Monday, September 18, 2017

MODIGLIANI UNMASKED: Review By Polly Guerin

Paris, France, the unprecedented melting pot of the avant garde artists, welcomed the handsome Italian Sephardic Jew, Amedeo Clemente Modigliani (1884-1920), who would become renowned as a celebrated artist and sculptor. With a penchant for elongated figures and prominent noses he asserted his Jewish sensibilities and pictorial ideas through drawing and sculpture.  Image: Left to Right: LIMESTONE HEAD by Amedeo Modigliani's 1911-13.Image provided by Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation/Art Resource, New York. KNEELING CARYATID, 1911-12, Black crayon on paper. Paul Alexandre Family, courtesy of Richard Nathanson, London. JEANNE HEBUTERNE with Yellow Sweater, 1918-19, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Jeanne Hebuterne met the artist through her brother, Andre Hebuterne who had come to Paris to become an artist. Shortly after Jeanne was introduced to Modigliani she moved in with him against her family's wishes. Their union was recognized as a common law marriage and they had one child, Jeanne Modigliani. Life with Modigliani must have been had. He became an alcoholic and drug  addict probably due to mask his tuberculosis from his acquaintances. In France in the 1900s there was no cure and it was a horrible disease and those afflicted with it were ostracized. After Amedeo's death in 1920, the next day in despair Jeanne Hebuterne threw herself out of the family's 5th floor apartment building and died on impact. It is interesting to note that, in her short lifetime, Jeanne had become quite an accomplished artist and achieved recognition in art circles worldwide, along with her famous partner.       

When Modigliani arrived in Paris in 1906, the city was still rolling with anti-Semitism after the long-running tumult of the Dreyfus Affair, an 1895 scandal in which a French Jewish army officer had been falsely accused of treason, resulting in a surge of nationalism and he influx of foreign emigres, who re-settled within the nation's borders. In Paris, he chose to settle in Le Bateau Lavoie, a commune for penniless artists in Montmartre. With his cosmopolitanism and his fluent French he could easily have passed as gentile. He chose instead to use his work to question the very notion of identity.  As a result his oeuvre was exclusively figurative, in itself an eccentric choice with the experimental artistic milieu of Paris at the time.    
       This was a period of remarkable self-assertion for the artist, an Italian Sephardic Jew, within the community of predominantly Jewish immigrant artists to which he belonged, including Marc Chagall, Chaim Soutine and Jules Pascin. There in Paris, he also came in contact with other prominent artists including Pablo Picasso and Constantin Brancusi, and others. 
       When Modigliani moved to Paris, he came up against the idea of racial purity in French culture, whilst in Italy, he did not feel ostracized for being Jewish.  His Latin looks and fluency in French (a French mother and classical education)  he could have easily have assimilated. Instead his outsider status often compelled him to introduce himself with the words, "My name is Modigliani, I am Jewish."
Yet he found Paris unexpectedly difficult, suffering as he did recurrent bouts of tuberculosis and struggling financially--partly because he refused to take a job or seek commissions.  Modigliani was drawn to social outsiders, such as cabaret and circus performers, and to the image of the femme fatale, characteristic of one of his first exhibited paintings in Paris, The Jewess.  Image: Portrait of Paulette Jourdain, 1919)
       MODIGLIANI UNMASKED, is the first exhibition in the United states to focus on Modigliani's early works made in the years after he arrived in Paris. The exhibition on view at the Jewish Museum through February 4, 2018 puts a spotlight on Modigliani's drawings, with a large selection acquired directly from the artist by Dr. Paul Alexandre, a young physician, who became his close friend and first patron.  Alexandre amassed some 450 drawings directly from the artist and commissioned a number of portraits.  
       The exhibition includes a selection of drawings depicting Dr. Alexandre, as well as a mysterious, unfinished portrait, never before seen in the United States. Prominent in the collection are the stylized drawings relates to sculptures.  The influence of masks in particular is clearly visible in the many drawings and sculptures in the exhibition, which offers insights into Modigliani's signature style of graceful, elongated figures that were not well received during his lifetime. However, after his death he achieved greater popularity and his works of art achieved high prices. Seen within he scope of his brief fourteen-year career, his early work provides a context in which to reconsider what may have motivated Modigliani to develop his idiosyncratic
style of portraiture. He died of tubercular meningitis, life cut short at 35. 
    Ta Ta Darlings!!! Modigliani's short life reminds us to remember to make every day count and create in measure.  Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's posted Blogs at www.pollytalk.com. Click in the left-hand column to links to visionary men, women determined to succeed, fashion and even poetry. 
       

Monday, September 11, 2017

ARTURO'S: Authentic Mainstay on West Houston Street: Review By Polly Guerin

In a city gone so modern that mom and pop and small specialty stores have disappeared, it is important to celebrate the importance of the locally owned old world businesses that foster character, loyalty, genuine caring and investment in the neighborhood. 
     As the old Italian neighborhoods rapidly changed, gentrified and were denuded of their colorful past, the restaurant ARTURO's, famed for its coal oven pizza since 1957, remains a steadfast slice of history with honest drinks and reasonable prices. It's one of those grand old New York spots that makes us feel at home. That may be he result of a warm welcome in this family-owned establishment that was started by their father Arthur, who borrowed $3,000, a tidy sum in those days, and engaged family members to help out.  Arturo's is now run by siblings with Lisa Giunta at the helm and others steering the restaurant forward as a mainstay in this ever changing neighborhood.
      However, this establishment is more than just a pizza place, it is authentic with old world charm. Hints of the influence from the old Italian neighborhoods of New York City, traditions long forgotten are kept intact at 106 West Houston Street. The walls with memorabilia and lots of photographs attest to the historical significance of the place, which is cozy but vibrantly alive.    
     JAZZ No Cover: Enter its portals into a dimly lit bar area where weathered leatherette booths in the entrance dining room are the preferred site to listen to the lively jazz band that plays nightly and there is no cover charge.   

     Here one can be assured to enjoy honest drinks and genuine food from the full Italian menu. Red sauce standards include parmigiana with veal or eggplant, and traditional pasta dishes such as shrimp marinara, and delectable mussels over biscuits,  Of course, regulars arrive consistently and new customers are lured by the crispy crusted pizzas, too big for one, but perfect for two hungry friends. Toppings on pizzas include Italian sausage, pepperoni, spinach, lobster, calamari and always fresh basil. Sidewalk seating is delightful in good weather but you will be disappointed because you cannot hear the jazz music that is played nightly.   

Arturo's can attest to knowing customers since they were children growing up with the kind of surroundings their mother trusted.  Although, Friday is big pizza day, everyday is a reason to head downtown to Arturo's where everyone is welcomed with open arms like family. Reservations are not necessary but large groups should call 212.677.3820.
    Ta Ta Darlings!!!   I had the mussels over biscuits, delicious!!! Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com with links in the left had column to visionary men, women determined to succeed, fashion and poetry. 
     

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

J'ACCUSE By Polly Guerin

Lovers' Quarrel by French Painter Henri Gervex 1887



















Once Upon a Time a man was enraged
When he read love poems on the page

This arrogant self-seeking husband
Beside himself with rage and thunder

Confronted his wife with indignant rage
Read tender intimate sentiments saved

Exposing heartfelt emotions in detail
With poignant memories never failed


So tender were the loving words chosen
He was at once angry his emotion frozen

Ignited his heart, he remembered the loss
But then again, what care, he was the boss

Convinced his wife so severely deceived him
He demanded to know the possible reason

And confronted his wife with rude demands
So sudden, so cruel, she did not understand

The confrontation was heated and very sad
But she was steadfast and seemingly glad

"My poems about YOU, when we first met
Somehow the years flew by, did you forget?

A gentle, caring lover you inspired my heart
Those wonderful early years from the start."

The husband admonished fell into his chair
Realizing his folly had fueled his despair.







Of poignant memories 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

      No airline ticket required!!! Imagine yourself on the wings of a bird and realizing what it would be like to soar through the sky an see the world with a bird's-eye view on long distance journeys, navigating across continents and scaling the heights of the wonders of the world. 
     That, my dear, would be the journey of a lifetime and you can vicariously take the journey in view it in a breathtaking travel log recorded for the first time in a stunning film called, EARTHFLIGHT, which opens at the American Museum of Natural History on September 25, 2017.

In this amazing film which will screen in 3D and 2D, it shows what it would be like to fly like a bird over the world's spectacular monuments, cathedrals, legendary castles, and scan nations below.  Filmed in eleven countries, on four continents, the film took four years to make. To make your EARTHFLIGHT journey even more entertaining, it is narrated by Academy Award-winning actress, Cate Blanchette. The film is a totally immersive experience that will take you on an incredible flights across the world on the wings of birds. (Photo credit right: Photo by Christian Moullec (c) John Downer Productions).
     AERIAL TECHNIQUES: It took courage to make the film, skill beyond the norm and revolutionary aerial techniques and state-of-the-art 3D cameras to deliver the reality of flight as viewers join a variety of different avian species on their seasonal journeys.  A significant challenge for the production company was operating 3D cameras in the air on microlights, paragliders, and octocopters to fly alongside birds. The camera was stripped down to the bare minimum to not overload the mircrolight, and the 3D rig was redesigned to be compact and light, and still resist the flex from 
G-force and wind speeds.   

 DISCOVER: In this intimate journey of awesome bird travel the audience will discover the fascinating science of flight: how in the synergistic life of birds with their innate compatible skill are able to maneuver simultaneously in flocks in a million  strong, manage long-distance journeys, navigate across whole continents, and collaborate with other animals to find food.
     SCREENINGS: Plenty of Screenings though March 8, 2018. EARTHFLIGHT will be shown daily in the Museum's Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Theater, in 2D at 11:30 am and 4:30 pm, and in 3D at 10:30 am and 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 pm. Check first, times are subject to change.  To purchase tickets in advance, call 212.760.5200 or visit www.amnh.org.  General admission, Plus One, includes general admission plus one special exhibition, giant-screen 2D or 3D film, or Space show $28 (adults), $22.50 (students/seniors) and $16.50 (children ages 2-12).
For additional information, call 212.769.5100. Pay-what-you-wish admission is only available at ticket counters, where the amount you pay is up to you. The Museum is open daily, 10 am-5:45 pm. 
    Ta Ta Darlings!!! I'm taking flight with the birds as soon as the show opens, can't wait should be a journey of a lifetime. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blog links on www.pollytalk.com on fashion, visionary men, remarkable women and poetry.

Monday, August 21, 2017

OCEAN LINERS, FLOATING PALACES at the Peabody Essex Musuem: Review by Polly Guerin

Ocean Liners: Glamour, Speed, and Style at PEM
Let's take a vicarious trip on the floating palaces of yesteryear when glamour and Art Deco elegance graced the salons of the Campagnie Generale Transatlantic, commonly known as The French Line and the interiors of other world ship competitors. It was the Golden Age of the great Atlantic express in the late nineteenth and the twentieth century connecting the old wold with the new.
      They were splendid glittering ships in a race in time and a race by shipping lines to design the most luxurious interiors to attract wealthy patrons who were accustomed to luxurious hotels that emulated aristocratic homes  The prerequisite for these luxuries interiors was the fact that one had to accompany the trip with a trunk load of attire, including evening gowns to make the Grand Descent on the spectacular main dining room staircase where women would descend whilst emulating movie star elegance and diners already seated could view who was who aboard the ship.
      Your nostalgic ship experience, freeze framed in time, welcomes you at OCEAN LINERS: GLAMOUR, SPEED, AND STYLE, an exhibition organized by PEM, the Peabody Essex Museum in Essex, Massachusetts and London's Victoria and Albert Museum on view at the Peabody through October 9, 2017. www.pem.org.
       The exhibit explores the world shipping liners---their fabulous interiors, the artists' who created art treasures, and the amenities that the late maritime raconteur and author, John Maxtone Graham, Mr. Ocean liner himself, declared in his book was, "The Only Way to Cross!"  
The Dining Room,  from REX, firs class 1932
       The S.S. Ile de France, for example, was The French Line's floating palace of modernity. It showcased the height of Art Deco interiors, and featured a "street of shops" aptly named "The Rue de la Paix of the Atlantique."  The ship featured a sixty car garage, a gym and tennis court and other amenities of haute luxury that made ocean liner travel the only way to go.

     This exclusivity of bygone elegance stands as a testament to time when passengers traveled first class in an atmosphere when the most esteemed craftsmen and artists of the era produced works of splendor, never to be seen again. French artists, sculptors and architects included Rene Lalique, Edgar Brandt, Henri Navarre and Jules Leleu to name a few---all had participated and showcased their works in the l925 International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris, which gave the world the term "Art Deco," and inspired the ship's contemporary style. It evoked the craftsmen and artists' Art Deco concept of beauty that swayed the refined taste of the world.    
First Class Salon on The Normandie
  The quintessential of the Art Deco designed liners was The French Liner's NORMANDIE with its opulent display of artistic genius.  The interiors glittered with gilded-glass panels, The History of Navigation cycle,  designed by Jean Dupas, once exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and most recently auctioned off to a wealthy tycoon. The legend of the Normandy still is revered with artifacts currently on display on the, 2,500 
passenger cruise ship, Celebrity Summit. On the third deck find a display that includes nostalgic photographs of shipboard scenes and famous passengers such as Greta Garbo and the fashion designer, Colette, a showcase of the  the first class dining room dinner setting and a video tour with John Maxtone Graham commentary. 
      In its day, traveling first class with its physical allure, was a dream-like magical experience, it transported style and elegance, it evoked music of the era and the setting of romantic encounters.  The luxury of these memories are unlikely to ever be repeated again, but you can vicariously experience their grandeur at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA where you will transported to that bygone maritime era of unrivaled splendor.
      Ta Ta Darlings!!! I'm evoking memories of my tour of the Normandie, so little did I realize then how remarkable it was.  Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com, click on the links in the left-hand column on fashion, visionary men, remarkable women and poetry.  


Monday, August 7, 2017

ROAD TO FREEDOM DAY at Dobbs, Ferry Review By Polly Guerin

The Patriotic Enacters on the Road to Freedom Day 
"HEAD QUARTERS, DOBBS FERRY" General George Washington wrote most of his correspondence from "Head Quarters, Dobbs Ferry" the major epicenter of his command over the American and French troops during the American Revolution.
     It is no wonder, therefore, that Dobbs Ferry citizens revere the historical significance of their town with the Annual ROAD TO FREEDOM DAY, which takes place marching in tandem with authentic uniform enactment in the lead, followed by the adults and children who wind their way to Mead House, the site of the Dobbs Ferry Historical Society, which continues the festivities with military demonstrations, other entertainments and hospitality.  Such display of patriotic pride reminds us to remember that the call for liberty and justice for all was at the core of the American Revolution so valiantly won whilst driving the British out of the country. 
    Anytime is a good time to visit historic Dobbs Ferry but August is especially important, when Dobbs Ferry commemorates the march of General George Washington's Continental Army troops and the French forces under the command of Comte de Rochambeau.  Let us not forget that it is said by American Revolutionary historians that without the support of the France alliance, America would have lost its war of independence. 
     
Adults and Children on the Road to Freedom 
The route taken by Washington and Rochambeau eventually follows the route of the Continental army on August 19, 1781 when it began a march of more than 400 miles to Virginia and the decisive American and French victory at Yorktown over British and Hessian troops under Lord Cornwallis (October 19, 1781) that ended the American Revolution.  Participating citizens and guests in August vicariously follow that route through the town of Dobbs Ferry led by fife and drums and the Ebenezer Stevens Artificers. Artificers were skilled craftsman, responsible for the repair and maintenance of artillery including cannons and muskets. In the summer of 1781 they were encamped at Dobbs Ferry and later marched to Yorktown with the army and resumed their work as cannons and muskets were in constant need of repair and maintenance. 

     
A Cemetery Tribute to the Revolutionary War Patriots
After the opening ceremonies at Gould Park, including a discussion and display of the Revolutionary flags, the marchers made their way to the Little White Church Cemetery to honor the American Revolution's patriots with Arificers and fife and drum ceremony.

    Alas after such victorious activities honoring this great day in history everyone goes to Mead House, the site of the Dobbs Ferry Historical Society, 12 Elm Street, where musical programs include musical selections from the era, as well as a display of historical artifacts and maps. The annual event is Free and open to the public, so mark your August calendar for next year's event. Refreshments welcomed the marchers and visitors with delicious homemade baked goods, cool beverages on the lawn and make your own ice cream Sunday in the Gallery.  For additional information download http://www.DOBBSFERRYHISTORY.org. 
Email:  DFHISTORY@1CLOUD.COM or call 914. 674. 1007.
      Ta Ta Darlings!!! Dobb's Ferry is a great summer Day Trip via Metro North Harlem line at Grand Central, a mere 40 minute ride on the iron horse speeding like the wind along the mighty Hudson and plucking you down on the shimmering shore of Dobbs Ferry for The Road to Freedom. Just wear comfortable shoes for the march. Fans mail welcome, I appreciate your comments, please contact pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's other Blogs on women determined to succeed, visionary men, fashion and poetry from the heart. Access the links on www.pollytalk.com.

Monday, July 31, 2017

GRAND OPERA DIMITRIJ at Bard Summerscape: Review by Polly Guerin

Antonin Dvorak's DIMITRIJ, Grand Opera on an epic scale of monumentality, has arrived at Bard, Annandale-on-the-Hudson's spectacular Fisher Center. designed by Frank Gehry.  It is this year's SUMMERSCAPE festival's long overdue American premiere performance of Antonin Dvorak's opera in an original new staging by award-winning director Anne Bogart.  For opera aficionados this is a rare opportunity to see the remaining performances,  Wednesday, August 2 at 2 pm,  Friday, August 4 at 7:30 pm and Sunday August 6 at 2 pm.  Summerstage coach from New York City August 6. Reservation required: 845.758.7900. 
Quite frankly, the opera, if only it was possible, deserves an extended run. 
 INNOVATIVE PROGRAMMING: Since the opening of the Fisher Center at Bard, Leon Botstein, principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra has been responsible for championing and restoring to the stage a growing number of important, but long-neglected operas. He combines his conducting career with his work at Bard College, where he has served as president since 1975. Botstein's unique approach to programming gives audiences opportunities to encounter neglected, but brilliant works which he performs alongside standard repertoire masterpieces, often enhancing the experience, as he did at the July 30 performance, with a preconcert talk that augmented the opera experience. 
     Dimitrij introduction at Bard stands as a testament to recognizing Dvorak's genius; the recognition of his lyricism and masterfully stirring chorus and brilliant soloists singing with such synergistic resonance that brought the July 30th audience to a standing ovation. With rising young tenor Clay Hilley's heroic performance in the title role and the captivating soprano Melissa Citro as Marina, Dimitrij's Polish wife, and the resonant, bright voiced Russian soprano, Olga Tolknit as Xenia completed their fatal love triangle. it was a breathtaking grand opera performance with others as talented too numerous to mention here.  Set design by David Zinn and costumes by Constance Hoffman make this thrilling new production a "must see" on your list of cultural interests.
THE STORY: Based on events of 17th century Russia, Dimitrij seemingly resumes where Mussorgsky's Boris Gudunov leaves off.  It vividly depicts the struggle for power during the "Time of Troubles" that ensued in the wake of the Tzar's death. Mistakenly supposing himself to be Dimitrij, the murdered son of Ivan the Terrible, Dvorak's protagonist believes he has a legitimate claim to the Russian Throne.  When he falls in love with Godunov's daughter, however, he decides to divorce his own Polish wife, he unwittingly triggers the chain of events that will result in his demise. Ultimately tragic, the story of the false Dimitrij pits Orthodox Russia against Catholic Poland. Bard's historic presentation also features Dimitrij's rarely heard, full-length overture and original brutal conclusion. The final scene's frozen-in-time tableau of the entire cast and chorus filling the stage with their omnipotent presence resembled an unforgettable work of masterful artistry.   
Melissa Citro as Marina, Dimitrij's Polish Wife
Dvorak's Dimitrij (1882) is rarely staged outside of he Czech Republic, and was acclaimed for its strong dramatic moments, original melodies and masterful choral work and was widely regarded as one of the most significant works created for the Czech operatic stage. It only received its United States concert premiere in 1984, more than a century after its composition. Bogart said,                  "The more I look at the opera-the architecture of the piece and the absolutely gorgeous music-the more I am completely bewildered why it's not done all the time, why it's not a stable part of the repertoire in the opera world."

     Ta Ta Darlings!!!   I was overwhelmed by this powerful performance and the captivating orchestration of Dimitrij. The stellar performance still resonates with me. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com.

Monday, July 17, 2017

World Premiere A PINK CHAIR (In Place of a Fake Antique at BARD

"Tadeusz Kantor was to Poland what Any Warhol is to America: an iconic postwar artist." It might be best to be open-minded to fully appreciate the avant garde performance of The Wooster Group's A PINK CHAIR (In Place of a Fake Antique). The experience is mesmerizing, an experimental performance incorporating video in the theatrical landscape that pays tribute to to the late visionary, Polish artist and director, Tadeusz Kantor. 
     Annandale-on-the Hudson, NY:  This summer, the Bard SummerScape 2017 festival presents the world premiere of a new theater production from The Wooster Group, the internationally recognized Obie and Bessie Award-winning experimental theater company. Each Scene in the piece, there are five, is a re-imagined installment of Kantor's work, revisiting as it does his previous pieces, Case in point, Part  III: A Miserable and Suspicious Inn (The Company encounters the film of I shall Never Return), and then in Part V: The Return of Odysseus, the Company reenacts the Odysseus Story From Kantor's I Shall Never Return with Some Disruptions. Haunting musical accompaniment included Ani Ma'amin a Jewish prayer set to music, an Argentinian tango a work by Chopin, a song from the Warsaw ghetto and others.
     It is interesting to note that  this new work by the Wooster Group not only pays homage to  Tadeusz Kantor, but his daughter, Dorota Krakowska serves in a spellbinding presence as A Pink Chair's dramaturge. Then too, the piece is directed by Wooster founding member, Elizabeth LeCompte, whose string of honors include prize recognitions and a National Endowment of the Arts Lifetime Achievement award.
    This innovative work is performed in the LUMA Theater of the Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center on Bard's Hudson Valley campus.  Remaining performances include the following: Wednesday, July 19 at 2 pm, Thursday, July 20 at 7:30 pm, Friday, July 21 at 7:30 pm, Saturday, July 22 at 2 pm, Saturday July 22 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, July 23 at 2 pm.
     TADEUSZ KANTOR (1915-90) the stage director, set designer, creator of happenings and writer, was the artist behind such revolutionary theatrical works as The Dead Class (1975) . He founded the Independent Theater in Poland , and served as well as a director of the experimental theater in Krakow from 1942 to 1944.  WWII influenced his work and he is best known for his "Theater of Death" a series of surrealist works in which the shadow of Poland's experience of war and totalitarianism, he sought to create what he called "a bridge between the audience and the kingdom of death. The presence of  pink chair at the end of the performance alludes to the title of Kantor's piece and perhaps is a harbinger of "hope" in the aftermath.
   Ta ta Darlings!!! BARD'S SUMMERSCAPE 2017 FULL SCHEDULE OF PERFORMANCES CAN BE ACCESSED AT www.bard.edu/fishercenter.  Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.
Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Patek Philippe's "Art of Watches" Grand Exhibition: Opens July 13 at Cipriani

Whether you are a watch aficionado or not, here is your chance to enter the splendid hallowed halls of the former Bowery Savings Bank building across from Grand Central Terminal to view the Patek Philippe's tradition of high-precision watch manufacturing as well as the company's 178-year history and its heritage in the domain of Haute Horlogerie. Located in Geneva, Switzerland and the Vallee de Joux, Patek Philippe designs and manufactures timepieces and movements, including some of the most complicated mechanical watches, and many experts and aficionados consider Patek Philippe to be one of the most prestigious watch manufacturers. Owners of their time honored watches have included kings and queens. In 1851 Queen Victoria wore an exclusive Patek Philippe timepiece, a watch suspended from a diamond enamel brooch.  Patek Philippe popularized the perpetual calendar, the split-seconds hand, chronograph, and minute repeater in watches and modern captains of industry own such watches for their status and unique appeal.
     
Cipriani former  Bowery Savings Bank ballroom interior
     The 11-day exhibition, THE ART OF WATCHES GRAND EXHIBITION, running from July 13-23rd, is free and open to the public at Cipriani 42nd Street, 110 East 42nd Street and will be open to the general public from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. Here is a rare opportunity to discover the world of the last privately family owned watch company from the inside featuring a curated selection of luxury pocket watches and wrist watches, from new ones to styles dating back to 1530. Rather than selling watches, the exhibition format is meant to educate visitors about the historical significance of time-keeping and the awe-inspiring ingenuity of the watches. 


    A UNIQUE STRUCTURE: For the first time ever, a two-story structure has been created within Cipriani, the former Bowery Savings Bank building, to accommodate the square footage required for an exhibition of this scale. Ten specific rooms include the Theater Room, Current Collection Room, Museum Room, US Historic Room Rare Handcrafts Gallery and Grand Complications Room. All have been created to showcase unique environments.
    DEMONSTRATIONS: As a way to educate visitors on the inner-workings of fine watchmaking, watchmaker and Artisan demonstrations are among some of the interactive activities taking place during the exhibition. After visitors have concluded their tour they are welcome to rest in the Patek Philippe Cafe. 
George Washington Pocket Watch 
COMMEMORATIVE CATALOG: A one-of-a-kind commemorative catalog available for purchase at a nominal fee during the storied exhibition, will highlight the historical timepieces, current novelties, rare handicrafts and grand complications showcased during the exhibition. 

And, did I mention Patek Philippe will donate 100 percent of the proceeds from the catalog to The Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, which offers innovative after-school and enrichment programs for more than 10,000 youth, ages 6 through 18, in ten locations throughout the Bronx. Daniel Quintero, Executive Director of the Kip's Bay Boys & Girls Club said, "We are honored to be partnering with Patek Philippe during this exhibition, and grateful that they have chose our organization as the recipient of the catalog's proceeds."
       THE ART OF WATCHES, GRAND EXHIBITION is like a gift to New York and revers the memory of its founders (Antoni ) Patek and (Adrien) Philippe who landed in New York in the 1800s when they began to explore the new world.  Today The Henri Stern Watch Agency manages all of the business operations for Patek Philippe in the United States. 
     Ta Ta Darlings!!! I look forward to seeing you at Cipriani and delve into the unique world of watchmaking history. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Polly's Blogs on fashion, visionary men, women determined to succeed and poetry can be accessed on www.pollytalk.com, just click on the links to the Blogs that resonate with your interest.

Monday, June 26, 2017

REVISITING CALDER at Whitney Museum: Review by Polly Guerin

Elements of Calder's mobiles vibrate, sway, or unfurl creating a captivating visual dynamism. His airborne mobiles hang from ceilings and stand on floors, their elements rotating independently and at times causing chain reactions with their composition. They are fascinating structures that intrigue, but when these metal sculptures move they become airborne masterpieces.
     CALDER: HYPERMOBILITY at the Whitney Museum of American Art, focuses on the extraordinary breadth of motion achieved by Alexander Calder (1898-1976) in his works from the moment he turned to radical abstraction in 1930 and continuing throughout his career. The exhibit is extended to October 23, 2017.
     Thanks to an unprecedented collaboration with the Calder Foundation, this exhibit, enchanting as it is, engages visitors with a rare opportunity to experience works set in motion by motors or air currents and further animated by touch.     

In 1931 Calder set abstract forms in motion, using motors to re-imagine the spatial and temporal relationships of compositional elements.  The mechanized sculptures on view here are newly restored for this exhibition, and several are operating for the first time since they were initially presented by the artist. Each work, driven by a hidden electric motor, consists of components that transform and interact, either within a designated open space or as offset by a monochrome backdrop.
      These subtly oscillating shapes create the sense of a painting in motion, and as with his earlier mobiles, many of the sculptures feature circular forms inspired by the dynamics of unseen forces in nature.  Always experimenting, Calder would soon push beyond the repetition of the motorized works and by 1932 he made his first suspended mobile, Small Sphere and Heavy Sphere, which quickly led to various other mobiles incorporating spontaneous movements activated by air currents, human intervention, or chance. 
 BIRTH OF THE MOBILE: Calder began with kineticism in the 1920s while living in Paris, where he developed a close association with leading European avant-garde artists, including Marcel Duchamp, Piet Mondrian, Edgard Varese and Fernand Leger.
     In 1931 Calder invented the mobile, an entirely new mode of sculpture. The term was coined by Duchamp, the friend of American Artist, Florine Stettheimer. In French, mobile is  pun that means both "motive" and "that which moves."  Combined with carefully balanced components of wire, metal and wood, each mobile performs is own set of movements, enacting an infinite series of potential forms. 

In tandem with his kinetic works, he also made stabiles, sculptures that while stationery nonetheless convey a heightened sense of implied movement through their composition. 
     For this exhibition, musician Jim O'Rourke has composed a works in response to Calder's sculpture.  Listen on the mulimedia guide and whiteney.org/calder.  A complete  schedule of performances and activations for updates and to purchase or reserve tickets in advance, visit
whitney.org.calder.
    Ta Ta Darlings!!! Calder's mesmerizing mobiles engage, enchant, entertain and move our imagination into spheres of uncharted beauty.  Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com. Just click in the left-hand column to topics that resonate with your interest on fashion, beauty, women determined to succeed, visionary men, and poetry.

Monday, June 19, 2017

FORCE OF NATURE---Museum at FIT: Review By Polly Guerin

Charles James, "Tree" evening dress and "Petal stole
What better source of inspiration than Nature---its flora and fauna, geology, and physical beauty   has been the muse for designers throughout fashion history.  As Alexander McQueen said, "I have always loved the mechanics of nature, and to a greater or lesser extent my world is always informed by that."
     The Museum at Fit's exhibit, FORCE OF NATURE spans the eighteenth century to the present in ten sections, each focusing on a facet of fashion's connection to nature---on view through November 18, 2017. Curator Melissa Marra's research blends a fascinating marriage of fashion and nature in unexpected comparisons on display.
     Image Left: Charles James, "Tree" evening gown with "Petal" stole, 1955.  This evening gown with a petal-like stole bestows upon its wearer a sensual elegance by transforming her into a flower.
     Garments, textiles and accessories, exclusively from the collection of The Museum at FIT, illustrate how principles of the natural sciences, such as the dynamics of sexual attraction, have informed fashion design. For instance, elaborately feathered women's hats, show how the plumage of male birds use for sexual display has been appropriated to emphasize female beauty.  The natural world has influenced fashion in positive ways, but fashion's impact on the environment has been largely detrimental. Take the case of the thousands of birds almost made extinct by the use of their feathers and taxidermy bodies for use as decoration on women's millinery.  It is good to note that this style was abandoned and today many designers are engaging in more sustainable practices. This shift indicates a new attitude towards nature, from one of dominion to participation. 
     
Pierre Hardy, shoes 2015, France
During the Enlightenment, as naturalists classified plant species, exotic botanic gardens flourished throughout Europe. These gardens inspired the work of textile designers, who began to depict flowers from around the world.  The sexuality of plants and the symbolism of flowers such as roses and orchids 

     Fashion and nature is an international love affair. A pair of shoes by Pierre Hardy challenges traditional representation of flowers by rendering realistic images of lilies in saccharine, artificial colors. (Image Right: Pierre Hardy, shoes summer collection 2015, France.
      The bold patterns of animal skins have been appropriated by fashion designers for their strong visual impact and their exotic appeal. The striking patterns of the leopard, zebra and ocelot, for example, that serve to camouflage animals in the wild are often used in fashion as a way to stand out. Remember Josephine Baker famous scenario. She paraded around Paris wearing a matching leopard print pant suit while out walking her pet leopard. Superstars today wear to the limelight outrages animal inspired trappings to create exotic, out-of-the norm images.
   
Shrimpton Couture
In a never ending search for inspiration discoveries relating to celestial bodies, the greater universe, and the physical forces that created them have also led to extraordinary designs. Science and technology play key roles in transforming the shift in a new attitude toward nature. This is evidenced by designer interest in biomimicry (employing design principles that imitate nature's processes) and biomaterials that are grown using biological organisms. For further information contact the Museum information line: 212 217 4558. Internet access at

exhibitions.fitnyc.edu/force-of-nature.
    Ta Ta Darlings!!  It is always FREE admission at The Museum at FIT, then, too, there are the supplemental I-pad content, executed by Javier Alvarez with more informative details about each section of the show.  Fan Mail welcome at pollytalk@gmail.com  Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com on subjects ranging from visionary men to women determined to succeed, fashion and poetry.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Reinventing the Bank Experience at Union Square: Review by Polly Guerin

Union Square, one of the most vibrant and historic intersections in New York City, is a pulsating hub. Throughout nearly 185 years it has been the gathering place for commerce, for entertainment, for labor, political events, farmer's markets and happenings. 
     It is the place to be and see the young and mature cognoscenti especially enjoy the park which owes its name to the location at the intersection---or union---of two major roads in New York City;  Broadway, the former Bloomingdale Road, and Fourth Avenue, the former Bowery Road. 
THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION The site was authorized by the State Legislature as a public place in 1831 and acquired by the City of New York in 1833. For those you have forgotten their American Revolution history, the equestrian statue of King George III, pulled down by patriotic citizens and the historic moment November 25, 1783, is recognized as Evacuation Day, when the British were finally driven out of the city.  For years Evacuation Day was celebrated as a major holiday to commemorate the end of British rule in the United States.
    Who resides in the Park today? The equestrian statue of United States President George Washington, by Henry Kirke Brown, the first public sculpture erected in New York City, was unveiled in 1856.
    With such an illustrious past Union Square, surrounded by trendy neighborhoods, such as Chelsea, the Flatiron District, East Village and Gramercy Park, is a fast paced epicenter that attracts multi-national pedestrians and tourists from all over the world. It is any wonder, therefore, that a major bank's headquarters are located here?
By David Aquino Sanchez
WHERE IS THE BANK? When I first walked into the bank's headquarters, on the bank's storefront street level there were people sitting by the windows working on their laptops, just like a trendy restaurant. Then too, further into the street level, an artist, David Aquino Sanchez was painting a large mural, a replica of his rendering of a New York City themed painting, the apple morphed into an eagles head, plus other iconic images. "What are you doing here I asked?"  He explained that through a community outreach program, the bank features an artist every three months and that he would be at the location finalizing his masterpiece until September. This engaging artist has a large repertoire of works in color that identify with his diverse oeuvre. He takes pride in the charity he has formed to help the youths of Santa Domingo.  Called, the Shoeshine Boys, he plans to garner funds to help to elevate the young boys and girls out of their poverty circumstances. Visit David at www.davinaquinoart.com.
Yet there still was no sign of a traditional bank.
     Instead there was a glamorous staircase to ascend to the next level which again did not look like a bank and had even more remarkable spaces such as individual mini booths by the windows, which were already taken up by business and personal Internet people working. Then, too, there is a tablet station, but most impressive is a rather spacious open viewing lounge with huge windows overlooking the park. No reservations required, just take one of the colorful seats,  where weary individuals can, if they wish, merely sit and take in the panoramic view of the Union Square intersection. What's this all about I asked?  
Window Booths (individual work areas) and elongated Tablet Station 
REINVENTING THE BANK  A well informed individual explained, "It's Capital One's flagship bank, bringing back the human element in banking, returning to a place of hospitality and offering diverse fast-land Manhattanites an opportunity to slow down and perk up, and visit anytime they wish to---even when they are not banking."  And, did I mention--there's Peet's coffee shop where customers can take a breather and sip a hand-crafted cup of coffee, even bring it with them. Of yes, by the way, this is a bank, there is not doubt about it, and there's time to do traditional banking or discuss the diverse banking opportunities; all this in an innovative open environment. 
For further information Capital One Bank, 853 Broadway, NYC 10003 www.capitalone.com.
     Ta Ta Darlings!!!  Destination Union Square is the place to be and relaxing in the new bank experience is worth a trip downtown. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click in the left-hand column to the Blogs that resonate with your interest.

Monday, June 5, 2017

AL HIRSCHFELD Legendary Caricaturist at Algonquin Hotel Review By Polly Guerin

Al Hirschfeld's Tony Award Winning Black-and-White Images 
There is never a dull moment on historic West 44th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue. It is known to the cognoscenti as Club Row, and at the end of the street the legendary Algonquin Hotel, famed as the site of The Round Table, was the gathering place of the elite stars of stage, screen and theater. 
    Now fans and aficionados of the legendary caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, who was well known for his black-and-white portraits of celebrities and Broadway stars, can enjoy a unique exhibit of his work in the celebrated lounge of The Algonquin Hotel. Hirschfeld, whose artwork graced the pages of the New York Herald Tribune and later The New York Times and many other publications and magazines was actually a frequent visitor at the The Algonquin Round Table. He knew and worked with many of its members and you will remember best that he sketched the famous portrait of Dorothy Parker and her cohorts in 1962. The connection of Hirschfeld and the cult of celebrity runs deep in the annals of his oeuvre. His style was unique and almost always of pure line in black ink, into which he dipped not a pen but a Crow's quill. Hirshfeld's outpouring of whimsical and comedic images chronicled nearly all of the major entertainment figures of the 20th century as well as politicians, TV stars, and such musical legends as Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Count Basie and many others.
The Algonquin Round Table
PRIOR TO THE TONY'S:  In collaboration with the Al Hirschfeld Foundation, THE ALGONQUIN HOTEL CELEBRATES THE TONY'S AS SEEN BY HIRSCHFELD" in an exhibit which opened recently, just prior to the Tony Awards taking place June llth. There is plenty of time to visit Hirschfeld's black-and-white portraits of Tony Award winning Broadway musicals and plays that grace the Hotel's legendary lobby lounge and and whilst there sip a libation or two.  The exhibit is on view through August 8, 2017.   Free for the viewing, just walk into the lobby of the hotel for a heads up on this unique exhibition. New Yorkers and tourists alike are welcome to visit The Algonquin Hotel Lobby Lounge, marvel at Hirschfeld's works and guess the name of the show in each drawing, and, of course there is the subject of "Nina" the name of his daughter that Hirschfeld managed to conceal in each piece.  So have fun trying to find it. Maybe take an opera glass with you as the works are ceiling high.   
Hirschfeld's THE PRODUCERS
The panorama of  larger-than-life reproductions  features a total of 23 drawings, reproduced three feet tall. You must look up, look up my dear, the stunning black-and-white reproductions are hanging atop the iconic Lobby Lounge's oak paneling. Although the focus of this exhibition is on Hirschfeld's black-and-white, it is important to know that a whole body of his work was also in color, particularly in magazines and the subject of magazine covers. 

THE ALGONQUIN: Although The Algonquin Hotel, which opened November 22, 1902, is the oldest and longest operating hotel located in the heart of New York City's Club Row, 59 West 44th Street,  it is as modern as one would expect. www.algonquin.hotel.com 
Many celebrities and famous clientele have been guests, but the one character I always look for is the celebrated hotel house cat, Matilda, a celebrity herself who is usually the official lobby greeter. The tradition of having a house cat started in the 1920s. Over the years there have also been some male counterparts called, Hamlet.   Recently I asked for Matilda III and found her curled up sleeping in her favorite spot, in a street window, where even the passing crowd on the way to the theater can see her. A placard tells her story.
     Ta Ta Darlings!! It's the perfect place to rendezvous with a special friend(s) and relax with a "Dorothy Parker" or "Matilda" cocktail. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click on the links in the left hand column to visionary men, womendeterminedtosucceed, poetry from the heart and others.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

LIVE OUT LOUD'S 2017 Young Trailblazers Gala June 5 at TIMESCENTER

What does it take to be sweet sixteen and bring to the fore a nonprofit organization that empowers LGBTQ youth to live authentic lives? Just ask Leo Preziosi, Jr., Founder and Executive Director of Live Out Loud. He has has been spearheading this organization from the beginning and announces this year's honorees including the Soaring Spirit Award being presented by Mary-Louis Parker to BRUCE COHEN, an Academy Award-winning director of film, television and theater (pictured left). He is executive producer of "When We Rise," an eight-hour miniseries on the LGBTQ rights movement from 1971 to today.  The film is an epic event and as it chronicles the real-life personal and political struggles, setbacks and triumphs of a diverse family of LGBTQ people who helped pioneer one of the last legs of the U.S. equality movement from it turbulent infancy in the 20th Century to today.
      WHO ATTENDS? The Young Trailblazers benefit gala draws more than 400 influencers and community leaders from the worlds of business, arts, politics, fashion, and recognizes individuals and companies who have made a positive impact among the LGBTQ youth community.
      If you're like me and you want to support this organization you, too, can become part of this sweet sixteen anniversary. Live Out Loud celebrates at the YOUNG TRAILBLAZERS GALA, Monday, June 5th, at the TIMESCENTER, 242 West 41st Street, New York, N.Y.  For tickets call 212.378.4095 / email leo@liveoutloud.info. Tickets start at $250 and sponsorship opportunities are still available. Proceeds from the gala event will benefit Live Out Loud's educational school programming for LGBTQ youth.
      Red carpet arrivals start at 5:30 pm, Award presentation from 6:30 to 7:30 pm, Reception and Silent Auction from 7:39 - 9:30 pm.  The Gold Sponsor for this year's event is GILEAD.
      Raphael Miranda, Meteorologist for NBC 4 New York will Emcee and Mary-Louis Parker who presents the Soaring Spirit ward to Bruce Cohen is appropriately designated as she plays lesbian feminist activist Roma Guy, a co-founder of The San Francisco Women's building, a women-led arts and education community center and non-profit organization. The Educator of the Year will be presented to Annabell Louis, Linden High School.
   Why Does LIVE OUT LOUD MATTER? This nonprofit organization guides and empowers LGBTQ youth not only to live authentic lives but connects them to positive role models, and affirmative experiences in the LGBTQ community. Every week, the Live Out Loud High School Program is out in high schools and communities bringing  together students and role models. 
      Then too,  Live Out Loud's Homecoming Project, invites the LGBTQ community nationwide to return to their hometown high schools to share their personal stories with the next generation  Live Out Loud's Behind the Scenes program partners with corporate LGBTQ affinity groups to connect with professionals who can provide career advice and personal guidance. 
      The Young Trailblazers Scholarship Fund---Every year, three LGBTQ high school seniors are recognized and awarded scholarships for $10,000 at the Annual Young Trailblazers Gala for their outstanding leadership and community activism. For more information, go to http://www.liveoutloud.info.
Ta Ta Darlings!!! As the audience at the Young Trailblazers Gala at the TimesCenter reaches a high pitch of unbridled enthusiasm PollyTalk will be there cheering on the LGBTQ youth. Be there, it's an enriching experience.  Fan mail to pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's other Blogs at www.pollytalk.com.

Monday, May 22, 2017

A WORLD OF EMOTIONS at Onassis Cultural Center: Review By Polly Guerin

WHY DO EMOTIONS MATTER?  Life would  be pretty dull without emotions that  penetrate every aspect of our lives, they are the background of every form of art and literature and are interwoven with memory, attention, cognition, and decision. Emotions are such heady stuff that they determine our interpersonal relations, our private life, the public sphere, and religious worship. 
      Perhaps we need more emotion in our lives, let's see how the ONASSIS CULTURAL CENTER'S stunning ancient Greek masterpieces bring emotions to the fore in a groundbreaking exhibition, A WORLD OF EMOTIONS Ancient Greece, 700 AD-200 AD on view through June 23, 2017, Free admission and public programs, Onassis Cultural Center New York, 645 Fifth Avenue at 51st Street.
     Image Right Features two heads: The Head of PENTHESILEA Marble, Roman copy of a Hellenistic original. (c) Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig. Second head ACHILLES, Marble, Roman copy  of a Hellenistic original. (c) Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig. 
      The exhibition brings together more than 130 masterpieces from world-renowned museums including the Acropolis Museum, the National Archaeological Museum Athens, the Louvre, the British Museum, the Vatican museums and many more opening pathways to a wide world of unending, conflicting, universal emotions. A World of Emotions explores the ideas and attitudes of people in classical antiquity toward emotion and the ways in which the emotions are depicted, revealing how some are strikingly familiar to us and some shockingly alien.  It features vase paintings, sculptures, theatrical masks, amulets, coins, and votive offerings, among other artifacts, many on view in the United States for the firs time, and some for the first time outside of Greece.  

Angelos Chaniotis, Professor of  Ancient History and Classics, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton wrote: "Emotions have a particular significance for Greek Culture. Greek  theorized emotions as early as the 5th century BC.  Emotions were personified and worshipped as divinities. The very first word of Greek (and European) literature describes an emotion: menis, "anger."  Emotions are manifest in every expression of Greek culture, in institutions and society, drama and poetry, rhetoric and history, art and philosophy." Image Left: Funerary Stele, Marble, early 3rd century BC, from the Cemetery of Ancient Thera. Archaeological Museum of Thera (c) Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports--Archaeological Receipts Fund. Photography Kostas Xenikakis.
     Think upon this: According to Aristotle's definition, tragic plays had a surging effect on spectators by arousing fear and compassion. The tragic poets drew their subjects from the passions of larger-than-life figures such as Euripides' Medea with themes of love, betrayal, jealousy, anger and revenge,  which become part of the world's cultural heritage. The myth of Medea inspired six operas, the best known being Luigi Cherubini's Medee of 1797. Maria Callas played this part in her only film role, in Pier Paolo Pasolini's Medea of 1969.  Presented on the theatrical stage, myths triggered fear and empathy that led audiences to catharsis, which according to Aristotle was the defining goal of tragedy.   
     Professor Chaniotis adds: "This exhibition presents an itinerary into a world of emotions. It confronts the visitor with question of timeless value: What were the means with which ancient artists represented emotions. How did images and texts arouse emotions that still resonate with a modern audience.
     A World of Emotions is the kind of exhibition that provides a timely opportunity to think about the role of feeling in our own personal, social, and political lives, and prompts questions about how we express control, manipulate or simulate feelings. Image Right
A marble votive relief of Greek mythology hero
Zeus from 340 BC.
     The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue of essays, available for purchase  at the Onassis Cultural Center New York.   Contact info: www.onassisusa.org/emotions.  
     Ta Ta Darlings!!!  This exhibition gives me cause of express my emotional reaction: Don't MISS this opportunity to revisit the Greek classics and immerse yourself in the emotional thrill  of seeing some Greek antiquities on view for the first time in the US.  Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs on www.pollytalk.com, and n 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. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

POSTERS and PATRIOTISM at MCNY: Review By Polly Guerin

 As Memorial Day approaches, it is fitting to pause to remember those who served and made great sacrifices in all the wars to keep our nation free and safe.  
    Then too, it is interesting to look into the annals of war propaganda and to note that although New York City is located some 4,000 miles from Europe's bloodiest battlefields during World War I,  it played an important role in the conflict, particularly as a producer of all types of war propaganda.
     The Museum of the City of New York's "POSTERS and PATRIOTISM: Selling World War I in New York" displays sixty original illustrations to sell the war to Americans, on view through October 9, 2017.
    Why does this exhibition matter? Just the magnitude of the outpouring of Posters, Patriotism, and the Power of advertising, the persuasive method that was used to promote patriotic responses during World War I captures our collective interest.  
      In order to unite
Americans in the war effort, a formidable propaganda machine was set up in New York. Three hundred illustrators and admen were recruited with producing posters leaflets, magazine covers and sheet music covers.                  During the 20 months of American engagement in the war, 2,500 illustrations were designed , reproduced and posted over all 50 states. However, at first their image of the war was innocent and romantic; often portrayed as a glorious and exotic adventure. 
    To mobilize the home front New York became a theater of war. Vibrantly colored illustrations covered newsstands, subway stations and billboard all over the city and department stores dressed their windows simultaneously to reflect the propaganda.  Few people thought that the war would drag on but it did and as news of the fallen victims reached the citizens. the reality of the war set in and the vibrant message was darkened.     

Once the Armistice of November 11, 1918 was signed, New York entered the Jazz Age. Spared by the destruction of battle New York City transformed, admen and artists cast aside propaganda for the Dada art movement and Harlem became a mecca of new clubs inspired by African-American soldiers.  It was the roaring 20s and the city was the epicenter of freedom and frivolity.   
 It is interesting to note, that John W. Campbell, the railroad executive most well-known today for his gilded age office in Grand Central Terminal, lastly as the bar, Campbell Apartment (now closed) made substantial donations from his private collection of propaganda posters.
    Something to ponder: Would such a propaganda campaign work in today's society? 
    Ta Ta darlings!!! Let's remember the men and women who so gallantly served and revere their memory this Memorial Day, and lay a wreath at a statue in their memory or throw a wreath into the water for those lost at sea. Fan mail always welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and in the left
hand column click on the Blog that resonates with your interest on visionary men, women determined to succeed, the fashion historian or poetry.
    

Monday, May 8, 2017

NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY'S Center for Women's History: Review By Polly Guerin

Soaring Glass Grand Staircase by Norman S. Benzaquen 
Dazzling like sparkling colored gemstones, the custom-designed glass gallery of 100 illuminated Tiffany lamps displays works of artistic creation, many made by the "Tiffany Girls," who at last get their 15 minutes of fame in the groundbreaking new, CENTER FOR WOMEN'S HISTORY. The first of its kind I am told, in a major U.S. museum, the the fourth floor of THE NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY has been transformed into a space that tells women's stories and the impact women have made on American history.
     As the centerpiece on the fourth floor, the museum offers a rare opportunity to view a custom-designed glass gallery showcasing the Museum's preeminent collection of Tiffany lamps re-imagined in a permanent installation and displayed within a dramatically lit jewel-like space with its soaring glass Norman S. Benzaquen Grand staircase. 
      Quite true, the museum did have an earlier Tiffany exhibition but that was around 2005, and now the full scope of the museum's Tiffany lamp collection is on view in glorious drama, and to say the least, it is quite stunning, and tugs at one's mind to remember that many these faceted creations were designed and assembled by women.  
The fully renovated fourth floor reveals the often overlooked stories of women who had made an impact on American history.  Then too, the exhibition was inspired by the New-York Historical's discovery of the unknown story of Clara Driscoll, and her Women's Glass Cutting Department, who designed and created iconic Tiffany lampshades at the turn of the 20th century. It is interesting to note that Louis Comfort Tiffany so valued his
leading lady that he paid her the same salary as his employees in the men's glass cutting department.  Image right: The installation includes  multiple examples of the Dragonfly shade, a unique Dogwood floor lamp, a Wisteria Table Lamp, and a rare, elaborate Cobweb shades, among many others.
     With state-of-the-art interactive media, the visitor experience includes a hands-on "Design-a-Lamp" experience in the Tiffany gallery and a diorama that illustrates the rise of electrification. Putting it quite succinctly Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society said, "The reopening of our Henry Luce III Center on the fourth floor of our landmark building marks a new and dramatic phase in the museum's history. Many of the objects we now are able to have never been seen by the public before, others had not been seen for generations."  
     
Interactive Dolley Madison dining table invites visitors 
Of course, the The Women's Center, fourth floor, offers much more than the magnificent Tiffany gallery. SAVING WASHINGTON, for example, showcases the contributions of Dolley Madison and her female contemporaries to the fledgling democracy in early America. Image left: An interactive recreation of Dolley Madison's dining table invites visitors to practice their diplomacy skills. All photos by Corrado Serra.

     In the North Gallery the striking space presents treasures from the museum's holdings in 15 themes relating to the port of New York, Hudson River School artists, slavery in New York, and 9/11, among other objects on view. Highlights of early American silver include a display of silver and jewelry from the New York retailer Tiffany & Co.
    Ta Ta Darlings!!!  Here's to the women who made America great!!!  Visit the new Center for Women's History, where women take pride and place in American history.  Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click in the left hand column on the links to visionary men, fashion, women determined to succeed or poetry.