Tag Archives: Metropolitan Museum of Art

NYMysteries: May 20 —  May 26

Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

Catholic clothes at the Metropolitan Museum

 

One Size Fits All

Aside from one incredibly rude guard who would be at home torturing Riker inmates, it was a lovely visit. In the Anna Wintour – What a giggle – Costume Center, Catholicism displayed its visual strength through gorgeous costumes and stunning jewelry. Hushed, like a church, people gazed or frowned at the jewel infested crowns, some muttering about how many poor people the cost of that crown would feed. Catholic hierarchy understood how beautiful architecture, sculpture, paintings, seep into an innocent’s subconscious, establishing an eternal bond. The wily Jesuits claimed that if they got you by seven, you were theirs for life. Seventeenth century popes, Urban VIII and Alexander VII, were forerunners of today’s CEOs. To counter the reformation, in addition to the Inquisition, they worked Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s pious fingers to the bone. I took this photo at Villa D’Este, a sixteenth century summer palace for one of the Estes family.  It’s Bernini’s Oval Fountain, set against a rustic shrine dedicated to a nymph. Among his many masterpieces, Bernini is known for The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, Apollo and Daphne as well as his work on St. Peter’s and the Four Rivers Fountain in Piazza Navona.  

 

 

Bernini’s Oval Fountain, Villa D’Este

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graphic Lessons: Recent thirty-five-year-old widow Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a stabbed and dying man in the school kitchen, deals with the only witness to the stabbing – a troubled nine-year-old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek is assigned a murder case at the  prestigious Windsor School. What’s bugging him? His partner being stabbed while Kulchek was buying cigarettes? Escaping an attempted car bombing?  His hated boss, Captain Dick Holbrook, being a trustee of the Windsor School?  Losing his girlfriend to Holbrook? 

New York Mysteries Dec. 16 – Dec. 23

A friend and I met at Rosemary’s on Greenwich Avenue. Since I arrived first, I ordered Negronis, his favorite aperitif. Forget that. Rosemary’s serves only beer and wine. But what wine. One of the owners suggested we try Terlaner since we were having some prosciutto and focaccia followed by the linguini with preserved lemon (what’s that?) and for dessert, yummy affogato. A lovely early supper.

 

 

A delicious white wine

Grazie is a cozy, well run restaurant steps away from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Getting a dinner reservation near the Met at this time of year is almost impossible. We settled on 5 p.m. so we could have plenty of time to get to The Met’s New York Baroque Incorporated. It was a mostly French evening. It began with the music of Jean-Baptiste Lully, an Italian born composer who worked at Louis XIV’s court. It was followed by Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes and George Frideric Handel’s Suite from Terpsichore. The music was wonderful, the period dancing so-so and the incorrect Met directions frustrating.

Judson Memorial Church is on a roll. It’s thrilling to be in a packed church. One of the main reason is the music. Judson has always had a strong musical tradition and the not so new music director, Henco Espag lives up to the tradition.

Judson Memorial Church

Graphic Lessons: Recent thirty-four-year-old widow Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a stabbed and dying man in the school kitchen, deals with the only witness to the stabbing – a troubled nine-year-old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie.

Graphic Lessons: Something’s eating at NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case? It doesn’t matter because he’s relentless.

NewYork Mysteries May 28 – June 3

At the IFC, Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary is playing. What a documentary. Coltrane’s ability as a composer, musician and good husband and father are celebrated by family and friends. He absorbed Christianity and practiced charity. His music reflected this. “Alabama” was his piece written to honor four black girls killed by racists. He travelled to Japan to play for the Japanese. What a guy. He’s been declared a saint by a  San Francisco Church. I find the concept creepy but who cares?

On Memorial Day a friend and I walked around the beautiful, deserted, rainy Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. We were in the Japanese Gardens and Shakespeare’s Garden.

 

 

The Japanese Garden, Brooklyn Botanical Garden
The Japanese Garden,  Brooklyn Botanical Garden

The Met’s exhibit of Chinese Art of the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 B. C. – A. D. 22) wasn’t crowded but it was dark. The lack of light added to the mysterious, foreign atmosphere. How did the farm animal ceramics survive? Military figures and their chariots abound. Since it’s on the second floor I walked down the stairs to the Great Hall. For the first time I noticed the benefactors plaques that hang on the stairway walls. Each plaque is dated in Roman numerals The first: MDCCCLXX-MCMXX (1870-1920) has a list of the rich and powerful men of that era: Joseph Pulitzer, Benjamin Altman, among others. Other luminaries on other plaques include Junius S. Morgan, J. Pierpont Morgan, John Jacob Astor and Ira Gershwin.

Graphic Lessons: Recent thirty-five-year-old widow Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a stabbed and dying man in the school kitchen, deals with the only witness to the stabbing – a troubled nine-year-old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies.

Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears three people fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie.

Something’s eating at NYPD Det. Steve Kulchek: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case? It doesn’t matter because he’s relentless.

New York City Blog – March 27 – April 2

The Ladies that Lunch Week

A friend was sitting down the block at Rosemary’s on Greenwich Ave. It’s a large restaurant. I was seated at the other end wondering where she was. Finally, a waiter put two and two together and pointed us out to each other. We quickly made up for lost time by ordering a delicious, weird pasta dish – linguine with preserved lemon (what’s that?), pickled chili, and parmigiano. Hasn’t parmigiano joined several other Italian words i. e. ciao, al dente, balsamic that have crept into American lingo? After racing through the linguini in record time and still feeling a bit peckish, I averted my eyes from a hateful brussel sprouts dish and ordered lard, soppressa and homemade focaccia. With the help of a glass or two of white and red, my friend and I mosied down memory lane. it was a delicious lunch.

At the Met a friend and I went dutifully to the Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun exhibit. Le Brun was a survivor. She lived during the turbulent years, 1755-1842, painted for the ill-fated court of Louis the Sixteenth, escaped France with her head, and lived in exile in Austria and Russia. If only we could have appreciated her art. It’s superior candy box, the kind of criticism that is regularly thrown unjustly at Renoir. We then wandered past some Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780 -1867). What a difference. He painted, like Le Brun, the aristocracy. He caught their hauteur. And can anyone else paint textiles like Ingres? There’s a painting of a gorgeous, snooty Blessed Virgin worshipping the Host. From the expression on her face, to quote my friend, you wonder if it’s vice versa. The 1775 portrait of Moltedo has the subject clothed in rich, opulent cloth and soft, very strokeable fur. Then, we went in search of one of my favorites, Stuart Davis. At last we uncovered one painting of the Jefferson Market. Once upon a time the Met had an entire room devoted to Davis’s art. Onward to the Islamic Art galleries and the flow and diversity of Arabic calligraphy.  We then headed to the members dining room and feasted on delicious crab cakes and the lovely spring view of Central Park.

Somebody’s got to do it.

Le Brun, Self- Portrait
Le Brun, Self- Portrait
Ingres's Portrait of Joseph-Antoine Molted (1775)
Ingres’s Portrait of Joseph-Antoine Moltedo (1775)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edward Snowden  “They frame this false choice between security and privacy. But you can have both … Surveillance isn’t about safety. It’s about power.”