Bright cold day and night in Manhattan
An autumnal scene. 9:30 AM. Photo: JH.

Last night we went over to the Glenn Horowitz Gallery where he was exhibiting and selling memorabilia and art belonging to Brigid Berlin, the Andy Warhol Factory member who appeared in some of his films and played an important part in the development of Interview magazine which was revolutionary at the time (early 70s).

A self portrait of Brigid Berlin

Brigid’s father was Richard Berlin, the right hand man of William Randolph Hearst who was widely credited with having saved the then sinking Hearst empire after the “Chief’s” death in 1951, restoring it to a road where today, the family owned company has made the family even richer than the patriarch founder. Brigid’s mother “HoneyBerlin was a former Ziegfeld girl who after marriage integrated herself very stylishly into the New York smart set. So when daughter dear joined the Far Out (to put it mildly) Warhol Factory gang, things were not, shall we say “copasetic” around the Berlin mansions.

The collection on view at the Glenn Horowitz Bookshop are well worth the look (and maybe the purchase if you’re at all interested in the Life of Andy and his Factory). There are Polaroids Brigid took of Andy’s scar-crossed chest and stomach after the Valerie Soulanas attack as well as many of the Warhol people in their prime and some others too, including a photograph of an unrecognizable Dennis Hopper who forty years ago looked gaunt and Fonda-esque if you can believe it.

There is also a series of needlepoint pillows (Brigid is a compulsive needlepoint artist) that Brigid made for Dominick Dunne, referring to several of his famously covered trials – including Michael Jackson, Jon-Benet Ramsey and a combo of Saddam and Michael Jackson. There is also a needpoint covered fauteuil she did that is amazing. There are lots of diaries and books and one particular book that has an interesting beginning and a spectacular conclusion.

Brigid's “Cock Book,” which recently sold for $175,000 to artist Richard Prince

One wet and cold wintry day back in about 1969, Brigid was walking down Broadway around the Strand bookstore when she popped into a nearby bookshop and found a beautifully bound thick old book referred to as the Bible, containing entirely empty pages. So she bought the book and got into the habit of asking people to draw their portrait of a penis on each page. All kinds of people did, including Ned Rorem, Jane Fonda, Peter Fonda, Jean-Michel Basquiat,etc. She filled the book with the art-whim-porn and called it her “Cock Book.” Recently, going through her millions of boxes of memorabilia from those days, she realized that the book contained so many famous people including many artists, so she put it up for sale. And she sold it. For $175,000 to an artist – Richard Prince. A Warholian art story if there ever was one.

A Brigid Berlin polaroid of Truman Capote and Andy Warhol

JH got a shot of Bob Colacello leaning over a display case reading something from one of Brigid’s books. Bob got his start with Warhol, working on the original Interview and now gives lectures called From Warhol to Reagan (in reference to his biography of the Reagans – Ron and Nancy). All these years later, despite his close association with Andy he remains amazed at the profound impact of the artist whom many regard as influential in the last part of the 20th century as Picasso was in the first half.

On our way out JH caught some of the Warholian personages including the Dupont twins, Richard and Robert, who are in New York for the Thanksgiving holiday; film director John Waters, and Ultra Violet, and two of Brigid’s young nieces. The influence of Andy Warhol on creative sensibilities is now deeply established. The Brigid Berlin collection has aged in that the papers have darkened or the images have faded some, time-worn in fact, but still contemporary in content as if they were made only yesterday.

Bob Colacello
Virginia Coleman, Christophe de Menil, and Jane Holzer
L. to r.: Richard Mauro; Glenn Horowitz sandwiched between two Brigid Berlin needlepoint pillows; Rose Hartman.
L. to r.: A Jon-Benet Ramsey pillow from the collection of Dominick Dunne; Friends of Brigid.
Clockwise from above: A needpoint covered fauteuil; Robert and Richard Dupont with Guy Pearce; Brigid Berlin with her nieces Ellie and Dana.
A Michael Jackson and a Michael Jackson/Saddam pillow.
Another Dunne pillow
A Swifty's pillow
Flipping through one of Brigid's many travel books
Ultra Violet, John Waters, and Brigid Berlin
Last night was another long list; something for everyone ... or almost everyone – just for the record:

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House held their 18th
Annual Holiday Bazaar Preview Party at Sotheby’s. 500 New Yorkers. Clo Cohen, Audrey Gruss, John Rosselli, Diana Quasha, Albert Hadley, Sydney Shuman, Eva Dillon, John Knott, Felix Rohatyn, Helena Lehane, Tobie Roosevelt, Geoffrey Bradfield, Jamie Drake, Juan Montoya, Sheila Kotur. Designer evening bags based on Divas in History: Hepburn, Doris Day, (Doris Day? A diva?) Dietrich, Grace Kelly ... Cleopatra (a designer evening bag of the Queen of Egypt? You had to be there.) Made with fabrics donated by Quadrille by top New York designers like Geoffrey Bradfield, Charlotte Moss, Jamie Drake, Juan Montoya, Mrs. Kotur, Helena Lehane, and Miles Redd. Cocktails, buffet and shopping on the Boulevard of Shops. The Boulevard is open for shopping today and Saturday.

At Doubles, Lynn Chase’s Chase Wildlife Foundation’s “The Penguin Party, a Black and White and Red Night” honoring Dr. Dee Boersma for her work with the Magellanic Penguins of Punta Tumba, Argentina.

At the Puck Building, The Make-A-Wish Foundation
of Metro New York – 15th annual Holiday auction.

At the Marriott Marquis, “A Magical Evening”
with Glenn Close and Paul Newman in support of the Christopher Reeve Foundation. Black tie.

At the Latin Collector Gallery in Tribeca – the Israel Humanitarian Foundation’s Fall Fashion Gala with proceeds to benefit the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit at Sourasky Medial Center in Tel Aviv.

At CUNY, Fifth and 34th – the Academy Chancellors' Reading by Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets: Frank Bidart, Robert Hass, Susan Howe, Galway Kinnell, Philip Levine, Nathaniel Mackey, Heather McHugh, Susan Stewart, Ellen Bryant Voigt, C. K. Williams.

At the AIA’s New York Chapter’s Center for Architecture
– Reception and private viewing of the new design for the Museum of Arts & Design at Two Columbus Circle.

At the Museum of the City of New York
– The Huntington’s Disease Society of America Celebrates the City of New York. Proceeds benefiting the Center of Excellence at Columbia Health Sciences in New York City, and the George G. Powell Center of Excellence at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset.

At the Spike Gallery at 547 West 20th – a Private reception for the opening of Albert Shelton’s new exhibition, Line of Sight.

At Saks Fifth Avenue, David Chu helped celebrate the launch of Matthew Modine’s newbook, Full Metal Jacket Diary. 6 to 8 pm. David Chu Shop, on Six.



November 18, 2005, Volume V, Number 193
Photographs by JH/NYSD.com

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© 2006 David Patrick Columbia & Jeffrey Hirsch/NewYorkSocialDiary.com