Calling all Fellows and Young Fellows

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The ambiance at The Frick Collection's Spring Garden Party at Frick Madison.

Monday, June 5, 2023. A cooler weekend we’re leaving behind, although often sunny and bright with temps ranging from mid-70s to mid-60s and the high 50s at night. 

The town seems quieter traffic-wise. The Carl Schurz Park is the next block north from me. It’s beautiful with the greenery and flowers with a children’s playground for the little ones only, and the grownup’s activities in the court with hoops and nets and two dog runs (for large and small). And right on the river with the world passing by, coming and going. It’s small but overlooks the wide open space of the city in its boroughs, from the northern tip of Roosevelt Island and the RFK Bridge, all the way south to the Manhattan Bridge off Canal – with the park benches facing it all.

A quiet moment in Carl Schurz Park. Photo: JH.

At the northernmost point, adjacent to the park, is Gracie Mansion, the Mayor’s mansion. It has been occupying the spot that Archibald Gracie acquired for his country house 225 years ago. Its location commands the beauty of the park which provides just the slightest bit of the countryside that can settle your city nerves on any day. Just sitting on one of the many benches along the walk.

Which speaking of parks, I got a mailing soliciting membership in The Park from the Central Park Conservancy. And in the copy there was the following list of how your gift helps care for all that Central Park has to offer, which includes: “9 bodies of water, 21 playgrounds, 26 ballfields, 58 miles of paths, 250 acres of lawn, 843 total acres; 10,000 benches, 18,000 trees!” All for our personal pleasure.

Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon
And don’t forget about that hats! Photo: JH.

And it is so beautiful right now (and always), so beautiful that it sounds like I’m making it up. But in reality it’s donors’ dollars that have paid for its beauty and its upkeep. It’s kind of a miracle at this point in our metropolitan life. Some good news along the way. And proof that It Can Be Done!  

And while we’re on the subject. 

Last Wednesday the Frick Collection hosted its annual Spring Garden Party for the Collection’s most loyal supporters – the Fellows and Young Fellows. You may be familiar with it because we’ve covered it a number of times when it was held outdoors in the gardens on the Fifth Avenue side of the mansion.

Elsie De Wolfe
De Wolfe in Sardou’s Thermidor in 1891, playing the rôle of Fabienne.

Incidentally, if you happened to have read my Diary a couple of weeks ago about Ludwig Bemelman’s memoirish short but brilliant biography To The One I Love The Best about living in Beverly Hills during the WWII in the temporary home of Elsie deWolfe, Lady Mendl. It’s a very satisfying read on several levels. 

Lady Mendl, back in the day when she was simply Elsie, was a Broadway actress of a short period who turned away from it to become the first female designer/decorator. Two of her early clients who put her reputation on high forever after were Anne Morgan, J. Pierpont Morgan’s daughter who hired Elsie to do the interior design and decorating of the first Colony Club – at 120 Madison Avenue at 30th Street; and Henry Clay Frick. Elsie did the interior design of Mr. Frick’s new home and his now internationally famous collection — and the reason for this year’s Garden Party.

Meanwhile back to the Frick which is involved in creating more space for its work. No doubt Mr. Frick would have been proud. However, the now-museum had to be closed for the duration and, as many now know, the Frick transferred operations to a temporary home — Frick Madison on 75th and Madison, which is now in its final year.

Spring Garden Party ambiance.
Entering Frick Madison for the Spring Garden Party.

It is there that guests can experience the museum’s masterpieces, all reframed for Marcel Breuer’s modernist design. They can encounter highlights from what is now one of the world’s foremost collections of European paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts — ranging from the Renaissance to the early twentieth century. Ongoing right now is the once-in-a-lifetime temporary presentation including works by celebrated artists such as Bellini, Degas, Fragonard, Gainsborough, Goya, Ingres, Rembrandt, Titian, Van Dyck, Vermeer, and Veronese.

Guests in the galleries of Frick Madison at the Spring Garden Party.

Even if you are familiar with these paintings from your visits to The Frick, you will see them differently in the space created by M. Breuer, and there’s a thrill in the observing. This year’s event provided a preview of the new special installation, Nicolas Party and Rosalba Carriera. This is the museum’s second installation inspired by a volume fom the popular Frick Diptych book series.

The display features a site-specific pastel murl by Swiss-born artist, a response to the Frick’s Portrait of a Man in Pilgrim’s Costume by Rosalba Carrier, the renowned 18th century Venetian pastelist.

Guests view an installation by Nicolas Party.
Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon and Nicolas Party.
Installations by Nicolas Party at Frick Madison.

So there was no garden in the beautiful outdoors overlooking Fifth Avenue and Central Park where this event is usually held at the Frick on a beautiful late Spring evening. But there were cocktails and seasonally inspired hors d’oeuvres and desserts which were served in the lower garden area of the museum; and there was music provided by New York City-based jazz quartet, The Flail.

Music by The Flail.
Desolas Mezcal, Old Overholt, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and Quinn Rosé.
Catering: Olivier Cheng; Décor/Florals: Stellar Style Events; In-Kind Support: De Soi, Desolas Mezcal, Old Overholt, Quinn Rose, Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

The early evening’s leadership committee included Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Director Ian Wardropper, Ayesha Bulchandani, Emily T. Frick, Casey Kohlberg, Arielle Patrick, Matthew Christopher Pietras, Rochelle and Mark Rosenberg, Alexa Davidson Suskin, Mr. and Mrs. J. Fife Symington IV, Douglas Dockery Thomas, and Catherine Wang.

Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Director Ian Wardropper gives remarks in Frick Madison’s courtyard.
Anne L. Poulet Curatorial Fellow Anna-Claire Stinebring gives a gallery talk.
Museum Educator Rachel Himes gives a gallery talk.

Among the noted guests: Bosilika An, Helen Clay Chace, Elizabeth Eveillard, Emily T. Frick, Cassie Griffin, Alexander Hankin, Christian Keesee, Casey Kohlberg, Karen Gray-Krehbiel, Andrew Kreps, Michael Horvitz, Doron Langberg, Siniša Mačković, Bach Mai, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Nicolas Party, Arielle Patrick, Marc Payot, Keith Powers, Chiara Repetto, Jesse Wine and Margaret Zayer.

L. to r.: Peggy Fogelman and Event Hosts Mark and Rochelle Rosenberg; Celeste Matthews.
Kelly Rodigas, Event Host Arielle Patrick, and Nikki Stokes-Thompson.
L. to r.: Mark and Teresa Medearis; Carson Wos and Brian Michael Reed.
Leah Bizoumis, Carlos Picón, Trustee Christian Keesee, and Larry Keigwin.
L. to r.: Associate Director of Development Angie Calderwood; Harlan and Sabina Stone.
Aurela Dragani, Wilhelmina Gerken, Michael Espiritu, Jeff Fan, and Dhaval Ruwala.
L. to r.: Melody Clarke and Erick Brocoy; Connie Zhang and Rowan Daiksel.
Peter Evans, Trustee Karen Z. Gray-Krehbiel, Trustee Brad Evans, and Barbara Evans.
L. to r.: Trustee Michael J. Horvitz; Daria Sunanda and Jasmine Sugandha.
Davide Stefanacci, Av Marc, and Reem Abasi.
L. to r.: Board President Emerita Helen Clay Chace, Trustee Suzzara Durocher, and John Durocher; Jay Ross and Paul J. Miller.
Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Director Ian Wardropper, Event Host Alexa Suskin, and Marc Suskin.
L. to r.: Mackenzie Burkemper and Arielle Gross Samuels; Assistant Curator of Sculpture Giulio Dalvit and Event Host Ayesha Bulchandani.
Siniša Mačković, Margot Samel, August Krogan-Roley, Nicolas Party, and Chiara Repetto.
L. to r.: Alexander Hankin and Lathan Hall; Courtney Kelly and Melissa Kramer.
Sophie Elgort and Carolyn Pride.
L. to r.: Karen Francis and Nelson Zaldivar; Ava Grey.
Doron Langberg, Navin Bhatia, and Eli Lewis.
L. to r.: Helena Belloff and Blaike Young; Ivy Timlin.
Event Host Emily T. Frick, Evelyn Tompkins, and Ann Nitze.
L. to r.: Sarah Blakley-Cartwright and Nicolas Party; Deputy Director for External Affairs Tia Chapman, Assistant Curator of Sculpture Giulio Dalvit, and Head of Marketing Alexis Light.
Jackie Elfe.
L. to r.: Cassie Arison and Niv Alexander; Alexander Valcic and Jephtha Tausig.
James McLennan, Monika McLennan, Loie DeVore, and Sean Crosby.
L. to r.: Delia Folk and Nicole Veno; Di Mondo.
Ivy Timlin.
Katie Curtis Lynch, Geoffrey Bridges, and Head of Special Events William Reid.
Nicolas Party and Toyin Ojih Odutola.
August Krogan-Roley, Kathryn Sawabini, Nicolas Party, Frankie Sigman, and Daniel Noskin.
Sarah Williams, Lexi Costello, Eugenia Bullock, and Anna Goudis.
Deputy Director for External Affairs Tia Chapman, New York City Council Member Keith Powers, and Community Relations Manager Liz Daly.

Photographs by Yvonne Tnt/ & George Koelle

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