Tuesday, May 29, 2012


New York City the fashion capital of the world plays host to yet another fashion review, an Abstract master delves into shapes and color and the ancient past rises up at a venerable museum. All this week, my friends. The Very Best of New York. Here’s the scoop!!!
FASHION, A-Z: HIGHLIGHTS from the COLLECTION OF THE MUSEUM AT FIT-Part Two, showcases some 60 fashions from the museum’s permanent collection. Of more than 50,000 garments and accessories. The items on display will be featured in the "Fashion, A-Z” book due out this fall by Taschen. Part Two, which will be on view through November 10, 2012, features fashion s organized alphabetically--- from Adrian, Balmain and Comme des Garcons all the way through the alphabet---to give visitors a sense of the modern and contemporary fashions that shaped the fashion mindset of admiring fashionistas. What appears to be an engineering feat, the Charles James Tree dress (1955), pictured here, is one of the main attractions at the museum, which has one of the largest collections of his pieces. Meticulous to the point of creating structural garments, James only produced only 1,000 garments during his decades of designing. Other pieces include a Madeline Vionnet bias cut, 1936 evening dress, a 1961 Arnold Scaasi cocktail dress and a 1981 pirate ensemble from Vivienne Westwood. At The Museum at FIT, Seventh Ave. at 27th St. FREE fitnyc.edu/museum.
ELLSWORTH KELLY’s DRAWINGS of Plants, Flowers, Leaves—Spanning 60 years—includes his first ‘Plant Drawings’ made in Boston and Paris in the late 1940s. Ranging from seaweed suspended in his studio, to a flower discovered on the road side, to a single banana leaf examined at close range, Kelly’s renderings of plants ---he likens them to portraits---are precisely observed studies of forms in nature. “The most pleasurable thing in the world, for me, “ the artist once said, “is to see something, and then translate how I see it.” The selection of approximately 75 drawings begins in 1948 during Kelly’s early sojourn in Paris and continues throughout his travels to the most recent work made in upstate New York. Shape and color his two strong points. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, opening June 5-Sept. 3, 2012. http://www.metmuseum.org/
ANTICO: THE GOLDEN AGE OF RENAISSANCE BRONZES Sojourn over to the Frick Collection to see Renaissance master, Pier Jacopo Alari de Bonacolsi (1455-1528). He merely signed himself “Antico” to underscore his penchant for ancient Classical art, which as being unearthed in Italy during his lifetime. The exhibit includes some 39 sculptures, life-size busts, reliefs and medals that represent his high level of artistic refinement and historical reproduction. He was the first Renaissance sculptor to specialize in bronze statuettes and the first to employ lavish gilding in his work. Antico’s large bust of “Bacchus” reveal the sculptor’s naturalistic rendering of contrasting textures is a serenely splendid work. Just walking through the inner garden courtyard of the Frick is worth the visit. Through July 29, 2012. http://www.frick.org/.
CHURCHILL: THE POWER OF WORDS Sir Winston Churchill’s impact upon the twentieth century is difficult to overestimate, as is the effectiveness of his oratory and writings. The Morgan Library & Museum explores this fascinating aspect of Churchill’s life and legacy in an exhibition that covers more than half century of his life—from Victorian childhood letters to his mother, to Cold War correspondence with President Eisenhower, and features some of the most famous wartime oratory. The Power of Words uses sixty-five, drafts, speaking notes, personal and official correspondence, public statements and official recordings to examine the main events of his life. Of particular focus is Churchill’s lifelong relationship with the United States, and the ways in which he used the written and spoken word to develop, complement and advance his political career. Of course, you know that Churchill’s mother, the beautiful Jennie Jerome, was born in Brooklyn, New York. http://www.themorgan.org/.
Ta Ta Darlings!!! I’m counting on getting inspired by words and Kelly’s plant portraits. Fan mail welcome www.pollytalk.com. Visit Polly’s Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and in the left-hand column click on the Blog that interests you from fashion to poetry and visionary men.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Chatting Over Tear Multi-block woodcut by Wu Jide (British Museum, London)

Wander down the Silk Road, feel the sensation of walking through art, visit Terracotta Warriors…then take a break and see a musical, “Nice Work if You Can Get It.” Only in New York my friends, the very best of cultural events this week. Here’s the scoop!!!

THE PRINTED IMAGE in CHINA, 8th-21st Century: Do you want to enlist the aid of a Deity to be successful for education or better yet, ward off evil spirits or thwart a thief then go no further than the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Galleries for Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, where all you need is a fierce-looking Door Guardian from the Qong Dynasty. These fascinating wood block prints, created in China as an artistic medium for popular culture and political commentary include Buddhist prints from the Silk Road, the earliest example of multiple block color printing, striking anti-war images and a woodblock image depicting the deity of infinite compassion. Production techniques are also on view establishing China as the country with the longest history of printing in the world and contemporary artists respond to the genre such as pictured above Chatting Over Tea. These prints from the British Museum are on view through July 29, 2012. www.metmuseumorg. Or 212.535.7710.
TERRACOTTA WARRIORS, Defender of China’s Great Emperor. Might as well make your way to Discovery Times Square, and without traveling, right here in the Big Apple see direct from China, the legend behind china’s First Emperor and his remarkable Terracotta Warriors, each standing 6 feet tall and over 2,000 years old, along an exclusive collection of more than 200 ancient treasures and artifacts. At Discover Times square, 226 West 44th St. By phone 866.987.9692. Tics adult $25. For discount info email advertising@theatermania.com or 866.811.4111.
WALK AROUND A PAINTING, DRINK A COLOR. This is an experience not to be missed!!! In the 1950’s such questions were answered by Brazilian artist Helio Oiticica who created amazing environmental installations. Now Helio gets his due recognition at New York’s Galerie Lelong exhibition, PENETRABLE. A highlight of the show is “Penetravel Filtro,” a room filled maze whose path is occasionally blocked by yellow and blue plastic strips that viewers must brush past very much like moving through a car wash. As the visitor continues they listen to various recordings of writers like Gertrude Stein reading one of her novels. Alas when you reach the final chamber, you see a table with plastic cups and a dispenser of orange juice. Help yourself. The gallery says that visitors have already gone through 60 bottles. This innovative artist was born in Rio de Janeiro and lived from 1937 to 1980, died of a stroke. The installation is fascinating to say the least. At Galerie Lelong, at 528 W. 26 St. (Between 10th and 11th Avenues) Tues. through Sat., 10am-6pm. 212.315.0470.
NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT!!! It’s the Broadway sensation of the season. This musical comedy has a familiar storyline but there’s nothing ordinary about the production. It’s a laugh a minute and just when you thought the theatrics had done their utmost up pops another episode to keep you dancing in your seat. Matthew Broderick is perfectly cast as the nerdy wealthy Jimmy Winter and around him other stars like Kelli OHara keep the antics up and rousingly funny. Characters like Michael McGrath’s slapstick role and Chris Sullivan’s dimwit role also steal the show as do the talented chorus girls and vice squad boys all romping it up with nonstop songs by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin like Fascinating Rhythm, I’ve got a Crush on You, Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off and my favorite, Someone to Watch Over Me. At the Imperial Theater, 249 W. 45th St.
Ta Ta Darlings!!! I’m heading to the West Side Art Galleries where Penetrable is all the rage to pass through color and drink it too. Fan mail welcome: pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’s Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and in the left-hand column click on poetry, fashion, visionary men or amazing women.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Go no further than the New York Bronx Botanical Garden and step into Monet’s world right here in the Bronx, no need to go to Giverny, France; take a lofty visit to the MET roof for a breathtaking panoramic view of the city, then dig into art and culture in a myriad of choices this week. Here’s the scoop?
MONET'S GARDEN Ah to be in Giverny again!!! I remember well as one of the most picturesque spots in the South of France. I took my students there a few years ago and we were all inspired by the lush colors and the bright sunny yellow dining room of the house. All you need do is to take a breather and go on the Metro North train to the Botanical Garden station. The multifaceted exhibition examines the life and work of the Impressionist master Claude Monet by highlighting his passion for gardening and the inspiration he drew from his living masterpiece, the garden on the grounds of his home in Giverny, France. Opens to the general public May 19 through Oct. 21. Events and Program: Chamber Music by the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. Enjoy the music of Monet's contemporaries Claude Debussy, Albert Roussel, and Gabriel Faure on Sundays May 20, Oct. 7 and Oct.21 at 4 pm. For Families: Observe and Create, let your inner Monet run wild and be inspired by nature to create art in all different forms. May 19-Sept. 30, Weekdays, 10 am-5:30pm and weekdays, 10am-5:30pm. Take a poetry walk or indulge your passion for gardens by taking a course in watercolor basics. http://www.nybg.org/. Adult all-garden pass tickets start at $20. Monet's Garden on Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram and Pinterest.
CLOUD CITY A galactic sphere has landed on the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. Artist, Tomas Saraceno's installation is a 'must see' spectacle of ingenuity. Adventurous visitors can walk through the interconnected modules made with transparent and reflective mirror-like materials. The lines will be long for this one so check the website for the schedule, weather permitting, http://www.metmuseum.org/. Get into orbit and go to the roof!!!
AARON BURR RETURNS TO NEW YORK An exhibition on Burr and His Contemporaries marks the 200th anniversary of Burr's return to New York, ending a self-imposed exile to Europe following his trial for treason and the tragic duel with Alexander Hamilton. At the Grolier Club, 47 E. 60th St. opening May 16 through July 28, FREE for the general public. Included in the exhibition are rare books, pamphlets, newspapers, autograph letters and relics relating to Burr and his contemporaries including Benedict Arnold, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. A careful attention to documents reveals a far more complex persona, one whose support for women's rights, the arts and the nascent anti-slavery movement were among the most progressive of his time.
Ta Ta darlings!!! I went to Giverny via the NYBG and the Monet garden presentation is breathtaking. So get out and get some sunshine and head for the Bronx. Fan mail welcome: pollytalk@verizon.net and to view Polly's Blogs go to http://www.pollytalk.com/ and in the left hand column click on the link to poetry, fashion, amazing women determined to succeed or visionary men.

Monday, May 7, 2012


Fashionistas need go no further than their computer to see the Red Carpet arrivals at the Costume Institute Benefit which is live streamed for the first time today, May 7, 6:30-8:30 p.m., on Vogue, Amazon.com/Fashion, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art websites. Here’s the scoop!!!
Elsa Schiaparelli, "L'Officiel, October 1937
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of art,
Photograph by George Saad, Les Editions Jalou, L'Officiel (c)
RED CARPET ARRIVALS For the first time in its history, red carpet arrivals at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s renowned Costume Institute Benefit, live-streamed online, for the arrivals at the Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations” exhibit. Hosted by Vogue’s William Norwich and Elettra Wiedemann, the broadcast will include interview with the gala co-chairs, including Carey Mulligan, Miuccia Prada, and Anna Wintour, as well as celebrities from the worlds of fashion, film, society, sports, art, business and music. Special pre-taped segments will be shown on the history of the benefit and on this year’s corresponding exhibit.
THE INSIDE TRACK The hosts will ask attending celebrities five additional questions chosen from viewer submissions during the streaming. Also, Norwich and Wiedemann will give an inside perspective on preparing for the gala. Not to be missed this exciting live stream will be available on www.metmusuem.org/metgala. Also with information about the exhibition including images, videos of the galleries, and curators commentary                                                                                                            
TWO STRONG ITALIAN WOMEN The exhibition, on view May 10-August 19, explores the striking affinities between Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada, Italian designers from quite different eras. Inspired by Miguel Covarrubias’s “Impossible Interviews” for Vanity Fair in the 1930s, curators Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton created conversations between these iconic women to suggest new readings of their most innovative work. Breathtaking imagery and over 90 signature objects and 30 accessories by Schiaparelli in the late 1920s to the early 1950s (including Salvador Dali influences), and Prada from the late 1980s to the present, are compared and contrasted to explore the extraordinary impact of their aesthetics and sensibilities on contemporary notions of fashionability.
THE GALLERIES In the galleries, iconic ensembles by Schiaparelli and Prada are presented with videos of simulated conversations between the two designers focusing on how both women explore similar themes in their work through very different approaches. The third gallery is divided into multiple themes: “Hard Chic,” “naïf Chic” and “Ugly Chic” versus “The Classical body” and “The Exotic Body. Watch the backgrounds. If you look closely you will see models winging at you from life-size images and even Wallis Simpson wear Schiaparelli’s famous ‘Lobster’ dress, the skirt floating in an imaginary breeze.                                                                                                   
SURREALISM AND MODERNISM The exhibit ends with a series of Lucite-encased garments themed “The Surreal Body,” which touches on the most innovative by both designers. Don’t miss Schiap’s lamb chop-shaped hat and the famous shoe hat. THE PARIS BRAND The storied fashion brand Schiaparelli is making a comeback. Italian business titan Diego Della Valle, the owner of the Paris brand, is searching for a designer to re-activate the label with all its modernity and sophistication. Born in Rome in 1890, Elsa Schiaparelli was seen as a key rival of Gabrielle Chanel. Known for designs heavily influenced by Surrealist art and, of course, Dali’s influence cannot be denied.                                                                  Ta Ta darlings!!! It was a marvelous morning at the press preview. It's a ‘not to be missed’ experience. Only in New York, my friends, only in New York!!! Fan mail welcome: pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’s Blogs at www.pollytalk.com. Just click on the direct link in the left-hand column list to thefashionhistorianpollyguerin or amazingartdecodivas.