louis XIV moved his court there and the year Louis XVI and the royal family were forced back to Paris.
      Russian writer Nikolai Karamzin's reflection on his experience visiting Versailles in 1790, "I have never seen anything, more magnificent than the palace of Versailles," is a testament to visitors' enduring fascination with the famous royal residence, even to this day. 
EXHIBITION EVOKES GRANDEUR: While there is no doubt that the exhibition is meant to evoke the grandeur and opulence of Versailles, its five galleries with aligned doorways were constructed to emulate the enfilade of rooms, generating a long theatrical vista and a sense of anticipation for the visitor. Custom-designed wallpaper suggests defining architectural elements of the palace's interiors---its marble inlays pilasters, gilded paneling, wall hangings and mirrors. 
THE AUDIO EXPERIENCE:
"Versailles is a very different show," said Danielle Kisluk-Grosheide one of its curators.    
A panoramic view of Visitors to Versailles 
No doubt. it is the new immersive audio experience, free-to-all-visitors, that brings alive the impressions of visitors to the chateau and court of Versailles in the 17th and 18th centuries. Using high quality headphones listeners can hear dramatizations of actual visitor descriptions of their experiences and personal
observations, adapted from correspondences and journals, court diaries, gazettes and literary journals which offer detailed reports on specific events and entertainments, as well as, ambassador receptions that were also documented on paintings and engravings.
        The immersive audio is produced in atmospheric 3-D soundscapes with the voice of professional actors, re-enacting the observations and conversations of the Versailles visitors. You will be immediately captivated by the rich, bi-natural sound that evokes the conversations and settings---from the footsteps of courtiers walking on a marble staircase to a singer performing a Handel aria in a private salon. The voices represented range from French aristocrats to luminaries of the arts and sciences to mere tourists. The letters and journals detailing various individuals' experiences are also complemented by tapestries, furniture, arms and armor, and all the other trappings necessary to transport viewers back in time as they join foreign travelers, royalty, dignitaries and ambassadors, artists, musicians, writers and philosophers, scientists, tourists on the Grand Tour, the public, if properly attired, and day-trippers alike, who all flocked to the majestic royal palace surrounded by its extensive formal gardens
Modes of Transportation and Costjmes
VISITORS TO VERSAILLES A number of Americans journeyed to Versailles, either as tourists or diplomats. Benjamin Franklin first visited Versailles in 1767 and played a significant role especially after 1776 when France became the colonists only military ally in their rebellion against Great Britain.                   Franklin captivated the French shamelessly playing to their expectations of Americans, forgoing a wig and dressing in plain unadorned clothes.  His brown suit, rarely displayed to the public,  is on loan from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.The galleries also capture the modes of transportation to Versailles and the strict French code of dress. Among the principal reasons to visit the royal residence were its extensive gardens and the prized opportunity to catch a glimpse of the king. Garments on display include a beautiful robe a la francaise believed to have been worn by the wife of renowned textile manufacturer Christophe-Phillippe Oberkampf for her audience with Marie Antoinette and uniforms and weapons of the king's household. 
     The overall impression of the exhibition is that I did not quite get the grandeur of Versailles'
magnificent gardens as the lighting atmosphere is on the dim side, but then again that probably is due to necessity, to protect the precious art works.
    Ta Ta Darlings!!!  No passport needed, just head for the Metropolitan Museum of Art for an
immersion of a different, entertaining experience. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalkfromnewyork.blogspot.com and click on the link in the left hand column to the subject that resonates with you, such as, women determined to succeed, visionary men, poetry from the heart and fashion

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

FEATHERS: Fashion and the Fight for Wildlife: Review By Polly Guerin

Muff and tippet set composed of 4 Adult Herring Gulls
Millions of people around the world celebrate 2018 at the "Year of the Bird," as it marks the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, the most powerful and important bird-protection law ever passed.  
        Although millions of birds were sacrificed for plumage of late 19th and early 20th century feathered fashions the exhibit, FEATHERS: Fashion and the Fight for Wildlife,  at the New-York Historical Society, reveals the overwhelming toll on birds and plumage, and the industry that embellished clothing and accessories. 
       THEN AND NOW: The faint at heart may find the insensitive plunder of birds for adornment. on view, a heart wrenching reminder about the time society viewed feathered fashion with reckless disregard and how the plume trade had decimated many American bird species to point of near extinction. Image Left: Accessory Set, American, including muff and tippet, 1880-90, Herring Gulls, feathers, silk. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection, 2009. Right: John James Audubon, Herring Gull. Watercolor, graphite pastel, black chalk, and black ink with touches of gouache, white lead pigment, and glazing on paper. Purchased for the New-York Historical Society by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon, 1863. 
       However, activists soon recognized the urgency for protection and the New-York Historical Society's exhibition, on view through July 15, 2018, examines the circumstances that inspired early environmental activists to champion the protection of endangered birds. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 was one of the first federal laws to address the environment, prohibiting the hunting, killing, trading, and shipping of migratory birds, The exhibition is part of the Year of the Bird, centennial celebration of the Act organized by National Geographic, the National Audubon Society, the Cornell Lab ofOrnithology, and Birdlife international.
Women Flaunt the Feather Craze in Killer Millinery
EXHIBITION HIGHLIGHTS: The first gallery, featuring feathered fashions including hats, boas, fans, aigrettes jewelry, illustrates the passion for plumage.  None more egregious than the muff and tippet accessory set (1880-99) composed of four adult Herring Gulls created during a craze for gulls that nearly drove the sea birds to extinction and a pair of earrings with hummingbird heads. Need I say more, see the depraved use of birds for adornment for your own edification. 
     
Activist> Florence Merriam Bailey    
The second gallery, "Activists Take Flight, introduces several of the activists who pushed for protective legislation. New York City activists included George Bird Grinnell, a prominent conservation polymath and protege of Lucy Bakewell Audubon, who was inspired by the artist-naturalist to found the first Audubon Society in 1886. Florence Merriam Bailey, an ornithologist, whose bird books became important field guides. Then, too, I wish to call you attention to Lilli Lehmann, a German opera singer, vegetarian and animal lover, who campaigned passionately against wearing feathers, while in residence with the

Metropolitan Opera.
      The exhibition concludes with 14 watercolors by Audubon (least we forget he, too, killed many birds for his studies) including the Roseate Spoonbill, whose pink feathers were used in fans sold in the Florida tourist trade, and the Great Egret, one of the chief victims of the turn-of-the-century plume hunters that became the symbol of the Audubon Society.
         Even before the Federal Act earlier concern for bird protection was the concern in New Jersey. In the April 18, 2018 issue of The New York Times, the  feature ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY. reported a memorable headline: "MUST WEAR BIRDLESS HATS," 
March 24, 1910. The New Jersey General Assembly passed a bill that would make it a misdemeanor for women to wear the feathers, wings or bodies of birds as accoutrement, a practice that was devastating several species. "Spring styles for New Jersey women must undergo a change at once or many women will be in jail." the article noted. 
         The Year of the Bird pays it forward and examines how our changing environment is driving dramatic losses among birds species around the globe even today and highlights what we can do to help bring birds back.
        For nature lovers, several walking tours of Central Park bring Audubon's paintings to life.
May 5 and June 2 to name a few. Refer to the Museum's website for further details. 
       Ta Ta Darlings!!!  Become an activist and support the Year of The Bird!!  Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Connect to Polly's other Blog links on www.pollytalk.com
       

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

URBAN SANCTUARIES By Polly Guerin

If you have ever wanted to let the cacophony of the city melt away and merely find a place for quiet
contemplation or to meditate in peace, one only has to step outdoors into nature. Though that may
not be a doable in the urban environment, in the quiet of early mornings, Central Park, Riverside Part and Battery City Park might offer opportunities to commune with nature's healing mediation. Then, too, even as the symphony of the city drones on nearby, there are several sanctuaries within New York City, where you can find comfort and peace of mind.    

THE CATHEDRAL OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE: Many churches throughout the city welcome visitors, but this magnificent, 125-year-old cathedral , which welcomes visitors of all faiths, is truly a peaceful place to just quiet your mind, meditate or simply relax in the majestic ambiance of the building's soaring arches and glorious stained-glass windows. As the sunlight filters in, the colors projected onto the visitors offer individual healing messages, Red for rejuvenation, blue for spiritual awakening, yellow for golden enlightenment and so forth.
     For a meditation experience of a more musical kind,  every Sunday at 4 p.m., the church offers their traditional 'Choral Evensong,' song by their world celebrated choir.  This is a wonderful time to let your spirit soar and receive colorful messages, as it is known that specific colors resonate in a musical performance. Close your eyes and listen and perhaps you may see only one color. Then, too, some very attuned individuals see a rainbow of colors when they listen to music and that ability is called, Synesthesia. 
     Location: 1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street in Manhattan. info@stjohndivine.org.
Since this Cathedral is a work-in-progress, so to speak, there is a suggested donation of $10
per adult and $8 for students and seniors, for visitors not attending church services. Early
risers, please note that the Cathedral is open at 7:30 a.m. Door open all day and closes at 6 p.m.    

INTO THE SILENCE: Quiet Mornings at MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art. A lovely garden sanctuary is a magnet for midtown regulars and tourists.  
        Be sure to add this to your calendar. On the first Wednesday of every month, MoMA opens its doors at 7:30 a.m.  For a dual urban garden experience, the museum gives ardent art lovers an opportunity to view art works including the Impressionists, such as Monet's Water Lilies, in a delightful crowd- free environment.
      Not only does that draw in art lovers, but the best part, for sanctuary seekers, the Museum also includes a guided meditation session from 8:30 to 9 a.m.  On any occasion some brilliant guide, motivational speaker or a best-selling
author may be engaged to lead you through the meditation. www.moma.org.
    Location: 11 West 53rd Street., Manhattan. For early birds enter at 18 West 54th Street. Admission Adults $15, Seniors $12, full-time students with current ID $10.
Children, 16 and under free as well as MoMA members.  

THE ABBY ALDRISH SCULPTURE GARDEN at the BROOKLYN BOTANICAL GARDEN is a dreamy place where peace and quiet contemplation is invited on an 82 acre oasis in the heart of Brooklyn. Plan to spend the day as the experience will transport you into a tranquil environment with glorious colors and fresh air. As you navigate the beautiful peaceful landscape, at every turn there is reason to pause and simply clear your head of clutter, meditate or pray. 
      Then, too, there is the Garden's amazing Bonsai Museum, which houses one the the largest collections of bonsai trees, 350 at the last count, outside of Japan. Entrance at 999 Washington Street and 150 Eastern Parkway. Call 718-623-7200 for current hours and admission charge.
     Many corporate building in New York City have public spaces in their lobbies and one that comes to mind is the Bank of America Tower located on Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street.
This majestic glass and indoor space features breathtaking garden sculptures, made of living
mosses, vines and ferns.  Take a seat, plenty of chairs are provided and settle in with your private thoughts, contemplate time out from the fast lane and get into the mood and meditate. FREE and open to the public 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 
        I trust that you may find your way to one of these urban sanctuaries, as a daily measure, or for a peaceful excursion on a weekend. Blessing and best wishes, Polly.
         

       
       

Monday, March 26, 2018

THE ART OF MUSIC at the MET: Review By Polly Guerin

Humanity has been drawn to make music and communicate beyond the human voice, across cultures and time, with instruments of incredible beauty and ingenuity, and nowhere is it more effectively represented than today at the Met's Andre Mertens Galleries for Music Instruments. 
     Daniel W. Weiss, President and CEO of the MET commented, "Nearly two years in the making the reopening of our Musical Instruments galleries has resulted in a new, more insightful narrative for our visitors that draws and reflects the unique strengths of the Museum's musical collection, presenting a comprehensive perspective on global music."  Image clockwise fro top left: Bartolomeo Christofori, Grand Piano (detail) 1720. Cypress, boxwood, paint, leather and fir. The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments. 1889. Alolphe Sax, Alto saxophone in E-flat, ca. 1855. Brass. Purchase, Robert Alonzo Lehman Bequest 2005. William Forster, "Royal George" cello, 1782. Spruce, maple, and ebony. Gift of Mona and Bradford Endicott, in honor of Ken Moore, 2016. Sankh. Indian, 19th century. Shell (Turbinella Pyrum), brass, and wax. Purchase, the Barrington Foundation Inc. Gift, 1986)
     THE ART OF MUSIC explores the artistry of music and instruments across four thousand years of musical instruments from across the globe. The four renovated galleries display the treasures of the collection. These include the world's oldest surviving piano, made by Bartolomeo Cristofori in Florence in 1720.  the scope of The Met's instruments collection offers the rae opportunity to illustrate the use of music and instruments to express status, identity, and spirituality, along with the impact of trade. Not to be missed is the Openwork, rattle bell, ca, early 1st millennium B.C., the Ming Dynasty cloisonne trumpets and  pre-Columbian drums; Andres Segovia's guitar, and violins by Antonio Stradivari and Andrea Amati.
       
The Art of Music, Andre Mertens Galleries
Of particular note is the Kona,  from Senegal made of such diverse materials as goatskin, antelope hide, ebony, metal, wood, from The Koyate family, a dynasty of West African storytellers who chronicle history and preserve epic stories. 

     Then, too, the 1845 Saxophone, by Adolphe Sax (Belgium), introduced in 1834, was original and before its time.  However during Sax's lifetime it achieved success and universal popularity through jazz and pop, two genres that  ironically did not exist until long after the saxophone's introduction. 
New to the gallery are two audio and video kiosk and an Audio Guide with more than 50 audio clips of the instruments.
   
Stuart Davis Mural for Studio B WNYC
Observational review points to the fact that although instruments are primarily intended to create sound, they are also powerful visual expressions and are often works of art in their own right. As such, their artistic appearance frequently reflects contemporary style, and the production techniques and materials used to make them are often found in other art forms. Included in the gallery are related objects and paintings from across The Met collection that illustrates the universal presence of music and instruments in art and society.

       The much favored instrument by today's artists on display is the Antonius Stradivari. Italian, Cremona 17ll. The arching of the Stradivari's top and back contributes to providing a louder volume, which helped to make the instrument popular with soloists in the nineteenth century. Image: At the end wall of the show is the magnificent Stuart Davis mural for Studio B, WNYC Municipal Broadcasting Company, 1939 incorporating elements that reflect musical instruments and broadcasting theme. Take note also, of a painting paying tribute to Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown. In 1889 she donated 300 instruments. Then, too, Brown would continue to collect until 1918, building a collection of more than 3,600 instruments for the Met Museum.
     A series of gallery-based concerts inspired by The Museum's Musical instruments collection, called TRADE WINDS  take place on April 27 and June 15.  The concerts are free with Museum admission.  For further info contact www.metmuseum.org/music galleries.
     Ta Ta Darlings!!!  "If music be the food of Love," (Purcell), the new Musical Instruments Galleries are indeed worth a visit  Fan mail welcome: pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click on the left-hand list of Blogs that solicit your attention.