I had such a magical trip to New York on so many levels! The highlight was attending the 151st American Watercolor Society's Exhibition and Award Dinner. I was so honored to receive the Winsor & Newton Award for my painting Maiko's Misedashi. The best part of the evening was meeting so many of the artists in the exhibition that I had only known on line. I loved being able to make the personal connections and share the joyous camaraderie with everyone!
Here is a panoramic view of the upper gallery before the award dinner. I was like a kid in a candy store looking at all the work.
Another view looking back toward the front entrance of the upper gallery. Out of a few thousand entries from all over the world the jury selects only one hundred and forty four paintings. Only thirty two paintings win awards. Winning this award will be one of the highlights of my art career.
The exhibition and headquarters for the American Watercolor Society is at the historic Salmagundi Club, on Fifth Avenue just a couple blocks up from Washington Square, in Greenwich Village. This club is one the oldest art organizations in the country founded in 1871. A roster of former members include, George Inness, William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and Andrew Wyeth, just to name a few. Sir Winston Churchill is an honorary member. The club owns over 1,500 works of art spanning its, 147 years. It just reeks of history and you can feel it when you walk in the door. It is also one of the only surviving brownstones in Manhattan.
One of my favorite museums to visit is the Neue Galerie where the famous "Woman in Gold" or "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer" by Gustav Klimt is housed in an old mansion on Fifth Avenue on the Upper East Side. Seeing this work in person takes your breath away and I never get tired of seeing it. There are also some incredble pieces from the Wiener Werkstatte, Vienna in the museum.
A highlight of a visit to the Neue Galerie is having lunch or a typical Viennese dessert. Within the museum is the Café Sabarsky, it really captures the interior and feeling of an authentic Viennese Coffee Shop! They are also open for dinner and feature cabaret shows on certain evenings of the month.
A café Vienne at the Café Sarbarsky
While I'm on the subject of food, one of my all time favorite things to eat is Japanese Ramen. I will go on a Ramen quest to find a good bowl. This trip I returned to one of my favorite places, Momofuku Noodle Bar and tried a new place, Ivan Ramen. If you are Ramen obsessed and subscribe to Netflix you might enjoy The Mind of a Chef, Season 1 Ep. 1 featuring Chef David Chang of Momofuku Noodle Bar and Chefs Table, Volume 3, Ep. 4 featuring chef Ivan Orkin.
I'm a huge jazz fan, and listen to mostly jazz, classical and world music while I paint. One of my bucket list to do's was to see Wynton Marsalis live. I got to check that one off my list this trip! He performed with his orchestra at Jazz at Lincoln Center featuring the music of Count Basie and Duke Ellington. The second half was solely Duke Ellington's Black, Brown & Beige, his longest most ambitious composition. Here is a link to a good recording I found featuring Ellington with Mahalia Jackson.
No visit to New York is complete for me without visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Met. I’m always anxious to see the floral designs in The Grand Hall. Each visit I pick a certain area to focus on and really take my time. Temporary exhibitions get priority. This visit there was an excellently curated exhibit “Visitors to Versailles.” Stay tuned for a future blog post on that. This trip I went to The Met three times. It's like going to church for me.
Another place to visit that is part of The Met is The Met Cloisters. I had a wonderful day there with my daughter Alaina. Located on 4 acres overlooking the Hudson River near 120th Street, it is the museum dedicated to the architecture, gardens and art of medieval Europe.
The herb garden features only medicinal herbs or those used for utilitarian purposes such as dying cloth. Scottish Thistle seed pods were used as down for stuffing for bedding and clothing.
The Cloisters are known for their collection of medieval unicorn tapestries.
We just missed by eleven days the opening of the Costume Institutes 2018 spring exhibition at The Met, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination. This annual spring exhibition coincides with The Met Gala which is the Costume Institute’s Benefit which Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine co-chairs. This year will be her 20th Gala. The Gala is always held on the first Monday of May, the only day The Met is closed. Whenever I need an inspirational pick me up, I love to watch the documentary, “The First Monday in May,” made for the 2015 exhibition, China: Through the Looking Glass, which features Andrew Bolton, curator for the Costume Institute. This years exhibition will be the largest, featuring papel robes and accessories that have never left the Vatican and Catholic and religious influenced fashions from the worlds leading designers. The exhibition will be showing in three locations, The Met Fifth Ave Galleries, The Met Costume Institute, and The Met Cloisters.
Here is a video in which Andrew Bolton, curator of the Costume Institute expounds on the exhibition and how designers have been influenced by Catholic imagery.
One of the gowns not yet unveiled in the Medieval Art Gallery at The Met Fifth Avenue.
Installation in progess in the Byzantine Gallery at The Met Fifth Avenue.
As an artist and designer I always find fascinating where other artists and designers get thier inspiration and especially enjoy the behind the secenes curation of a major exhibition such as this. If you are as fascinated as I am and are a Netflix subscriber here is the link to the docuementary, "The First Monday in May."