Monday, February 1, 2010



By Polly Guerin
February 1, 2010


What all this talk about cultural pleasures? Really, anyone would say to see our modern dramas that the upper-class spent their days in cultural pursuits and pyjamas. Victorian ladies crafted photocollages, women singers perform, Lord Wedgewood presents at tea and Quebec celebrates with a Winter Carnival. Dear me, fair beauties are not the only charm, raise classes salute the lot. Here’s the scoop!!!
Need a hobby? “PHOTOCOLLAGES Reveal Wit and Whimsy of the Victorian Era” when aristocratic Victorian women had the time and inclination to indulge their fancy and creativity in the little known phenomenon ‘photocollages,’ which occupied their leisure pastime. Whimsical and fantastical Victorian photocollages, created using a combination of watercolor drawings and cut-and-pasted photographs, reveal the educated minds as well as the accomplished hands of their makers. With subjects as varied as new theories of evolution, the changing role of photography, and the strict conventions of aristocratic society, the photocollages frequently debunked stuff Victorian clich├ęs with surreal, subversive, and funny images. PLAYING WITH PICITURES; THE ART OF VICTORIAN PHOTOCOLLAGE, on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through May 9th is the first exhibition to comprehensively examine this little-known phenomenon.
All this nostalgic Victorian craze takes me out of town. Pardon me if I skip down to Washington, DC to take afternoon tea with Lord Wedgewood this weekend at the historic Willard hotel. A Victoria Magazine sponsored event, Celebrating 250 Years of Innovation and Artistry, I’ll be taking a private tour of the Wedgewood exhibition at the Daughters of the American Revolution National Headquarters. Mon Dieu! Are any of those daughters still around? Nonetheless, it’s interesting to note that Queen Charlotte (1765) graciously allowed Wedgewood to style himself as ‘Potter to her Majesty.’ l.888.411.8995.
Women take center stage, just in time to set the mood for Valentine’s Day, “WITH A SONG IN MY HEART.” Romantic songs, arias and ensembles are sung by the Professional Women’s Singers Association featuring works by Bizet, Mozart, Puccini, Sondheim, Strauss and Verdi to name a few. Twenty-two of the organization’s members will sing works drawn from the operatic and music theatre canon, and reflecting on the many facets of love and romance. Among the singers is my favorite, Leslie Middlebrook, but all the other stellar performers deserve their just due. Too numerous to list them all you can check the concert roster at Marijo Newman at the piano, directed by Richard Getke. A joyful evening on February 7th at 7pm at Christ and St. Stephens Church, 120 West 69th St.
We’ve had our share of snow but the QUEBEC WINTER CARNIVAL (Canada) is such fun!!! It’s the largest winter festival in the world and the Canadian’s version of a snowman, Bon Homme with his red beret, greets us with a grand medieval-inspired Ice Palace, built with more than 250 tons of ice and illuminated with thousands of multicolored lights. Outdoor dance parties, a parade, sleigh rides, snow-rafting and an elegant ball keep us on our toes from morning to night. Delicieuse, the Quebec restaurants offer world-class dining. Don’t miss the International Snow Sculpture event. Jan. 29-Feb. 14.
Ta Ta, my darlings. I’m taking Amtrak to DC and take tea with Lord Wedgewood and tell all in my next column. Fan mail to Blogs: and , http://www.awakenyoursleepingbeauty.

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