Friday, February 2, 2018

I happen to like this town

Looking south along Sixth Avenue from 53rd Street. 5:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Friday, February 2, 2018. Grey and mild yesterday in New York with temps almost touching 50 midday and falling below 30 late night with some snowy rain moving through.

Today is the 95th birthday of our late beloved Liz Smith.

There is a memorial for her beginning at noon at the Majestic Theater on West 44th Street. If you don’t make it, you can read about it here on Monday morning.
Yesterday, as you may remember if you came by, I reported on the Mod New York fashion exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, which opened this past Wednesday evening. Leaving the exhibit with my camera, I ran into this door about the stairwell. Frankly my curiosity got the best of me. I had to see what would make a stairwell “exciting.” So I took the stairs (I was on the third floor).
Well, I loved it. It’s just one of those short, interesting, amusing, enhancing trips. It’s a sentimental journey for us spectators. All these words about what the City is like for some, for all, for a few of us. It’s also an insight to the personalities of those who are quoted. The Thomas Jefferson quote made me laugh but especially considering he must have said that back about 200 years ago. Even then?

So I decided this stairwell should get its own page.  I think I got most of the quotes although I didn’t get the images of the city and its denizens at certain times.
A few days ago at the Met, LongHouse Reserve invited friends for a private tour of the Abbey Collection of Japanese Bamboo Art. Diane and Arthur Abbey joined John Carpenter, The Met’s Mary Griggs Burke Curator of Japanese Art, for a fascinating tour of one of the season’s most popular exhibitions. Although the museum has long collected bamboo art this is their first major exhibition.  Japanese basketry has always been considered an art form and many of the artists included in the exhibition are national treasures.  
LongHouse founder Jack Lenor Larsen praised The Met show as “wonderfully installed with its folding screens, painted with the groves of tall bamboo that these baskets are made of.”  He discoursed on the various types of bamboo, including the winter-hardy variety that surrounds their gardens.  Most importantly he explained, “We have at LongHouse a hundred baskets, assembled over six decades, from dozens of cultures and craft makers working today in many places, using diverse materials including bark and leather, fine metal, and many woody elements.  Along with these baskets in all sizes are works in basketry materials and structures, including furniture, weapons, masks, and jewelry.” LongHouse had its own exhibition of bamboo baskets from the Cotsen Collection in 2001.  

After the tour, guests walked to Diane and Arthur Abbey’s art-filled apartment for cocktails. The breadth of their collections, the paintings, sculptures, art deco furniture, and ceramics—in addition to their bamboo works—as well as the warmth of their welcome, made the evening a special one.
Dr. Richard Dranitzke, Arthur Abbey, Dianne Benson, and Jack Lenor Larsen.
Jack Lenor Larsen and Diane Abbey. Dr. Tara Allmen and Sherri Donghia.
Guests included Tara Allmen, Judy Auchincloss, Judy and Ennius Bergsman, Tiffany Dubin, Julie Jensen, Sara Khalifa, Barbara Slifka, Barbara and Donald Tober, as well as LongHouse president Dianne Benson, executive director Matko Tomicic, curator Wendy Van Deusen, and board members Vincent Covello, Sherri Donghia, Dr. Richard Dranitzke Nina Gillman, Lou Gropp, Peter Olsen, and Lee Skolnick.

LongHouse Reserve is a 16-acre reserve and sculpture garden located in East Hampton, NY, featuring pieces from Buckminster Fuller, Yoko Ono and William de Kooning to name a few.  LongHouse Reserve exemplifies living with art in all forms. Its collections, gardens, sculpture and programs reflect world cultures and inspire a creative life.
Dr. Tara Allmen and Matko Tomicic. Diane Abbey and Carol Mandel.
Nina Gillman, Dianne Benson, Jonathan Marder, and Elena Prohaska Glinn.
John Carpenter and Dr. Richard Dranitzke. Dr. Vincent Covello and Blair Gazza.

Contact DPC here.