Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring is here

Central Park stretching. 2:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Friday, March 23, 2012. Spring is here and we’re not kidding. The temp was in the 70s, the sun was bright and the pears are blooming like fresh popcorn all over New York. Mother Nature gift to harried New Yorkers.

I went to a small dinner last night that Shirley Lord Rosenthal gave for her friend Mercedes Bass. Conversation at table (at my end ) was about politics and books and the occasional celebrity anecdote. Lively and interesting. Food delicious; and most of the guests old friends (with some new for garnish).
The magnificent pear across Third Avenue (looking west) between 80th and 81st Streets. Thursday 3:30 p.m.
Last night was also the Frick’s Young Fellows Belle Epoque Ball. The invitation read “Half After Eight Until Midnight”and “Black Tie – Fin de Siecle Elegance.”  I thought I would have got out of dinner before, but it was 11:15 when I got to the Frick. Half-expecting the place to be emptying, I was surprised to see it in full swing.

This was a great party. The Frick is a leader in marshalling the troops of the emerging generation of leaders in New York. They all look like kids to these eyes, but in fact many are already grooming themselves to participate in the best of New York. I’m talking about culture, philanthropy and civic interests. A “dance” at the Frick is the icing on the cake, but it also brings together this group and defines.

Men, no matter the age, always look good in black tie (if they don’t toy with it) and perfect atmosphere for the the young women who were the heart of today’s fashion and dressed to the nines, as they used to say. The dance was DJ’d, as is the norm these days and the dance floor was mobbed. So were the buffet tables and the bars in the atrium. Good time? I guess so. We’ll have lots of pictures at the beginning of the week, as well as my collage of scenes.
Guests in the garden of the Frick last night, 11:15 p.m.
The atrium, 11:25 p.m.
Rockin' in the Rotunda ...
The week began with the Asia Society celebrating Asia Week New York in style at its 43th annual Celebration of Asia Week benefit at the Plaza. Close to 400 attended. The theme was 1930's Shanghai Nights, a chic cocktail reception with music by the Le Zhang Quartet. Guests at the event—which presents art, fashion, cuisine, music and design from across Asia—turned out in spectacularly elegant gowns and cheongsams, and ‘Shanghai nightclub 30’s inspired/black-tie attire’ as suggested on the invitations.

Following the reception, guests enjoyed dinner in the candle-lit Grand Ballroom, which featured stunning and unique table top décor customized by well-known designers. Everything from a tented dining salon, to glazed porcelain, to hand-painted linens, to live tropical fish, to jeweled candelabras and fresh flowers, adorned the tables. Tabletop décor was graciously designed by: Rachel Cho, Tana Chung, Donna D'Cruz (Rasa Living), Lee Jean-Gilles (Pierre Paul Interior Design), Robert Kuo, Lotus Arts de Vivre, Campion Platt, Nina Seirafi, Jean Shafiroff, Scott Snyder, Tracy Stern, Ni Ni Than, Jim Thompson (Thai Silk Co.), Antony Todd, and Toujours Magazine. The meal was curated by Danielle Chang of LUCKYRICE.
Edita Vilkeviciute and Bibhu Mohapatra. Shayne Doty and Jacqueline Mars.
Dirk and Susan Standen, Jessica Stam, Anna Sui, Aaron Young, Yeohlee Teng, Laure Heriard, and Dubreuil.
Betsy and Edward Cohen and Stephanie and John Foster were the Benefit Chairs. New York-based artist Michael Joo was the Honorary Chair. A highlight of the evening was the presentation by Special Guest Paul Goldberger, Pulitzer prize winning writer and architecture critic for The New Yorker, of Asia Society’s Global Arts Award to architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, who designed Asia Society’s newly opened Hong Kong Center.

Following dinner, guests enjoyed dancing to the music of performer/DJ Donna D’Cruz and a silent auction. Guests in attendance included: Carolyn Hsu-Balcer and Rene Balcer, Tally Beck, Sharon Bush, Richard Chai, Pat Cleveland, Betsy Cohen, Ann and Stephen Curley, Barbara Hoffman, Henrietta H. Fore, Chiu-Ti Jansen, Phillip Lim, Helen and William Little, Susan Lynch, Bibhu Mohapatra, Maggie Norris, Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky, Susan Shin, Susan and Dirk Standen, Anna Sui, Yeohlee Teng, Barbara and Donald Tober, Tommy Ton, Anita Yavich and celebrity models in couture.
Lulu Wang and friends. Emma Snowdon-Jones and Campion Platt.
Robert Oxnam, Vishakha Desai, Tom Freston, and Kathy Freston.
Edward and Betsy Cohen. Mark Gilbertson and Barbara Tober.
William Ivey Long and Sharon Bush.
Richard Chai, Shu Pei, Liu Wen, and Phillip Lim. Polly Onet and John Foster.
Michael Joo and Stephanie Foster. Mrinalini Kumari, Susan Shin, and Donna D'Cruz.
And on Friday night, Asia Week New York held their kick-off reception at the Morgan Museum & Library. International collectors and curators head to New York every March to partake in a non-stop of week of auctions, symposia and fascinating exhibitions presented by over three-dozen galleries, from here and abroad. It’s an excellent opportunity to view (and purchase) an astonishing array of the rarest and finest Asian examples of porcelain, jewelry, paintings, ceramics, sculpture, books, bronzes, prints, photographs, and jades from China, Japan, Korea, India the Himalayas, and Southeast Asia.

The locale for the event was particularly fitting since Pierpont Morgan, the museum’s founder, had a strong interest in Asian art, and he assembled a collection of some 1,400 Chinese ceramics, almost all of which were sold after his death and are now widely dispersed. Moreover, in 1913, the year Morgan died, he was involved in negotiations that—had they come to fruition—would have brought to New York the lion’s share of the Qing imperial collection.
John Tancock, Lois Alsop, Patty Tang, and Ian Alsop
Among the works on view at the Morgan are: a ritual bronze vessel datable to the Western Zhou Dynasty (ca. 1046-771 BCE), which Pierpont Morgan’s son Jack purchased from C.T. Loo in 1917, and which formerly was in the collection of the Qianlong emperor (r. 1736-1795); a never-before-exhibited Northern Qi (550-577) limestone head of a Bodhisattva, formerly in the collection of Belle da Costa Greene, which came from the important complex of mountainside shrines hewn from the living rock at Xiangtangshan; a Tang Dynasty handscroll (618-907) that transcribes the second chapter of the Mahaparinirvana Sutra; a Kangxi-period bottle vase from the collection of Pierpont Morgan, the last piece of his large holdings of Chinese ceramics that remains at the Morgan; and a selection of documents, in code, related to Pierpont Morgan’s 1913 negotiations to purchase the Qing collection.
Peter Kang, Hyung Mo Jung, Young Yang Chung, and Keumja Kang
Guests included Henry Howard-Sneyd, William Griswold, Joan Mirviss, Jiyoung Koo, Jean Shafiroff, Gregory Speck, James Lally, Carol Conover, Tina Zonars, Sir Peter Moores KBE, Roger and Miranda Keverne, Edith Dicconson, Conor Mahoney, Suneet Kapoor, Beatrice Chang, Martha Sutherland, Carlo Cristi, Katherine Martin, Karen Wenders, John Eskenazi, Peter Kang, Arnold Lieberman, Michael and Lisa Hughes, Eric Zetterquist, Oliver Forge, Brendan Lynch, Jonathan Tucker and Antonia Tozer, Sue Ollemans, Erik and Cornelia Thomsen, Michael Feng, Leonardo, Tomaso and Gerolamo Vigorelli, George and Katherine Fan, Christopher Luce, Francesca Galloway, and Catherine Sweeney Singer.
Liu Yang, Mary Demming, and Chris Hall
Richard and Ruth Dickes
Arnold Lieberman and Tina Zonars
Martha Sutherland
Sir Peter Moores and Roger Keverne
Kay Torshen and Alan Schriesheim
Tom Hansen, Kopin Tan, Patrick Milliman, and Michelle Leong
Sir Peter Moores, Roger Keverne, Simone Ray, and Leng Tang
Qiang Tu, Helen Wang, Selina Law, and Henna Wang
Tina Zonars and Suneet Kapoor
William Griswold and Miranda Keverne
Joan Mirviss and Carol Conover
Komei Sakai and Morihiro Ogawa
William Griswold and Henry Howard-Sneyd
Dr. Stephen Wessley and Frances Wessley
Jamed Lally, Meeseen Loong, and David Doralemon
Carlton Rochell
Ling En Lu, Arnold Chang, Jiyoung Koo, and Hao Sheng
Jason Steuber, Katherine Martin, Paul Binnie, and Raj Singh
Beatrice Chang
Abel Yee and Annysa Ng
Robert Levine and John Eskenazi
Ramesh Kapoor, Francesca Galloway, and Gary Crawford
Tomaso Vigorelli, Leonardo Vigorelli, and Gerolamo Vigorelli
George and Katherine Fan
Lark Mason Jr. and Catherine Sweeney Singer
Cornelia and Erik Thomas, Catherine Sweeney Singer, Robert Morgan, and Soojung Hyun
Conor Mahony, Bonnie Lee, Edith Dicconson, and Eva Wen
Jean Shafiroff and Gregory Speck
Carol Conover, Tony Lingao, and Mary Ann Rogers
Lisa and Michael Hughes
Catching up. Last last month Couture Council Board Member Jean Shafiroff hosted a private behind the scene tour and luncheon at The Americano Hotel for Couture Council members and friends to celebrate The Museum at FIT’s current exhibition IMPACT: 50 Years of the CFDA. Patricia Mears, Deputy Director of The Museum at FIT, led the tour. Designers that attended included: Angel Sanchez, Nicole Miller, Maggie Norris, and Mary McFadden.

Luncheon guests included: Noreen Ahmad, Fabiola Arias, Marleen Barr, Alyson Cafiero, Bonnie Cantor, Deborah Chatman, Terry Culver, Allan Daniel, Kendra Daniel, Fe Fendi, Caren Forbes, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Carole Harding, Yaz Hernandez, Chui-Te Jensen, Michele Gerber Klein, Karen Klopp, Yvonne Lee, Kamie Lightburn, Judy Lockhardt, Mary McFadden, Patricia Mears, Maggie Norris, Nicole Miller, Valerie Steele (Director of The Museum at FIT), Heidi Pelczar, Patricia Shiah, Tia Walker, and Clair Watson.
Lucia Hwong Gordon, Chiu-Ti Jansen, Rose Hartman, and Patricia Shiah.
Valeries Steele and Patricia Mears. Jean Shafiroff and Nicole Miller.
Deborah Chatman, Fabiola Arias, Kami Lightburn, and Fe Fendi.
Fabiola Arias and Kendra Daniel.
Yaz Hernandez and Patricia Shiah.
Meanwhile, in Maastricht for The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) at the MECC (Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Centre) ...
Within the first hour of Tefaf's opening, Mark Weiss of the Weiss Gallery sold the newly discovered Ditchley Henry VIII, c. 1600-1610 to a European Private Collector for £2.5 million or almost $4 million. The 7ft 7in x 4ft 11in oil on canvas was last seen at auction at Sotheby's in 1952.
Every year, dealers return to TEFAF with a gleam in their eye; and not simply because this is by definition the best Art Fair in the world. They're smiling because they bring their most treasured pieces, those special items that even their regular clients haven't seen.
Christophe van de Weghe, New York, NY.
Richard L. Feigen and Frances Beattie, New York, NY.
Fabrizio Moretti, London, UK; Florence, IT; New York, NY.
Alex Vervoordt, Antwerp, Belgium.

Photographs by Billy Farrell Agency (Asia Week Gala); (Asia Week); Guy van Grinsven & Harry Heuts, NL (TEFAF)

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