Monday, February 27, 2017

VISIONARIES: Creating A Modern Guggenheim: Review by Polly Guerin

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

Robert Delaunay 'Circular Form' 1930

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

Monday, February 20, 2017

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

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

Monday, February 6, 2017

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

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