Tuesday, February 25, 2014


No need to travel to England to see these rare 12th-Century treasures. For the first time in 800 years a breathtaking presentation of near-life-size enthroned figures in stained glass from England’s historic Canterbury Cathedral are in New York for a temporary and rare exhibition, “Radiant Light,” at the Cloisters, a branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
   Not to be missed; the exhibition completes the celebration of the 75th-anniversary year of the founding of The Cloisters and represents the first time the panels have left the cathedral precincts since their creation in 1178-80. The exhibit opens today at The Cloisters through May 18, 2014. Only in New York my friends, the Best of New York. Here’s the scoop!!!
The brilliant windows in rich color captured in frozen glass were originally from the clerestory of the cathedral’s choir, east transepts, and the Trinity Chapel feature six figures---Jared, Lamech, Thara, Abraham, Noah and Phalec, which were part of an original cycle of 86 ancestors of Christ, and represent the most comprehensive ancestor cycle in art history. These imposing figures are masterpieces of Romanesque art, and exude an aura of dignified powers.
   The angular limbs, form-defining drapery, and encompassing folds of the mantles all add a sculptural quality to the majestic figures…even remarkably legible at a distance. One complete window (Thara and Abraham), nearly 12 feet in height, is shown with it associate rich foliate border.The glass painting of Methuselah Master to whom the figures of Jared and Lamech are attributed, is distinguished by a remarkable delineation of form by means of a fluid graduated line and bold shading. Images: JARAED: The Anestors of Christ Windows, Canterbury Cathedral, England 1178-80, Colored glass and Vitreous paint; lead came. Photographer Robert Greshoff. Courtesy: Dean and Chapter of Canterbury.  
Thomas Becket, who is venerated as a saint and martyr both by the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his martyrdom in 1170 when King Henry II’s knights on command murdered Becket in the cathedral. The opera so inspired by this event, “Assasino Nella Cattedrale”, composed by Lldebrando Pizzetti’s operatic version of T.S. Eliot’s play, “Murder in the Cathedral” was performed many years ago on the steps of Boston’s Cathedral, and I am pleased to remember that I sang in the chorus. As evidenced in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, a literary masterpiece from the 14th century the Cathedral was an important pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages and stories spun out in legends and lore. Becket was canonized in 1173
Founded in 597, the cathedral is one of the oldest Christian structures in England and its popularity increased after the construction of a shrine to Thomas Becket. Today, Canterbury Cathedral is the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion worldwide. Recent repairs to the stonework of the south transept window for this magnificent historic structure necessitated the removal of many of these stained-glass windows, all of unparalleled beauty. And that my friends, the repair work, is what made possible the loan of these magnificent windows to travel to America and The Cloisters.
   An interactive panorama of the Canterbury Cathedral on a large touch-screen monitor provides visitors with a 360 degree view of the building’s interior with the windows in their original location. Take time to view the short video "Recreating a Medieval Window," which is shown in the gallery. For further enlightenment do take an audio tour with Metropolitan curator Timothy Husband and the very Reverend Robert Willis which is available for rental.
   To get into the medieval mood, the early-music ensemble Blue Heron will perform “Music for Canterbury Cathedral" on Sunday, April 13, at l:00 and 3:00 p.m. in the Fuentiduena Chapel of The Cloisters.($40)
Ta Ta Darlings!!! Pollytalk went to the preview, “Radiant Light” yesterday and I plan to go and hear the Blue Heron concert at The Cloisters, you should too! Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon. Visit Polly’s website pollytalk and in the left hand column click on my other Blogs on fashion, visionary men and hidden treasures in New York.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


New York City’s reputation as the Fashion Capital of the World spreads its red carpet activities all
over the City in museums and showy venues elsewhere with Fashion Week taking the spotlight as well as an upcoming Museum gala. Only in New York my friends, the Best of New York. Here’s the scoop!!!

JEAN PAUL GAULTIER: The Fashion World of John Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalks to the Catwalk: Don’t put off seeing this spectacular exhibition mounted at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, which closes on February 23. This is your final chance to see the 140 haute couture and prĂȘt-a porter ensembles dating from the 1970s to today. Many fashions are displayed on high-tech mannequins with interactive projected faces that seemingly cast an eye in your direction and start up a conversation. The life-size figure of Jean Paul Gaultier lets you interact with the artist in an uncanny way. From sketches to film clips to stage costumes, the stunning exhibit illustrates the designer’s fondness for collaborating with fellow artists as varied as Maurice Bejart, Pedro Almodovar and Madonna. Gaultier has consistently embraced an irreverent and fun-loving aesthetic, and this exhibit pays homage to his genius.
Image: Jean Paul Gaultier's take on nauticals. The sailor, one of the high-tech mannequins, has a tendancy to flirt and talk to the visitor..

FENDI’S DRONES Fashion shows are notorious for their entertainment venues so what’s next? An unprecedented event in the fashion world. Yes, my dear fashion aficionado high-tech enters the arena. Viewers will be able to connect to fendi.com and chose the “classic view’ or the aerial shots captured by the flying “Drone Cam.” Viewers will then be able to replay the video on demand with the “Drone Cam” footage. To this end, Fendi is reaching out to hundreds of thousands of individuals who are eager to see the collection, particularly the younger customer base, but cannot be physically be at the location. Four or more drones will fly above the heads of the models to capture the red carpet fashion show. The drones are said to be small and Fendi management says, “We will increasingly get used to such technology.” Whew…what a concept!!!

FOREVER WINTOUR This just in!!! The Metropolitan Museum of Art is showing its appreciation of Anna Wintour’s staunch support of The Costume Institute by naming the space The Anna Wintour Costume Center. The center includes the Costume Institute’s exhibition galleries, library, research areas, conservation, laboratory and offices. Why such an honor you ask? Well, Wintour’s contributions to the museum have been extensive. Since 1995, the Vogue editor in chief and Conde Nast artistic director has cochaired fifteen Costume Institute benefits and for the past fourteen years, she has been a trustee of the museum. She’ a big “WOW!” Wintour has raised about $125 million over the past two decades for the Costume Institute, and played an instrumental role in the $40 million redesign and two-year renovation of the complex set to reopen to the public May 8 with the “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” exhibition. Remember you first heard about this from Pollytalk.

'DOWNTON' IN DELAWARE Fashion never seems to get tired of those sometimes doughty wardrobes of the female players in the most popular British period television costume drama ever to be produced-- not only in America but is a huge hit worldwide. Now Winterthur, the Delaware house museum that was formerly the mansion of Henry Francis du Pont, has staged a new show, “Costumes of Downton Abbey,” using clothes and accessories that have appeared on the program. Costumes featured include both upstairs and downstairs attire worn by the fictional Downton. One aim of the Winterthur exhibition, which will open March 1st, is to compare country living life in England and America during the first decades of the 20th century. It will be interesting to see the comparisons, but you’ll have to travel to Delaware.

Ta Ta Darlings!!! Pollytalk has passed up Fendi’s drones and is heading to Delaware to see Winterthur’s Downton show. Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon. Visit Polly’s website pollytalk and in the left hand column click on my other Blogs on fashion, visionary men and hidden treasures in New York.

Monday, February 10, 2014


New York City’s reputation as “Culture City” spans a wide range of exhibitions and venues to not only stimulate one’s intellectual pursuits but take you into the warmth of institutions that can only exist in the capital of the world. Only in New York my friends, the Best of New York. Here’s the scoop!!!

PIERO della FRANCESCA: In a modest and rare exhibition you need go no further than the Metropolitan Museum of art where the devotional paintings of Piero della Francesca are brought together for the first time through collaboration with the Gallerie dell-Accademia, Venice, and the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, Urbino with the Met which hosts this unique presentation. Francesca’s “Personal Encounters” features paintings of Saint Jerome and a Supplicant (ca.1460-64) and Saint Jerome in the Wilderness (dated 1450) Madonna and Child with Two Angeles (ca. 1464-74) to name a few. Education programs include a Friday Focus Lecture on February 28, and exhibition tours. Additional info is available on the museum’s website metmuseum.org Don’t miss this opportunity to view these historical paintings. Through March 30, 2014. Image: Piero della Francesca's Madonna and Child with two Angels (ca. 1464-74) Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, Palazzo Ducale, Urbino, Italy.
   At the same time visit the GENESIS OF THE AMERICAN GUITAR at the Met which features thirty-five rare guitars that illustrate the early history of the instrument in America drawn from the Museum’s holdings as well as from the Martin Guitar Museum in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, and traces the contributions of Christian Frederick Martin, a German immigrant who invented a uniquely American form of the guitar in the first half of the 19th century. Also on view is the 1939 guitar made by Martin Guitar that was place by Eric Clapton on MTV’s Unplugged series in 1992. On view through December 7, 2014.

WHERE'S WALDO? Women’s Wear Daily reports that Emerson designer Jackie Fraser-Swann made her Friday night walk-off a family affair, taking her four young daughters for a quick lap around the runway. The family coat of arms is treasured by the designer who great-great-great grandfather was the famed essayist and poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson. “My favorite quite of his is, ‘Break the monotony, Do something strange and extravagant.’ That’s what I am all about," said the designer.

FOREVER VREELAND In Lorna Koski’s review she says, “Diana Vreeland was a marvelous, self-invented character. Never a beauty, she transformed herself through style, will and charm into a south-after-debutante and married banker T. Reed Vreeland, one of the handsomest men of his day. The word “icon is brandied about much too freely today, but Diana Vreeland, fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar and curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art really was one. It is good news that her grandson, Alexander Vreeland, has gathered together a large group of memos she wrote at Vogue in one book, “Memos: The Vogue Years/l962-1971/Diana Vreeland” (Rizzoli, New York) and the book gives unique insight into the way she worked and communicated with her staff. Her longtime colleague Sarah Slavin called her, ‘a joy to worth with.’”

Ta Ta Darlings!! Pollytalk has passed up a trip to Italy and went to the Met instead to see Piero della Francesca's magnificent paintings, you should, too! Fan Mail is always welcome: send to pollytalk@verizon.net  Visit Polly's website pollytalk.com and in the left hand column click on my other Blogs on fashion, visonary men and hidden treasures in New York.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

MUSEUM VENUES and A Magical Story (c) By Polly Guerin

Despite the frigid weeks on end the abundance of museum venues will keep you hopping from enchanting exhibitions to serious works that engage your attention and stimulate the cabin-fever brain. The Little Prince winds his way into our hearts, as do the openings of architecture and avant-garde artists. Only in New York my friends, the Best of New York. Here’s the scoop!!!
THE LITTLE PRINCE: A New York Story. One of the 20th Century’s Most Beloved Books, Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince is the subject of a major exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum and will thrill you to a charm with the original manuscript on display, as well as photographs and letters. Remarkably this French tale of an interstellar traveler who comes to Earth in search of friendship and understanding was written and first published in New York, during the two years that the author spent here at the height of the Second World War. The exhibition to warm the hearts of adult and child alike  features Saint-Exupery’s original watercolors and heavily revised manuscript, and there are child-friendly seats to honker down and read the book on site. The exhibition explores the American origins of a story that reminds us that what matters most can only be seen with the heart. Saint-Exupery died while piloting a one reconnaissance flight in 1944 but the silver identity bracelet that he was wearing when his plane went down was recovered. It is inscribed with Saint-Exupery’s name and the address of the American publisher of the Little Prince, Rynal & Hitchcock, 386 Fourth Avenue, N.Y.C., U.S.A. Through April 27, 2014. 225 Madison Ave. www.themorgan.org, Cover of Book: Antoine de Saint-Exupery The Little Prince, New York, Rynal & Hitchcock, 1943, The Morgan Library & Museum. Photography by Graham S. Haber, 2013.
JEWELS BY JAR: Brings together 300 precious bijoux and objects d’art, in the first U.S. retros0pective of the work of Joel A.Rosenthal, a native New Yorker who has operated an ultra-exclusive shop on Paris’ Place Vendome since 1978. If you can’t afford a real big diamond….JAR was the place to find something just a beautiful. JAR was best known for his pave techniques in which very small stones are set so closely together in such delicate settings that the effect is a glittering mass that sparkles with faceted fascination.
Not to be missed: Through March 9 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. metmuseum.org.
PARIS in the 1920S with KIKI de MONTPARNASSE is a cozy read on a cold winter’s night. “You can’t go wrong with Kiki de Montparnasse,” says author art historian and art history professor Xavier Gerard. This is a big splashing and lavish comprehensive study of the woman who was considered the greatest muse of her day, the mistress of Moise Kisling, who painted a dozen portraits of her; Foujita, who did a series of monochrome nudes of her, and Man Ray who created the famous portrait of her, “Le Violon d’Ingres,” (a photo of her back with superimposed violin) which appears on the cover of the book. Published by Assouline.
THE EMPIRE IS BACK: .Many New Yorkers, myself included, remember the thirties-era Empire Diner, at the corner of 22nd Street and Tenth Avenue when Harry Connick Jr. played the piano in the corner when there was a piano there and on any day or night you could spot celebs hanging out or movie stars hashing it down with java. The good news: Executive Chef Amanda Freitag with partners have opened the doors of the Empire diner and aiming to bring back the nostalgic era. It is just open for dinner, has upgraded to a seasonal menu but offers old favorites such as omelets, pancakes and milkshakes and ice cream will be made in-house. To attract the kids in the neighborhood the diner will be offering after-school special menu featuring kid-friendly grilled cheese and turkey nuggets. Curious tourist visiting the High Line will also find health-conscious beverages, such as smoothies and kale-centric juices. Empire Diner, 210 10th Ave. (between 222nd 7 23rd Sts.) 212.596 7523.

Ta Ta Darlings!!! Pollytalk is going to re-read The Little Prince, which engages the reader to a charm. Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon.net.Visit Polly’s website pollytalk.com and in the left hand column click on my other Blogs on fashion, visionary men and hidden treasures in New York.