Monday, April 16, 2018

VISITORS TO VERSAILLES: Review By Polly Guerin

In its lavish new exhibit VISITORS TO VERSAILLES you are invited to vicariously visit the famous Chateau from the perspective of a diverse representation of people who passed through its gates between the year Louis XIV moved his court there and the year Louis XVI and the royal family were forced back to Paris.
      Russian writer Nikolai Karamzin's reflection on his experience visiting Versailles in 1790, "I have never seen anything, more magnificent than the palace of Versailles," is a testament to visitors' enduring fascination with the famous royal residence, even to this day. 
EXHIBITION EVOKES GRANDEUR: While there is no doubt that the exhibition is meant to evoke the grandeur and opulence of Versailles, its five galleries with aligned doorways were constructed to emulate the enfilade of rooms, generating a long theatrical vista and a sense of anticipation for the visitor. Custom-designed wallpaper suggests defining architectural elements of the palace's interiors---its marble inlays pilasters, gilded paneling, wall hangings and mirrors. 
THE AUDIO EXPERIENCE:
"Versailles is a very different show," said Danielle Kisluk-Grosheide one of its curators.    
A panoramic view of Visitors to Versailles 
No doubt. it is the new immersive audio experience, free-to-all-visitors, that brings alive the impressions of visitors to the chateau and court of Versailles in the 17th and 18th centuries. Using high quality headphones listeners can hear dramatizations of actual visitor descriptions of their experiences and personal
observations, adapted from correspondences and journals, court diaries, gazettes and literary journals which offer detailed reports on specific events and entertainments, as well as, ambassador receptions that were also documented on paintings and engravings.
        The immersive audio is produced in atmospheric 3-D soundscapes with the voice of professional actors, re-enacting the observations and conversations of the Versailles visitors. You will be immediately captivated by the rich, bi-natural sound that evokes the conversations and settings---from the footsteps of courtiers walking on a marble staircase to a singer performing a Handel aria in a private salon. The voices represented range from French aristocrats to luminaries of the arts and sciences to mere tourists. The letters and journals detailing various individuals' experiences are also complemented by tapestries, furniture, arms and armor, and all the other trappings necessary to transport viewers back in time as they join foreign travelers, royalty, dignitaries and ambassadors, artists, musicians, writers and philosophers, scientists, tourists on the Grand Tour, the public, if properly attired, and day-trippers alike, who all flocked to the majestic royal palace surrounded by its extensive formal gardens
Modes of Transportation and Costjmes
VISITORS TO VERSAILLES A number of Americans journeyed to Versailles, either as tourists or diplomats. Benjamin Franklin first visited Versailles in 1767 and played a significant role especially after 1776 when France became the colonists only military ally in their rebellion against Great Britain.                   Franklin captivated the French shamelessly playing to their expectations of Americans, forgoing a wig and dressing in plain unadorned clothes.  His brown suit, rarely displayed to the public,  is on loan from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.The galleries also capture the modes of transportation to Versailles and the strict French code of dress. Among the principal reasons to visit the royal residence were its extensive gardens and the prized opportunity to catch a glimpse of the king. Garments on display include a beautiful robe a la francaise believed to have been worn by the wife of renowned textile manufacturer Christophe-Phillippe Oberkampf for her audience with Marie Antoinette and uniforms and weapons of the king's household. 
     The overall impression of the exhibition is that I did not quite get the grandeur of Versailles'
magnificent gardens as the lighting atmosphere is on the dim side, but then again that probably is due to necessity, to protect the precious art works.
    Ta Ta Darlings!!!  No passport needed, just head for the Metropolitan Museum of Art for an
immersion of a different, entertaining experience. Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalkfromnewyork.blogspot.com and click on the link in the left hand column to the subject that resonates with you, such as, women determined to succeed, visionary men, poetry from the heart and fashion

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

FEATHERS: Fashion and the Fight for Wildlife: Review By Polly Guerin

Muff and tippet set composed of 4 Adult Herring Gulls
Millions of people around the world celebrate 2018 at the "Year of the Bird," as it marks the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, the most powerful and important bird-protection law ever passed.  
        Although millions of birds were sacrificed for plumage of late 19th and early 20th century feathered fashions the exhibit, FEATHERS: Fashion and the Fight for Wildlife,  at the New-York Historical Society, reveals the overwhelming toll on birds and plumage, and the industry that embellished clothing and accessories. 
       THEN AND NOW: The faint at heart may find the insensitive plunder of birds for adornment. on view, a heart wrenching reminder about the time society viewed feathered fashion with reckless disregard and how the plume trade had decimated many American bird species to point of near extinction. Image Left: Accessory Set, American, including muff and tippet, 1880-90, Herring Gulls, feathers, silk. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection, 2009. Right: John James Audubon, Herring Gull. Watercolor, graphite pastel, black chalk, and black ink with touches of gouache, white lead pigment, and glazing on paper. Purchased for the New-York Historical Society by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon, 1863. 
       However, activists soon recognized the urgency for protection and the New-York Historical Society's exhibition, on view through July 15, 2018, examines the circumstances that inspired early environmental activists to champion the protection of endangered birds. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 was one of the first federal laws to address the environment, prohibiting the hunting, killing, trading, and shipping of migratory birds, The exhibition is part of the Year of the Bird, centennial celebration of the Act organized by National Geographic, the National Audubon Society, the Cornell Lab ofOrnithology, and Birdlife international.
Women Flaunt the Feather Craze in Killer Millinery
EXHIBITION HIGHLIGHTS: The first gallery, featuring feathered fashions including hats, boas, fans, aigrettes jewelry, illustrates the passion for plumage.  None more egregious than the muff and tippet accessory set (1880-99) composed of four adult Herring Gulls created during a craze for gulls that nearly drove the sea birds to extinction and a pair of earrings with hummingbird heads. Need I say more, see the depraved use of birds for adornment for your own edification. 
     
Activist> Florence Merriam Bailey    
The second gallery, "Activists Take Flight, introduces several of the activists who pushed for protective legislation. New York City activists included George Bird Grinnell, a prominent conservation polymath and protege of Lucy Bakewell Audubon, who was inspired by the artist-naturalist to found the first Audubon Society in 1886. Florence Merriam Bailey, an ornithologist, whose bird books became important field guides. Then, too, I wish to call you attention to Lilli Lehmann, a German opera singer, vegetarian and animal lover, who campaigned passionately against wearing feathers, while in residence with the

Metropolitan Opera.
      The exhibition concludes with 14 watercolors by Audubon (least we forget he, too, killed many birds for his studies) including the Roseate Spoonbill, whose pink feathers were used in fans sold in the Florida tourist trade, and the Great Egret, one of the chief victims of the turn-of-the-century plume hunters that became the symbol of the Audubon Society.
         Even before the Federal Act earlier concern for bird protection was the concern in New Jersey. In the April 18, 2018 issue of The New York Times, the  feature ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY. reported a memorable headline: "MUST WEAR BIRDLESS HATS," 
March 24, 1910. The New Jersey General Assembly passed a bill that would make it a misdemeanor for women to wear the feathers, wings or bodies of birds as accoutrement, a practice that was devastating several species. "Spring styles for New Jersey women must undergo a change at once or many women will be in jail." the article noted. 
         The Year of the Bird pays it forward and examines how our changing environment is driving dramatic losses among birds species around the globe even today and highlights what we can do to help bring birds back.
        For nature lovers, several walking tours of Central Park bring Audubon's paintings to life.
May 5 and June 2 to name a few. Refer to the Museum's website for further details. 
       Ta Ta Darlings!!!  Become an activist and support the Year of The Bird!!  Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Connect to Polly's other Blog links on www.pollytalk.com
       

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

URBAN SANCTUARIES By Polly Guerin

If you have ever wanted to let the cacophony of the city melt away and merely find a place for quiet
contemplation or to meditate in peace, one only has to step outdoors into nature. Though that may
not be a doable in the urban environment, in the quiet of early mornings, Central Park, Riverside Part and Battery City Park might offer opportunities to commune with nature's healing mediation. Then, too, even as the symphony of the city drones on nearby, there are several sanctuaries within New York City, where you can find comfort and peace of mind.    

THE CATHEDRAL OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE: Many churches throughout the city welcome visitors, but this magnificent, 125-year-old cathedral , which welcomes visitors of all faiths, is truly a peaceful place to just quiet your mind, meditate or simply relax in the majestic ambiance of the building's soaring arches and glorious stained-glass windows. As the sunlight filters in, the colors projected onto the visitors offer individual healing messages, Red for rejuvenation, blue for spiritual awakening, yellow for golden enlightenment and so forth.
     For a meditation experience of a more musical kind,  every Sunday at 4 p.m., the church offers their traditional 'Choral Evensong,' song by their world celebrated choir.  This is a wonderful time to let your spirit soar and receive colorful messages, as it is known that specific colors resonate in a musical performance. Close your eyes and listen and perhaps you may see only one color. Then, too, some very attuned individuals see a rainbow of colors when they listen to music and that ability is called, Synesthesia. 
     Location: 1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street in Manhattan. info@stjohndivine.org.
Since this Cathedral is a work-in-progress, so to speak, there is a suggested donation of $10
per adult and $8 for students and seniors, for visitors not attending church services. Early
risers, please note that the Cathedral is open at 7:30 a.m. Door open all day and closes at 6 p.m.    

INTO THE SILENCE: Quiet Mornings at MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art. A lovely garden sanctuary is a magnet for midtown regulars and tourists.  
        Be sure to add this to your calendar. On the first Wednesday of every month, MoMA opens its doors at 7:30 a.m.  For a dual urban garden experience, the museum gives ardent art lovers an opportunity to view art works including the Impressionists, such as Monet's Water Lilies, in a delightful crowd- free environment.
      Not only does that draw in art lovers, but the best part, for sanctuary seekers, the Museum also includes a guided meditation session from 8:30 to 9 a.m.  On any occasion some brilliant guide, motivational speaker or a best-selling
author may be engaged to lead you through the meditation. www.moma.org.
    Location: 11 West 53rd Street., Manhattan. For early birds enter at 18 West 54th Street. Admission Adults $15, Seniors $12, full-time students with current ID $10.
Children, 16 and under free as well as MoMA members.  

THE ABBY ALDRISH SCULPTURE GARDEN at the BROOKLYN BOTANICAL GARDEN is a dreamy place where peace and quiet contemplation is invited on an 82 acre oasis in the heart of Brooklyn. Plan to spend the day as the experience will transport you into a tranquil environment with glorious colors and fresh air. As you navigate the beautiful peaceful landscape, at every turn there is reason to pause and simply clear your head of clutter, meditate or pray. 
      Then, too, there is the Garden's amazing Bonsai Museum, which houses one the the largest collections of bonsai trees, 350 at the last count, outside of Japan. Entrance at 999 Washington Street and 150 Eastern Parkway. Call 718-623-7200 for current hours and admission charge.
     Many corporate building in New York City have public spaces in their lobbies and one that comes to mind is the Bank of America Tower located on Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street.
This majestic glass and indoor space features breathtaking garden sculptures, made of living
mosses, vines and ferns.  Take a seat, plenty of chairs are provided and settle in with your private thoughts, contemplate time out from the fast lane and get into the mood and meditate. FREE and open to the public 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 
        I trust that you may find your way to one of these urban sanctuaries, as a daily measure, or for a peaceful excursion on a weekend. Blessing and best wishes, Polly.
         

       
       

Monday, March 26, 2018

THE ART OF MUSIC at the MET: Review By Polly Guerin

Humanity has been drawn to make music and communicate beyond the human voice, across cultures and time, with instruments of incredible beauty and ingenuity, and nowhere is it more effectively represented than today at the Met's Andre Mertens Galleries for Music Instruments. 
     Daniel W. Weiss, President and CEO of the MET commented, "Nearly two years in the making the reopening of our Musical Instruments galleries has resulted in a new, more insightful narrative for our visitors that draws and reflects the unique strengths of the Museum's musical collection, presenting a comprehensive perspective on global music."  Image clockwise fro top left: Bartolomeo Christofori, Grand Piano (detail) 1720. Cypress, boxwood, paint, leather and fir. The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments. 1889. Alolphe Sax, Alto saxophone in E-flat, ca. 1855. Brass. Purchase, Robert Alonzo Lehman Bequest 2005. William Forster, "Royal George" cello, 1782. Spruce, maple, and ebony. Gift of Mona and Bradford Endicott, in honor of Ken Moore, 2016. Sankh. Indian, 19th century. Shell (Turbinella Pyrum), brass, and wax. Purchase, the Barrington Foundation Inc. Gift, 1986)
     THE ART OF MUSIC explores the artistry of music and instruments across four thousand years of musical instruments from across the globe. The four renovated galleries display the treasures of the collection. These include the world's oldest surviving piano, made by Bartolomeo Cristofori in Florence in 1720.  the scope of The Met's instruments collection offers the rae opportunity to illustrate the use of music and instruments to express status, identity, and spirituality, along with the impact of trade. Not to be missed is the Openwork, rattle bell, ca, early 1st millennium B.C., the Ming Dynasty cloisonne trumpets and  pre-Columbian drums; Andres Segovia's guitar, and violins by Antonio Stradivari and Andrea Amati.
       
The Art of Music, Andre Mertens Galleries
Of particular note is the Kona,  from Senegal made of such diverse materials as goatskin, antelope hide, ebony, metal, wood, from The Koyate family, a dynasty of West African storytellers who chronicle history and preserve epic stories. 

     Then, too, the 1845 Saxophone, by Adolphe Sax (Belgium), introduced in 1834, was original and before its time.  However during Sax's lifetime it achieved success and universal popularity through jazz and pop, two genres that  ironically did not exist until long after the saxophone's introduction. 
New to the gallery are two audio and video kiosk and an Audio Guide with more than 50 audio clips of the instruments.
   
Stuart Davis Mural for Studio B WNYC
Observational review points to the fact that although instruments are primarily intended to create sound, they are also powerful visual expressions and are often works of art in their own right. As such, their artistic appearance frequently reflects contemporary style, and the production techniques and materials used to make them are often found in other art forms. Included in the gallery are related objects and paintings from across The Met collection that illustrates the universal presence of music and instruments in art and society.

       The much favored instrument by today's artists on display is the Antonius Stradivari. Italian, Cremona 17ll. The arching of the Stradivari's top and back contributes to providing a louder volume, which helped to make the instrument popular with soloists in the nineteenth century. Image: At the end wall of the show is the magnificent Stuart Davis mural for Studio B, WNYC Municipal Broadcasting Company, 1939 incorporating elements that reflect musical instruments and broadcasting theme. Take note also, of a painting paying tribute to Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown. In 1889 she donated 300 instruments. Then, too, Brown would continue to collect until 1918, building a collection of more than 3,600 instruments for the Met Museum.
     A series of gallery-based concerts inspired by The Museum's Musical instruments collection, called TRADE WINDS  take place on April 27 and June 15.  The concerts are free with Museum admission.  For further info contact www.metmuseum.org/music galleries.
     Ta Ta Darlings!!!  "If music be the food of Love," (Purcell), the new Musical Instruments Galleries are indeed worth a visit  Fan mail welcome: pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click on the left-hand list of Blogs that solicit your attention.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Public Parks, Private Gardens at the Met: Review By Polly Guerin

/Georges-Pierre Seurat, La Grande Jatte 1884
As we collectively pine for Spring's arrival the exhibit, Public Parks, Private Gardens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is timed perfectly to coincide with our yearnings for Plein Air experiences.
      In this breathtaking exhibition leisurely take the time to saturate yourself in these gorgeous gardens and follow in the footsteps of nineteenth-century artists who celebrated the outdoors 'en plein air' as a place of leisure, renewal and inspiration. This exhibition, which extends to July 29, 2018, explores the horticultural developments that reshaped the landscape of France in an era that gave rise to Naturalism, Impressionism, and Art Nouveau. (Image: Georges-Pierre Seurat, Sunday Afternoon on the island of La Grande Jatte, Paris, 1884 Metropolitan Museum of Art). 
Claude Monet, Garden at Sainte-Adresse, 1867
 
Contributing to the romance with gardens
was the arrival of shiploads of exotic botanical specimens from abroad and local nurserymen pursued hybridization. In this manner the availability and variety of plants and flowers grew as did the interest in them. Then, too, the opening of formerly royal properties and the elegant transformation of Paris during the Second Empire into a city of tree-lined boulevards and parks introduced the public green spaces to be enjoyed as Open-air Salons where people could engage in leisure activities. At the same time, suburbanites were prompted to cultivate their own flower gardens. Image: Claude Monet, Garden at Sainte-Adresse, 1867, Metropolitan Museum of Art.
     The exhibition is organized thematically in five galleries. REVOLUTION in the GARDEN, for example, traces the decisive shift that transpired in garden design in the years bracketing the French Revolution of 1789. a series of works illuminates the guiding influence of Empress Josephine Bonaparte, first wife of Napoleon 1, who ignited fashion for floriculture at the start of the 19th century. PARKS for the PUBLIC , the selection of works here focuses on parks in and around Paris that captivated artists' attention including the Bois de Boulogne, Versailles, The Luxembourg Gardens as seen through the eyes of Eugene Atget, Childe Hassam, Berthe Morisot, Auguste Renoir, Georges Seurat, and James McNeil Whistler. Image: Lydia Crocheting in the garden at Marly 1880 by Mary Cassatt. The second half of the exhibit is devoted to gardens and unfolds in two sections "Private Gardens" and Portrait in the Garden."  
Lydia Crocheting by Mary Cassatt 1880
Not to be missed is the central courtyard with the exhibition---a soaring space illuminated by an immense skylight---replanted to evoke a French conservatory garden of the period and furnished with green iron benches redolent of Parisian park setting.

     Check the Met's website for special events and programs www.metmuseum.org. In a Sunday at the Met program on April 29 from 2 to 3:30 p.m., scholars and designers will discuss the ongoing significance and evolution of public parks from 19th-century Paris to present-day New York.
      Ta Ta Darlings!!!  This is quite a gorgeous exhibit and in many ways will provide a pleasant way to spend time in the park, indoors, of course.  Fan mail welcome: pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Polly's Blogs can be accessed at www.pollytalk.com, just click in the left-hand column on the column that resonates with your interest. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

UNSEEN OCEANS: A Splashy Review: By Polly Guerin

Dive beneath the waves and explore the UNSEEN OCEANS!  No bathing suit needed, just your innate curiosity to learn the latest advances in ocean exploration, the technologies behind them, and the mysteries that remain. 
     The American Museum of Natural History exhibition opens today and remains in a permanent space through Sunday, January 6, 2019. Plenty of time to get your feet wet, so to speak, and embark on a journey that takes you from the oceans' sunlit surfaces to their inky depths as you discover the latest ocean science and encounter the researchers and technologies that reveal our blue planet as never before.  It's a colorful world, alive with electrifying images revealing the unseen habitats of the oceans' most mysterious animals and inhospitable areas in unprecedented detail.  However, sinking deeper into the ocean, daylight fades, most colors disappear and life is bathed in blue. But diving at night with specially-designed lights and cameras museum researchers have discovered a wide variety of fishes and other marine animals are fluorescent, glowing in startling shades of red, orange, and green when illuminated with high-energy blue light. 
Photographs by Roderick Mickens, AMNH)

     Yes, our world is an ocean planet. More than 70 percent of the Earth's surface is covered by, yet surprisingly little of these vast realms has been explored.  Now, with the use of 21st-century technologies like robotics, satellite monitoring, miniaturization, and high-definition imaging, our concept of the vast oceans is beginning to change. 
     "All life on our planet depends on the oceans, yet they remain one of the last great frontiers," said Ellen V. Futter, president of the AMNH. "Today a new generation of marine scientists with a pioneering spirit of ingenuity and adventure, and an explosion of technological and imaging advances, are creating a golden age of ocean exploration, yielding astonishing discoveries at dark and mysterious depths." Image: Hercules,at a remotely operated exploration vehicle with instrumentation, lights and a robotic arm.  
     This multi-dimensional exhibition impresses upon the visitor that ocean exploration is as exciting and important as space exploration. In Unseen Oceans, visitors are invited to explore a series of circular, media-rich galleries showcasing a range of marine environments and introducing scientists who are using cutting-edge research tools and developing new methods to explore the oceans top and bottom.  

The ocean floor is another world swirling with discovery.  Only about 10 to 15 percent of the sea floor has been mapped with accuracy, meaning that we know the surface of Mars much better than the submerged landscapes of our own planet. But today, with the use of sound waves, radar and lasers, scientists are beginning to construct extraordinary detailed images of these environments. In Unseen Oceans you will encounter a gallery that features a scientifically-accurate re-creation of landscapes including a local "landmark": the Hudson Canyon, a spectacular underwater feature only 100 miles from New York City. Image: The Plankton Room
     PRESERVING THE OCEAN'S FUTURE As the human population has exploded, the demand for seafood has surged and destructive, wasteful fishing practises have cause the number of fish to plummet by 50 percent since 1970. Unseen Oceans also highlights the threat to the ocean's vital abundance--including over fishing and habitat degradation--as well as the conservation scientists and forward-thinking governments that are making progress toward protecting the rich diversity of living things in the sea.
      This is a breathtaking exhibition that unravels mysteries of the ocean with interactive exhibits that enchant both child and adult. For additional information, call 212-769-5100 or visit the Museum's website at www.amnh.org.
     Ta Ta Darlings!!! What a wonder world to explore. Unseen Oceans is a "must."  You will be amazed and learn more about the ocean that you never knew before. Fan mail is always welcome
email: pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Follow Polly's Blogs on www.pollytalk.com and click in the left-hand column on the Blog link that resonates with your interest.
          

Monday, March 5, 2018

International ANTIQUARIAN BOOK FAIR: Review By Polly Guerin

A mecca for literary cognoscente, bibliophiles and a haven for the curious seekers, the NEW YORK ANTIQUARIAN BOOK FAIR (NYIABF) in its 58th year lands at the Park Avenue Armory, Thursday, March 8 and stays on through Sunday, March 11th.  I'm giving you this heads up on the Fair to provide you with plenty of time to view the exceptional offerings spanning the history of the written word that ranges from pre-Gutenberg to the 21st century. 
       So why do ancient books and ephemera matter? As one scholar remarked, "The story of books is almost the story of civilization itself."  
Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Medieval Manuscripts
While the Fair is considered a "must see" for seasoned connoisseurs and scholars, it has offerings in every conceivable genre and subject---something for everyone. The FAIR is not for the faint of heart, however, it is wise to invest more time to browse and linger over works that interest you. There is a vast treasure trove of material--rare books, maps, illuminated manuscripts, incunabula, illustrations, historical documents and print ephemera. The dealers welcome your inquiry and some have unique offerings at accessible price points. Now in its 58th edition the FAIR presents more than 200 exhibitors culled from the finest American and International antiquarian dealers.  For instance, illustrated herewith is an example of a rare book you will find at  the dealer, Phiillp J. Pirages Fine Books and Medieval Manuscripts. Over the years their business has gravitated toward historical artifacts that are physically attractive in some way---illuminated material, fine bindings, beautiful typography and paper, impressive illustrations and much more.     
Salvatore Dali at Biblioctopus
DALI fans may be interested in Biblioctopus, a multi-faceted book dealer which specializes in such diverse offerings as cuneiform tablets of 3000 BC to a wide range of first editions of the classics of fiction and diverse print material. This rare and amazing image of  Dali, the surrealistic artist, illustrates his incredible ability to create weird and wonderful works of art. This is an over-painted photographic cut out portrait, painted and signed.

     Ah, what joy it must be to hold the first edition of a famous author's book and then to own it. Then, too, there is Royal Books, a rare bookstore specializing in Cinema, Film Ephemera, 20th Century Literature and Arts and Culture. Among items this dealer intends to exhibit at the Fair THE
Royal Books rare Maltese Falcon
MALTESE FALCON, by Dashiell Hammett, 
 is perhaps the most influential single work in establishing the conventions of hard-boiled fiction. This first edition is a price clipped, yet un-restored first edition dust jacket. Another one-of-a-kind offer is Y0JIMBO, the original shooting script for Akira Kurosawa's legendary 1961 film based thematically on 
Dashiell Hammett's novels, "The Glass Key" and "Red Harvest." It is a working copy, with annotations throughout. The adventure continues with far too many worthy dealers (200) to include here, except to mention one more.       
Eric Chaim KIine Judaica and Rare Books
Eric Chaim Kline Judaica and Rare Books tugged at my interest with this Marc Chagall Lithograph complete with twelve original lithographs signed. But there is much more to their story; like some other dealers, they take books on assignment and do appraisals for estate insurance.

     What's in Your Attic? Special Event-DISCOVERY DAY, Sunday,  March 11 offers a FREE event with paid admission. Ticketed visitors the opportunity to bring to the FAIR their rare books, manuscripts, maps, etc. (up to 5 items). Exhibitors will be on hand to offer expert advice and free appraisals. Daily admission is $25, students with ID $10. And I just know a one day visit is not enough there is a Run of Show at $45.  LOCATION: Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue, New York. The FAIR is produced by Sanford L. Smith + Associates. www.nyantiquarianbookfair.com. 
      Ta Ta Darlings!!! You will know where to fine me this weekend...total immersion at the Fair. Don't you have a rare treasure to bring to Discovery Day? 
Fan mail always welcome pollytalknyc@gmail.com.   Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com and click in the left-hand column to the Blog lings that resonate with your interest.






     

Monday, February 26, 2018

JACOB and HIS TWELVE SONS at THE FRICK: Review By Polly Guerin


JACOB, ca. 1640-45
Why does Zurbaran's  JACOB and HIS TWELVE SONS resonate today? Quite frankly, it is one of the best stories told in any New York museum exhibition this season. which traveled to the United States for the first time from Auckland Castle, County Durham, England. The Frick Collection on Fifth Avenue presents a breath-taking panorama, a series of thirteen monumental figures painted by the seventeenth-century Spanish master Francisco de Zurbaran. Image: Francisco de Zurbaran (Spanish, 1598-1664) JACOB ca. 1640-45, Oil on canvas. (c)Auckland Project/Zurbaran Trust: Photo credit: Robert La Prelle.
     This exhibition, through April 22, 2018, begins with the Spanish baroque master  Zurbaran, who in the 1640s made thirteen paintings of Jacob, the Old Testament patriarch, and his sons, who founded the twelve tribes of Israel. Each figure carries his share of the story: Jacob, now old, is folded over his cane, eyes downcast, ruminating on the future.
      The prophetic poem, "The Blessings of Jacob" a prophetic poem in Chapter 49 of the Book of Genesis was Zurbaran's primary source for the imagery of the life-size figures, each of which is rendered with a strong sense of individuality yet forms a synergistic part of a cohesive choreographed group. For the Auckland paintings, Zurbarian turned largely for inspiration from engravings depicting Jacob and his twelve sons that were executed in 1589 by Jacques de Gheyn II after designs by Karel van Mander I. The expressive and highly distinctive faces of each son, however, suggest that they were painted from life.  On canvases measuring nearly seven feet in height, full-length figures wearing sumptuous, exotic costumes tower over varied landscapes. Who commissioned the series is a mystery.       
Reuben, Gad,  Naphtali, Joseph 
According to archival notes: It was likely intended for export to Latin America. However, the paintings first appeared in England in the 1720s. Twelve of the thirteen canvases were purchased in 1736 by Richard Trevor prince-bishop of Durham, a supporter of Jewish rights.  He installed them in the Long Dining Room of Auckland Castle, the traditional residence of the Anglican bishop, as a declaration of his commitment to the movement for religious tolerance. Image: Reuben, Gad, Naphtali, Joseph. Franciso de Zurbaran (Spanish, 1598-1664) (c) The Auckland Project/Zurbaran Trust. Photo Credit: Robert LaPrelle. 

STUDY THE IMAGES. Both eye and facial expressions and costumes tell a story about each son.For example, on his deathbed, Jacob assembled his sons to foretell what was to become of them. Describing his eldest son, Reuben, "unstable as water," Jacob stated, "you shall no longer excel because you went up onto your father's bed and defiled it," a reference to Reuben sleeping with Jacob's concubine Bilhah, as told in an earlier chapter of Genesis. In keeping with his status as firstborn, Reuben wears an elaborate costume and leans against a column, signifying his strength and fortitude.  His downcast, shaded eyes and inward expression, however, reflect Jacob's prediction that Reuben would not thrive.
 
Zebulun, Asher, Issachar, Dan
Zurbaran's luxuriant treatment of his figures did not spare on detail. 
Benjamin, known for his love of fierce battle, stands with a wolf looking angry to his side; and Issachar, the meekest of them all, is accompanied by a humble donkey and wears only a simple robe. The most blessed of Jacob's sons, Joseph, who according to Hebrew Bible wore "a coat of many colors, is handsomely appointed in a fur-lined robe, embroidered hosiery and a regal, deep-green scarf held together by a luxurious jeweled oval clip. Image: Zebulun, Asher, Issachar, Dan by Francisco de Zurbaran (Spanish, 1598-1664) Oil on Canvas ca. 1640-45. (c) The Auckland Project/Trust. Photo credit: Robert LaPrelle.
    The full and multi-layered story is told in a beautifully illustrated exhibition catalog, but in the galleries, the paintings speak for themselves. In his day, the artist was often, and for good reason, called the Spanish Caravaggio.
ABOUT THE SUBJECT OF THE SERIES: The subject of the series comes from the Old Testament.  Jacob, the son of Issac and the grandson of Abraham, fathered twelve sons with his two wives, Leah and Rachel, and two concubines Bilhah and Zilpah. The sons are considered to be the progenitors of the Twelve Tribes of Israel and the forefathers of the Jewish people.  For more information and a complete schedule of programs, lectures, talks and a symposium in conjunction with this exhibition visit:
www.frick.org/programs.
     Ta Ta Darlings!!!   These awesome, monumental paintings are a testament to history and an opportunity to see Zurbaran's defining techniques that depict each son's individualistic character. Fan mail welcome, Polly would love to hear from you at: pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's website www.pollytalk.com and click in the left-hand column on the Blog that resonates with your interest.  

Monday, February 19, 2018

NORELL: DEAN OF AMERICAN FASHION: Review by Polly Guerin

Norman Norell       It is no wonder that NORMAN NORELL is called "The Dean of 
 American Fashion." His sleek, sophisticated, American glamour was   visible in all his fashion silhouettes.  With attention to couture-  inspired  detail and luxurious fabrics his designs attracted an A-List   clientele that included Lauren Bacall, Babe Paley, Jacqueline   Kennedy, Lena Horne, Lady Bird Johnson and a host of the   industry's fashionistas in the corporate and magazine worlds. Styled   with  classic and modern inspiration, Norell's vintage garments are   still worn by film stars and even former first Lady Michelle Obama.
      Image; Triana Norell, Roman-striped sequined evening sheath   worn by Dovima, 1959. Photograph by William Helburn.
     It is a timely recognition; The Museum at the Fashion Institute of   Technology (MFIT) presents NORELL: DEAN OF AMERICAN   FASHION (Through April 14, 2018). The retrospective exhibition 
celebrates the work of this pioneering designer who created some of the finest most innovative clothing ever crafted in the United States. Approximately 100 ensembles and accessories from MFIT's permanent collection, are on view, as well as a compelling selection of objects borrowed from the stellar private collection of Kenneth Pool. 
NORELL'S EXTRAORDINARY OUTPUT The garments, accessories and related objects are organized thematically to illustrate the range of Norell's extraordinary output and the consistently outstanding quality of work produced by his atelier.  Most prominent are the designs from Norell's career---from 1960 to1972.  All his formal clothing was noted for its clean lines and comfort. His love of wool jersey was paired with fabrics like organized for a dramatic effect. Norell also made coats and suits using jersey sometimes in contrasting colors. Image; Norell evening ensemble with striped Duchesse satin ball skirt trimmed in black fox. Photograph of Kenneth Pool Collection (c) Marc Fowler. 
MERMAID GOWNS As a fashion historian I can say, "I have always felt that fashion inspiration starts with the choice and quality of the fabric." That is certainly true in this case, because the most representative of 
Norell's work were his glittering "MERMAID" gowns that only a svelte goddess could wear. They were unique simplistic creations generously but carefully embellished with thousands of hand-sewn sequins.  The base for those formfitting evening dresses was the flexible knitted jersey fabric that could cling to the curves of socialites and other shapely movie stars and fashionable women. It was cut with rounded necks and a variety of sleeves, short, long or openwork.. 
      His other love of wool jersey began with the creation of solid or color-blocked shirtwaist dresses that were the antithesis of the splashy, floral, day dresses popular during the 1940s. 

Image: Norell sequined Mermaid evening dress, 1965. Photograph of Kenneth Pool Collection. (c) Marc Fowler.
Inspiration from menswear was another key element of Norell's oeuvre. As in men's clothing, in women's fashions, pockets and buttons were always functional, yet every buttonhole and pocket was beautifully finished; a hallmark of Norell's atelier. On view is a wide array of daywear with select menswear details and ensembles that clearly evoke the look and style of men's clothing,,,but after all, hasn't fashion traditionally borrowed from men's wear?
   Although Norell was not the first American designer to employ couture techniques, he was the most important creator to transpose them to the ready-to-wear level.
    The exhibition is accompanied by a book titled Norell: Master of American Fashion. Written by Jeffrey Banks and Doria de La Chapelle, it is the first monographic study of this groundbreaking designer. Published by Rizzoli.
     In conjunction with the Norell exhibit is THE BODY FASHION AND PHYSIQUE in the Fashion and Textile Gallery. A Fashion Symposium will be held on Friday, February 23rd. For details and to register for the symposium go to the MFIT website fitnyc.edu/museum or call 212.217.4585.
     Ta Ta Darlings!!!  Ah, to possess just one of Norell's classic, stunning fashions today. Rare to find, even in upscale Thrift Shops, to own a Norell garment is a timeless fashion to treasure. Fan mail welcome, I always love hearing from you, pollytalk@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs at www.pollytalk.com where in the left hand column are links to fashion, determined women, visionary men and poetry.

Monday, February 12, 2018

TENNESSEE WILLIAMS: No Refuge but Writing Review By Polly Guerin

Tennessee Williams with Four Celebrated  Plays
The plays, "A Streetcar Named Desire," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "The Glass Menagerie" and "The Rose Tattoo" may be etched in our collective memories, but least we forget The Morgan Library and Museum's new exhibit on view through May 13, TENNESSEE WILLIAMS: No Refuge but Writing
reminds us that Williams's plays (in in the image right) established the author as one of the greatest American playwrights of the twentieth century and his genre is even more relevant today. 
        Image: The portrait shows a pensive Williams in a dark suit and crisp bow tie, fingers crooked around a holder with an ashy cigarette. Photograph by Irving Penn for Vogue, April 15, 1951 (c) Conde Nast. Used with permission of George Borchardt. Inc. It was taken the year the celebrated movie "Streetcar" opened.  By 1955 he had earned two Pulitzer Prizes, three New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards and a Tony.
MASTER OF LANGUAGE 
      Williams was a master of language and a tireless craftsman and of said  he found, "no refuge but writing and couldn't resist gilding even his paintings with words." Yet, as anyone who's deeply read Williams knows, his plays reflect a great deal of his harrowing family life including Rose, his schizophrenia institutionalized sister, his parents poisonous marriage and later his own private turmoil from alcohol and drug addition to stormy relationships. 
     
A Streetcar Names Desire 19
The exhibition unites Williams' original drafts, private diaries, photographs and personal letters, and other ephemera that constituted his real and inner world. It reveals how, even as he battled critics and censors, the author found solace in his writing and his ability to weigh in on the theatrical productions of his work. The Morgan's show provides an upfront chance to peer into Williams' creative process and his ongoing struggle for self-expression, and how it forever changed the landscape of American drama. 

      "It is almost impossible to overstate the impact of Tennessee Williams on theater as we know it." said Colin B. Bailey, director of the Morgan Library and Museum. "His plays are so acclaimed and so well-known that one can conjure his unforgettable characters and their immortal lines almost at will." 
      So it is that we, too, remember the unforgettable characters in the film version of, A Streetcar Named Desire: (1951) Vivien Leigh as Blanche DuBois and Marlon Brando as the brutish brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski.  A stage production rehearsal (1947), however featured Jessica Tandy who portrayed Blanche with Karl Marden, Marlon Brandon, and Kim Hunter.  
TENNESSEE WILLIAMS ON SCREEN: The Rose Tattoo, based on the 1951 Tony Award-Winning play. This classic drama centers on Serafina (Anna Magnani), a widowed Sicilian woman living  the American South who is left devastated by the death of her husband. The arrival of Alvaro (Burt Lancaster) offers new hope for love in her life. Friday, April 20, 7 pm,
        Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, adapted from the 1955 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, stars Paul Newman as Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player who drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife Maggie (Elizabeth Taylor). His reunion with his father Big Daddy (Burl Ives) who is dying of cancer. jogs a host of memories and revelations. Friday, May 4, 7 pm. The exhibition Tennessee Williams, No Refuge but Writing will open at 6 pm for program attendees.  Ticket info: www.themorgan.org. 
READING TENNESSEE WILLIAMS Adult workshop participants will engage in close readings on The Glass Menagerie and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and explore Williams's writing and revision practises. February 28 and
March 7 2-4 pm. Tickets (two sessions) $45, $35 for members.
     Just a reminder:  The Morgan invites LGBTQ friends to attend a special evening celebration feauring the work of two iconic gay artists on view this season; the playwright Tennessee Williams and photographer Peter Hujar with curator talks, live music, after-hours-museum access, and a wine bar. Tickets $25; $20 Morgan Members. Visit the website: www.themorgan.org. to purchase tickets.
     Ta Ta Darlings!!!  It is interesting to note how much of Williams would explore the dysfunction of his  home life in his plays, but after all, were we not advised by our teachers "Write what you know."  Fan mail welcome: pollytalk@gmail.com. I'd like to hear from you from time to time just to know how much a feature resonated with you.
Visit Polly's Blogs on www.pollytalk.com and click in the left hand column to for a direct link to the Blog that interests you most. 
    
      

Monday, February 5, 2018

THOMAS COLE'S Journey: Atlantic Crossing at the Met Museum: Review By Polly Guerin

Thomas Cole, The Oxbow, 1836
The Catskills with its cathedrals of natural beauty and breathtaking landscapes captured on the canvases by Thomas Cole (1801-1848) elude to America as a "new eden" in danger of destruction that Cole himself would shape a new metaphor in words as well as painting."
     I can but humbly remark that Cole's paintings are majestic reminders to remember how the artist did not sway from portraying how civilization would destroy the natural wilderness.
     THOMAS COLE'S JOURNEY: ATLANTIC CROSSINGS, a breathtaking exhibition  at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, through May 13, 2018 marks the 200th anniversary of Cole's arrival in America in 1818. The exhibition presents a new take on Cole. By exploring the transatlantic career of the renowned founder of the Hudson River School the exhibition examines for the first time the artist's transatlantic career and engagement with European art. 
       With Cole's masterworks The Course of Empire Series (1834-36) and The Oxbow (1836) as its centerpiece, more than three dozen examples of his large-scale paintings, oil studies, and works on paper provide an engaging insight into the artist's expansive oeuvre.  Image: Thomas Cole (American, born England), Lancashire 1801-1848 Catskill, New York). View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts after a thunderstorm--the Oxbow, 1836. Oil on canvas, 51 l/2 x 76 in. Gift of Mrs. Russell Sage 1908. Image (c) The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Oxbow is a seminal landscape painting depicting a romantic panorama of Connecticut River Valley,  just after a thunderstorm; interpreted as a confrontation between wilderness and civilization. 
COLE'S JOURNEY His arrival in the United States in 1818, and his embrace of the American Wilderness as a novel subject for landscape art of the New World reveals his prodigious talent, but then, too, he returned to England in 1829-31 and he traveled to Italy in 1831-32.  Cole embraced the on-site landscape oil studies and adopted elements of the European landscape tradition and learned from contemporary painters in England, including Turner, Constable and John Martin, and furthered his studies in landscape and figure painting in Italy. On view comparison study of works by these British masters figure prominent in the show whilst consummate paintings by Cole juxtaposed with those works, highlight Cole as a major figure in the 19th-century landscape art within a global context.
Scene from "The Last of the Mohicans" 1827 
WARNING AMERICA  Cole applied the lessons he had learned abroad to create the five-part series The Course of Empire (1834-36), warning the the American public that the rise and decline of ancient civilizations could be a potential fate for the young nation.  Image: Thomas Cole (American, born England) Lancashire 1801-1848 Catskill New York) Scene from "THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS," Cora kneeling at the Feet of Tamenund, 1827. Oil on Canvas, 25 3/8 x 35 l/8 in, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford , Connecticut. Bequest of Alfred Smith (1868-3) Photo: Allen Phillips\Wadsworth Atheneum. 
      This is a powerful exhibition that takes us to a time and place where the landscape rose with monumental majesty, pristine and abundantly rich in raw vistas of incredible beauty, captured by Cole. A series of educational programs include the MetLiveArts STING: will feature an intimate acoustic performance by Sting in the Museum's Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium on April 24 for members only, and on April 25 and 26 (7:30 p.m. for the general public.. Prior to each concert ticket holders will enjoy a special viewing of the exhibition with curators Elizabeth Kornhauser and Tim Barringer.  Several other educational programs are scheduled, visit www.metmuseum.org.  Exhibition location: Floor 1, Gallery 746, The Erving and Joyce Wolf Gallery.
     
Thomas Cole in Plein Air (1801-1848)
  Of special note, I wish to mention that Elizabeth Kornhauser will moderate a Sunday at The Met discussion on April 15 at 
2 p.m. on Cole's role as a proto-environmental artists with scholars Alan Braddock and Rebecca Bedell and artist Michel Auder. This program is free with Museum Admission. In a gallery performance on April 27 at 6:00 p.m. , exhibition curator Tim Barringer will explore in a slide lecture the musical and literary references that inspired Cole, who was himself an amateur musician. This will be followed by a series of works for soprano and piano from Cole's lifetime, performed by Lucy Fitz Gibbon and Ryan McCullough.  This program is free with Museum admission, advance registration is required. 
     Ta Ta Darlings!!! Ti's time to visit not only The Met's Cole exhibit but also to day trip up to the Catskills and visit the Thomas Cole site. The panoramic view from the artist's house is worth the trip just to sit on the veranda and take in the breathtaking landscape. For information contact info@thomascole.org. Fan mail always welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com.  Then, too, visit Polly's home page www.pollytalk.com and in the left hand column are direct links to Polly's Blogs on visionary men, women determined to succeed, poetry and fashion.

Monday, January 29, 2018

PETER HUJAR PHOTOGRAPY at the Morgan: Review by Polly Guerin


Peter Hujar, Self Portrait
Why does the photographer, Peter Hujar deserve the first full-scale retrospective of his work at The Morgan Library and Museum? 
      Good Question!  I'm glad you asked, because there is more merit in the exhibition, SPEED OF Life, than meets the eye. Through May 20, The Morgan presents one hundred and forty photographs of this influential artist.
      To understand Hujar one has to understand the man, the myth and the mystery surrounding Hujar's life (1934-1987). He was a fixture in the downtown New York scene during the 1970s and 1980s, in the East Village, where he lived and worked, at a time when it was a magnet for bohemians, artists, writers, drag queen performers, musicians and iconoclasts. Back in those days, the neighborhood was rough and raw, in perpetual state of poverty that bred the avant-garde. Into this milleu Huger's mature career paralleled the public unfolding of gay life between the Stonewall uprising in 1969 and the AIDS crisis of the 1980s.  Image: Peter Hujar, Self Portrait Jumping, Gelatin silver print, purchased on The Charina Endowment Fund. The Morgan Library and Museum, 2013. Peter Hujar Archive, LLC, courtesy of Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francsico.
Susan Sontag 1975
INTO THIS MILLEU: Hugar began his career in the 1950s as a commercial photographer but soon left the market behind, preferring to focus on the creation of art.   In an era when cost of living was cheap he set up a studio in his Twelfth Street loft. 
       He created, in his words, and I quote, "uncomplicated, direct photographs and difficult subjects, immortalizing. moments, individuals and subculture passing at the speed of life"  Best known for his portraits of the most iconic figures of the time, from Susan Sontag, William S. Burroughs, and Gary Indiana to Cindy Darling, David
Wojnarowicz, and other notables, Hugar also created nudes, landscapes, cityscapes, photographs of animals, architectural images and documentary scenes.
Image: Susan Suntag, 1975, Gelatin silver print, purchased on The Charina Endownment Fund, 2013, (c) Peter Hujar Archive, LLC, courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco.
      Hujar met Sontag through their mutual friend, artist Paul Thek, in Sicily in 1963. Sontag later contributed to Hujar's 1976 monograph Portraits in Life and Death, which included his iconic reclining portrait of the writer.  The reclining portrait is a genre of photograph that Hujar made his own. He relied on it as a means of reaching something unique in every sitter. To face a camera lens from a reclining position was a provocative experience and evoked different responses. Especially skeptic was his close friend Fran Lebowitz. .  
Ethyl Eichelberger as Minnie the Maid, 1981
 
Hujar was not not one for self-promotion. It apparently did not suit him at all. Where others like Andy Warhol invented branding strategies way ahead of Madison Avenue, Hujar simply kept to himself doing his work. "One thing I won't answer is anything about why I do what I do,  Huger 
told David Wojnarowicz in 1983." 
      The most photographed person in his body of work, Ethyl Eichelberger, remains an instantly "double" subject, in whom neither actor nor role predominates. The subjects of his art Hujar wrote, were "those who push themselves to any extreme: and those who "cling to the freedom to be themselves." Image: Ethyl Eichelberger as Minnie the Maid, 1981, Gelatin silver print, purchased on The Charina Endowment Fund, The Morgan Library and Museum, 2013. (c) The Peter Hujar Archive, LLC, courtesy of Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York and Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco. 
PUBLIC PROGRAMS visit www.themorgan.org. For instance, An Evening with Fran Lebowitz: on Peter Hujar reflects candidly on the traits and joys of her close friendship with the artist. February 8, 6:30 pm, Tickets $15, $10 members. In addition to several other events the film, Pink Flamingo, is scheduled for March 2, at 7pm and Gallery Talks March 9, 6pm and April 27 at 1pm.
     Ta Ta Darlings!!! Speed of Life is a thought provoking experience. Be so warned: "This exhibition contains mature content and nudity. Parent/Guardian discretion is advised." Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs on www.pollytalk.com.
      

Monday, January 22, 2018

WINTER ANTIQUES SHOW 2018: Review by Polly Guerin

Imperial Peter the Great Easter Egg
Wandering through the historic Park Avenue Armory at the press preview of the Winter Antiques show found me stepping over rugs just being  laid down, hammers nailing into place last minute hangings and the air electrified by the exhibitors putting final touches on their booths. Such was the case last week, when the Armory was being transformed into a spectacular showcase for the evening's gala opening ceremonies.
     The WINTER ANTIQUES SHOW, the leading art, antiques and design fair in America, now in its 64th year, offers a week-long opportunity, through January 28, to view a dynamic mix of works dating from ancient times through the present day. Each object at the fair is vetted for quality and authenticity.
       Image: Among the VMFA works on display are the Russian firm, Faberge's Imperial Peter the Great Easter Egg, which was present to Empress Alexandra Feodorovna by Czar Nicholas II in 1903. It was created to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of St. Petersburg. Workmaster, Mikhail Perkhin used gold, platinum, silver gilt, diamonds, rubies, enamel, sapphires, watercolor on ivory and rock crystal in its creation. Bequest of Lillian Thomas Pratt. (Photo: VMFA) 
     
Still Life with Daisies, Arles, 1888, Vincent van Gogh,
The Winter Antique show invites one institution to showcase its collection during the show and this year the major feature is the loan exhibition from the (VMFA) VIRGINIA MUSEUM of FINE ARTS,"Collecting for the Commonwealth Preserving for the Nation, Celebrating a Century of Art Patronage, 1919-2018, which is an annual benefit for the East Side House Settlement, a community-based organization serving the Bronx and Northern Manhattan with programs which focus on education and technology as gateways out of poverty and as keys to economic opportunity. CHUBB is the presenting sponsor of the Winter Antiques Show. Open Daily 12 pm-8pm, Tuesday 12 pm-4:30 pm and Thursday and Sunday 12pm-6pm. Daily admission is $25 (includes catalogue). Tickets can be purchased at winterantiqueshow.com.

       I was drawn to other notable works including Still Life with Daisies, Arles 1888, by Vincent Van Gogh from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon. Photo by Travis Fullerton (c) Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  Then, too, there is cause to mention Paul Storr's stunning Figure of Hebe, Beauford Delaney's Marian Anderson, and George Bellow's Tennis at Newport.  Together, the exhibition's 48 varied works reveal as much about the museum's maturation as the patrons, who have shaped the collection.
     
Parisian Lady 1910, Kees van Dongen
 If you are into samplers, as I am, exhibitors at the Winter Antiques Show include Stephen and Carol Huber's rare and dynamic sampler by sixteen year old Jane Elliott of Chester County, exquisite technique, featuring a large red building and a profuse ribbon border. Then, too, Lillian Nassau, Tiffany Lamps include the rare Bat Lamp, c. 1906, on of the few elaborate models produced by Tiffany Studios.
  
          I particularly admired the charming portrait
Parisian Lady (La Parisienne) also referred to as La Dame au Chien, 1910, by Kees van Dongen (Dutch painter 1877-1968) from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, featured in the VMFA collection.  In this portrait of a fashionable Parisian woman, the subject's attenuated shape sits in playful contrast to her oversize plumed hat and diminutive frolicking pet.  
        Bernard Goldberg Fine Art's image of The Opera Singer, 1927, by Guy Pene du Bois, is also a most engaging portrait. Du Bois made a gift of the painting to friend and dealer Antoinette M. Kraushaar in 1927.. A superb pair of antique brooches, c. 1890, caught my eye at Kentshire. In the form of Birds of Paradise with diamond bodies and emerald, sapphire and ruby plumage the birds can be worn as a single brooch when joined at their beaks by a pearl which is contained in a concealed compartment, quite amazing to say the least! At A La Vieille Russie look for the two porcelain covered cups in the form of Turkish Ladies' heads with jeweled headdresses, by the Gardner porcelain Factory, Russian, 1770-1790, they are quite entertaining. For information on the Show lecture series visit winterantiquesshow.com.
      Ta Ta Darlings!!! You ought not miss this show, it's packed with amazing, some never-before- seen objects and art works. The exhibitors are very friendly and really welcome your visit and inquiries.  Fan mail always welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's Blogs on fashion, poetry, visionary men or women determined to succeed on www.pollytalk.com and clink on the direct links in the left hand column.