Monday, December 16, 2019

STANLEY FELDERMAN Design Visionary By Polly Guerin

Trees in a window draws attention of nature.
It's astonishing to think that an environment that incorporates nature into its environment can resonate in such a positive and creative manner that such spaces 'elevate the spirit.'  It has even been said that people feel better, dress better and tend to linger longer in such places designed by the Los Angele-based dynamic duo Stanley Felderman and his wife and partner Nancy Keatinge. The center core of their oeuvre provides installations with unique nature-centric environments. Felderman's interest in trees lends a unique dimension to his current creative expressions. 
       Keynote speaker, Stanley Felderman, recently presented at the Molly Barnes lunch time cultural meeting at the Roger Smith Hotel, which, by the way, is known for its patronage of  art and sculpture installations. The full house audience was populated with artists and aficionados of the art world, who sat riveted in their seats to view Felderman's image presentation and commentary.     

        An architect, designer and artist, Felderman  is a  pioneer of the "Total"
design concept, mixing art and design for cutting-edge residential projects, tech-forward work spaces, product design for renowned brands and manufacturers, award-winning restaurants and large installations for Creative Artists Agency, Universal Pictures, Fabrege, Disney Studios and Viacom. His work has been shown at the Whitney Museum for Product Design and in 2018 won the "IIDA "CIRCLE OF EXCELLENCE AWARD. Their trendsetting oeuvre has won them recognition by MoMA, The Whitney and Newport Harbor Art Museum.
Tech Office Reception, push button for monitor 
Felderman states "Our designs address the requirements of technology, communication and interaction. We want people to work anywhere, without having technology be the focal point.

We create spaces (image right) that look visually non-tech driven, but things are available when      ---push a button and monitor pops up."
     Felderman is a native son, born in the Bronx
inspired by Buckminster Fuller, creating the maximum out of the minimum. "Since I was a kid I always loved art and wanted to be an artist. Then there was Italy: The New Domestic Landscape which introduced Italian Modern Design to America.
      His creativity has a chameleon quality, it is never stagnant, always changing into fresh areas of expression. The latest is his love for nature, particularly trees that he feels communicate and have a life worth listening to. His prolific tree designs respond like sculpture, mosaics and fine textile designs. "I'm always reinventing, looking at things with a fresh eye." Felderman works in
Southern California and the weather has a lot to do with a positive outlook. "When there's beautiful weather almost every day there are more days to bring the outside in. "I'm a native New Yorker, so I bring an East Coast sensibility to the West Coast, It's always about strong design and color.  
The Secret Life of Trees
The team of Felderman-Keatinge stay open minded. They take potential clients on a tour
of and have them talk to past clients. "We create vision boards for them to show a different way, An ideal client understands that a space is an extension of they are." Yet, this dynamic duo is still reaching for the stars and creating world-class environments that resonate with nature and tech-centric purpose. Contact: Felderman Keatinge + Associates, 5976 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232. 310.449 4727 or 310 721 7048
     Ta Ta Darlings!!! Nature, Art and Architecture what a perfect environment to live and work in. Fan mail welcome at  Visit Polly's other Blogs at and click on the links in the left-hand column to visionary men, women determined to succeed, poetryand fashion historian. 


Monday, December 9, 2019

MARK TWAIN and the Holy Land: The First Tourism Trip in American History: Review By Polly Guerin

The Legendary American writer Mark Twain 
JOURNEY ABROAD WITH AN AMERICAN LEGEND on THE FIRST ORGANIZED TOURISM TRIP IN AMERICAN HISTORY. The quintessential American writer Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910)--known professional as Mark Twain---set the bar with high standards in his legendary travelogues. With keen observations, "He set sail from New York for a great adventure abroad whilst capturing the feelings and reactions of many Americans exploring beyond their borders and thereby inspired generations of travelers to document their voyages," stated Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New York Historical Society where the exhibition is on view through February 2, 2020.
      The new exhibition, MARK TWAIN AND THE HOLY LAND, traces the legendary American humorist's 1867 voyage to the Mediterranean and his subsequent 1869 book--The Innocents Abroad or, The New Pilgrim's Progress---through original documents, artwork, photographs, and costumes as well as an interactive media experience. MARK TWAIN departed New York harbor on the steamship QUAKER CITY for a five-and-a-half-month excursion, the first of its kind in world travel. Known at that point for his biting satire and humorous short pieces on California and the West, Clemens had serendipitously discovered a "pleasure cruise" to Europe and the Near East,  and successfully inveigled his way onto the journey with an assignment from the San Francisco newspaper Alto California. Twain was to supply the paper with weekly columns about the trip and his fellow passengers. THE QUAKER CITY TRIP WAS THE FIRST ORGANIZED TOURISM TRIP IN AMERICAN HISTORY . The steamship was opulently outfitted with a library, printing press, piano, and pipe organ. A Quaker City passenger list, an oil painting of the ship are on display as well as a journal entry by Mark Twain.
Mark Twain's /Quaker City Ticket
THE INCARNATION OF THE INNOCENTS ABROAD When Twain returned to New York and then to Washington, D.C. he began reshaping those columns and other notes made during the trip into a book, The Innocents Abroad (1869), It was this work that catapulted Twain to national fame, selling more copies during his lifetime than any other book he ever wrote. Musing about the voyage in a passage later published in Innocents Abroad, Twain so aptly noted: "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow mindedness." That his travelogue espoused such a liberal sentiment is the very reason we can find Twain;s biting perspective as relevant today. THE HOLY LAND After stops in Europe travelers were greet in Beirut by a grand caravan of horses and mules for a journey of 155 miles to "Baalbec, Damascus, the sea of Tiberias, and thence southward by way of the scene of Jacob's Dream and other notable Bible localities to Jerusalem. But the pomp was in strong contrast to the reality of a small barren land, which was not the vast and monumental landscape suggested by the Bible.  image: THE HOLY LAND
Twain was disappointed that "a fast walker could go outside the the walls of Jerusalem and walk entirely around the city in an hour." Then too, adding to the artifacts on display a manuscript leaf features Twain's withering satirical soliloquy about the Tomb of Adam at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. "The Tomb of Adam how touching that it was here in a land of strangers, far from home, and friends, and all who cared for me, thus to discover the grave of a blood relation."  TWAIN'S CAUSTIC VIEW OF THE HOLY LAND WITH ITS NOMADS, BEGGARS AND RUINS WAS THE AUTHOR'S WAY OF PROCLAIMING THE ARRIVAL OF THE NEW AMERICAN TRAVELER, SOMEONE WHO SAW THE WORLD FOR WHAT IT WAS, WITHOUT THE DISTORTING LENSES OF TRADITION AND PERCEIVED AUTHORITY. TWAIN HAD SAMPLED THE GUIDES AND TRAVEL VOLUMES AND FOUND THEM ALLWITHOUT FOUNDATION.
    TA TA DARLINGS!!! After this incredible trip to the Holy Land I'm just about ready to fly
back home.  Fan mail welcome at Visit Polly's other Blogs at and click in the left-hand column to links to visionary men, women determined to succeed, the fashion historian and poetry.

Monday, December 2, 2019

DESIGNS FOR DIFFERENT FUTURES at Philadelphia Museum of Art: Review By Polly Guerin

Phoenix Exoskelton, suitX
We often think of art museums as places that venerate past art treasures but the Philadelphia Museum of Art's exhibit, DESIGNS FOR DIFFERENT FUTURES, brings to light the fact that museums can and should also be places that inspire us to think about the future. This enlightening exhibition, which runs through March 8, 2020, "Offers visitors an opportunity to
understand how designers are imagining---and responding to---different visions of the future, but also an opportunity to understand just how profoundly forward-looking designs contributes in our own time to shaping the world we occupy and will bequeath as a legacy to future generations," stated Timothy Rub, Director and Chief Executive Director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Image: Phoenix Exoskelton , designed around 2013 by Dr. Hom- ayoon Kazerooni for suitX (courtesy of the manufacturer) Photograph (c)suitX . Image courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art 2019.
       Thinking about the future has always been a field of inquiry by designers and architects. whose speculations on this subject---ranging from the concrete to the whimsical---can profoundly affect how we imagine what is to come. Among the many forward-looking projects in view visitors will encounter lab grown food, robotic companions and textiles made of seaweed. 
Recyclable and Rehealable Electronic Skin 
The exhibition is divided into eleven thematic sections. In Bodies, designers gribble with choices about how our physical and psychological values might look, feel and function in different future scenarios. Featured here is one of the world's lightest and most advanced exoskeletons, designed to help people with mobility challenges to remain upright and active. The EARTHS section of the exhibition speculates on the challenges of extra-terrestrial communication in Lisa

Moura's alien nation installation and showcases typeface from the 2016 science-fiction film Arrival. Image: Recyclable and Rehealable Electronic skin, designed 2018 by Jianliang Xiao and Wei Zhang. (courtesy of the
designer). Image courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Additional sections of the exhibition focus on the future of jobs and how cities will function and look 100 years from now, with robotic
baby feeders, driverless cars, and other developments offering a glimpse about how we might navigate living beyond this planet.       
       In a section devoted to MATERIALS on view are shoes grown from sweat and POWER looks at how design may affect our citizenship. INTIMACIES explores how technologies and online interfaces may affect love, family and community. Through Internet generated devices, designers explore the possibility digitally meditated love and sex, suggesting what advanced digital networks hold for human sexuality.                                                      Image: CIRCUMVENTIVE ORGANS
Electrostabilies Cardium (film still) designed by Agi Haines (Courtesy of the designer). Image courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art. FUTURES THERAPY LAB: Weekly programs, many of which occur on Pay-as-You-Wish Wednesday Nights, will connect visitors with designers, artists, and locally based creatives. The Futures Therapy Lab contains a crowd-sourced Futures library that includes everything from science fiction books to the exhibition catalogue. The Futures Therapy Lab is a place for conversation, and critique and creativity in which visitors can imagine their own hopes, fears and solutions for the future through reflection, discussion, and art making.
       TA TA DARLINGS!!! I look forward to meeting you in the Futures Therapy Lab where we
can discuss our destiny into future. Send Fan Mail to: Visit Polly'a other Blogs at and click on the links in the left-hand column.

Monday, November 25, 2019

WATERFALLS, Sparking "AWE!" in Central Park By Polly Guerin

Waterfall at the Loch in Central Park 
Ah! Wilderness!!!                                       The breathtaking views will spark "AWE!"  As you contemplate the beauty of nature, the powerful waterfall engages our senses and help us to feel less stressed out. No need to trek up to the Adirondacks, go no further than Central Park to get that "AWE" feeling.
       Nature is the healer and the health benefits of waterfalls is due  negative irons that are released as  the water cascades down the rocks. It leads to fresh cool water that creates a feeling of calm for serene contemplation or meditation. Central Park's waterfalls allow escape from the cacophony of the city with it blaring orchestra screaming at us with daily sirens. Just sitting still and listening to the cascading water helps to reduce that stress and even depression.
         In Frederick Law Olmstead's plan he sculpted meadows, knolls, ponds and waterfalls At the entrance to Central  Park West between 101st street and 106th street in the North Woods , you'll find water flowing from the grassy banks of the Pool and the ravine of the Loch in the center, before connecting o the Meer on the East Side.
       "It's not an area in the park that is as visited as others," Central Park Conservancy guide Juan Jesus said. "And they are kind of hidden in the sense that they are shrouded or like hidden by this canopy of trees that we have all around us."      
Another view of the Lush Cascading Waterfall
The man-made stream called the LOCH  contains several dams, which have created  three magnificent cascades or waterfalls that have gone surprisingly unnoticed for years. Take the challenge and go to west Central Park and find your special respite.
      There are several components to the waterfalls that have made it some of the greatest features of engineering and art. "The big boulders of Manhattan make up a schist, which happens to be the foundation  that we have on the island of Manhattan," Jesus said. "There's also elements like coconut husk fibers that are used to maintain the edge of the LOCH---of this continuous stream--and regular New York tap water."    
Contemplating in the Ravine
Waterfalls are a gift of nature providing the soothing sounds of birds chirping and the flowing water that continues our stream of consciousness to become refreshed and invigorated with a new sense of peace and harmony in our life. What the sound of waterfall does is rather magical, too, it allows us to enjoy the beauty of the people and the pulsating city and, at the same time, to escape the madness going on around us.  It's free, it's nature's gift where peace and solitude provide refuge and restoration, to feeling connected with the cascading rhythm of the waterfall and life itself.
Ta, Ta DARLINGS!!! It's time to get back to the simpler joys of life where waterfalls transcend the
ordinary and bring us to heights of greater enlightenment.  Fan mail:
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Monday, November 18, 2019

A WONDER T0 BEHOLD: Craftsmanship and the Creation of BABYLON'S ISHTAR GATE: By Polly Guerin

Reconstructed panel of bricks with a Striding Lion
A little known treasure, and one of my favorites, is The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW). It's fascinating exhibition A WONDER TO BEHOLD: CRAFTSMANSHIP and the CREATION OF BABYLON'S ISHTAR GATE, is a new venue for understanding the most spectacular achievement of the ancient world. On view through May 24, 2020 at 15 East 84th Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenue, the exhibition is a time capsule of ancient history with Free Admission. It will illuminate your vision of the spectacular and the extraordinary achievements of old-world craftsmanship. It features 180 objects that bring to life the masterful craftsmanship and ancient beliefs that transformed clay, minerals, and organic materials--seen as magical potent substances---into this powerful monument. Image: Reconstructed panel of bricks with a striding lion. Neo-Babylonian period (reign of Nebuchadnezzer 11, 604-562 BCE). WONDER OF THE ANCIENT WORLD is an eye-popping demonstration of how the master craftspeople who designed and built the Ishtar Gate and its Processional Way were not merely skilled technicians, though they were certainly that, but also artists, historians, and ritual practitioners known as "experts"(ummanu).  They were capable of creating artworks that manifested divine powers on Earth, and the Ishtar Gate, offering entry into the imperial city of Babylon. The exhibition opens with an introduction to the gateway with a variety of archival drawings, photographs, and objects that demonstrate the immense  of this undertaking.  A 1901 watercolor by archaeologist Walter Andrae, for example, shows the Babylonian system of fitters' marks that he deciphered, revealing the painstaking process through which the monument was created. This process began by marking out the design on a wall of unadorned bricks, and continued with he molding, glazing, and baking of each individual bricks before fitting them together, a task that is something like designing and assembling an intricate puzzle.

Replica of the Ishtar Gate at the Berlin State Museum
      Travelers to Ancient Babylon were met with an astonishing sight--a gate nearly 50 feet high and 100 feet wide--made of jeweled glazed bricks and adorned with bas-relief lions, dragons and young bulls believed to be powerful beings associated with the king's role as protector of the people. The beasts are depicted in bold relief, projecting the space of the viewer, as they intimidated unwelcome visitors while protecting the inhabitants. A colossal undertaking it was built over the course of King Nebuchadnezzar 11 reign,
         The Ishtar Gate (named in honor of the Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar, goddess of fertility, love and war, was at the epicenter of a major empire that extended from present day Iran to Egypt. In its final and most spectacular phase, imagine the stunning edifice, the monument was built with brilliantly glazed bricks, molded in relief to depict hundreds of dragons, lions, and bulls--all set against a background  the color of Lapis Lazuli.        
Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar
Treasures within the exhibit include a cuneiform tablet from the Middle Babylonian Period (ca, 1300-1200 BCE) which records a recipe for making red glass that sheds light on the secret alchemical knowledge of ancient Middle Eastern craftspeople, while an Egyptian glass vessel from (ca. 1400-1300 BCE) showcases the range of brilliant colors that these experts were able to achieve.
      The Institute for the Study of the Ancient  World (ISAW) is an independent research center within NYU for advanced scholarly research and graduate education with the aim of forming a new generation of scholars who will enter the global academic community and become intellectual leaders. GALLERY HOURS: Closed on Monday and Tuesday. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 11am to 6pm and Friday from 11an to 8 pm with free guided tour at 6pm.
      TA TA DARLINGS!!! This exhibit is a golden opportunity to realize the tremendous talent and production of the ancient world's craftsmen, It's a "Must See!" cultural experience. Send fan mail to Visit Polly's other Blogs on


Monday, November 11, 2019

COST OF REVOLUTION. The Life and Death of an Irish Soldier at theMuseum of the American Revolution: Review By Polly Guerin

The American Revolution and its fight to be free of British rule is an inspiring battle cry that also
spirited on the cause for rebellion in other countries, particularly  Ireland. 
COST OF REVOLUTION: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF AN IRISH SOLIDER at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia tells the untold story of RICHARD ST. GEORGE, an Irish soldier and artist, whose personal trauma and untimely death provide a window into the entangled histories of the American Revolution and the ensuing Irish Revolution of 1798. "You may not have heard the name Richard St. George before, but you'll be astonished by what his life can tell us about America and Ireland during the Age of Revolution," said Dr. R. Scott Stephenson, President and CEO of the Museum of the American Revolution. "This exhibit extends the Museum's internationally acclaimed, story-driven approach into the global stage to examine the broader influence of the American Revolution through St. George's remarkable personal journey."   On view through March 17, 2020.   
Richard St. George by Thomas Gainsborough
        St. George, mind you, did not fight on the American side, yet his story is a compelling reference to the time and place when history took on the monumental cry for liberty. As a young officer in the
British Army, Richard St. George crossed the Atlantic in 1776 to try and stop the growing American Revolution. He returned home to Ireland after surviving a severe head wound at the Battle of Germantown, near Philadelphia in 1777. Back in Ireland he found his native country roiled by the effects of the revolutionary spirit sweeping across America and Europe. Inspired by the rally call for freedom St. George became an outspoken critic of the growing movement to establish an Irish republic, independent of the British Empire in the late 1790s. Sadly, a few months before the outbreak of the Irish Revolution of 1798, St. George was ambushed and killed by a group of Irish tenants in County Cork who were influenced by the United Irishmen and the Defenders. He was eulogized at his funeral in 1798 at St. Mary's Church in Athlone, Ireland for having devoted his life to defending the British Crown. 
         American Revolution history buffs will appreciate the KEY ARTIFACTS ON DISPLAY: The 1775 bound maps of the estate of Richard St. George in County Galway, on loan from the Galway County Council Archives, Galway, Ireland. A rare silk flag carried by the Delaware militia tha the British light infantry captured during the Philadelphia campaign of 1777, on loan from the Delaware Historical Society, Richard St. George's personal sketches from the American Revolutionary War, on loan from a private collection. One sketch depicts St. George being carried off the battlefield following his wounding at the Battle of Germantown in 1777.  Image: A portrait of Richard St. George by English artist Thomas Gainsborough (1776) that depicts him just before he shipped out for New York to fight against the growing American Revolution, on loan to the Museum from Australia's National Portrait Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne).        

Exhibition Display COST OF REVOLUTION
Five portraits of Richard St. George, created over a span of 25 years, are known to survive and are reunited in the exhibit for the first time since they left the possession of St. George's descendants more than a century ago. Every piece of surviving artwork by St. George himself, including cartoons, sketches from his military service in America, and a self-portrait are also assembled for the first time in this exhibit. Together, the portraits, cartoons and sketches reveal the physical and emotional toll of revolution. Among the other portraits are paintings of the Battles of Paoli and Germantown by Italian artist Xavier della Gatta that St. George helped to create in 1782 to reflect on St. George
's participation in those battles. The paints are in the Museum's permanent collection. SPECIAL PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHTS: The Museum's monthly History After Hours Series includes COMIC RELIEF on November 19; CAMPED OUT on December 10, and A WINTER'S BALL on January 21, 2020.   For more information visit Or call 215.253.6731.

MUSEUM of the AMERICAN REVOLUTION, 101 S. Third Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
       Ta Ta Darlings!!! Even if you are not an aficionado of historical research COST OF REVOLUTION reminds us to remember that the American Revolution is the birth of our
nation with Freedom and Liberty at the core of our fundamental beliefs. Fan mail always
welcome at Visit Polly's other Blogs at

Monday, November 4, 2019


Greenwich and Dey Streets New York City 1810
Rare depictions of early America by the pioneering woman artist and French refugee, the little known Baroness Hyde de Neuville, illuminates by meticulous and charming detail what it was like in America in the 1800s. A keen and particularly sensitive observer, the Baroness traveled extensively and recorded individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds and landmarks that you may recognize. Other historically correct and mesmerizing images may no longer exist but they serve as historical references to the fledgling nation. Image: Greenwich & Dey Streets, New York City. The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Collection of Art, Prints and Photographs. Stokes Collection 1810.
     The New York Historical Society's exhibition, ARTIST IN EXILE: THE VISUAL DIARY OF BARONESS HYDE DE NEUVILLE is on view through January 26, 2020 in the Joyce B. Cowin Women's History Gallery of the Center for Women's History with 115 watercolors, drawings, and oher works by Anne Marguerite Josephine Henriette Rouille de Marigny, Baroness Hyde de Neuville (1771-1849). Self-taught and ahead of her time, Neuville's art celebrates the young country's history, culture, and diverse population, ranging from indigenous Americans to political leaders.  The Baroness' oeuvre is an enchanting observation of early America, views so well recorded with such fine and innocent detail that her images vicariously take you, like a time traveler, back into an early American place, its people or an event. Image: Indian War Dance for President Monroe, Washington, D.C. in 1821. Colonial Willamsburg Foundation Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.
Indian War Dance for President Monroe, Washington, D.C. 1821
"Neuville could never have envisioned that her visual diary---created as a personal record of her travels and observations of early America---would become an invaluable historical of the early republic. Yet, her drawings vividly evoke the national optimism and rapid expansion of the young United States and capture the diversity of its individuals," Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New York Historical Society. Image: Among the notable events the Neuville's attended was an "Indian War Dance" performed by a delegation of the Plains Indian tribes in front of President Monroe,  and 6,000 spectators at the White House, Washington, D.C. on November 29, 1821. Neuville's watercolor documenting the event includes likenesses of half-chief Shaumonekusse (Praire Wolf) and one of his five wives,  Hayne Hudjihini (Eagle of Delight) Later the "War Dance," was performed at the Neuville's house.. Black and brown ink. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. 
THE BARONESS HYDE de NEUVILLE, the artist who stated in 1818 that she had but one wish "and that was to see an American lady elected president." A woman ahead of her time she was born to an aristocratic family in Sancerre, France. She married ardent royalist Jean Guillaume Hyde de Neuville, who became involved during the French Revolution in conspiracies to reinstate the Bourbon monarchy and was accused of participating in a plot to assassinate Napoleon, In an effort to disprove the charges against her husband, the baroness took her cause directly to Napoleon who was impressed with her courage and allowed the couple to go into exile.      

They arrived in New York in 1807 and stayed for seven years. During their second American residency (1816-22) when her husband served as French Minister Plenipotentiary in Washington, D.C., Henriette became a celebrated hostess. John Quincy Adams described her as "a woman of excellent temper, amiable disposition, profuse charity, yet judicious economy and sound discretion. Image: Self-portrait Baroness Hyde de Neuville, Black chalk, black ink. New York Historical Society purchase 1953-238. A GALLERY TOUR OF ARTIST IN EXILE, Led by curator, Roberta M. Olson, will take place on January 6. In honor of the Baronesses' heritage, several French movies will be shown as part of the New York Historical Society's Friday night film series. 1938's The Baker's Wife on November 8 and 1946's Beauty and the Beast on December 6. On select weekends throughout the exhibition's run, young visitors can explore the Baroness' life and the art she created with touch objects and living historians.  TA TA DARLINGS!!! Wonderful exhibition of
life in small-scale renderings, be sure to pick up one of the magnifiers on loan at the exhibit to see up-close the fine details of the Baroness' images. Fan mail welcome at Visit Polly's Blogs at with links in the left-hand column to visionary men,
women determined to succeed, fashion historian and poetry.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

BACH CHRISTMAS ORATORIO Nov. 24 Performed By Canterbury Choral Sodiety

"Listening to Johann Sebastian Bach's Christmas Oratorio is a holiday experience like no other!" The Canterbury Choral Society's concert begins the holiday season by reminding us to remember how the joys of Christmas can lift our spirits with praise and wonderment,
        The Canterbury Choral Society's concert, presenting Johann Sebastian Bach's Christmas Oratorio (Weihnachtsoratorium) brings to New Yorker's one of the most venerable concerts of all time on Sunday, November 24, at 4 p.m. at the Church of the Heavenly Rest located at 1085 Fifth Avenue at 90th Street.
        The CCS artistic director Jonathan de Vries will conduct the Canterbury Choral Society and full orchestra, with a cast of soloists, in the Bach Christmas Oratorio consisting of cantatas that resonate with the Christmas season.
     Bach composed the  "Christmas Oratorio" in 1734, for two Leipzig Churches, St. Thomas and St. Nicholas, for which he served as music director. Bach intended the Oratorio for performances in church during the Christmas season. Now, some 285 years later the Canterbury Choral Society similarly ushers in the holiday season with this glorious Oratorio, its cantatas and timeless story. 
         EACH OF THE CANTATAS HAS ITS OWN STORY, AND ITS OWN SOUND: Each part is a cantata for 1 of 6 feast days within the twelve days of the Christmas season. The Story begins with the birth of Jesus:
PART I Jauchzet, frohlocket, auf,  preiset die Tage, Cantata for Christmas Day. 
PART II Und es waren Hirten in derselben Gegend, Cantata for the second day of Christmas. 
PART III Herrscher des Himmels, erhore das Lallen, the shepherds. Cantata for third of Christmas. 
PART IV Falit mit Danken , Falit mit Loben describes the naming and circumcision of Jesus, Cantata for New Year. 
Part V Ehre sei, dir, Gott, gesungen, is Cantata for the Sunday after New Year (Not sung ll/24) 
PART VI Herr, wenn die stoizen Feinde schnauben, Cantata for Epiphany describes the Three

Kings, or Magi for the first Saturday after New Year. 
       TICKETS: $25 general admission, $20 seniors and $10 students. Order on line at        

Monday, October 28, 2019

BETTY SAAR: The Legends of a Black Girl's Window: By Polly Guerin

Betye Saar 2012
BETYE SAAR, who turned 93 in July, has been called a legend in the world of contemporary art. An African American artist known for her work in the medium of assemblage, Saar is a visual storyteller and an accomplished print maker. Though her work has been exhibited steadily since the 60s, attention to her work has burgeoned in the past decade, among artists of younger generations and curators internationally.
      THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART recently launched  newly expanded and reconfigured space with
"BETYE SAAR: THE LEGENDS OF BLACK GIRL'S WINDOW, an in-depth solo exhibition exploring the deep ties between the artist's iconic autobiographical assemblage Black Girl's Window (1969) and her rare, early prints made during the 1960s. Betye Saar: The Legends of Black
Girl's Window is drawn almost entirely form the Museum's collection, and highlights the recent acquisition of 42 works on paper that provide an overview of Saar's sophisticated, experimental print practice. The exhibition, through January 4, 2020,  engages with the themes of family, history, and mysticism, which have been at the core of Saar's work from the earliest days, and traces a link from her printmaking to the assemblages for which she is best known today. Image: Betye Saar (2012). The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York. (c) Michele Mattei (c) 2019. Betsy Saar, courtesy the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles. All Digital Images (c) Courtesy The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Photos by Rob Gerhardt. The MoMA exhibition is the artist's first art museum solo in New York, since an appearance at the Whitney in 1975.

Black Girl's Window 1969
        Saar's bricolage practice was inspired early, by watching Simon Rodia's Watts Towers rise, and 
nourished further by an introduction in the late '60s to the work of  Joseph Cornell. Her use of scavenged materials developed in fertile ground and rich company in L.A. Among the kindred efforts of Edward Kienholz, Noah Purifoy, John Outterbridge, and others. Saar's constructions range from the intimate architecture of altars to immersive installation.  She favors materials worn on the body, such as handkerchiefs and gloves or tools of domestic labor like washboards and irons. Saar has Incorporated birdcages, photographs and fabrics, clocks and ladders, globes and scales into works steeped in remembrance, grief, rage, humor, and tenderness. Image: Betye Saar: Black Girl's Window, 1969. Wooden window frame with paint, cut-and-pasted printed and painted papers,, daguerreotype, lenticular print, and plastic figure, 35 3/4 x 18 = 1 1/2. The Museum of Modern Art, Gift of Candace King Weir through The Modern Women's Fund and Committee on Painting and Sculpture Funds (c) 2019 Betye
Saar, courtesy the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles.
       A major in postwar art, Betye Saar (b. 1926) has lived and worked in Los Angeles her entire life, and is part of a generation of artists who pursued assemblages there during the 1960s and 70s. Although best known for sculptures made from found materials, particularly those that challenged African American stereotypes, Saar's earliest independent works are prints working in a range of techniques, including intaglio and lithography, she created works on paper that reveal experimentation and an early interest in incorporating physical traces of the world with her art.
MoMA now has the largest public collection of Saar's printed work, which remains largely unknown even to those familiar with her oeuvre. SAAR at home: Saar lives in the same house in Laurel Canyon, in the Hollywood Hills, where she moved with her family in 1962. Her adjacent studio reflects her assemblage work with objects, worn surfaces, bundled items, collectibles and sketch books in an ordering fashion of sorts. in summing up it is obvious that the unstoppable Betsy Saar is simply interested in getting on with the next project.
Image: Betye Saar, ANTICIPATION, 1961, 

18 l/8 x 14 7/16",  The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Candace King Weir Endowment for Women Artists (c)2019 Betye Saar, courtesy the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles
       Ta Ta Darlings!!!  Betye Saar reminds us to remember the emotions of the heart through her broad range of assemblages and print work. Fan mail welcome at Visit Polly's other Blogs at and click on the link to visonary men, women determined to succeed, fashion historian and even, Polly's poetry.

Monday, October 21, 2019

EDITH HALBERT and the RISE OF AMERICAN ART: Review By Polly Guerin

Edith Halpert in the Downtown Gallery with artists in the background
TODAY, THE STRENGTH OF THE AMERICAN ART MARKET, nearly 100 years after Edith Gregor Halpert, the influential art dealer, opened the Downtown Gallery, is a testament to her extraordinary vision and steadfast belief in the value of American art.  But, Halpert's true legacy lies in the dozens of artists she discovered and sustained, in the many women art dealers and curators she inspired and in the thousands of art works that found their way through her into American collections.
       Edith Halpert's name may be scarcely recognized today, even among art scholars and her peers till now. THE JEWISH MUSEUM presents EDITH HALPERT AND THE RISE OF AMERICAN ART, the first exhibition to explore the remarkable career of Edith Halpert, (1900-1970) the influential art dealer and founder of the Downtown Gallery in New York City. On view through February 9, 2020. Image: Edith Halpert at the Downtown Gallery, wearing the 13 watch brooch and ring designed for her by Charles Sheeler, in a photograph for Life Magazine in 1952. She is joined by some of the new American artists she was promoting that year. Photograph (c) Estate of Louis Faurer.
Stuart Davis, LITTLE GIANT, 1950
A pioneer in the field and the first significant female gallerist in the United States, Halpert propelled American Art to the fore at a time when the European avant-garde still enthralled the world. The artists she supported---Stuart Davis, Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O'Keeffe, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Ben Shahn, and Charles Sheeler key among them---became icons of American
      Halpert also brought vital attention to overlooked nineteenth-century American artists, such as William Michael Harnett, Edward Hicks and Raphaelle Peale, as well as little-known and anonymous folk artists. With her revolutionary program at the Downtown Gallery, her endless energy, and her extraordinary business acumen, Halpert inspired generations of Americans to value the art of their own country, in their own time. Image: Stuart Davis, Little Giant still life, 1950, oil on canvas. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, John Barton Payne Fund. Artwork (c) Estate of Stuart Davis/Licensed by VAGA at Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York; photograph by Katherine Wetzel.
         The Downtown Gallery quickly attracted important clients. Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, founder of The Museum of Modern Art, under Halpert's tutelage became a key patron to many modern artists and later an enthusiastic collector of American folk art. Halpert became an influential advisor to other art patrons, who, like Rockefeller went on to build new museums or donate major collections of American art to public institutions across the country. Halpert's circle of collectors
included Duncan Phillips, founder of the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC; William H. Lane, the great benefactor of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Electra Havermeyer Webb, who established Shelburne Museum in Vermont.
      In addition to regularly presenting work by women, immigrants, and Jewish artists, the Downtown Gallery was the first major mainstream art space in New York City to consistently promote the work of African American artists, including Jacob Lawrence and Horace Pippin.
Jacob Lawrence THE MUSIC LESSON from the Harlem Series, 1943
When the Japanese American painter Yasuo Kuniyoshi was classified as an enemy alien during World War II, she mounted a defiant exhibition of his paintings in 1942. Her insistence that we support free expression and diversity of opinion, and that these are the defining features of American art and culture, has never been more timely or more relevant. Image: The Music Lesson, from the Harlem Series, 1943, gouache o paper, New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, gift of the Friends of the New Jersey State Museum. Artwork (c) The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. HALPERT: Born to a Jewish family in Odessa, Russia (now Ukraine) Halpert opened the Downtown Galley in 1926, at the age of 26, at 113 West 13th Street, the first commercial art space in bohemian Greenwich Village. She deliberately promoted a diverse group of living artists, fundamentally shifting the public's opinion of whose voices mattered in the art world. Halpert was, for 40 years, the country's most resolute champion of its creative potential and the defining authority of the American landscape and she paved the way for the next generation of women leaders in the art world.
       Ta Ta Darlings!!!  Kudos to Edith Halpert, and amazing visionary who continues to inform our understanding of American art today. Fan mail welcome Visit Polly's other Blogs on and click on the links in the left-hand column to visionary men, women determined to succeed. the fashion historian, and poetry.

Monday, October 14, 2019

TAMARA DE LEMPICKA: Painter Extraordinaire By Polly Guerin

Self-Portrait Tamara De Lempicka  driving Bugatti
TAMARA DE LEMPICKA: Russian Revolution refugee, bohemian, socialite, and classic beauty--- she sped forward into the limelight as a painter extraordinaire in the Art Deco era, the age of modernity.
          Her stunning Auto-Portrait featured on the cover of the German fashion magazine, Die Dame featured Tamara in her green Bugatti, wearing a chic helmet, her glove hand on the steering wheel driving forward as a free, independent woman paving the route for women of the century to follow in her footsteps. Tamara possessed a persona and beauty that rivaled Hollywood stars, but her reputation as an Art Deco painter is legendary,  Interest in Tamara paintings are re-discovered and sort after by the art world cognoscenti.
         ****Tamara Lempicka is in the limelight at the The Kosciuszco Foundation with her famous portraits on display at 15 East 65th Street, opening  October 16th. Free admission.****
          Tamara was born into a wealthy and prominent Polish family. Born on May 16, 1898, she was named Maria, and later in life adapted the name Tamara. He mother, the former Malvina Decler was a Polish socialite and her father Boris- Gurvik-Gorski was a Polish lawyer. Adhering to the custom of the aristocracy, at the time, she was sent off to a Swiss boarding school . However, her first exposure to the Great Masters of Italian painting came when she fortuitously spent the winter of 1911 with her grandmother in Italy. Her parents divorce in 1912 and moving still further Tamara went to live with her wealthy Aunt Stefa in St. Petersburg.
       Tamara by then was quite a beauty and at the age of fifteen she set her sights on marrying
the man of her dreams and abetted by her well-connected Uncle she married Tadeusz Lempicka
in St.  Petersburg. Rumor circled that this bon vivant, ladies man, probably was seduced by
Tamara's significant dowry.
      Their privileged lifestyle cane to a startling end during the RUSSIAN REVOLUTION in
1917, when Tadeusz was arrested by the Bolsheviks. Escaping to Paris, the Lempickas lived for
a while from the sale of her family jewels. While Tadeusz seemed unable or unwilling to find
work Tamara literally became the breadwinner. Paris the city of light and haven for artistic venues was the ideal place for Tamara's artistic development. It was also at this time that Tamara gave birth to her only child, a daughter named Kizette. who was sent off to a boarding school while Tamara studied and improved upon her oeuvre. 
Tamara developed a technique that exemplified the Art Deco era. Her lines had an architectural quality that was sleek, clean and elegant, yet had a certain curvilinear softness, which was described as "soft cubism"  Through her aristocratic connections she produced numerous portraits and the Lempickas lifestyle improved significantly.  During the Roaring 20s Tamara was a recognized celebrity.  She knew the best of the Bohemians from Pablo Picasso to Jean Cocteau and her legendary reputation became the topic among the gossip mongers.            Tadeusz andTamara divorced in 1928, and it was perfect timing because a long time patron, Baron Raoul Kuffner commissioned a portrait of his mistress, but true to her winsome ways Tamara replaced the mistress when the portrait was finished. 
       Through Kuffner, who she married in 1923, Tamara was re-established on the high society of the era.  The Depression did not seem to curtail her prolific output and her painting continued its popular course of commissions. And yet, there is more opportunity when the Kuffner's settled in Beverly Hills, California and they began to socialize with the Hollywood stars of the day. She became known as the "Baroness with the Brush," and cultivated a Garboesque persona, which was not so difficult to do because Tamara was still a blonde beauty and was often compared to the legendary star.
The Glamorous Tamara de Lempicka
However, her trademark style of angularity in figures of celebs and
in streamlined poses were beginning to become less popular, so Tamara turned to palette painting but this technique never took off.  We remember best the grand scale and prolific renderings of paintings in magnificent color with nuances so realistic, yet so mesmerizing, that forever made her one of
the most revered painters of her time.
        She retired from painting in 1962 and after Baron Kuffner's death, the same year. Tamara traveled extensively, the lived with her daughter Kizette for a while in Houston, Texas.
She finally moved to Cuernavaca, Mexico in 1978 where she died in her sleep.
       Ta TA Darlings!!! You have a chance in a lifetime to see the extraordinary talent of Tamara Lempicka at the Kosciuszco Foundation and revel in her whirlwind career in paintings that are mesmerizing and modern.  Fan mail to: Visit Polly's other Blogs at        

Monday, October 7, 2019

SARGENT, VERDI, GUERCINO Exhibits at THE MORGAN: Review By Polly Guerin

Mrs. George Swenton 1906
"Good Things come in threes," so they say, and with the start of autumn THE MORGAN LIBRARY and MUSEUM introduces three exceptional exhibitions to delight your cultural inquiry.
       While John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) is best known for his powerful paintings, The Morgan presents JOHN SINGER SARGENT: PORTRAITS IN CHARCOAL through January 12, 2020. This is a rare and insightful opportunity to see the first major exhibition to explore over 50 of these expressive portraits in charcoal. Sargent changed his oeuvre in 1907 when he largely ceased painting portraits and turned instead to charcoal to satisfy portrait commissions. His technique took a mere three hours, sometimes less, and in that short time through the mastery of chiaroscuro he animated his sitters on canvas. Then, too, he captured in charcoal the flimsiest of fabrics, sun kissed highlights in a coiffure or a shimmering satin gown, which gave female sitters elegance and facial features revealed their personality
      Sargent was a master craftsman in the charcoal genre and many of his sitters were famous for their roles in politics, society, the arts, theater, writers, patrons and  very often valued  friends including the author Henry James, who had championed the young Sargent's work. His striking charcoal drawing of Ethel Barrymore resonated with a powerful presence. Often set against a dramatic dark background, his charcoal portraits---they number 750 in total--are vivid portrayals of the men and women who sat for hm. The finished charcoal portraits are valuable testaments to Sargent's prodigious skill as an artist and draftsman, and reflect the social and cultural fabric of the United Statesand Great Britain in the early twentieth century.
       Concurrently the exhibition VERDI:CREATING OTELLO AND FALSTAFF---HIGHLIGHTS FROM MILAN'S FAMED RECORDI ARCHIVE MAKE U.S. DEBUT, is on view through January 5, 2020. It is astonishing to learn that except for occasional projects Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901), Italy's pre-eminent composer, retired from Opera at the age of 58. However,
the opera world did not agree. With constant pleas from his publisher and future librettist for the maestro to return to the opera stage, reluctantly Verdi was coaxed out of retirement and composed what would become the crowning achievements of his career. Otello premiered in 1887, and Falstaff in 1893. The Morgan Library and Museum offers visitors a rare opportunity to view insight into the production of these two operas, as well as the complex enterprise of bringing an opera to life.  Highlights from the Ricordi Archive traces the genesis and realization of Otello and Falstaff through original scores, libretti, selected correspondence, set and costume design, and more, marking the first exhibition of these rare documents and artifacts in the United States.
Otello and Falstaff Costumes on Display from Milan's Teatro alla Scala
The Ricordi Archive is regarded as one of the world's foremost privately owned music collections. In this exhibition, treasures from the Archive are complemented by rarities from the Morgan's collection, including early editions of texts by William Shakespeare, whose dramaturgical material served as a basis for Verdi's last two operas. In addition to rare editions of scores and libretti, contemporary publicity material include
an autograph letter from Verdi's wife, and autograph sketches for Otello. Set designs, costumes from Milan's Teatro alla Scala, autographed manuscripts, contracts, publications, publicity and video excerpts from recent productions provide entertaining viewing, even if your are not an opera lover. This exhibit makes it perfectly clear that Grand Opera exhibited here enables visitors to experience the tremendous collaborative efforts behind operatic productions. 
      GUERCINO: VIRTUOSO DRAFTSMAN: The Morgan Celebrates the most diverse draftsman
of the Italian Baroque Era through February 2, 2020.  Who was Gercino? Giovanni Francesco Barbierei (1591-1666), known as GUERCINO, was arguably the most the most interesting and
diverse draftsman of the Italian Baroque era, a natural virtuoso who created brilliant drawings in a broad range of media.Supreme examples of virtually every type of drawing, produced in seventeenth century Italy survive from his hand: academic nudes, genre scenes and caricatures, energetic and fluid pen sketches for figures and compositions, highly refined chalk drawings, designs for engravings, and diverse landscapes. To say that Guercino was prolific only tells a
small part of his celebrity. The Morgan owns more than thirty-five works by the artist, and these are the subject of a focused exhibition, supplemented by a pair of loans from New York private
For a complete list of related prgrams:          
GUERCINO: Vision of St. Philip Neri (1646-47) pen and brwon wash.

 IMAGE LEFT: The Morgan Library and Museum, gift of Janos Scholz, 1977.
         TA TA DARLINGS!!! Cultural news comes in three wonderful exhibits at the Morgan, not to be missed.
So make it a day visit and take lunch or tea in the Morgan Cafe.  Fan mail welcome, please send an email to: Do visit Polly's other Blogs at and click in the left-hand column with direct links to visionary men, women determined to succeed, fashion historian, and poetry.


Saturday, September 28, 2019


We anticipated Autumn's beautiful golden days 
This is our favorite time of the year-long phase

Yet, summer's best of weather lingered on and on
Caressed us by warmer weather like a lullaby song

Alas the glorious September month arrived on cue
Autumn' s favorite time of the year this we knew 

Fall's Equinox announced the first day of autumn
When nature's luscious bounty was not forgotten

On  pristine days, the sun seemed evermore brighter
The sky more intensely blue, the clouds even whiter

Apple picking excursions to orchards way upstate
The pungent pure air tasted like apple peel of late

The gold of Autumn brings the gentle chill of fall
With verdant meadows and bird song most of all

Here and there a lone yellow leaf suddenly appears
The trees respond and wear tawny colors in their hair

In all its flaming glory trees perform their  foliage dance
The forest sings a new tune of Indian Summer romance

The scene  was painted like a Claude Monet picnic party
And Autumn was named the crowning glory, very arty

And new beginnings started up and rushed in again 
Back-to-school, our social calendars were in a spin 

I do so very much mind saying goodbye to September
Knowing that I cannot hold back the time I am resigned.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

POCKET PARK SANCTUARY in the Heart of New York City: By Polly Guerin

Finding a Lush green sanctuary is a rare commodity in mid-town Manhattan and just finding a place to enjoy your brown bag lunch is a challenge.  Yet, there is a half-acre, public plaza between West 45th and 46th streets known as Marsh & McLennan plaza.
     In this half-acre public plaza you can find calm and rejuvenation in the geometrically arranged garden, which includes a rare and dense grove of dawn redwood, white fir, weeping cheery and dogwood trees.  Such a
sanctuary attracts workers spilling out of 
massive office buildings and the city sparrows find sanctuary, too.
       Situated on the east facade of the Marsh & McLennan building, the plaza features an arcade,  
central garden area, and a peripheral walk. The geometrically arranged garden space provides tree-shaded tables and movable chairs for dining, reading or Internet work, a large central fountain, and those wonderful trees that make the air so pleasant. Circular planters and rectangular planting beds hold flowering shrubs, while easy access can be made from either 45th or 46th street. The space also becomes an easy walk through from either side.  The water channel is anchored by Tony Smith's sculpture"Throwback."

      REMEMBERING 911 At the north end of the plaza, bordering 46th street, a stone edged, glass wall of names memorializing Marsh & McLennan employees killed on September 11, 2001, is now a focal element where people linger and remember, some pray for their loved ones lost that day.
The September 11 memoria

        There are many food options nearly and 45th street itself is known for its highly diversified
selection of restaurants as well as the entrance to restaurant Gaby at the Sofitel hotel. This is a very pleasant pocket park with numerous seating areas for all ages. You are always welcome. just do not feed the pigeons.  
      By the way, just so you know,
Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. is a global professional service firm headquartered in New York City.    


Count yourself in for a night to remember. There's a delightful and elegant musical evening at the Canterbury Chorale Society's Gala fundraising GALA on Wednesday, October 2, 2019,  from 6 to 9 pm, on the upper east side at the historic House of the Redeemer, 7 East 95 Street.
     This is Canterbury's major event of the fall season. While grants and ticket sales are important portions of its budget, donations to the annual fund are the single biggest source of income for CCS's annual 
operating expenses. TO RESERVE please contact or telephone  917-579-2942. 
        On this GALA occasion the Canterbury Choral Society sends a big note of thanks to the SIX of CLUBS for generously contributing their time, talent and fabulous show, THE SWINGING 40'S, for our Gala Benefit Evening..
      This show is a homage to the Big Bands and Swing music and will provide such lively entertainment that we will swinging in our seats.
      Get in the Swing of a gala evening and remember the 1930s and 1940s were a time of musical innovation. Great bandleaders like Glen Miller and Tommy Dorsey delivered Swing music to the country and launched the careers of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Shore, and many others.  
       The show was produced by John Hargraves, conceived and narrated by Nick Firth and has musical arrangements by Jeff Klitz. Founded in 2010, Six of Clubs is a group of friends who are music aficionados and have enjoyed performing songs from the Great American Songbook over the past ten years
Cocktails and Hors D'Oeuvres will contribute to the conviviality of the evening and a SILENT
AUCTION of the most wonderful items will be on display for your perusal and purchas---just another way of supporting the Canterbury Choral Society.
       Under its current Artistic Director, JONATHAN DE VRIES, Canterbury presents three major concerts a year at the glorious Art Deco inspired, Church of the Heavenly Rest, where the CCS began in 1952. Founded by Charles Dodsley Walker with the mission as it was then and remains steadfast, "to perform sacred choral music with original intended orchestration."
     The upper east side FABBRI mansion has a rich and surpris-ing international history. The Italian Renaissance building was  given by Margaret Louis Vanderbilt as a wedding gift to her daughter, Edith Shepard Fabbri (the great granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt) and her son-in-law Ernesto Fabbri. The
Renaissance and Baroque furnishings and artifacts and architectural details contribute to
an eventful evening with the CCS.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Baron von Steuben: Revolutionary War Hero: By Polly Guerin-ARRT-NY-Media Outreach

The German-American parade on Saturday, September 21 not only celebrates German-American pride, but in particular it honors Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben. Though his name is little known among Americans today, during the American Revolution he created America's professional army with "Rules and Disciplines," that are standard for the United States army today.  
                                    Von Steuben was a Prussian soldier who was seeking to join the Continental Army and had been highly recommended by the American patriot, Sylas Deane. Armed also with a letter from American diplomat Benjamin Franklin in September, 1777,  the baron sailed from France to join the Continental Army.              
        Von Steuben arrived at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in December 1, 1777. with four French aides to translate for him and a large dog named Azor. His exaggerated reputation traveled fast . In Boston, he met John Hancock, who hosted a dinner for him, and he chatted up Samuel Adams about politics and military affairs. Next, von Steuben headed to York, Pennsylvania, the temporary American capital , while the British occupied Philadelphia. Aware that the Continental Congress had soured on foreign volunteers, von Steuben offered to serve under Washington and asked to be paid only if America won the war. They took the deal and sent van Steuben to Valley Forge.  It is interesting to note that Washington's confidence in von Steuben grew quickly and within two weeks, he made von Steuben acting inspector general and asked him to examine the Continental Army's condition, "Baron Steuben has arrived in camp," Washington wrote soon after. "He appears to be much of a gentleman, and as far as I have had the opportunity of judging, a man of military knowledge and acquainted with the world."
Steuben barking orders at Valley Forge
"What Steuben discovered was nothing less than appalling," wrote the famed author, Tom Fleming in Washington's Secret War.  "He was confronting by a wrecked army. A less courageous man would have quit on the spot."  Steuben was in charge of whipping the bedraggled troops into shape. 

       The baron found soldiers without uniforms, rusted muskets without bayonets, companies with men missing and unaccounted for. Different officers used different military drill manuals, leading to chaos when their units tried to work together. The baron warned, "If the army had to fight on short notice, he might find himself commanding one-third of the men he thought that he had. The army had to get into better shape before the fighting resumed in the spring.  So, von Steuben put the entire army through Prussian-style drills, he taught them how to reload their muskets quickly after firing, charge with a bayonet and march in compact columns instead of miles-long lines. Though von Steuben raged and cursed in a garbled
mixture of French, English, and German, his instructions and presence began to build morale.
Von Steuben' Manual
The baron's lessons didn't just make the American troops look impressive, under his stern

tutelage, they became a formidable battlefield force. At the Battle of Monmouth on June 28, the Revolution's last major battle in the northern states, American troops showed a new discipline. They stood their ground during ferocious fire and bayonet attack and forced the British to retreat. "Monmouth vindicated Steuben as the organizer. The Continental Army's new strength as a fighting force, combined with the arrival of the French fleet off the coast of New York in 1778, turned the tide of the war. 
     Von Steuben served in the Continental army for he rest of the Revolutionary War. In 1779 he codified the lessons into the Army's Blue Book.  Officially the Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the troops of the United States. It remained the Army training manual for decades. The Army still uses some portions
of it in training manuals today, including von Steuben's instructions on drill and ceremonies. After the war, the governor of New York granted von Steuben a huge wilderness estate in the Mohawk Valley as a reward for his service in the war. His importance to the Revolution is evident in Washington's last ac as commanding general. In December
1783, the very year when the last of the British were driven out of New York City, he wrote von Steuben a letter of thanks for this"faithful and Meritorious Services."
        Let's not forget Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben for herein is the primary reason to
make the German-American parade more meaningful.  This feature was written with reference to
Erick Trickey's, April 26, 2017 feature 
Fan mail welcome at