Monday, September 26, 2011

Museum Exhibitions Lure Tourists, New Yorkers (c) By Polly Guerin

Caricature of William Makepeace Thackeray and Chares Dickens

Culture New York lures the tourists and the local cognoscenti to museum exhibitions that cultivate the mind and transport us to ancient worlds from the Louvre to the master writer Charles Dickens, and gallery vernissages. It’s the Best of New York my friends, the very best to tempt your intellect. Here’s the scoop!!!
REVOLUTIONARY FRANCE, Drawings from the Musee du Louvre. Rarely does the Louvre allow such a major group of drawings to travel, but without traveling to Paris, Drawings from the Louvre offers a singular opportunity to experience the mastery of the era. From the time of the French Revolution of 1789 through the reign of King Louis-Philippe and the establishment of the second Empire in 1852, artistic talent brought its collective skill to bear on one of the most turbulent times in French History. Included in the 80 drawings of such noted artists as Jacques-Louis David, Eugene Delacroix, Pierre-Narcisse Guerin and Pierre-Paul Prud’hon are some of the greatest examples of works on paper of the period. At the Morgan Library & Museum 225 Madison Ave. Through Dec. 31, 2011.
CHARLES DICKENS at 200 It is time to revisit Britain’s first true literary superstar and A Christmas Carol among many of his other great works. Celebrating the bicentennial of the great writer’s birth in 1812 with his manuscripts of his novels and stories, letters, books, photographs, original illustrations, and caricatures, the exhibition captures the art and the life of a man who’s literary and cultural legacy ranks among the giants of literature. Through February 12, 2012. At The Morgan Library & Museum.
METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART’S Stay-at-Home museum enthusiasts can visit the redesigned website provides unprecedented access to collections, programs, research, and visitor information. The redesigned site includes access to more than 340,000 works of art with a completely new streamlined design for greater ease of viewing the vast array of images. The new website provides online visitors with immediate, easy-to-navigate access to the vast works in the collections with high-resolution images. At
DUNCAN PHYFE The Hirsh & Adler Galleries of New York City opens a multi-media exhibition, The World of Duncan Phyfe-The Arts of New York, 1800-1847 developed to complement the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s winter exhibit of Phyfe as Master Cabinetmaker and to expand one’s understanding of Phyfe’s contribution to the world of 19th century fine furniture and decorative arts. This show is a rare opportunity to see the work made by Phyfe and his contemporaries seen alongside work created by artisans of the time in wood, silver, porcelain and metal. Coming up. Mark your calendars on view from December 15, 2011 to February 17, 2012.
Ta Ta Darlings!!! I’m off to see Pierre-Narcisse Guerin’s work at the Morgan, perhaps he is an ancestor. Send Fan Mail to Visit Polly’s Blogs at My recent Mad Hatter feature on

Monday, September 19, 2011


Artists take the limelight in gallery vernissages, fashionistas’ take a holiday, the mad hatter comes to the Big Apple and dioramas fascinate and cultivate the mind. It’s the Best of New York my friends, the very best events---mark your calendar. Here’s the scoop!!!
RED GROOMS NEW YORK: 1976-2011. Red Groom’s celebrates New York as the theme of the exhibition of the artist’s paintings, sculptures and installation pieces. Grooms has staked his claim as one of America’s most original, inventive, and popular artists with witty commentaries on modern life in New York such as Lunchtime on Broadway, Rainy Day Taxi and The Bus, which is a twenty one foot long recreation of a New York City bus. Grooms’ large scale figurative tableaux are more than entertainment. Caricature is often vicious and Grooms can offer a no-holds-barred message with bite. At the Marlborough Gallery, 40 West 57th St. through October 222, 2011.
THE MAD HATTER Comes to New York. In addition to designing his own sensational hats, “An Anthology by British milliner, Stephen Jones” is a show stopper at the Bard Graduate Center, 18 West 86th Sts. It’s a breathtaking excursion through the history of hats, chosen by the master milliner who co-curated the exhibit of over 250 examples from Tudor England and the 18th-century India to contemporary New York milliners including Ellen Christine, Rod Keenan, Jennifer Ouellette to name a few. Leave it to Jones, the exhibit is edited into four themes; Inspiration, Creation, the Salon and The Client. Don’t miss it…there’s a peak into Jones’ amazing atelier workroom where creativity, ribbon and trims spills over onto the desk top and the floor. Through April 15, 2012.
DAPHNE GUINNESS The fashion show stopper superstar, who first ranked on the International Best Dress List in 1994, gets her due in a new exhibition that raided her closets at the Museum at FIT, 27th street & Seventh Ave., through Jan. 7, 2012. Why Daphne? Well aside from by being a creative force in her own right, she uses fashion to transform herself, and having an iconic sense of style and a serious couture collection, Daphne’s individualism transports us into imaginary worlds of opulence, decadence and luxury. Wearing ten-inch towering shoes and her classic white shirt and black leggings and her fantastic platinum-and-black striped hair she said at the press opening, “You should always dress up because you never know what man you may meet.” The exhibit opens with her footwear and sections intersected with walls of mirrors and scrims a hologram and short films and areas cordoned off: “Dandyism,” “Armor,” “Chic,” “Evening Chic,” “Exoticism” and “Sparkle.” Don’t miss this fashion icon’s “ultimate fashion fantasy.”
OTHERWORLDLY: Optical Delusions and Small Realities is a rare and Lilliputian collection that traces the diorama back to Louis Daguerre to modern artist’s meticulous models and dioramas that invite you to investigate and be captivated by the meticulous artistry of cunningly created domestic and imaginary scenes. Chuck Close contemplating an unfinished portrait or Jackson Pollock frozen in the act of casting paint across a canvas on the floor resonates as familiar while Frank Kunert’s Menu a Deux a long table covered in linen and laid with silver bends 90 degrees around a corner, so the diners can watch two separate television and pretend they are alone. At the Museum of Arts and Design, closing this week.
Ta Ta darlings!!! I went to Daphne’s exhibit and it did not disappoint. In fact, I was really quite overwhelmed! Her staggering reinvention of fashion and the marvel of her 10-inch shoe collection and jewelry are worth the visit. Fan mail welcome: Visit Polly’s Blogs by clicking in the right-hand column on Polly’s amazingartdecodivas feature on Marianne Brandt, Bauhaus Metallist is recently published in Contemporary Horizon magazine in Romania.

Monday, September 12, 2011


It’s the best of literary New York and recent books debuting in the Big Apple do not disappoint with their typographic and design excellence. From riveting prose to children’s stories, books take the spotlight this week. It’s Best of New York my friends, the best of literary works in the Big Apple. Here’s the scoop!!!
THE SNOWY DAY The first major U.S. exhibition to pay tribute to award-winning author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats, Snowy Day is a milestone in multiracial representation in American children’s literature. In 1962, a little boy named Peter put on his red hooded snowsuit and stepped out of his house and into the hearts of millions of readers. The Snowy Day transformed children’s literature with its pioneering portrayal of an African-American child. Archie, Amy and Louie--some of Keats’s most beloved characters appear with Peter, the African-American protagonist of his landmark book. The 50th anniversary special edition of Snowy Day and other Keats’s books at The Jewish Museum shop, 1109 Fifth Ave. Videos and special events at or type “snowy day” into the search bar at
BRAZILIAN STYLE The quintessential guide to understanding the richness of Brazil from the coolness of the bossa nova to the rigor of modernist architecture, fashion, beauty, culinary arts and culture, BRAZILIAN STYLE, does not disappoint. Publisher Assouline presented W magazine editor and author Armand Limnander’s book with sparkling samba dancers during Fashion’s Night Out last week at the publisher’s outpost in the Plaza Hotel. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, Carlos Miele, fashion designer, Paulo Uchoa, Consulate General of Brazil were among the celebrities. A fresh and dynamic mix, the book captures the culture of one of the most vibrant nations on earth.
MY BEST FRIEND, ABE LINCOLN Delightfully written and beautifully illustrated by John W. Ewing this book by author, Robert L. Bloch, My Best Friend, Abe Lincoln, is a tale of two boys from Indiana. It looks into the early life of Abraham Lincoln (11-14 years old, 1820-1823) through the eyes of a fictional best friend, as he grows up in southwestern Indiana and changes from a young country boy with pants always too short into the sixteenth President of the United States. The book highlights Lincoln’s love of learning and respect for people, fine lesson for children’s reading. Published by Big Tent Books.
HOSTAGE IN TIME An exciting, mind-bending trip down the time-travel rabbit hole, psychic medium Linda Lauren’s debut novel is a fast-paced adventure full of romance and intrigue. The launch party, Thursday, September 15th at 6pm at The Merchant’s House Museum, 29 East 4th St., a 19th century museum house frozen in time with authentic furnishings, is an appropriate venue. Amanda Lloyd finds herself transported back in time to 1883 and is put under arrest, becoming a hostage to history. With her love interest Jonathan they work together to unravel the mystery and with the help of a spiritual medium they find and understand their destiny.
THE BUDDHA in the ATTIC A riveting saga, it tells the story of a group of young women brought from Japan to San Francisco as “picture brides” nearly a century ago. With heart wrenching fast paced prose, the book traces the picture brides’ extraordinary lives, which turn out to be grave disappointments. In a language that has the force and fury of poetry author Julie Otsuka has written a spellbinding novel from the brides’ tremulous first nights as new wives to their backbreaking work picking fruit in the fields, scrubbing the floors of white women, their sad experiences in childbirth to raising children and the final insult, the ‘disappearance’ of the Japanese during the deracinating arrival of war. Published Alfred A. Knopf.
Ta Ta darlings!!! Although The Buddha in the Attic is a mere 129 pages, its depth of understanding of the plight of the picture brides is monumental, I was so captivated by the author’s breezy poetic style that I couldn't put the book down. Fan mail welcome: Visit and in the right-hand column click on the Blog of your interest. You might enjoy amazingartdecodivas.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Revisiting cultural sites in the Big Apple sets us on a whirlwind of venues from expressions of Ming protest to indulging in Parisian pastries. It’s the Best of New York my friends, the best of cultured tastes right here in the Big Apple. Here’s the scoop!!!
DIGNIFIED EXPRESSION OF QUIET DISSENT…In 17th-century China brings together 63 landscape paintings and calligraphies representing the mindset of men who found refuge in poetry and paintings when the nearly 300-year-old Ming dynasty collapsed. The exhibit, devoted to artists who masked their political views, reveals how an empty pavilion relates to lack and shortage of food and a bare landscape conveys passive resistance to the ruling society. Artists withdrew into imaginary landscapes as a way of distancing themselves from the political world. Part of the vocabulary of these poet/painters is an act of remembrance and regret. The sun setting indicated the end of the Ming Dynasty as did wilting Lotus leaves and unnatural frost on the mountaintop. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Opens September 7 through Jan. 2, 2012.
MACAROON MECCA…Don’t let the large queue on upper Madison Avenue deter your pursuit of Parisian macaroons at the chic boutique Laduree, the newly opened outpost of the French bakery. You’ll feel like you’re in Paris on the Rue Royale in 1862 in the fabled store’s ambiance inspired by the elegant marble-topped tables and painted antique furniture, gilt chandeliers and frescoed ceilings of the original shop. These delicious delicacies, including raspberry, pistachio, orange blossom and Madagascar chocolate to name a few favorites, are made in Paris and shipped overnight. They melt in your mouth, eating one is never enough. 864 Madison Ave. (70th and 71st streets) Mon.-Fri., 9am-6pm, Sat., noon to 6pm.
COMMEMORATING 9/11 THE IMPACT OF COMICS AND VISUAL ARTS ON CULTURE....marks the 10th anniversary of one of the darkest days in American history. In respect for this occasion, the major comic syndicates have rallied their cartoonists to dedicate their strips on that day to those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks. A lecture and vernissage at the Society of Illustrators, 128 E. 63rd St., opens 9.8, 6:30 pm. WHERE DOES THE DUST ITSELF COLLECT? An installation by Chinese artist, Xu Bing uses the dust that he collected from the streets of Lower Manhattan in the aftermath of 9/11. Recreating a field of dust across a floor surface, punctuated by the outline of a Zen Buddhist poem, the work explores the relationship between the spiritual and material world. Sponsored by the Museum of Chinese in America, on view at the Spinning Wheel Bldg, 5 E. 22 St, btw. 5th & 6th Aves., 12pm-6pm Tues-Sun. opens 9.9
Ta Ta Darlings!!! I’m off to indulge my fancy for some of those delectable macaroons. Fan mail is always welcome at Visit Polly Blogs at and in the right-hand column click on the Blog of your interest. Why not view some poetry from Rio con brio or my August Adieu!!! http//