Monday, November 26, 2012

HOLIDAY EXHIBITIONS DAZZLE (c) By Polly Guerin

The holiday spirit dazzles and delights the onlooker but nothing soothes the mind more than an art gallery exhibition to remind us that cultural pursuits far outshine the decorations. Here’s the scoop!!!

Tokyo 1955-1970: A New Avant-Garde is the first museum exhibition to focus on the city of Tokyo during the remarkable period from the mid-1950s through the 1960s, when the city transformed itself from the capital of a war-torn nation into an international center for arts, culture, and commerce. The exhibition encompasses many mediums—including painting, sculpture, photography, drawings, graphic designs, architecture, video and documentary film representing over 200 works by more than 60 artists and art collectives. In conjunction with the exhibition, MoMA presents a performance program that brings together four contemporary artists and artist groups, based in Japan and New York. The performance series takes place in January and February 2013, in various places around the museum. The Museum of Modern Art, through February 25, 2013, 11 W. 53rd St. Image: Yokoo Tadanori: Diary of a Shinjuku Thief, 1968 screenprint. The Museum of Modern Art, Gift of the Designer.
MATISSE: In Search of True Painting. Henri Matisse, one of the most acclaimed artists working in France, throughout his career questioned, repainted and reevaluated his work. Fascinated by the artistic process he once hired a photographer to document the evolution of his paintings and then conceived an exhibition that juxtaposed finished works with pictures of their earlier incarnations. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Matisse: In Search of True Painting exhibition presents this particular aspect of Matisse’s painting process by showcasing 49 vibrantly colored canvases as well as a selection of sculptures and works on paper from a series titled “Themes and Variations.” Dec. 4, 2012 through March 13, 2013. 1000 Fifth Ave.
FERDINAND HODLER: View to Infinity. The Neue Galerie presents the first major New York museum show to focus on the late work of Ferdinand Hodler (1853-1918), the premier Swiss artist of the early twentieth century. The exhibition includes portrait paintings, majestic Swiss landscapes, incisive self-portraits, and the moving series of works chronicling the illness and early death of the artist’s lover, Valentine Gode-Darel. The artist’s landscapes have been described by one critic as “mystical celebrations of light and color.” Hodler attributed symbolic meaning to colors, "Blue is the color that, like the sky, like the sea, speak to me of all that is translucent and magnificent.” Through January 7, 2013. Neue Galerie New York at 1048 Fifth Avenue at 86th Street.
Polly’s Movie Pick of the Week: HYDE PARK on HUDSON. Bill Murray as Franklin D. Roosevelt and portrays the political life of the American Legend with charm and conviction. Roosevelt’s love affairs are another matter of interest; some exploits as never portrayed before.
Ta Ta Darlings!!! Hodler is worth the trip uptown and then, of course, there is the CafĂ© Sabarsky for afternoon tea. Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon.net. Polly’s Blogs are best accessed at her website pollytalk.com. Just click on the link in the left-hand column for visonarymen, womendeterminedtosucceed, poetry or fashion.



Monday, November 19, 2012

THANKSGIVING LEGEND (c) By Polly Guerin

As we celebrate Thanksgiving 2012 there are so many more reasons to be thankful and as a reminder it was Sarah Josepha Hale, a petite crusader in crinoline, who was the pioneering champion who inspired President Lincoln to declareThanksgiving a national holiday. HALE’S LETTER WRITING CAMPAIGN
Sarah Josepha Hale’s relentless handwritten letter campaign spanned a period of almost three decades in which she urged that Thanksgiving be declared a national holiday. With tireless zeal she penned thousands of editorials and wrote handwritten letters to prominent, citizens, governors and went right to the White House, addressing the issue to United States Presidents. She never gave up on her campaign which had roots in the country’s unification.
CIVIL WAR UNIFICATION
As the dark days of the Civil War divided the country into two armed camps Mrs. Hale’s editorials became more vigilant. who wouold listen to a lone woman with her persistent plea for "just one day of peace amidst the blood and strife"? Eventually she came to see the nationalization of Thanksgiving not only as a day for counting our blessings, but as a logical bond of union, one more means of drawing the sympathies of the country together. Year after year without typewriter Hale continued to pour out her handwritten letters, which were sent to influential people urging them to join in establishing Thanksgiving the last Thursday in November.
LINCOLN DECLARES THE HOLIDAY
With the country gripped in the North and South divide, Mrs. Hale’s concept of unity finally caught the attention of one man in the White House. Prompted by a letter she had written to Secretary of State William Seward in 1863 President Lincoln recognized the urgency for unification and issued a proclamation appointing the last Thursday in November as a day of national Thanksgiving in America.
HALE, THE LADY EDITOR
Sarah Josepha Hale succeeded at a time when there were few opportunities for working women to escape the drudgery of domesticity. In addition, like other women of her era, she had been denied a formal education but found refuge in her father’s library, self-educating herself. After her husband died, leaving her penniless, she wrote and published a novel, Northwood, which captured the attention of a Boston publishing firm. She was offered editorship of one of their periodicals in 1836 and at the age of 40, with five children to support, she left her home town of Newport, New Hampshire and moved to Boston to assume the post of Lady Editor. Running one of the most powerful magazines in the country did not escape critics, but she always explained that she was forced to hold down a job to feed her children.
ARBITER OF WOMEN’S ISSUES
Sarah Josepha Hale, as Lady Editor, was the arbiter of parlor etiquette, fashion, manners and intellect. As a journalist, lobbyist, career woman and crusader in crinoline she spoke her mind and succeeded where others had failed. A petite woman, she dressed in the crinoline style of the 1800s. However, even in this cumbersome attire and the restrains of society she championed numerous women’s issue bringing about a number of important improvements in the lives of women in the Victorian era. She was the first to advocate women as teachers in public schools. She demanded for housekeeping the dignity of a profession and put the term “domestic science” into the language. Sarah Josepha Hale was to prove to be unique exception of her times.
AUTHOR OF MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB In addition, she helped to establish Vassar College, the first college for women. Hale was civic minded and among her credits she promoted the movement to preserve Mount Vernon as a National memorial and raised the money that finished Bunker Hill Monument. She was the author of some two dozen books and hundreds of poems, including the best known children’s rhyme in the English language, “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
Sarah Josepha Hale stepped from the shelter of an early nineteenth century marriage untrained, unschooled and stepped forward to become the nation’s most celebrated Lady Editor. For her patriotic part in nationalizing Thanksgiving Day, we give thanks.

Monday, November 12, 2012

ALL VENUES GREAT AND MUSICAL IN THE BIG APPLE (c) By Polly Guerin

Never a dull moment in New York City where cultural events, great and musical, excite and invite the inquisitive nature of the city’s citizens to get out on these glorious days of spring-like weather. Only in New York my friends, the best of New York. Here’s the scoop!!!

FORTUNY Y MADRAZO: An Artistic Legacy The Queen Sofia Spanish Institute pays homage to Fortuny in a seminal exhibition that analyzes the work of the celebrated Spanish artist and designer in the context of the family of artists from which he descended. Conceived by and curated by Oscar de la Renta, this will be the first exhibition to examine Fortuny’s groundbreaking work in numerous fields, from textile and clothing design to visual arts and elaborates on the origins and influences that shaped his extraordinary career. From the luxurious textiles to many of his clothing designs, the iconic Delphos dress, emphasized movement and the natural shape of an un-corseted body. November 30-March 30, 2013. Queen Sofia Spanish Institute, 684 Park Avenue. T 212.628.0420. Image: Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo, Peplos (detail) 1910-1920, Courtesy of the Museo del Traje, Madrid.

GRAND HOTEL, “People Come, People Go.” It’s The Blue Hill Troupe’s electrifying musical version of the classic play, The Grand Hotel, inspired by Vicki Baum’s period novel sweeps into the Theater at St. Clement’s with performances ongoing From Nov. 14 to 17 at 8pm and a 2pm performance on Nov. 17th . This multiple Tony Award-winning musical features music and lyrics in a powerful score that is certain to sweep you away with all the lavishness of the 1920s. It’s 1928 Berlin, the world is between wars and the stock market is booming and though the Grand Hotel’s revolving doors pass a cavalcade of desperate, ambitious characters, all yearning for one last chance at a better future. The Blue Hill Troupe supports the Go Project, a nonprofit mission to provide critical academic, social and emotional support starting in the early elementary years. At the Theater at St. Clement’s, 423 West 46th St. (between 9th and l0th Ave) For tickets call: 866.811.4111.

MUSIC FOR THANKSGIVING: The St. George’s Choral Society’s Music for Thanksgiving for choir and Organ is a timely program that honors ‘For All our Gifts,’ with Matthew Lewis, Artistic Director and Andrew Yeargin, at the organ. The program includes a commissioned work (World Premiere) by Andrew Bassi and also Make a Joyful Noise Unto the Lord, Isadore Freed; Hariu, Max Janowski; The Eyes of All, Wait Upon Thee, Jean Berger; Three Harvest Home Chorales, Charles E. Ives; Rejoice in the Lamb, Benjamin Britten. A select ensemble will sing: Paulus: Pilgrims Hymn, We Gather Together and Thompson: Antiphon. At the Church of the Incarnation, 209 Madison Ave., at 35th St. On Sunday November 18th at 3pm. Tickets $25 at the door. $20 in advance email stgeorgeschoralsociety@yahoo.com

META-Monumental Garage Sale at The Museum of Modern Art. For her first solo exhibition at MoMA, multimedia performance artist Martha Rosler will present her work Meta-Monumental, a large-scale version of the classic American garage sale, where visitors will be able to browse and purchase second-hand goods that are organized, displayed and sold by the artist and her floor assistants. From November 17th-30th and museum visitors will be encouraged buy, haggle over prices and make purchases, after get your photo taken with your purchase. At MoMA, 11 W. 53rd St.

Ta Ta darlings: Don’t miss seeing that delightful musical The Grand Hotel and I’ll be looking for you on Sunday, November 18th as I will be singing in the St. George’s program. Fan mail welcome: pollytalk@verizon. Polly’s blogs are best accessed at pollytalk.com just click in the left hand column for a direct link to visionary men, amazing women, poetry or fashion.

Monday, November 5, 2012

CULTURAL VENUES RESTORE THE BIG APPLE'S HEART (c) By Polly Guerin

The rush of cultural venues restores the city on new ground with good reason to get out and enjoy the rich heritage that only New York City can offer in such abundance. Only in New York my friends, the best of New York. Here’s the scoop!

EDVARD MUNCH: The Scream, A haunting rendition of a hairless figure on a road under a yellow-orange sky, says it all about the reaction to Sandy. Here is an opportunity to see for yourself. The Scream has garnered worldwide attention for the stark portrayal of the human condition. The Museum of modern Art’s special six-month exhibition of Edvard Munch’s iconic ‘The Scream’ (1895) is among the most celebrated and recognized images in art history. The exhibition includes a small selection of works of the same period drawn primarily from the Museum’s collection. Of the four versions of the Scream that Munch created, this pastel of The Scream, is lent from a private collection and will on view at MoMA through April 2013, at 11 W. 53 St.

THE ROLLING STONES 50 years on Film: In celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Rolling Stones, MoMA presents the first comprehensive retrospective which chronicles the band from the mid-1960s until today with documentaries, fiction features, concert films, music videos, experimental shorts, and archival footage, training the film careers of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ronnie Wood, as well as former band members, collectively as composers, performers, producers and actors. Over the past half century, The Rolling Stones have influenced music, cinema, and art, working with some of the most original directors of their generation. In The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater.

THE PURSUIT OF A VISION: Two Centuries of Collecting American at the American Antiquarian Society tells the story of the significant book, newspaper, and art collectors who helped develop and expand the Society’s collection, which is described as the greatest collection of early Americana in the world. On the second floor gallery, The Grolier Club present a groundbreaking examination of Italian-language publishing in pre-war America, ‘Strangers in a Strange lane’ showcases a wide range of literary works which entertained, educated and inflamed an Italian-language audience during a period of critical historical development. Free admission. The Grolier Club, 47 E. 60th St.

THE RODIN PROJECT: The Russell Maliphant Company performs the U. S. debut of its celebrated founder’s latest work, The Rodin Project. First presented in Paris this past January, it is inspired by the “energy and twisting” of the 19th century master’s forms. The six dancer piece blends street and contemporary idioms and features a score by the Russian composer and cellist Alexander Zekke. Dec. 5 through 9 at the Joyce Theater, joyce.org. Sneak preview and discussion with the choreographer Dec. 3 at the Guggenheim Museum, guggenheim.org.

THE SALON, ART & DESIGN at the Park Avenue Armory Nov. 8 to 12th opens with a gala to benefit the Kips Bay Boys & Girls club, Wed. Nov. 7th. Special events in the Tiffany Room, Friday Nov. 9th and Saturday Nov. 10th include Real Estate and Interiors: How does design affect the value of your home? In addition, French Flair: Top designers talk about designing in the French Style and Elements of Contemporary Style deatures the next generation of Interior Designers. At Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Ave. at 67th St. Info: thesalonny.com.

Ta Ta darlings!!! It’s quite a relief to be back on board with my PollyTalk column. I trust you are all okay by now. Fan mail always welcome at pollytalk.com and my Blogs can be reached by clicking on the left-hand column links on pollytalk.com.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

DIAMOND JUBILEE AND STORYTELLING IN NEW YORK (c) By Polly Guerin

Music doth make mortals of us all and New York City’s diamond jubilee Mahler concert tops events coming up this week, with storytelling Beatrix Potter enchanting children. Only in New York, my friends, the best of New York. Here’s the scoop!!!

BEATRIX POTTER: The Picture Letters Bring a child with you and explore the extraordinary tale of how a largely self-taught artist and writer used a series of private letters to develop some of the most vividly depicted animal characters in all of children’s literature. The exhibition brings together for the first time twenty-two letters—including the famous Peter Rabbit letter---as well as printed books, original artwork, manuscripts, and early children’s toys and games inspired by Potter’s stories. Although Potter was most often associated with bunnies, mice and squirrels that she immortalized in her beloved children’s books, spiders, newts, snakes and snails held an equal place in her heart. At the Morgan Library and Museum, 225 Madison Ave. Opens November 2 through January 2013.

GUSTAV MAHLER, Eighth Symphony The Canterbury Choral Society’s 60th Anniversary Benefit Concert, Mahler’s 8th Symphony, takes place on Saturday, November 3rd at 8pm at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. Under the baton of Charles Dodsley Walker, founder and conductor, this remarkable presentation engages a chorus of 600 and Symphony Orchestra. The Canterbury Choral Society will be augmented by The Long Island Choral Society, Faculty and Cadets from the US Military Academy at West Point and Coro ProMusica Mexico. Young singers from several schools lend their voices to the gala affair including Spence School and Trinity School. Order tickets by calling CarnegieCharge at 212.247.7800.

LOUIS C. TIFFANY, And the Art of Devotion Most of us know the artist by his famous Tiffany lamps, but his oeuvre goes way beyond this genre. This exhibition is the first to concentrate on Tiffany’s ecclesiastical division which was created when New York City was going through an enormous building boom in congregations (between 1890 and 1906). The exhibit focuses on the work Tiffany Studios designed and fabricated for America’s churches, and, on a few occasions, synagogues as well. Divided into 3 thematic sections, the visually striking exhibition focuses on cues Tiffany took from Western and Eastern decorative traditions, mingling Gothic and Byzantine elements with the flowing botanical lines of Art Nouveau, and many other styles. At The Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA) through January 2013. FREE admission.

9 + 1 Ways of Being Political: 50 Years of Political Stances in Architecture and Urban Design offers a series of fresh perspectives on the ways in which, over the last half century, architects have responded actively and redeveloped political attitude to the ever-evolving condition of urban society. Comprised of works spanning the last 50 years, the exhibition presents a variety of institutional critiques through putting architectural stances in dialogue with the works of other urban practitioners; artists, photographers, and designers. At The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) through March 2013, 11 West 53rd Street. Te: 212.708.9431.

Ta Ta darlings: You will find me singing this Saturday in the chorus of the Canterbury Choral Society and I look forward to seeing you there. Fan mail welcome: pollytalk@verizon. Polly’s blogs are best accessed at pollytalk.com just click in the left hand column for a direct link to visionary men, amazing women, poetry or fashion.