Young Collectors and Children of Paradise

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Rolling and scrolling. Photo: JH.

Diary 1_30_24. Yesterday was mainly overcast and cold but not that cold. We haven’t had a sunbreak for even a half day in sometime. I’m probably exaggerating, but it’s what it feels like. Without the white stuff, Mother Nature has retired until Springtime.  Although when the town’s around, the people keep going. It’s all reflected in our moods. It is for me anyway.

This past Thursday The Winter Show hosted its annual Young Collectors Night cocktail party benefiting East Side House Settlement at the Park Avenue Armory. The evening honored Paul Arnhold and Wes Gordon.

There were more than 700 young philanthropists, collectors, designers, and art, antiques, and design enthusiasts. And not so incidentally, all proceeds from the event directly support East Side House Settlement, a community-based organization serving the Bronx and northern Manhattan.


Laura Doyle, Josh Barba-Hill, Kevin Barba-Hill, Allegra Eifler, Justin Fichelson, Elise Taylor, Madeline O’Malley, Michael Diaz-Griffith, Laura Day Webb, Sam Dangremond, Anderson Somerselle, Tiffany Farney, Margaret Schwartz, and Lucinda May.

The gathering was said to be one of New York’s most anticipated art world events. Guests arrived dressed for the evening’s Jewel Box theme. And many enjoyed specialty cocktails including NightOwl espresso martinis, hors d’oeuvres by Canard, and danced into the night to music by DJ Jade Croo.

It was co-chaired by Joshua Barba-Hill, Kevin Barba-Hill, Sam Dangremond, Michael Diaz-Griffith, Laura Doyle, Allegra O. Eifler, Tiffany Farney, Justin Fichelson, Lucinda B. May, Madeline O’Malley, Camille Okhio, Margaret Schwartz, Anderson Somerselle, Elise Taylor, and Laura Day Webb.


Tiffany Farney, Dan Diaz, Natalie Lozada, Anderson Somerselle, Diana Rodriguez, and Margaret Schwartz.

Among the notables were luminaries from the worlds of art, design, fashion, and philanthropy such as: Julia Arnhold, Joelle El Sawalhi, Alexander Hankin, Adam Charlap Hyman, Elizabeth Kurpis, Kyle Marshall, Larry Milstein, Di Mondo, Irene Neuwirth, Polina Proshkina, Indré Rockefeller, Jamie Singer Soros, and Ariana Venturi.

Young Collectors Night was in partnership with Muzo Emerald Colombia, who dressed notable guests in exceptional emerald jewelry, and presented a special exhibition of rare emerald gemstones and finished jewels along with one-of-a-kind treasures from the famed shipwrecked Atocha Collection. Other partners included Harridan Vodka, NightOwl, William Grant & Sons, and Tepozán.


Indre Rockefeller, Wes Gordon, and Jamie Singer Soros.

If you don’t know by now, the Winter Show is the leading art, antiques, and design fair in America. It features more than 70 of the world’s top experts in the fine and decorative arts. It is a major annual benefit for East Side House Settlement, a community-based organization serving the Bronx and Northern Manhattan. The Show maintains the highest standards of quality in the art market. Each object is vetted for authenticity, date, and condition by a committee of 150 experts from the United States and Europe.

All revenues from the fair’s general admissions and the net proceeds from the Opening Night Party and other special events benefit East Side House and contribute substantially to its private philanthropic budget.


L. to r.: Laura Day Webb; Michael Diaz-Griffith and Alonso Díaz Rickards.
Helen Allen, Daniel Diaz, and Maureen Kerr.
Camille Okhio and Adam Charlap Hyman.
Elise Taylor.
Lane Gerson and Julia Arnhold.
Madeline O’Malley.
Paul Arnhold and Wes Gordon.
L. to r.: Elizabeth Kurpis; Natsayi Mawere and Alexandra Moncure.
Kyle Marshall.
L. to r.: Nell Rebowe; Joelle El Sawalhi.
L. to r.: Isiah Magsino; Larry Milstein.
L. to r.: Polina Proshkina; Di Mondo.
Jade Croo.

Then there’s Les Enfants du Paradis (Children of Paradise), a film that’s beguiled generations, including the Canadian multi-media artist Shary Boyle. As part of her ongoing exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), Outside the Palace of Me, the film was screened last week with an introduction by the performance artist John Kelly.

“One night at The Bleeker Street Cinema I saw Children of Paradise,” explained Kelly, “Something clicked. I was so moved by Jean-Louis Barrault’s performance as Baptiste, and his embodiment of the character Pierrot, that I cut up my sheets and made a copy of his costume …

“The character found me again and again … In the pre gentrification East Village, The Pyramid Club was our sacred turf and where I staged Pierrot, Pierrette, and Pet. The work we did in clubs feels like our version of the life that Baptiste and his cohorts epitomized in the film … Heroes exist to be emulated — the heady whiff of their myth can send us into raptures of creative striving, increase our momentum, and acquaint us with our foibles.”


John Kelly introducing Les Enfants du Paradis (Children of Paradise), 1945, at MAD.

John Kelly collaborated with photographer John Dugdale on a replication of Nadar’s photographs of Deburau as Pierrot.
John Kelly as Pierrot, photographed by James Hamilton.
L. to r.: Jean-Louis Barrault as Jean-Gaspard Deburau’s Pierrot in Children of Paradise (1945); ”Pierrot Lunaire” by John Kelly.

Following the screening, sixty friends and supporters were invited to a private dinner hosted by the Museum’s Chair Emerita, Barbara Tober, and their Director, Dr. Tim Rodgers. “We’ve seen a lot of LIFE on screen today, beauty and drama,” said Mrs. Tober as she warmly welcomed guests.

Among the throng were Yanna Avis, Han Feng, Helen Little, Nicole Miller and Kim Taipale, Irina and Andres Serrano, Dr. Layla S. Diba, Tiffany Dubin, Michele Gerber Klein, Afsaneh Akhtari-Smith, Karon Cullen Meyer, Liesl Schillinger, Margaret and Gregory Hedberg, Sylvia K. Hemingway, Jackie Hoffman, Laura Lobdell, Daphne Merkin, Michael Musto, Cheryl R. Riley and many more …


L. to r.: Afsaneh Akhtari, Millie Martini Bratten, and John Bratten; Han Feng.
L. to r.: Kim Taipale and Nicole Miller; Millie Martina Bratten and Ted Taylor.
L. to r.: Bradley Strauchen-Scherer and Erich Scherer; Helen Little.
Yanna Avis and Kathy Sloane.
Barbara Tober, Layla Diba, and Tiffany Dubin.
Irina Serrano, Andres Serrano, Tim Rodgers, and Michele Gerber-Klein.
Laura Lobdell, Sylvia Hemmingway, and Margaret Hedberg.
Gregory Hedberg and Barbara Tober.
Kathy Sloane and Dr. Brian Saltzman.
Michael Musto and Jackie Hoffman.
Nicole Miller and Elissa Auther.
Jeffrey Harakal, Barbara Tober, and Tim Rodgers.

Shary Boyle’s exhibition, Outside the Palace of Me, continues at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) through February 25th. The New York Times called it “a contemporary art fun house.” The Wall Street Journal said, “The Canadian artist’s solo show … warrants as many descriptions as she does: transportive, theatrical, whimsical, and captivating.”


And while we’re on the subject of “captivating,” last Wednesday Lauren Lawrence sent me this photo of herself and Nina Griscom lunching at Amaranth in 2017, with the words:

“Reminding you tomorrow, on Jan 25, Nina Griscom died 4 years ago. She was a dear friend and the bravest person I’ve ever known battling that treacherous disease with grace, charm, and humor until the end.”

It was more than a disease. It was torture, mentally and physically. Yet she wore her pain and anguish and all as a sunny day. At least if she were in the presence of others. As if Nina never knew. There are quite a few who remember her presence, her laughter and her bright sparkling eyes. It was all a natural glamour.


Photographs by Bre Johnson & Matteo Prandoni/BFA.com (Winter Show)

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