Monday, March 7, 2011

Riding High on Cultural Venues (c) By Polly Guerin

Put on your riding gear and tally ho off we go with Don Quixote, African masks, Andean tunics, and the Broadway Orchids show just to name a few. Here’s the scoop!!
The publication of Miguel de Cervantes’s masterpiece (1605,1615) has inspired artists through the ages, from Fragonard and Goya to Dore, Dali, and Picasso. Today’s most renowned creator of artist books, Arion Press, continues that tradition in a new richly illustrated two-volume edition of Don Quixote who dons an old suit of armor as a knight and travels with his skinny horse Rocinante in chivalrous quests of adventure. The 21st century tribute to the literary classic, pictured here, is created by artist Willaim T. Wiley with translator Edith Grossman, and designer publisher Andrew Hoyem. March 10th through April 20th in the galleries of the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute, 680 Park Ave. at 68th St. 212. 628.0420. Visit
“Odes to the Mask by Modern and Contemporary Artists from Three Continents” showcases a unique installation of some 20 whimsical works by artists from Africa, Europe and America, each putting a new spin on traditional African mask. Among the works are amazing sculptural assemblages including Noire et Blanche by Man Ray and sculptural and photographic works by American artist Willie Cole. Highly creative re-imaginings of the iconic form of the African mask includes a podcast episode featuring voices of artists as well as curatorial perspectives on their work on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website: 1000 Fifth Ave. Through August 21.
Textile, a highly developed art form in ancient times was valued as wealth, and tunics were among the most treasured items. This special exhibition focusing on the Andean tunic features some 30 tunics drawn from the Metropolitan Museum’s collection with loans from The Textile Museum, Washington, D. C. These shirt-like garments occupied a meaningful cultural place for centuries as markers of prosperity, place and status. True works of art the ancient peoples of northwestern South American are renowned today for their great abilities as weavers, dyers and designers of textiles. Through September 18th. Educational programs and screenings of documentaries include the culture, music, and textile history of indigenous Andean peoples. Featured on the Museum’s website
Don’t miss this special limited-run engagement! Broadway stretches north to the lush tropical galleries of the New York Botanical Garden’s Enid A. Haupt Conservatory in this dazzling display and Broadway style Orchid Show by Tony award-winning set designer Scott Pask, image-maker Drew Hodges, and Botanical Garden curators. The Orchid Show features thousands of orchids exquisitely arranged to re-create iconic architectural elements from legendary Broadway theaters. Enjoy lively Broadway-style cabaret each weekend, peruse acclaimed caricaturist Al Hirschfeld’s whimsical Broadway drawings and while you’re there at the NYBG garden this weekend learn how to select and care for your orchids. Short trip on Metro North, NYBG, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx.
Ta Ta darling!!! Don Quixote is on my priority list; hope to see you at Queen Sophia Spanish Institute. Fan mail always welcome: You’d enjoy my Blogs go to: and in the left hand column for a direct link click on the Blog of your choice.

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