Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Beauty is the signature

Looking south from the top of The Carlyle Hotel. 1:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Tuesday, June 13, 2017. Hot in New York, a brilliant Sun, warm heat; not muggy, at least over here by the river. The weatherman said it will pass tomorrow. You can feel the summer (in the city) coming on.

Last Friday evening JH and his wife Danielle, and I went to dinner for the first time to the new Majorelle, Charles Masson’s restaurant in the Lowell on East 63rd Street. I’d already heard a lot about it, and read a couple of the reviews. Mainly I’d heard how much people liked it and how they’re going to be regulars.
The view from our table.
Charles was associated with his father’s restaurant La Grenouille for most of his life, so opening a new venture of his very own brought with it comparisons and expectations to the past. There are no comparisons. This is a new, fresh road set out with all the accoutrement of elegance and comfort in the room and at table.

So you see, we liked it. Michael Smith, the great interior designer from California (and now the world) designed the interior. It bears his imprimatur, which is smart, sophisticated with references to the classic, and comfortable. Charles’ great floral arrangements accompany the decor. Beauty is the signature. Good for all of us. Now more than ever.
The Hollandaise sauce, which accompanied the Asparagus Vinaigrette.
Oyster and Endive Salad.
Shell Steak with Peppercorns and Armagnac with Asparagus and Ramps.
Tagine of Couscous, Lamb Shank, and Harrisa Lamb Jus Braised Ox Tail with Root Celery Purée.
The Triumph of Flora. Last Wednesday, June 7th, the Frick Collection hosted its annual Spring Garden Party for Fellows. The theme was Flora and the Triumph. This Flora refers to an upcoming exhibition of floral decorated porcelain. The exhibit is called Fired by Passion: Masterpieces of Du Paquier Porcelain from the Sullivan Collection.

The show was inspired by the generous gift of 14 pieces of Du Paquier porcelain which was made to the Frick last year by Paul Sullivan and Trustee Melinda Martin Sullivan. The exhibition includes forty tureens, drinking vessels, platters, and dishes, all produced at the Du Paquier manufactory between 1720 and 1740. The exhibition not only explores the early years of the Viennese manufactory and its rivalry with the Royal Meissen Manufactory, outside of Dresden, but also the characteristics of its unique production, highlighting the eclectic mix of references—many of them Asian—that inspired the porcelain’s designs and decorations. Splendid examples with coats of arms and heraldic symbols from commissions across Europe illustrate the manufactory’s success and influence beyond Vienna.
Frick Director Ian Wardropper, Board Chairman Betty Eveillard, Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier Salomon, Paul Sullivan, and Frick Board Member Melinda Martin Sullivan.
Back to the Party in the Garden. The photograph taken just before sunset of the guests in the lawn/garden fronting Fifth Avenue describes it perfectly. It’s a beautiful environment to be enjoying a late Springtime evening in Manhattan, across from the Park. The dress is “up” rather than the now conventional almost mindless “down.” You get the feeling everyone enjoyed that moment of  “up” personally as well as in the surroundings. It’s also a very relaxing party. A lot of people know each other and many don’t. So there is no pressure to socialize as well more than enough to watch and see and enjoy.
Guests in the Fifth Avenue Garden.
Meanwhile, all of the atmospheric permanent collection (all that “Flora”) galleries were on view, as well as those for special exhibitions, and the Music Room. Additionally, the rarely seen second floor of the former Frick mansion was open to guests on this special night. When the Fricks actually lived in the house, their quarters were mainly on the second floor, like a very large, stately and comfortable apartment overlooking Fifth Avenue and the Park. 
The famous Lady Mendl, Elsie DeWolfe was hired to design the interior. All of those rooms are now used for the business of the Collection now, including the executives’ and staff offices, but they have retained much of the basic interior design including a Chinoiserie painted panel covering the arched ceiling in the corridors. If you’ve never seen the tour of the House that JH and I made in 2011, it’s interesting (click here).
The Frick bowling alley, built with the construction of the house in 1913-14, contains 2 lanes and a non-mechanized ball return that functions still, operating by the grace of pure physics.
Back to the party. Cocktails, wine, beer, and various seasonally inspired hors d’oeuvres and desserts were served in the garden. And there was the music of the noted jazz quartet The Flail. Inside the house Dr. UNOs & Dubs will spin contemporary tracks for guests dancing in the Music Room all evening long.
Catering by Creative Edge.
Drinks in Fifth Avenue Garden.
Among the crowd: Frick Collection Director Ian Wardropper, Ayesha Bulchandani, Barbara and Brad Evans, Betty and Jean-Marie Eveillard, Caitlyn Frank, Emily T. Frick, Sidney R. Knafel and Londa Weisman, Elizabeth Kurpis, Monika McLennan, Bryan and Megan Ramm, Marianna and Juan Sabater, Melinda and Paul Sullivan, Brahm Wachter and scores more. It’s a great party also because it’s a mix of generations, in a lovely atmosphere on what turned out to be a lovely evening in New York with no extending purpose except to enjoy it. A noble task and a great gift to the guests.

Oh, the passed hors d’oeuvres included bite size cubano sandwiches; chicken & waffles; grilled cheeseburgers; lobster paella, tuscan grilled lemon shrimp; yellowfin tuna burgers; baby artichokes; hazelnut grapes; kale caesar salad bites; and wine & cheese bites on walnut crisp. Desserts followed with chewy chocolate caramel tartlets; key lime pie "pops"; banana pudding parfait; and whoopie pies.
Frick Deputy Director for External Affairs Tia Chapman and Douglas and Tita Hyland.
Isabel Slokar and Frick Senior Curator Susan Galassi.
Paul Sullivan, Frick Board Member Melinda Martin Sullivan, and Frick Director Ian Wardropper.
Yan Assoun and Polina Proshkina. Dr. Lara Devgan and Lucy Lang.
Christian Keesee, Lawrence Keigwin, Denby Liu, and Bruce A. Crooker.
Frick Board Member Bradford Evans and Barbara Evans.
Frick Board Member Peter P. Blanchard and Sofia Blanchard.
Charles and Martha Fuhrmann with Christine Schwarzman and Board Member Stephen A. Schwarzman.
Tim Matusch and Marie Piche. Mick and Caitlin Davis.
Wolfram Koeppe and Marina French.
Sophie Evekink, Michael Espiritu, Margaret Babbington, Laura Webb, and Kathryn Kerns.
Janie Woo and Stephen K. Scher with Frick Andrew W. Mellon Chief Librarian Stephen Bury.
Sally and Howard Lepow. Samantha Maes and Brahm Wachter.
Guta Barra, Sergio Orozco, Frick Board Member Monika McLennan, and Oliver Link.
Frick Assistant Museum Educator for Lectures and Programs Persephone Allen, Frick Interpretive Fellow Charles Kang, Frick Education Assistant Rachel Himes, Frick Education Assistant Vincent Tolentino, Frick Manager of Education and Public Program Adrienne Lei, and Frick Associate Museum Educator for Academic Programs Caitlin Henningsen.
Katherine G. Reibel, Ryan Donovan, and friend.
Amory McAndrew and Elizabeth Kurpis. Veronica Kennedy and Lauren Demarest.
Frick Associate Curator Aimee Ng, Paul Sullivan, and Henry Arnhold.
Lindsay Eisenkraft, Russell Grant, Barbara and Donald Tober, and Louise Nicholson.
Frick Curatorial Assistant for Decorative Arts Geoffrey Ripert and Derek Lingle. Frick Senior Manager of Media Relations and Marketing Alexis Light and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier Salomon.
James O'Brien and Associate Director for Individual Giving Karaugh Brown.
Holly Holden and Tita Hyland. Stephanie Nass.
Larry Milstein, Toby Milstein, Lia Ehrlich, and Thomas Higgins.
Jennifer Farrell, Josette Winograd, Julie Wald, and Petar Krbavac Sanders.
Twilight in the Fifth Avenue Garden.

Photographs by Christine A. Butler & Samantha Nandez/BFA.com

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