For those special occasions

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The evening sky. 5:40 PM. Photo: JH.

Thursday, February 6, 2020.  The Winter-grey dull overcast, with temps in the 40s, yesterday, was a drop from 60 just the night before here in New York. Rain forecast in the area  (it often misses New York) and temps in the mid-to-upper 40s for the next couple of days. 

This past Monday night The Frick Collection hosted its annual Director’s Circle Dinner. The black tie dinner is always held in what was the dining room of the Frick mansion. It is, as it was intended by Mr. Frick, to be like a state dining room and used for special occasions. 

It was designed/decorated in the early days of the 2oth century by Sir Charles Allom, the go-to British architect/decorator of the late 19th century tycoons and aristocrats. He was in his mid-40s when he was hired by Mr. Frick to furnish the house on Fifth Avenue and 70th Street which was completed in the second decade.


Guests in the Dining Room.
Catering by Sonnier & Castle.

His workshops in London produced the plasterwork and  boiseries throughout the mansion. The furnishings were kept muted so as not to compete with Mr. Frick’s collection which was always intended to become a gift to the public (and his legacy).

On a daily basis, the Dining room is part of the public viewing of collection including several portraits of English aristocrats by Thomas Gainsborough, a John Hoppner and a George Romney (18th century). In these special evenings at the Frick it is impossible not to feel transported to another age or ages, and serenely so in that historical design and art environment.

The evening’s program included a presentation by The Frick Collection’s Xavier Salomon, the Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator, on Titian’s portrait of Pietro Aretino, circa 1537. The work, on view in the museum’s Living Hall gallery, was recently conserved at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and will be the subject of an upcoming volume in the Frick’s Diptych Series.


Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon presenting on Titian’s portrait of Pietro Aretino.

Titian was a close friend of the writer, poet, playwright, and satirist who was famous in his day (1492–1556). Aretino was known by his contemporaries as the “scourge of princes” — for his critiques and correspondence that sometimes verged on blackmail. In this particular work, Aretino, then in his 45th year, is imposing in presence, gripping his fur-lined vest with a gloved hand, his grey beard mingling with the brown fur. A heavy gold chain hangs over his chest and shoulders.


Titian’s portrait of Pietro Aretino.

Through the figure’s pronounced corpulence, Titian captured the monumental personality of Aretino. In this portrait – one of three of him painted by Titian, Aretino’s upturned gaze connotes the intellect of the humanist writer. His poetry and prose are among the most significant of the 16th century.

Once again, it was a memorable, special evening at the Frick.


Thomas Outerbridge, Annabelle Selldorf and Mark Rosenberg.
Steven Berzin and Neil Westreich.
Trustee Brad Evans and Barbara Evans.
Sarah Papineau, President Emerita Helen Clay Chace, and Monika McLennan.
Janine Hill, Richard Bott, J. Tomilson Hill, and Board of Trustees Chairman Betty Eveillard.
Noi Noimany and Megan McNeal.
Luke Weil and Krissy Jones.
Trustee Kathleen Feldstein, Trustee Sidney R. Knafel, Londa Weisman, and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon.
Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Director Ian Wardropper and Deborah Royce.

Last week I got an email from my friend Silda Wall Spitzer:

“I am so excited to let you know that New York Makers, where every product has a story, is teaming up with Luv Michael, a handcrafted, organic granola company that trains, educates, and employs individuals with autism, to demonstrate how Valentine’s Day is all about collaboration and connectivity.”

The New York Makers + Luv Michael Valentine’s Pop Up will be open at Luv Michael’s Tribeca storefront, 42 Walker Street between Broadway and West Broadway in Tribeca, from next Wednesday, February 12th, through Saturday, February 15th. Hours will be Wednesday through Friday 12 noon to 6:30 pm, and Saturday 10 am to 5 pm. It’s easy to find! Just take the subway to Canal Street and walk a couple blocks.


The New York Makers + Luv Michael Valentine’s Pop Up at Luv Michael’s Tribeca storefront, 42 Walker Street.

They will have a great selection of Valentine’s Day delights, including gorgeously handcrafted-in-NYC paper flower bouquets and single stems made by artist Poy T. Granati of  Summer Space Studio


Timeless Valentine’s Bouquet made of paper flowers by artist Poy T. Granati of Summer Space Studio, $45.

Chocolate-scented candles made in the Adirondacks, DIY heart needle felting kits made in Central New York …


DIY Heart Needle Felting Kit, $18.00.
Red Currant Candle, made exclusively for New York Makers, $20.

Their popular “crack” toffee produced in Queens …


Coffee Toffee with Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, $9.99.
Sol Cacao 70% Peru Dark Chocolate bar, $8.

Love Struck Bitters from the Hudson Valley …


Love-Struck Bitters, $19.99.

And, of course, some delectable flavors of New York Makers’ very own jam made in Germantown.


Silda’s Blackberry Lemon Lavender Jam, $12.75.

Mention your friends and family code of “LOVE” and get 10% off every New York Makers purchase.

In addition, Luv Michael will be offering their classic Originola and Mocha Granol, along with other mouth-watering baked goods.

If you cannot visit in person, most of our items are available here.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Luv Michael Valentine’s Gift Basket, (price varies).

Photographs by Christine A. Butler (Frick)

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