|Captain Charles A. and Sergeant John M. Hawkins|
PHOTOGRAPHY and the AMERICAN CIVIL WAR, opening this week coincides with the sesquicentennial of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863), the turning point of the war. More than 200 of the finest and most poignant photographs of the American Civil War have been brought together in this landmark exhibition that includes intimate studio portraits of armed Union and Confederate soldiers preparing to meet their destiny. Pictured here: Captain Charles A and Sergeant John M. Hawkins, Company E, 38th Regiment Georgia Volunteer Infantry, 1861-1862, Unknown Artist. The camera recorded from beginning to the end the heartbreaking narrative of the epic four year war (1861-1865) in which 750,000 lives were lost. Granted this exhibition is not for the faint of heart, but it is a testament, through photography, of the full pathos of the brutal conflict, that after 150 years, still looms large in the American public imagination with battlefield landscapes strewn with human remains, rare and multi-panel panoramas of the killing fields of Gettysburg and the destruction of Richmond. Among the most extraordinary, if shocking, photographs in the exhibition are the wounded and sick soldiers from the war’s last battles. Through Sept. 2, 2013. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave.
SEARCH FOR THE UNICORN: IN MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE ART marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of The Cloisters museum and gardens-the branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art dedicated to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. The exhibition includes some 40 works of art in the diverse media drawn from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum, other public institutions and private collections. The Unicorn Tapestries remain the best-known masterpieces; yet, 75 years later, their history and meaning remain as elusive as the mythical beast itself. The Morgan Library and Museum has lent its celebrated English Bestiary, a 12th-century manuscript that depicts the unicorn with its head in the lap of a maiden. Programs that accompany the exhibition include a family festival at The Cloisters on May 25 and 26, focusing on mythological beasts. Location: Romanesque Hall and Unicorn Tapestry Hall, The Cloisters.
R.B. KITAJ: PERSONAL LIBRARY: The Jewish Museum’s exhibition features 33 screen prints from the a suite of 50, created by the internationally celebrated painter and graphic artist, R. B. Kitaj in 1969. For this series, Kitaj reproduced from his personal library the covers of books that had a profound meaning for him. The images offer insights into the artist’s psyche and form a remarkable artistic statement. The range of texts and typographies convey the artist’s eclectic interests and tastes, from Margaret Mead’s Coming of Age in Samoa to essays by Ezra pound and Damon Runyan. The deep library and conceptual underpinnings of his art are in evidence in the suite, ‘In Our Time,’ a highly unusual body of work within his oeuvre. Opens April 5. The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave. at 92nd Street. 212.423.3200.
‘RENOIR,’ Polly’s Movie Pick of the Week is gorgeous to be hold, an intriguingly portrait of the impressionist master as a maker of beloved art. Here is Pierre-August Renoir in 1915 turning out paintings in the sublime Riviera setting of Cagnes-sur-Mer. Beautiful and enchanting!
The new TV drama, MR. SELFRIDGE, of Selfridge’s Department Store takes London like a circus showman creating retailing firsts that entertain and amaze the Brits. I remember visiting the store several years ago. Our car pulled up into Selfridge’s first-ever automobile station inside the store. We left and car to be serviced and went shopping. Now that’s what I call a full service retailer!!!
Ta Ta Darlings!!! I’m off to the Cloisters to fantasize about the Unicorns. Fan mail welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.