Thursday, June 26, 2014

Public installations

Taking a break. 5:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Thursday, June 26, 2014. A very warm, sunny Summer’s day in New York (mid-80s) with the weatherman forecasting torrential thunderstorms in the evening (at 11 pm, I’m still waiting).

Last night at the Riverside Viaduct at 125th Street and 12th Avenue, lighting designer Bentley Meeker inaugurated the public installation of his giant “H in Harlem” letter, surrounded by an oval aluminum truss, which is suspended from the viaduct. The “H” is in keeping with Bentley’s past work exploring the properties of light – two different types: LED and white full spectrum plasma juxtaposed with one another.
This was presented by Bentley to celebrate the Harlem community – of which he has been a resident for the past several years – and was presented with the support of four neighborhood entities – Manhattan Community Board 9, the 125th Street Business Improvement District, West Harlem Art Fund, and the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program. It’ll be on view through September 25th. Best time to see it would be after dark.
Meanwhile, it was Wednesday and it was Michael’s, and it was busy. PR executive Jim Abernathy with Davidson Goldin, journalist Diane Clehane with TV producer Joan Gelman and tv political commentator and pr consultant Robert Zimmerman, Greg Lawrence, Sanford of the WSJ and Stein; the girls from New Jersey who come in and partake of the menu at the bar every month (you’ve read about them here), and people watch: Kira Semler with Vi Huse; Steven Stolman; Hollywood Life.com’s Bonnie Fuller with Penske Media Vice Chair Gerry Byrne holding their weekly round table of guests including: Dean Henley, Justin Fadgen, Sukanya Krishnan, Kimberly Berhardt, Smita Reddy, Jay Margolis, Elena Kim, Allyn Seidman, Abby Raphael; next door to them: Betsy Perry with Catherine Rosin; and next door to them: Tom Brokaw.

Moving around the room:  Alexandre Chemia, Michael Claes with Fraser Seitel, Barry Frey with Adam Platzner; PR executive Elizabeth Harrison; Martha Kramer and Annabelle Begelman in from Los Angeles; Lisa Linden with Peter Neger, Jamie MacGuire; Alice Mayhew; Stanley Mohr with Frank Gifford; Nick Verbitsky; Joan Kron; Andrew Stein; Andrew Blauner; Roger Friedman celebrating Jill Brooke’s birthday (she turned 30, big day); Ron Insana; Jerery Inzerillo; Marc Rosen; William Lauder with his daughter Danielle; Bonnie Timmerman; Spencer Wang; Vaughn  Williams; Joyce Mishel, Stan Shuman. I was so busy talking to Simon & Schuster editor Tim Duggan, that that is all I remember.

Coming to a bookseller near you on
September 30th, 2014.
Last night I had dinner at Sette Mezzo with Margo Howard, in from Cambridge/Boston for a publicity and advertising luncheon at Le Bernardin for her new memoir “Eat, Drink & Remarry; Confessions of a Serial Wife,” which is coming out in October. I’ll tell you more about it when you can buy it.

Margo who is the daughter and only child of the late Eppie Lederer, aka Ann Landers has been married three times (as far as I know) and is currently happily married for a number of years now, to a doctor in Cambridge. She’s been writing all her life (she wrote a book about her mother whom I had met on her frequent visits to Los Angeles – where Margo and I also first met (she doesn’t remember). She is one of those people who has no trouble giving you the here’s-the-facts details in her work. This is a talent all its own even for a writer who can’t keep anything to him/or herself. 

Sette was bustling, and although it’s a very popular neighborhood Italian restaurant, celebrities often find their way there. Last night it was Charlie Rose dining with mega-mogul David Geffen, and next door to them producer Marty Bregman dining with Al Pacino.

Liz O’Brien, a purveyor of 20th century design items and an advertiser of NYSD, carries all kinds of products and designs for the home of American and European designers. One day I was looking at her web site when I found the collection of Mark Shaw photographs that you can buy on 1st Dibs.

Shaw was a famous American fashion and celebrity photographer in the '50s and '60s. He was a New York boy, born Mark Schlossman in 1921 (his birthday anniversary was yesterday) on the Lower East Side. He served in the Second World War as a pilot, flying fighters with the British forces in the North African Campaign and later transports in India and China. His expertise got him assigned as the personal pilot to Russian General Zhukov (when we were allies), and later flew General Douglas MacArthur to Japan for the official surrender in 1945.
Mark Shaw, John F. Kennedy, 1959
After the War, back in New York he went to work for Harper’s Bazaar. In 1952 he became a freelance photographer for LIFE. The magazine was the most widely read weekly magazine in America and its stable of photographers and photojournalists -- were the most prestigious and widely viewed in the world.

In 1959, LIFE assigned Shaw (who changed his name -- as did his mother -- after the War) to do a piece on Senator John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline when Kennedy was running for President. Some of those photographs are now iconic images of the couple and their new family.
Mark Shaw, The Kennedy's Outside Their Georgetown Home

The Kennedy's outside their Georgetown home in 1959 where they lived while John F. Kennedy was senator. This would be their last residence before the White House.

Image size 22" x 32"/Paper size 24" x 36", Edition of 30
Although he had previously photographed some of the most famous men and women of the time including Brigitte Bardot, Grace Kelly, Picasso, YSL, Elizabeth Taylor, Danny Kaye, Cary Grant, and Audrey Hepburn – to name only a few – his series of photographs of the young and handsome Kennedys made him famous to the average American – LIFE readers who looked at the pictures and rarely noticed the photo credit.

That assignment led to a close relationship with the couple. Indeed, those of us who were young and impressed by the freshness of the Kennedy image, are still familiar with many of Shaw’s photo images of them, the viewing of which today often leaves a bittersweet nostalgia for those days when young America was inspired by Jack and Jackie.
Mark Shaw, Jacqueline and Caroline Kennedy Touch Noses, photographed in Georgetown in 1959.
Image size 22" x 32"/Paper size 24" x 36", Edition of 30
Mark Shaw died in 1969 of amphetamine poisoning. He had been a client of a very famous (at the time) New York doctor named Max Jacobson. Jacobson was known as  “Dr. Feelgood” and he had a raft of famous patients who visited him frequently for his “feelgood” injections known as “vitamin shots” (a mixture of multivitamins, steroids animal organ cells, hormones, placenta, bone marrow and high doses of amphetamines).

The patients included the Kennedys as well as Mickey Mantle, Yul Brynner, Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Nelson Rockefeller, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote Alan Jay Lerner, Eddie Fisher and a host of prominent New Yorkers such as fashion designers, models and society figures. It was, indeed, fashionable to go to Dr. Max for your pick me up shots.
Mark Shaw, Jacqueline Kennedy and John Jr. in Palm Beach, 1963


Image size 10" x 15"/Paper size 11" x 17"
John Kennedy had his first treatments shortly before the Presidential Debates with Richard Nixon. Kennedy, when later informed by the FDA of the ingredients of Jacobson’s shots, was quoted as saying “I don’t care if it’s horse piss. It works.” The doctor’s injections were for Kennedy’s severe back pain. He visited the White House to treat the President 34 times.

Jacobson’s practice was eventually publicized in New York Magazine, and Mark Shaw’s untimely death (first thought to be a heart attack) revealed that it was the “acute and chronic intravenous amphetamine poisoning” that killed him. That was the beginning of the end of the doctor’s career. His license was revoked six years later.
“I don’t care if it’s horse piss. It works.”
It should be said that Jacobson’s practice flourished because the dangers of amphetamines were still unknown to most people. The general public was totally unaware of the drug itself. They had long been popular for medical treatment of pain and also to energize people for their work (Judy Garland is a classic example, when she was a teenager at MGM).

However, reviewing Liz O’Brien’s photographic prints of Mark Shaw’s work take you away from his tragic ending and into the world of beauty that he captured with his camera. Looking at them today, you can see clearly the sense of style that marked that short and glamorous and emotionally accessible Age that followed the terrible War that changed everything forever.

These photographs I chose are only part of the collection, prints of which are for sale here.
Mark Shaw, Coco Chanel In Her Apartment On The Rue Cambon

This photo, published in LIFE in 1957, shows Coco Chanel, aged 74, at her apartment on the Rue Cambon in Paris reclining on her massive divan. In notes taken from the LIFE picture library, it was noted that Mark Shaw "crept as close to Chanel as anyone is ever likely to get with their Leica on. She said so herself." Mark Shaw's informal, grainy, black and white images of Coco Chanel were created using an unobtrusive 35mm camera and film processing methods that enabled him to eliminate all other photographic equipment. Although Shaw's techniques increased the grain and contrast of the photographs, the lack of intimidating, distracting flash and lights allowed him to capture an unusually relaxed Chanel.

Image size 13.75" x 20"/Paper size 17" x 22", Edition of 30
Mark Shaw, Coco Shrugs

Photographed for LIFE in 1957, Coco Chanel is seen "in her 30 million franc ($85,000) necklace and two-year-old suit…"

Image size 10" x 15"/Paper size 11" x 17"
Mark Shaw, Portrait of Coco Chanel and Jeanne Moreau

Chanel visits with Jeanne Moreau, the famous French film actress. This color image is a rare addition to the black and white photo essay done by Mark Shaw for LIFE magazine in 1957.
Image size 22" x 22"/Paper size 24" x 36", Edition of 30
Mark Shaw, Brigitte Bardot, Hands in Lap, 1958

Image size 10" x 15"/Paper size 11" x 17"
Mark Shaw, Jane Sprague in Blue Fath Gown

Photographed in 1953 at the French country estate, Corbeville, Jane Sprague models a ball gown by Fath.

Image size 22" x 22"/Paper size 24" x 36", Edition of 15
Mark Shaw, Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly, later Princess Grace of Monaco, photographed by Mark Shaw in 1954.

24" x 36", Edition of 30
Mark Shaw, Elizabeth Taylor in Dior

Mark Shaw was sent by LIFE to photograph Elizabeth Taylor for the April 28, 1961 issue. The images he took were never used for the article that celebrated her acceptance of the Oscar for best actress of 1960 for her role as a semi-pro call girl in the movie Butterfield 8. Shaw's stunning portraits show Taylor in her Oscar ceremony finery, a dress called "Soiree a Rio" from Dior's Spring-Summer 1961 Haute Couture collection.

Image size 22" x 22"/Paper size 24" x 36", Edition of 30
Mark Shaw, Audrey Hepburn Walking Away, 1953

11 x 17 inch Giclee print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag
Signed, titled and numbered in pencil on Archives stamp verso
Edition 1 of 30

From the Estate of Mark Shaw/Mark Shaw Photographic Archive
Mark Shaw, Audrey Hepburn During the Filming of Sabrina

Image size 22" x 32"/Paper size 24" x 36", Edition of 30
Mark Shaw, Henrietta Tiarks, Black Gown

Photographed by Mark Shaw for the March 2, 1959 issue of LIFE magazine, Henrietta Tiarks, later the Duchess of Bedford, was featured full page modeling a silk cocktail dress designed by Crahay of Nina Ricci, reportedly the "single most popular dress in Paris" for the season.

Image size 22" x 22"/Paper size 24" x 36", Edition of 30
Mark Shaw, James Galanos at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum

Photographed by Mark Shaw for the Nov. 22, 1954 issue of LIFE magazine, 29- year-old fashion designer James Galanos is pictured in the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum surrounded by live models wearing his designs. Background mannequins are clothed in vintage fashions up to 150 years old.

Image size 22" x 32"/Paper size 24" x 36", Edition of 30
Mark Shaw, Gitta Schilling Wears Dior in Suzanne Luling's Home

Gitta Schilling in a Dior gown photographed for LIFE's Designer's Homes in 1960. The ornate interior is the 17th century home of Suzanne Luling, then directrice of Dior, in Paris.

Image size 16" x 16"/Paper size 17" x 22", Edition of 30
Mark Shaw, Yves St. Laurent in His Studio

Image size 13.75" x 20"/Paper size 17" x 22", Edition of 30
Mark Shaw, Sophie Malgat in Gray Chiffon Dior in Dior's Paris Home

Outtake from a shoot for LIFE Nov. 9, 1953 issue. Mark Shaw's camera captured this Dior clad model in the sunroom of Dior's home in Passy. The house was originally built in the early 1900s for an actress of the Comedie Francaise.

Image size 22" x 22"/Paper size 24" x 36", Edition of 30
Mark Shaw, Lee Radziwill in White Silk Lanvin Castillo

In McCall's November 1962 issue Radziwill wrote "Another lovely Castillo dress is this one of white silk. It is strapless, and has a jacket of tulle, embroidered with amethyst-colored stones."

Radziwill's former palatial homes in England were decorated by the late Renzo Mongiardino.

Image size 22" x 32"/Paper size 24" x 36", Edition of 30
Mark Shaw, Picasso with Bettina Graziani in His Cannes Villa

Photographed for LIFE in 1955 in his new Cannes Villa, La Californie, Picasso celebrates his fashion debut by clowning around with a fedora and a sword. Top French model, Bettina Graziani, wears an outfit by American fashion designer Claire McCardell. The shirt's pattern was designed by Picasso in the style of one of his still lifes. All the Picasso paintings pictured had been completed within the past few months.

Image size 22" x 32"/Paper size 24" x 36", Edition of 30
Mark Shaw, Marc Chagall in His Studio With Model Wearing Fabric of His Design

Marc Chagall shown in his studio in Vence, France. Photographed by Mark Shaw for LIFE magazine in 1955. This LIFE story featured artists and their designs for fabrics for US firm Fuller Fabrics which were used by American Designer Claire McCardell. The Model here is Ivy Nicholson and she stands with Chagall in front of his painting Le Soleil Rouge.

Image size 22" x 32"/Paper size 24" x 36", Edition of 30
Mark Shaw, Fernand Leger in His Studio With Model Wearing Fabric in the Style of His Work

Photographed by Mark Shaw for LIFE in 1955, two weeks before his death, Fernand Leger posed for this final portrait in his Paris Studio. Leger's studio is the one he had worked in since 1913. British model Anne Gunning wears an ankle length gown by American Fashion Designer Claire McCardell. The fabric's pattern is in the style of Leger's work best seen in the painting of two women, left, and in the half hidden still life.

Image size 22" x 32"/Paper size 24" x 36", Edition of 30
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, the much anticipated 5th edition of Masterpiece London in association with RBC Wealth Management opened its doors for an eight day run on the magnificent south grounds of the Royals Hospital Chelsea.
Masterpiece London 2014 Preview. The Royal Hospital, Chelsea. London. 25 June 2014.
Dame Fiona Shackleton and Ian Shackleton. Tom Ford.
Anish Kapoor, Nicholas Logsdail, and Sophie Walker.
Collectors, curators, and designers are drawn there for the astonishing diversity of material. More than 150 international dealers present 3000 years worth of art history from antiquity to contemporary. Jewelry lovers will be enticed by eye-popping gems big and small. And sales are popping too.

Art is everywhere. Even before entering the elegant premises visitors are greeted with an exhibition of large scale sculpture by Philip King.
Inside the fair.
Tomasso Brothers Fine Art, Leeds & London.
Ursus Books Ltd. New York, NY.
Röbbig Munich, Germany.
Among the art set perusing the aisles were Hilary and Wilbur Ross, Gabrielle and Louis Bacon, Audrey Gruss, Kim Heirston-Evans,  Ellie Cullman, Scott Snyder, Martyn Lawrence Bullard ,Coco and Arie Kopelman, Iris and Ryan Erenstein, Natascha Abensperg und Traun, Natalie Abensperg und Traun, Natalie Langner, Eva Maria O'Neill, Rod Stewart  J.F. Courville, Tim Knox, Jeffrey Munger, Martin Chapman, Mitchell Owens, Miguel Flores Vianna, Susan Palmer, Amanda Dunsmore, Caroline Collier, Heather Kenzner, Nazy Vassegh, Philip Hewat Jaboor, Tom Ford, Charles Saatchi, Jay Jopling, Bruce Eichner, Elizabeth Saltzman, Jane Churchill, Frank DeBiasi, Elizabeth Estev, Sir Benjamin,Thomas Savage, Patrick Gallagher, Christine  Schwarzman, Gary Tinterow, Patrick Legrand, Princess  Ira von Furstenberg, and Princess Firyal of Jordan.

Daffyd Jones
and Rory Lindsay were there with their cameras taking it all in ...
Ellie Cullman, Philip Hewat-Jaboor, and Nazy Vassegh.
Rene Sattler with Ginta Siceva and Bogdana Kondrashina.
Sir Stuart Rose.
Milana Abensperg Und Traun and Countess Natascha Abensperg Und Traun. Elizabeth Saltzman and Charley Gloerfelt.
Artist Sue Webster Of Noble and Webster With Rosanna Le May.
Tim Jefferies and Edmondo Di Robiland.
Lara Ross and Bruce Eichner.
Viscount Windsor and Viscountess Windsor.
Eva Lanska. Oscar Humphries.
Sir Benjamin Slade and Marilyn Galsworthy.
Mia and Eva Fahler. Meredith Ostrom and Elisabeth Esteve.
Della Howard and Howard Hodgkin.
Sir Howard Hodgkin and Antony Peattie. Rosanna Le May and Sir Benjamin Slade.
Countess Christine Camerana and Ana Cristina Alverado.
Kim Heirston-Evans and Audrey Gruss.
Georgina Russell and Viscount David Linley.
James Stunt.
Lady Swire, David Ker, Simon Dickinson, and Sir Adrian Swire around a sculpture by Elisabeth Frink.
Hilary and Wilbur Ross.
Prof David Khalili. Jay Jopling.
Artists drawing at Jaeger - LeCoultre stand at Masterpiece 2014 London.
Natalie Abensberg und Traun, Natalie Langner, Kim Heirston-Evans, Eva Maria O'Neill, and Natascha Abensburg Und Traun.
Ivor Braka. Zarya Austin-Fell and Jeremy Kent.
Penny Lancaster and Rod Stewart.
Louis and Gabrielle Bacon with David Ker.
Mrs. Martin Summers. Lizzie Cundy and friends.
Heather Kezner and Nazy Vassegh.
Oisin Byrne, Jasper Conran, and Robin Woodhouse.
The Erensteins.
 

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