Monday, April 17, 2017

MUSEUM of the AMERICAN REVOLUTION, Philadelphia; Review By Polly Guerin

Oh, to be in Philadelphia on Wednesday, April 19th!!! It marks the 242nd anniversary of the "shot heard 'round the world" that ignited the American Revolutionary War in 1775 and quite appropriately it also marks the newest portal to Philadelphia's great historic landmarks, the MUSEUM of he AMERICAN REVOLUTION'S grand opening in the heart of historic Philadelphia this Wednesday. It is a logical location making Philadelphia the most exciting destination for those interested in exploring the birth of our nation.
      The museum tells the story of the founding of America in authentic and vivid interactive exhibitions. "We are very proud to tell that story in both its contradictions and its inspirations. At that time nothing seemed more improbable---first that roughly two million colonists spread across thirteen states could stand up to the full military might of the British empire," said Michael Quinn, president and CEO. "And, secondly that a society with slavery at its foundation and dispossession of Native Americans at its heart could articulate such powerful ideals as equality, dignity and freedom as its core."
        One of the premier collections of its kind, the Museum includes several thousand objects that span the Revolutionary era, from an elaborately decorated mug wishing "Liberty Forever" to the town of Boston, to a religious book owned by Martha Washington, and from a British military musket used during the opening battles of the Revolutionary War to the first newspaper printing of the Declaration of Independence.

     Then, too, there more than 20 life-like figures that appear individually or in historical vignettes, or tableaux, that re-create particular moments during the American Revolution. These include the statue of King George III as it is about to be torn down by a mob of angry New Yorkers, a pair of Loyalist cavalry troopers in the South (pictured left) and a conversation between enslaved Virginian and a black Loyalist soldier in 1781 (Above Right: picture MOAR jpg.) It is interesting to note that many enslaved African Americans joined the Loyalists because they were promised their freedom.
    While major skirmishes and battles of the War have their historic prominence, consideration is given to the Oneida Indians. There are lifelike figures of men and women wearing authentic 18th century apparel featured in a multimedia gallery dedicated to the Oneida Indian nation who supported the American Revolution. Sadly of note,  American leaders had promised that they would not forget their contributions, but after the war the tribe was pushed off its land and the Oneida scattered West to Wisconsin.
    The Museum is quite a treasure trove, recording as it does with such deep research and authenticity  Location 101 South Third Street (Corner of Third and Chestnut Streets).  All tickets are valid for two consecutive days and that is a good thing because you would need ta second visit; there is a wealth of information and a breathtaking number of visual enactments.
For ticket info: 267. 858.3308. A restaurant and gift shop on the premises.
     Ta Ta Darlings!!! Stop first and see the introductory film on the first floor and throughout the exhibitions there are mini theater filmings.  Did I mention WASHINGTON'S HEADQUARTERS TENT? A must see, it is one of the most iconic surviving artifacts of the Revolution. Fan mail welcome at Visit Polly's other Blogs at

Monday, April 10, 2017

JAZZ AGE: AMERICAN STYLE 1920s: Review By Polly Guerin

Muse with Violen Screen, Rose Iron Works
The Jazz Age conjures up a spirit of modernity, a time between the first and second World Wars when Art Deco came into vogue and Scott Fitzgerald's Daisy was kicking up her heels in celebration of a new era of streamlined chic and futuristic yearning
    The  Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum's exhibition "THE JAZZ AGE: AMERICAN STYLE IN THE 1920s, on view through January 14, 2018, is the first major museum exhibition to focus on American taste in design during the exhilarating years of the 1920s, a period in which this decade provided the pivotal inspiration for new modernistic ideas in design, art and lifestyle.      With a nostalgic nod to the Jazz Age came extraordinary furniture, textiles, tableware, paintings, posters, jewelry and architecture in bold colors and geometric forms that defined this age. The popularity of Jazz provided the era's African-American sound track as did entertainers such as Josephine Baker who captured Paris with her banana dance.  Stop and watch a film that captures her talent in black and white modernity. Film clips of Duke Ellington and other Cotton Club performers and "The Jazz Singer" illustrate how cinema introduced modern interiors, graphic design and fashion to the American public. Image Left: Muse with Violin (detail) 1930, Rose Iron Works, Inc. (American, Cleveland, est. 1904). Paul Heher (Hungarian, 1895-1990), designer. Wrought iron brass, silver and gold plating. 156.2 x 156.2 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art. On Loan from the Rose Iron Works Collections, LLC, 352.1996 (c) Rose Iron Works Collections, LLC. Photo: Howard Agriesti.   
Gorham Manufacturing Company, American 1927
Then too, there was the immense international design exposition in Paris in 1925---Exposition International des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes (whence Art Deco distilled its name)---a monumental exhibition where world designers, craftsmen, artists and manufacturers exhibited. One wonders why the United States declined to participate in this hallmark event. However, the Paris exhibition's innovative design influence quickly spread to New York and other major cities in department store furnishings and home decor, art galleries, in private collections and in high-end shops such as Cartier with its Art Deco inspired jewelry.
Image Right: Gorham Manufacturing Company, American 1927.  Master of modern silver, Eric Magnussen's iconic "cubic"silver coffee service with tray with patinated gilt decoration, which he did for "Gotham Lights and Shadows of  Manhattan." The Gorham Collection, Museum of Art, Rhode Island, School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island.

Through a rich array of more than 400 works drawn from both public and private collections, the new look included works by French makers such as Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, who used lavish veneers and modified traditional forms and influenced American makers such as the W.&J Sloan's Company of Master Craftsmen.
    Designers trained in Austria and Germany, who later immigrated to the United States, brought a new aesthetic to American decorative arts, combined with an appreciation of American forms such as the skyscraper. Furnishings assumed a new modernity and skyscraper influence can be seen in a desk by Paul T. Frank while the abstract geometry of screen design reflected the streamlined chic of geometric forms. Image Left: A chair, from left by Walter von Nessen, a wood desk and chair by Paul T. Frank, and a pair of lacquered doors by Seraphin Soudbinine and Jean Dunand for the residence of Solomon R. Guggenheim. Late 1920s. Artists Rights Society (ARS) , NewYork.  Photo Chang W. Lee/The New York Times.
      Ta Ta Darlings!!! NOT TO BE MISSED: Running concurrently with the blockbuster exhibit is an exquisite, intimate and personal exhibit "Jeweled Splendors of the Art Deco Era, The Prince and Princess Sadruddin Aga Khan Collection installed in the Carnegie Mansion's Teak Room with over 100 luxury vanity and cigarette cases, compacts and clocks all from prestigious houses including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Boucheron and Bulgari.  Fan mail welcome at Visit Polly's Blogs at and click in the left-hand column to the Blog that resonates with your interest on visionary men, amazing art deco divas, fashion historian and poetry.

Monday, April 3, 2017


Chariot Model (Modern Replica) Qin dynasty (221-206 B.C.)
There is a popular adage"You can't take it with you," but the rulers of the Qin and Han dynasties thought differently and their view of their afterlife meant taking their entire household, artifacts and vast army with them.
      Fortunately for us the preservation of these artifacts affords a rare opportunity today to see some of the most remarkable objects and archaeology excavated in China. WHERE? At the LANDMARK EXHIBITION OF ANCIENT CHINESE ART--FEATURING TERRACOTTA WARRIOR SCULPTURES AND RECENTLY EXCAVATED TREASURES NEVER BEFORE SCENE IN THE UNITED STATES.
     Age of Empires: Chinese Art o the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 B.C.- A.D. 220) explores  the unprecedented role of art in creating a new and lasting Chinese cultural identity. The exhibit opens today and is on view through July 16, 2017 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gallery 899, The Tisch Galleries.
     The ancient works in the exhibition include extremely rare ceramics, metalwork, textiles, sculpture, painting, calligraphy, and architectural models, all drawn fro 32 museums and archaeological institutions in the Peoples Republic of China, but a majority of the works have never before been seen in the West. 
       In the first gallery, you'll stop in your tracks. Along with the warriors, are bronze chariots complete with braces of well matched horses. However, take note that these in the exhibit are modern replicas created half the size of actual chariot groups found in the emperor's tomb. One of the chariots replicated here was probably used in battle or on the emperor's inspection tours. Image above: Chariot Model (Modern Replica, half-size of original), China. Original Qin dynasty (221-206 B. C.) Bronze with pigments lent by Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum. 
Kneeling Crossbow Archer, Qin Dynasty
The Qin and Han dynasties together make up the classical period of Chinese art and culture, when the basic forms of political organization and intellectual and paradigms were formed. The central theme of this period, and of this exhibition, is unification of the vast territory of China under the powerful Qin emperor, Qinshihuang, and its maintenance and expansion in the Han dynasty. 

     In his foresighted wisdom and desire to preserve his dynasty before Qinshihuang died, maybe he thought, "why go alone to the afterlife?  He took with him to his tomb an army of life-size terracotta warriors, over 700 archers, cavalry, infantry and officers, all in full armor made of stone (representing the iron armor used by the emperor's army).       They were buried with him in the emperor's mausoleum. The archer (right) had to shoot from a kneeling position, rather than standing. Take note, a modern replica of a crossbow such as he would have held is near by. 
     In creating the terracotta army, molds were used, in different arrangements, to compose the bodies of the warriors, but the faces were created with such diverse individuality that one can only stand in awe at the accuracy of their life-like expressions.
Image right: Kneeing Crossbow Archer, China, Qin dynasty (221-206 B.C.) terracotta with trades of pigments, H48 in. Lent by Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum. All photos Robert Ruben and Yvonne Korshak)
Female Dancer Han dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 9)
Though the army was high priority the emperor had a greater plan in mind. He made sure he had in his mausoleum everything he needed and most enjoyed in life. Believing that the soul could continue to enjoy in the afterlife all of he pleasures of living, he created a tomb that resembled underground palace--replete with entourages of favorite followers and entertainers, particularly images of court dancers, rare personal treasures, artifacts and even a dog.

     The highlights of the Han Dynasty in the exhibition include a monumental stone sculpture of a crouching lion, a a creature not native to China; a towering stone fluted column with dragons and a fluted silver box.  Luxury trade artifacts include necklaces made of amethyst, aquamarine, beryl, and rock crystal. Please note a small group of small, animal sculptures in carnelian and multifaceted gold beads. Image left: Female Dancer China, Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 9) Earthenware with pigment. H. 17 5/8 in. Lent by Xuzhou City Museum.
     The exhibition is accompanied by a full illustrated catalogue, written by leading Chinese and Western scholars in the field. A full program and a scholarly symposium is offered during the course of the exhibition. Or
      Ta Ta Darlings!!!  No need to travel.  This exhibition brings such remarkable treasures to our doorstep it's worth the visit just to see the Terracotta Warriors.  Fan mail welcome at Visit Polly's Blogs at and click on the links in the left hand column to fashion, beauty, Art Deco Divas, visionary men and poetry.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

ALEXEI JAWLENSKY at Neue Galerie: Review by Polly Guerin

Byzantine Woman (Bright Lips) 1913
The twists and turns of destiny weave interesting stories and Alexei Jawlensky's is worth the telling. Destined for a life in the military, he was the son of a Colonel in the Imperial Russian Army.
     Yet it took one decisive incident to change that prospect when Alexei Jawlensky's life (1864-1941) was forever altered by a visit to the 1880 Moscow World Exposition, which introduced him to painting. After attending school in Moscow he ventured forward and studied painting with the Russian realist painter llya Repin in St. Petersburg.
     For anyone unfamiliar with this Russian-born artist's oeuvre, the first full museum retrospective devoted to the expressionist artist to be held in the United States, is on view at the NEUE GALERIE in New York through May 29, 2017. Image Right: Byzantine Woman (Bright Lips), 1913, oil on board. Centre Pompidou, Musee National d'Art Moderne/Centre de creation industrielle. Donation de M. Robert Haas in 1982.
    Often women paved the way to support Jawlensky's artistic endeavors.  After growing increasingly disenchanted with realism, and after meeting Marianne von Werefkin in 1896, Jawlensky moved to Munich, where he and Vasily Kandinsky studied with Anton Azbe. At this time, Jawlensky became an integral member of the artistic avant-garde that advanced important developments in Expressionism and abstraction.     
Oberstdorf Mountains 1912
Then, too, Jawlensky became deeply influenced by the work of the Fauves after several trips to France, where he became familiar with the work of Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse and Vincent van Gogh. His companion Marianne von Werefkin, a wealthy artist in her own right, eventually gave up her own career to promote his work and provide him with a comfortable life. 

     In 1908 Jawlensky and Werefkin joined Kandinsky and his companion Gabriele Munter for several weeks to paint in the Bavarian town of Murnau, south of Munich, where they lived. The following year, Jawlensky, Kandinsky and others formed the Neue Kunstiervereinigung Munchen, an artists' association. With his newly established status among peers Jewlensky was friendly with Paul Klee, August Macke, Franz Marc, and artists associated with Der Blaue Reiter. Image: Artists Rights Society (ARS) , New York. Murnau, depicting the Bavarian village he visited with Kndinsky).    At the start of World War I, Jawlensky fled to Switzerland, where he met another artist, Emmy Scheyer in 1916, who abandoned her own work to champion his in the United States. 
     The exhibition includes approximately 75 paintings ranging in date from 1900 to 1937 and explores the chronological and thematic development of Jawlensky's work. The exhibition begins with early figure paintings, still-lifes, and landscapes, and continues with a series of paintings created between 1914 and 1921 known as Variations.  
Abstract Head Late Summer 1928
Take note of the semi-abstract works known as Mystical Heads, Savior's Faces and Abstract Heads, which reduce the human face to simple geometric forms and contrasting colors. These created during the Art Deco we noted for its streamlined and architectural sensibilities and modernism.

     Jawlensky's life work, which spanned evolving styles, may be considered a meditation on the process of change in his personal life from representation to abstraction. 
      Image Right: Abstract Head, Late Summer (Crescent Moon) 1928 from the collection of Long Beach Museum of Art, Milton Wichner Collection 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS).
      The exhibition concludes with the artists' late Meditations and Still-Lifes, a series of spiritual paintings created towards the end of his life, which stem from the piety of his Russian Orthodoxy.  In 1921, Jawlensky relocated to Wiesbaden in southern Germany, where he lived and worked until his death in 1941. Though Jawlensky's oeuvre is not well known in the United States, he did, however, during his time, exhibit widely in world circles and exerted a strong influence on key developments in modern art. A fully-illustrated catalogue, published by Prestal Verlag, accompanies the exhibition. Neue Galerie New York, 1048 Fifth Avenue @ 86th Street. 212-628-6200.
     Ta Ta Darlings!!!  I love the way Jawlensky progressed from realism to abstraction and particularly his Deco heads.  Fan mail welcome at Visit Polly's Blogs at  In the left hand column click on the subject that resonates with your interest on visionary men, women determined to succeed, the fashion historian and poetry from the heart.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

MARSDEN HARTLEY'S MAINE at Met Breuer: Review by Polly Guerin

The Lighthouse (1940-1941) Marsden Hartley 
The rugged simplicity of his hardy subjects, the sound of the crashing sea against Maine's rugged coastal terrain and the magisterial Mount Katahdin epitomize the American Artist Marsden Hartley's lifelong artistic engagement with his home state of Maine.  
     The exhibition, MARSDEN HARTLEY'S MAINE, at The Met Breuer, through June 18, 2017, gives us pause to revisit Maine through Harley's creative lens.  On view are some 90 paintings and drawings that illuminate Hartley's extraordinarily expressive range that captures his Post-Impressionist interpretations to seasonal change in the inland Maine of the early 1900s. His folk-inspired depictions of salt--of- the-earth men---country hunks, lumberjacks, lobster men and loggers permeated his artistic world as did the rugged Maine coast, a theme that resonated with the wild and the majestic but brutal sea.  
Lobster Fisherman (1940-1941) The Metropolitan Museum of Art
NATIVE SON Born in Lewiston, Maine, in 1877, Hartley became known for his peripatetic nature, especially his time spent in Paris and Berlin, where he participated in the European avant-garde. Over the course of his career, his home state tugged at his heart strings and he returned to it repeatedly, painting Maine subjects even while living abroad.In the final chapter of his life Hartley proclaimed himself, "The Painter from Maine."  To Hartley Maine was a springboard to imagination and creative inspiration, a focus of memory and longing, a refuge, and a place for communion with earlier artists who painted there, especially Winslow Homer, the most famous American Artist associated with the State. 
Marsden Hartley,s Hunk at Old Orchard Beach 
Hartley began his career by painting and exhibiting views of the state's western hills in a vibrant painterly style, seen in works such as The Silence of High Noon--Midsummer (1907-1908), which he debuted in 1909 at his first solo exhibition at Alfred Stieglitz's art gallery, 291.  One entire gallery is devoted to Hartley's bold, audacious figure paintings, such as Man Hunk, a sex symbol of the man culture and a homage to Cezanne's 'The Bather.'  
The Met's presentation of the exhibition includes select works from the Museum's collection by other artists who shaped Hartley's vision, including Cezanne,and American painters Winslow Homer and Albert Pinkham Ryder.
     A series of related programs is planned in conjunction with the exhibition, includes a lecture, exhibition tours, a series of talks, a Teen Studio Workshop, and a Picture This! program for adults who are blind or partially sighted.  For futher details visit: Hartley. The exhibition is also featured on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter via the hashtag #MarsenHartley.
     The performance IVES & HARTLEY LANDSCAPES OF MODERNISM---Sight and Sound Series with Leon Boststein and The Orchestra NOW, will take place on Sunday, May 21, 2017, at 2:00 pm in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at The Met Fifth Avenue. In this orchestral set---titled "Ives's Three Places in New England and the Artwork of Marsden Hartley---Connecticut-born composer Charles Ives set out to evoke through music the atmosphere and history of three locations in New England. Marsden Hartley, his contemporary was himself deeply attached to music. The artist returned to Maine in his final years and applied his modernist aesthetic to its landscapes. Hartley died in Ellsworth, Maine in 1943.
     Ta Ta Darlings!!! Take a vicarious trip to Maine and upon alighting on the 3rd floor be welcomed by a panoramic pulsating film of the Maine's coasting with the relentless raging sea in cold gray visions of brutal nature. Fan mail welcome at Visit Polly's BLOGS at and click in the left-hand column to links to visionary men, women determined to succeed, poetry from the heart and the fashion historian.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

SMALL WONDERS: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures at The Cloisters: Review by Polly Guerin

The Boxwood Rosary 
The execution of miniature prayer beads and diminutive altarpieces is as miraculous as the stories they tell, yet today we can behold them with sense of wonder and awe at The Met Cloisters in the recently opened exhibition SMALL WONDERS: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures. In the Glass Gallery, Gallery #10 through May 21, 2017. 
     Small in scale, yet teaming with life, miniature boxwood carvings have been a source of wonder since their creation in the Netherlands in the 16th century.  We are at once amazed and stunned by the miracles of the Bible that unfold on a tiny stage, and  the artists who created these treasures, surely for Kings and only the wealthy could afford to own. These intricately carved objects require intense scrutiny. Some measure a mere two inches (five centimeters) in diameter  and hold stories and legends in the intriguing depth and articulation of their creation. Image Left: Rosary of Floris van Egmond and Margaretha van Glymes, Netherlands 1500-1539. (c) Musee du Louvre, Department des Objects d'art, Paris. Photo: Craig Boyko/Ian Lefebvre.
      Take a peak at another boxwood rosary made for King Henry VIII of England and his first wife, Katherine of Aragon, before his notorious efforts to dissolve the marriage and his break from the Catholic church. From the Devonshire Collection, Chatsworth, Trustees of Chatsworth Settlement complex bears the Royal Arms of England as well as the tiny letters "He8" and "Ka" abbrevations for King Henry the VIII and his first wife, who he married in 1509.
TRANSFORMING BOXWOOD:  The artists transformed boxwood into something utterly new, tiny, intricate carvings, the likes of which had never been seen or imagined before.  These creative geniuses took a material understood today merely as an ornamental plant and exploited its sculptural potential. In their hands entire worlds emerged from dense and fine-grained wood. The ingenious techniques of the artists who created these precious panoramas have defied comprehension for centuries.  Now, through the joint efforts of the conservators at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the carvers' secrets have at last been revealed. 
A closeup articulation of a Battle Scene
The exhibition, the first of its kind, features nearly 50 of these tiny treasures that offer us access not by travel but through the eyes of prayer and a sense of wonder. The original owners of these works of art had the luxury of cradling them in their own hands, and oh what tales are told!  There are men on horseback wielding spears, dogs and camels and chained monkeys, women fainting, saints enduring devils tormenting, and angels singing. All composed with the exceptional skill of the carver then, they demand close observation on your part now.

Prayer Bead Adoration of the Magi 
A video revealing the intricacies of the carver's merit accompanies the exhibition but no adjective has ever been adequate to express the sense of wonder and amazement that the miniatures elicit. In addition to the exquisite collection an installation with sculpture, tools, and eyeglasses deserves your attention. It celebrates the work of the Italian woodcarver Ottaviano Jannella renowned for his masterful and ingenious manipulation of boxwood. While later in date than the Netherlandish works featured here, the assemblage of carvings, tools and materials bears witness to the extraordinary technical accomplishment of sculptors who created intricate worlds from modest blocks of wood.

BIBLE IN MINIATURE: In a miniature altarpiece with the Adoration of the Magi, Netherlands, early 16th century, the entourage of the Wise Men pay homage of Jesus including camels and an elephant. The names of these magi are spelled out beneath: Casper, Melchior, and Balthasar Images of lions had long served as supports for altarpieces and reliquaries.  Here they give a sense of ferociousness or even vigilance, rather they appear well fed and sleep. Image Left: Prayer Bead with the Adoration of the Magi and the Crucifixion Netherlandish, early 16th century. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan 1917. Photo: Peter Zeray.
     Patience is required to fully appreciate these incredible treasures. As the visitor gently lean over window cases they observe remarkable Biblical stories in boxwood carvings that tell intricate stories of saints and sinners. The exhibition is accompanied by a visitor's guide published by the Art Gallery of Ontario and a catalogue published by the Rijksmuseum. Both books are available in The Met Store. 
     Ta Ta Darlings!!!  It's a challenging exhibition, but one that will leave you stunned by its
diminutive beauty and in awe by the skilled workmanship of the carvers. Fan mail welcome at Visit Pollys Blogs at

Monday, March 6, 2017

PASSAGES THROUGH TIME: Turner Port Scenes: Review By Polly Guerin

Picture brilliant luminosity, turbulent seascapes drenched with sunlit brilliance and mesmerizing atmospheric effects,  and the work of Britain's greatest land- and seascape painter of the nineteenth century, Joseph Mallord William Turner, comes to mind.  We are at first stunned by the dazzling treatment of light and color. The paintings urge use to look deep into the longstanding subject in art, the port, a place of arrival and departure that links the city interior and the open water beyond, evoking a sense of journey and the passage of time.    Image Left: Harbor of Dieppe: Changement de Domicile, J..M.W. Turner, exhibited 1825, subsequently dated 1826. Oil on Canvas, 68 3/8 x 88 3/4 inches, The Frick Collection. Photo: Michael Bodycomb.
'Turner's Modern and Ancient Ports: PASSAGES THROUGH TIME' at the Frick Collection, through May 14, 2017, brings together paintings, watercolors, sketchbooks and prints of the master painter. The exhibition has tremendous impact as it is organized around three large-scale port scenes, with the Frick's grand scale Harbor  of Dieppe and Cologne, both painted by the artist in the mid-1820s and unites them for the first time publicly with a closely related yet unfinished work from the Tate, London, that depicts the harbor of Brest, in Brittany.
      The harbors of Dieppe and Cologne, purchased more than a hundred years ago by Henry Clay Frick, having been restricted from travel, they have not been exhibited elsewhere for the past century.           Grace Galassi, Senior Curator commented:
"We are thrilled to provide our audiences with insight into Turner's masterful technique and process by reuniting the Frick's ports, which themselves have never been the focus of an exhibition, with a third harbor scene fro the Tate on a similar scale, along with other port scenes---both imagined and set in the present---in oil and watercolor that reveal how the artist developed over time." This trio of port scenes is accompanied by more than thirty of Turner's oil paintings, watercolors, sketchbooks, and prints, among them other contemporary views of France, Germany and England, as well as imagined scenes set in ancient Carthage and Rome.  Image Right: J.M.W, Turner: The arrival of a Packet-Boat: Evening, Exhibited in 1826-1828, oil on canvas. 66 3/8 x 88 1/4 inches, The Frick Collection. Photo: Michael  Bodycomb.
 TURNER and TRAVEL With Napoleon' decisive defeat at Waterloo in 1815, a new era of tourism began. Travel restrictions between England and France that have been in place since 1797 were lifted, and contact with the Continent was renewed. British artists, writers, and the public took the opportunity and crossed the Channel in droves to rediscover it. English ports were now being transformed into commercial hubs and seaside resorts. 
    It is interesting to note that the central decades of Turner's career coincided with political, technological and cultural developments that created a new context for his depictions of ports. The advent of he steamboat and high speed carriages as well as improved roads made travel easier and more accessible to a larger segment of the population, including the middle class.      
As a market developed for images of the picturesque sights that travelers had seen or planned to visit and Turner as an insatiable traveler and the foremost topographical artist of the period, was well equipped to meet the demand. On his extensive trips he filled notebooks with sketches of land formations, architecture, ships and people of the era at both work and play. Image Left: J.M.W. Turner, Dover Castle from the Sea, for Marine Views, 1822, Watercolor and gouache on paper, 15 15/16 x 23 5/8 inches, Museum of Find Arts, Boston, Bequest of David P. Kimball, in memory of his wife, Clara Bertram Kimball (c) Museum of Fine Arts,
The accompanying book, published by Yale University Press is available in the Museum Shop, hardcover $45, Softcover $25.  FIRST FRIDAYS: Museum admission and gallery programs are FREE from 6 to 9 pm o the first Friday of the month (except January). For additional information contact 212.288.0700.
     Ta Ta Darlings!!! An adjacent room to the exhibited has a continuous running narrated film that coincides with the exhibit. Fan mail welcome at Visit Polly's BLOGS at and click in the left hand column on the link that resonates with your interest on visionary men,  amazing art deco women, fashion historian and poetry.

Monday, February 27, 2017

VISIONARIES: Creating A Modern Guggenheim: Review by Polly Guerin

Solomon R. Guggenheim with White Fugue by Rudolf Bauer
To the public cognoscenti and art world, the name Guggenheim is synonymous with the iconic Guggenheim Museum but few know that museum founder and visionary Solomon R. Guggenheim (1861-1949) only turned to contemporary art later in life, when he was 68 years old.  He once said, As it grew on me...I wished others to share my joy."
     This is a rare opportunity to view The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation's formative collection, which was subsequently shaped through major acquisitions from contemporaries who shared Guggenheim's pioneering spirit. These acquisitions include prized impressionist and early School of Paris masterworks from Justin K. Thannhauser, the expressionist inventory of emigre art dealer Karl Nierendorf, the rich holdings of abstract and Surrealist paintings and sculpture from the self-proclaimed "art addict: Peggy Guggenheim, (Venice Italy) Solomon's niece, and key examples from the estates of artists Katherine S. Dreier and Hilla Rebay, both pivotal in promoting modern art in America.
     Fortuitously museum visitors can view more than 170 modern works by nearly 70 artists, from Camille Pissarro to Jackson Pollock. Image left: Solomon R. Guggenheim standing next to Rudolf Bauer's White Fugue (Weisse Fuge, 1926-27), oil on canvas Solomon R Guggenheim Founding Collection.
    VISIONARIES: Creating a Modern Guggenheim, on view through September 6, 2017, explores the history of Avant-Garde through the museum founder and patrons who shaped the Guggenheim permanent collection. With this exhibition the Guggenheim Foundation celebrates 80 years of innovation and preservation. VISIONARIES includes a wealth of innovations of the late nineteenth through mid-twentieth centuries,, as well as the ground breaking activities of six pioneering arts patrons some of the most significant arts of their day and established the Guggenheim Foundation's identity as a forward-looking institution. VISIONARIES includes important works by celebrated artists such as Alexander Calder, Paul Cezanne, Marc Chagall, Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Fernand Leger, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock and Vincent van Gogh.
Vasily Kandinsky 'Several Circles' 1925
HILLA REBAY and GUGGENHEIM. Having collected art privately since the 1890s, Guggenheim was ripe for fresh inspiration when he fatefully encountered the German-born artist Hilla Rebay (1890-1967). With he support of his trusted advisor, Guggenheim set aside a more traditional collecting focus to become a great champion of nonobjective art--- a strand if abstraction with spiritual aims, epitomized by the work of Vasily Kandinsky.
       The collection, amassed against the back-ground of economic crisis and war in the l930s and l940s, Guggenheim's unparalleled modern holdings formed the basis of his foundation, established 80 years ago with the goal of encouraging art, art education, and enlightenment for the public. This defining focus distinguished the eponymous foundation Guggenheim, established in New York in 1937. Two years later the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, the forerunner of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum debuted in New York. Image right:
Vasily Kandinsky, 'Several Circles' (Einige Kreise) 1926, oil on canvas, Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection.

Robert Delaunay 'Circular Form' 1930

ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION Several conservation projects have been initiated as art of the planning of this anniversary exhibition. RED LILY PADS (1956(, a painted steel sculpture by Alexander Calder, Manet's Woman in Evening Dress (1877-80) and Luciano Pensabene Buemi, Conservator of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection cleaned The Studio (L'Atelier), 1928, an oil ad crayon by Picasso. Image left: Robert Delaunay (1885-1941) Circular Forms (Formes Circulaires) 1930., oil on canvas Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection
SPECIAL EVENTS; Look-Long Wednesdays, February-August: Each Wednesday during the run of Visionaries, museum visitors have the opportunity to explore the Guggenheim collection, including one-hour focused experiences with a single work, in specialist and learning experiences. For other program schedules visit:
    Ta Ta darlings!!! I'm going to see the film PEGGY GUGGENHEIM: ART ADDICT, you should too. Shown Fridays and Saturdays, March 3-25, l pm in the New Media Theater. FREE with admission. Fan mail welcome at  Visit Polly's Blogs at and click on the Blog links in the left-hand column to fashion, men, visionaries, and poetry from the heart.

Monday, February 20, 2017

I'M NOBODY! WHO ARE YOU? The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickinson: Review by Polly Guerin

Emily Dickinson ca. 1847
"I'm Nobody! Who Are You? is a provocative poem that solicits personal interpretation as do so many other poems by Emily Dickinson (b, 1830), the celebrated American writer with almost 1800 poems attributed to her legacy.
     Sadly, her prolific work was essentially unknown to contemporary readers and only a handful of her poems were published during her lifetime, and a vast trove of her manuscripts was not discovered until her death in 1886.
     For aficionados of Emily Dickinson's poetry, and for that matter anyone who appreciates poetry at its best, there is a rare opportunity to get in touch with at least twenty-four of her poems in various draft states, with corresponding audio stops at the exhibition I'M NOBODY! WHO ARE YOU? The life and Poetry of Emily  Dickinson on view at the Morgan Library & Museum,  through May 21, 2017.  The exhibition is organized in conjunction with Amherst College. It also features an array of visual material including hand-cut silhouettes, photographs and daguerreotypes, contemporary illustrations and other items that speak to the rich intellectual and cultural environment in which Dickinson lived and worked. Image Left: The only authenticated image of Emily Dickinson, Daguerreotype, ca. 1847. Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Gift of Millicent Todd Bingham,
Emily Dickinson Poems Roberts Brothers 1890
This compelling exhibition brings together nearly one hundred rarely seen items, including manuscripts and letters, I'm Nobody! Who are you? --- a title taken from her popular poem---is the most ambitious exhibition on Dickinson to date.
EMILY DICKINSON REDISCOVERED Often typecast as a recluse who rarely left her Amherst home, it is surprising to discover that Dickinson was, in fact, socially active as a young woman and maintained a broad network of friends and correspondents even as she grew older and retreated into seclusion. The exhibition explores a side of her life that is seldom acknowledged: one filled with rich friendships and long-lasting friendships with mentors and editors. Image Right: Emily Dickinson Poems Boston: Roberts Brothers 1890, Amherst College Archives & Special Collections  and Second Series 1891, The Morgan Library & Museum; gift of W. H. McCarthy, Jr.
The Morgan's exhibition explores a less well-known aspect of Dickinson's personal and professional friendships that Colin B. Bailey, director of the Morgan Library & Museum said, "Will surely delight and surprise exhibition-goers."  The exhibition covers Dickinson's Childhood years, A year at Mount Holyoke, Literary Influences & Connections, Lifetime Publications, and Posthumous Publications & Legacy.
GALLERY TALKS: I'm Nobody, Who Are You? Jan 27 at 6 pm and March 3 at 1 pm with Carolyn Vega, Assistant Curator, Literary and Historical Manuscripts. Tickets Free with museum admission, no tickets or reservations necessary.
      In Poetry and Song: An Evening with Patti Smith and Jesse Paris Smith inspired by the works of Emily Dickinson, Tuesday, March 21, 7:30 pm. Tickets $45, $35 for members. FILM: A Quiet Passion Tuesday, March 28, 7 pm. Tickets $15; $10 members.
     "THIS IS MY LETTER TO THE WORLD": Writing Poetry with Emily Dickinson, Friday, April 7, 7-9 pm. Tickets: $20; $15 members. Check out the Morgan website: Spring Family Fair , Sunday, April 30, 2-4:30 pm. Tickets free with museum admission.
      Ta Ta Darlings!!! Being the poet that I am, of course no match to Dickinson, I plan to attend the workshop Writing Poetry with Emily Dickinson April 7th. Hope to see you there!!!  Fan mail always welcome at  Visit Polly's Blogs at and click in the left-hand column to the Blog link that resonates with your interest: for example, men remarkable visionaries, the fashion historian, amazingartdecodivas and just in case your are curious about my poetry go to

Monday, February 6, 2017

Treasures from the Nationalmusem of Sweden: The Collections of Count Tessin: Review By Polly Guerin

The Triumph of Venus, 1740  
Collectors are noted for assembling magnificent art collections, but then there is Count Carl Gustaf Tessin (1696-1770), someone you probably have never heard of before, who tops the scales when it comes to the acquisition of the great works of art by legendary painters.  
     Tessin, a diplomat and one of the great art collectors of his day was driven by a passion for art from a young age. His foray into collecting escalated during his travels at which time he established a monumental collection that eventually became part of the celebrated holdings of the Nationalmuseum of Sweden. This extraordinary new exhibition brings more than seventy-five masterpieces from Sweden exhibited in collaboration with the Morgan Library & Museum through May 14, 2017. Image Left: Francois Boucher's most beautiful mythological paintings, still in its original frame, was made for Tessin and exhibited at the 1740 Paris Salon. Venus emerges from the waves, accompanied by languorous Nereids and robust Triton's.  The Triumph of Venus was the most expensive of paintings Tessin acquired during his Paris sojourn and one of his most prized possessions, but it was among the works he was driven to sell to King Frederick I in 1749.
     TREASURES FROM THE NATIONALmuseum of Sweden: The collections of Count Carl Gustaf Tessin, a diplomat and one of the great art collectors of his day. The son and grandson of architects Tessin held posts in Vienna, Berlin and Paris, where he came into contact with the leading Parisian artists of the time and commissioned many works from them.  By the time he left Paris in 1742, he had amassed an impressive collection of paintings and drawings.
The Milliner 1746
In addition to Francois Boucher the exhibition features works by such artists as Albrecht Durer, Raphael, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt van Rijn, Antoine Watteau.  It is interesting to note that most of the paintings are in their original handcrafted elegant wood frames. It is the first collaboration between the Morgan Library and Museum and and the Nationalmuseum, Sweden's largest and most distinguished art institution. Image Left: In this celebration of feminine  luxury, adornment, and conspicuous consumption, a fashionably dressed milliner is paying a morning call on her well-to-do client who is seated in her bedroom having just completed her morning toilette. Tessin commissioned this painting from Boucher in 1745 on behalf of the twenty-five-year-old crown princess Louisa Ulrika.  
     Do take time to examine the drawings in the exhibition including works by Italian masters such as Domenico Ghirlandaio, Raphael, Giulio Romano and Annibale Carracci. Northern European artists are also represented by Durer, Hendrick Goltzius, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt, Anthony van Dyck and others.
Tessin Sells His Collection to the Royal Family Tessin's longest stay in Paris was from 1739 until 1742, when he served as Sweden's unofficial ambassador to the French Court. The cost of maintaining his lifestyle in Paris would, however, leave him with lasting financial difficulty after his return to Stockholm. As a result, in 1749, Tessin was forced to sell part of his collection to the royal family of Sweden. He sold 243 paintings to King Frederick I, who then presented them to his daughter-in-law, Crown Princess Louisa Ulrika. The series of sales to the royal family helped to form the core of the royal collection of old master drawings and paintings.  
Count Carl Gustaf Tessin , 1740
Adolf Frederick died in 1771 and was succeeded by his son King Gustav III, who had been tutored by Tessin and became an acclaimed patron of the arts.  Gustav's ambition was to establish a royal collection open to the public. After his assassination in 1792, a Royal Museum, was founded in his memory and the collection eventually formed the core of the Nationalmuseum's holdings. The Nationalmuseum opened its doors in 1866.
     This rare and legendary collection on view at the Morgan is made possible due to the fact that the Nationalmuseum is currently closed for renovations and it therefore was able to loan out treasures from Tessin collection. The Nationalmuseum will reopen in 2018. Image Left: Jacques-Andre-Joseph Aved (French, 1702-1766) portrait of Count Carl Gustaf Tessin, 1740. Oil on canvas. 
Photo credit: THE THREE IMAGES IN THIS REVIEW BY CeciliaHeisser/Nationalmuseum, Stockholm..
    Ta Ta Darlings!!! The Nationalmuseum's Tessin treasures a worth a visit to the Morgan Library & Museum where you will find unique examples of the prevalent taste during the rococo period. Fan mail welcome at Visit Polly's Blogs at and click on the links in the left-hand column to subjects that resonate with your interest.

Monday, January 30, 2017

PARIS REFASHIONED, 1957-1968 at FIT: Review By Polly Guerin

Does French Haute Couture Matter? Mais, pourquoi pas? Why not? As Marcel Proust wrote, "Recherche du temps perdu!" (Remembrance of Lost Time) Fashion also continues to reflect on its glorious past. In its latest exhibit The Museum at FIT examines the combined influences of French Haute Couture, ready-to-wear, and popular culture of the era. The exhibit spans eleven years of style innovation and unforgettable design with particular emphasis on how fashion was perceived and promoted by the American fashion press.
      In order to rediscover one of the most ground breaking time periods in fashion History The Museum at FIT's exhibition PARIS REFASHIONED, 1957-1968 reassures us that while this era positioned London as the center of innovative, youth-orientated design, this limited perspective overlooks the significant role Paris continued to play in the fashion industry. Designers featured in the show include Christian Dior, Lanvin, Karl Lagerfeld, Hubert de Givenchy, Nina Ricci, Yves Saint Laurent and others,  Associate curator of accessories Coleen Hill and colleagues have selected all the objects on view from the Museum of FIT's permanent collection of more than 50,000 objects. The exhibition on view from February 10 - April 15, 2017.
A 1950s COUTURE SALON The exhibition's introductory gallery includes a selection of more than 30 haute couture garments and accessories from the era. Let your imagination soar and vicariously imagine you are in Paris. The clothing is arranged in a setting designed to resemble a 1950's couture salon when the then 21-year old Yves Saint Laurent, promoted creative director in 1957 of Christian Dior, ushered in a demarcation, a shift toward a more relaxed and, ultimately, more youthful design.
Balenciaga "Baby Doll"dress---Chanel  1959---Andre Courreges suit
Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel's iconic suit includes a 1959 version in red wool tweed with artfully notched "tulip"-shaped pockets. Her suits were made in endless variations and became a signature of her work during the 1950's-60s. It is interesting to note that women of all ages embraced Chanel's modern, easy-to-wear clothing. Even the working gal embraced the look wearing copies manufactured by cheap imitators. Caption: Cristobal Balenciaga, "Baby Doll" dress, circa, 1957 gift of "The Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art from the estate of Ann E. Woodward. Chanel, suit, fall 1959, gift of Mrs Walter Eytan and Andre Courreges, suit, 1961. donated in the memory of Isabel Eberstadt by her family.

VISITING A PARIS BOUTIQUE While the introduction of 1950s haute couture is essential to the history of French fashion, the majority of the exhibition is devoted to the dynamic designs of the 1960s  Let's go shopping; the larger gallery space, designed to evoke a 1960s boutique, highlights a number of fashions by Andre Courreges, a protege of Balenciaga including a three-piece suit, which includes a wool jacket cut in a unique, scultpural silhouette.  Space Age fashion include his famous white leather boots and a dress trimmed in black vinyl. With Pierre Cardin revisit his "Cosmos" collection including a mini dress that features cutouts over the breastbone. The look of knee-length boots, and a helmet-style hat, helped to further Cardin's reputation as an avant-garde couturier.
Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, raincoat
FRENCH READY-TO-WEAR The success of Pret-a-Porter, French ready-to-wear,  had a profound impact on the couture industry. The exhibit features one of Saint Laurent's earliest Rive Gauche creations, a raincoat made from bright yellow vinyl with chunky, knitted wool sleeves.  Looks familiar?  A black version version of this raincoat was worn by Catherine Deveuve in the 1967 film Belle de Jour, for which Saint Laurent designed the costumes. Caption: Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, raincoat, 1966, gift of Ethel Scull.
     Paris Refashioned concludes in 1968, the year Courreges opened his first ready-to-wear boutique in New York Meanwhile, his mentor, the great couturier Balenciaga, decided to close his house after more than 30 years.
   The exhibition is accompanied by a book of the same title, to be published by Yale University Press in spring 2017.
     FREE admission. The Museum at FIT is located at 27th Street and Seventh Avenue. Hours Tuesday-Friday, noon-8pm. Saturday, 10-5pm, Closed Sunday, Monday and Legal Holidays.
    Ta Ta Darlings!!!  It's deja vu, it's time to revisit fashion in all its innovative glory and to relive the time when fashionable women made the world so elegant and charming.  Fan mail always welcome at  Visit Polly's other Blogs as and click in the left-hand column the links to women determined to succeed (amazingartdecowomen), men remarkable visionaries, poetry from the heart and the fashion historian.

Monday, January 23, 2017

WINTER ANTIQUES SHOW Through January 29: Review by Polly Guerin

Washington and Lafayette at the Battle of Yorktown
Why are antique fairs important? The great folk art collector and patron of the arts summed it up succinctly in 1926 when she said, "To me (art) is one of the great resources of my life...I feel...that it enriches the spiritual life and makes one more sane and sympathetic, more observant and understanding, as well as being good for one's nerves."  Indeed the fair may just be the perfect tonic as the statement is even more relevant today.
      However, do not let me mislead you, the Winter Antiques Show's focus on folk art, is but one of the major highlights. The fair primarily features 70 renowned experts in the fine and decorative arts from around the world with a breathtaking array of curated presentations, booth collaborations, modern/contemporary art and design, as well as masterworks of American Art to a wide range of work by artists such as Louis Comfort Tiffany, John Singer Sargent, and Harry Bertoia. The show includes leading experts in ancient through contemporary art and design including 17th-19th English furniture and silver, Italian postwar, Wiener Werkstatte, Art Deco, British Aesthetic Movement, Scandinavian modernist, artists' jewelry, Asian, tribal and Oceanic Art, Old Masters, antique maps and armor and garden ornament.
THE FOLK ART CONNECTION As the Winter Antiques Show celebrates its 63rd year as America's preeminent art, antiques and design fair, its run through Sunday, January 29th provides ample time to visit the Park Avenue Armory, 67th Street and Park Avenue. The Fair's major focal point is the 2017 loan exhibition, Revolution and Evolution, which pays homage to the folk art collection of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum (AARFAM), one of the Art Museums of Colonial Willamsburg in Virginia.This colorful painting , featured above, created by the Massachusetts folk artist Reuben Law Reed in the mid-nineteenth century, circa 1781, depicts commander in chief George Washington and his French General Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de Lafayette, surveying the land segment of one of the decisive engagements of the American Revolution. The battle ended with the surrender of a British army under General Charles Cornwallis, first marquis Cornwallis, and proved to be the last major engagement of the War. Family members claim that the image "was painted from a description of the battle of Yorktown given by eye witnesses, who it is said congratulated him on the likeness." Reed had ancestors who had fought in the battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill, and he maintained a lifelong interest in the war. Image: Created 1860-1880, Courtesy AARFAM, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
Art Deco silver leaf panels and Mattia Bonetti table
EXHIBITOR COLLABORATIONS This year, the Winter Antiques Show offers to important collaborations by exhibitors. One such collaboration, the David Gill Gallery and Carolle Thibault-Pomerantz are showing furniture by Mattia Bonetti. For this unique collaboration designer Mattia Bonetti has created an exclusive wallpaper entitled "Carolle Line" for Carolle Thibaut Pomerantz. Silk-screened gold and silver metallic striations on digitally printed background is presented on the overall walls of the stand and vintage Papier Peints--the art of illusion and trompe l'oeil---hand over it as "works of art."  The antique wall panels, Les Mois, one panel from a set of 5, individually depicting five months, April, July, August, October and December, are outstanding wood-block printed works of art by Joseph Dufour, 1808, he hand brushed the background in pale blue, the design by the French artist, Alexander Evariste Fragonard, the son of Jean-Honore Fragonard.
     Then, too, there is a fine pair of Art Deco over-door panels, wood block dsign highlighted in silver leaf, France ca. 1925, Charles H. Geoffory manufacturer.
JOHN SINGER SARGENT Take note, although the highly accomplished painter of landscapes and genre scenes, some of Sargent's society portraits are displayed at this year's show. Though he spent most of his life abroad, his American ties brought him numerous portrait commissions including the portrait of Kate Haven, 1903, one of his many portraits of children at exhibitor Adelson Gallery, New York, one of the country's foremost experts of the works of John Singer Sargent.  
Mrs. Hugh Jackson by John Singer Sargent
Yet you will find Sargent elsewhere in the show. From exhibitor Michael Altman Fine Art, comes a widely published and exhibited work by John Singer Sargent from 1907, portraiture of Mrs. Hugh Jackson (known throughout her life as "Tiny" because of her small size at birth, oil on canvas.
      Stop of at Didier Ltd and view a Salvador Dali, unique Surrealist hand ring with a pair of hands with cut ruby fingernails holding a globe encrusted with mine-cut diamonds.
      Ta Ta Darlings!!! Important to know. Every object at the Winter Antiques Show is vetted for authenticity, date and condition by a committee of 160 experts from the United States and Europe. Net proceeds from the Show benefit the East Side House Settlement which provides quality education and technology training as gateways out of poverty to students in the South Bronx.
      Fan mail welcome at  Visit Polly's Blogs at and in the left hand column click on the subjects of interest such as fashion, visionary men, women determined to succeed and poetry.

Monday, January 16, 2017

BLACK FASHION DESIGNERS: FIT Fashion Symposium: Review by Polly Guerin

Black Fashion Designers Exhibit the Museum at FIT
Black Fashion Matters. That is the thesis of the Museum at FIT'S exhibit Black Fashion Designers. which examines the impact made by designers of African American descent on the world of fashion.
     While acknowledging the creative talents of designers, who were often overlooked, the exhibit pays homage to their legacy and puts a fresh spin on issues of diversity within the fashion industry.
    Co-curated by Ariele Elia, an assistant manager of outfits and fabrics at the Museum at FIT and her co-curator Elizabeth Method, a curatorial assistant, the exhibit, featuring 75 ensembles by 60 designers, shows that even though they share a common identity, black designers are cut from an individualistic cloth of originality.  While the 1970s was a good time for black designers, the sinuously sexy clothes by Stephen Burrows and Scott Barrie were regarded precisely since they were black. Although these designers had a hard time, they ultimately influenced and changed the fashion industry.
    Flamboyant fashion spokesman, Andre Leon Talley who helped with the exhibition said. "By their very presence, when they were acknowledged, and recognized, they took that minute of fame and ran with it, like they were running for the Olympic gold medals.  I believe that when they had chances to be on a phase, they took advantage and they quietly transformed style."
Ann Lowe and an elegant ensemble
 In 1953, when the fashion industry was, in practice, segregated, Ann Lowe, stands as a pillar of remarkable fortitude. History records that the Lowe, proud to be the designer of Jacqueline Kennedy's wedding event gown and bridal party gowns, did not let the fact that pipe burst in her showroom a mere 10 days prior to the wedding ruin her reputation. Lowe worked overtime, providing the dresses on schedule. There are other black designers to mention such as Jon Weston, a FIT grad,  who dealt with discrimination throughout the 1960s, but emerged in the 1970s, after the Civil Liberty Motion, when mindsets towards black designers changed, and Weston opened a Seventh Avenue
     Then too, there is there is the black beaded dress of Eric Gaskins who trained with the Paris Haute Couture Givenchy and Andre Walker's abstracted fashion that illustrates the vibrancy that black designers bring to the fashion industry.
     FREE "Talk and Tours" for the Black Fashion Designers exhibit include Wednesday, February 22 and Wednesday, March 15 both at 10:30 am and Monday April 24 and Monday, May 8 both at 6 pm. Meet in the FIT Museum lobby.
BLACK FASHION DESIGNERS, FASHION SYMPOSIUM, (Registration required) Monday, February 6, 10 am-5 pm.. The daylong symposium, held during Black History Month, explores the emergence of black designers in the New York and global fashion industries, the unique challenge of being labeled a "black designer<" political activism, and a wide range of other themes that are touched on in the exhibition, Black Fashion Designers.   

Among the twenty scholars, designers, and models scheduled to speak are Alphonso McClendon, associate professor of fashion design at Drexel University, who will talk about fashion and Jazz and Elena Romero, professor of Advertising and Marketing Communications at FIT, who will lead a conversation about hip hop's influence on the fashion industry with Harlem-based hip hop designer Dapper Dan. Also, models Veronica Webb and Bethann Hardison will discuss modeling and diversity.
     For a full schedule and to register for this FREE symposium go to, or call 2l2.217.4585. Seats are first come, first served with RSVP.
     Ta Ta Darlings!!! PollyTalk will be attending the symposium. Hope to see you there, stop by and say "Hello!!!"  Fan mail always welcome at  Visit Polly's Blogs at on fashion, beauty, women determined to succeed, visionary men and poetry. Just click on the link in the left-hand column to access the /Blog that resonates with your

Monday, January 9, 2017


VIRTUAL REALITY: Silhouettes in their original setting
Here's a wrap on three exhibits that have made there mark on the cultural scene in New York City.    
PIERRE CHAREAU: Modern Architecture and Design through March 22 at The Jewish Museum proposes a fresh look at the internationally recognized designer and brings together rarely seen pieces of furniture, light fixtures and other major public and private collections.
    Modernism in the period of Art Deco. In the 1920s and 1930s Chareau became one of the most sought-after designers in France. He circulated among Paris's cultural elite creating custom furniture and interiors that were in sync with the requirements of modern life.
      Chareau's oeuvre drew on tradition while looking forward, combining the craftsmanship and materials such as mahogany with the sleek lines and metals of the machine age. However, he
is best known as the creator of the Maison de Verre, a Landmark Modernist architecture carved out of an 18-century Paris townhouse on the Left Bank. The exhibit designers Diller Scofidio + Renfro display Chareau's work in a ground breaking way.  Scenes of shadowy silhouettes of people using the furnishings are projected on screens.
     VIRTUAL REALITY Best part of the show, be sure to take a seat on a swiveling chair and peer through VR glasses and get 360-degree views of select pieces in their original settings. jewishmuseumorg.
Dramatic lifelike figures painted directly from the model
VALENTIN DE BOULOGNE: Beyond Caravaggio Monumental, breathtaking and masterful "Le Valentin," recognized as the leading French practitioner of the Caravaggio style, is currently on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The response to this exhibition has been so engaging that its run has been extended but will close on Sunday, January 22, 2017.
    This is the first monographic exhibition devoted to the 17th-century artist, featuring 45 of his 60-odd extant paintings that cover the walls with lifestyle views. Whether he depicts card players or a Biblical scene, Valentin imbued his painting with humanity. These everyday scenes in their monumental scale, are enticing slices of life that somehow invites the curious viewer to enter and  vicariously become part of the scene.  Valentin's oeuvre style, distinguished by dramatic contrasts between dark and light, shed emphasis on the lifelike figures painted directly from the model.  Sadly Valentin's career was short-lived by his untimely death at age 41.
PIERRE GOUTHEIERE: Virtuoso Gilder at the French Court. The golden hand of genius, Pierre Goutheiere, was a master metalworker who may not have enjoyed the name recognition of 18th-century artists such as Fragonard, but at the height of his oeuvre his work garnered prices comparable to theirs. The Frick Collection showcases 21 of Goutheiere's finest pieces through February 19th.
      His skills as a chaser-gilder earned his a royal clientele and the status of doreur du Roi to Louis XV.  Although, being a favorite of royal court gave Goutheiere an important role as master gilder,   too much of a good thing can go drastically wrong, especially when the King's mistress, Madame du Barry, failed to pay him for years of commissions which eventually drove him into bankruptcy.
     This is the first exhibition devoted to his oeuvre showcasing some 21 of his finest pieces from firedogs and wall lights to mounts for Chinese porcelain vases. Not to be missed: Take time to watch a video in which one of his creations is meticulously reproduced illustrating this master gilder's step by step craftsmanship behind Goutheiere's masterworks of gilt bronze.
      Ta Ta Darlings!!!  AS the chill of winter drives us indoors why not visit these exhibits in warm environments to brighten your cultural interests.  Fan mail welcome at
Visit Polly's Blogs at on fashion, visionary men, women determined to succeed and poetry.