Monday, November 16, 2009

A Wonderful Exhibition

I saw recently a wonderful exhibition about an art dealer who was a collector, a showman and an exhibitionist.

Oh no, you are getting the wrong impression. Serge Sabarsky (1912-1996) not only showcased the Austrian art he so loved in his Madison Avenue gallery, but he also organized exhibitions that were presented all over the world. He was actually first an actor and stage designer in his home town of Vienna. As he told it, he found his love of art when he went to the dentist at the age of 10. He first saw the erotic watercolors of Egon Schiele on the wall of the dentist’s office and he was hooked for life. After that his mother could never understand why he didn’t complain about going to see the dentist!

The exhibition celebrating his life and his collection is at a gem of a museum in New York, “The Neue Galerie” ( which focuses on the art at the turn of the last century in Germany and Austria. The museum was founded by Serge and his great friend and patron, Ronald Lauder. Together they did a beautiful conversion of a 1914 mansion where Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt lll once lived.

The exhibition includes Sabarsky’s great private collection of paintings, drawings, prints and posters by such artists as Schiele, Klimt, Kubin, Kokoschka, and Kandinsky. But be sure reserve 20 minutes for the film (shown in a continuous loop) about Serge as told by him and his friends.

If you have time, treat yourself to lunch or tea on the ground floor of the museum at New York’s only conditerei; The Sabarsky CafĂ©, so aptly named after a great raconteur and gourmet.

1 comment:

  1. I had the pleasure of knowing Serge Sabarsky. It's so good to find this reminiscence here. He was charming and unassuming, with the gift for being interested rather than interesting. One of the greats, I must say!
    Nicholas Wolfson