Sunday, April 3, 2016

Decisions: Planning a Trip (to New York)

I was just reading an article in the March 28 issue of The New Yorker called “The Perfect Fit: Shopping in Tokyo” by David Sedaris where he quoted his sister as saying, “Why go to a store when you could go to a museum.”  His reply, “Um, because the museum doesn’t sell shit?”  That is an interesting division because the stereotype would be that the male/female roles have been reversed!

Fortunately or unfortunately depending on your point of view both my wife and I side with Sedaris’s sister.  This issue probably makes us rather boring unless you happen to be in the art world.  My parents had a French friend who was a dealer in 18th century French furniture who they said they had trouble inviting him to a dinner party because he only talked about his business!

Now I am faced with 5 full days in New York and like these Missives I will have to leave so much out that it will be very frustrating.  I received an email from a friend from school when I was wondering what I was going to write about.  He sent me an article about a Native American exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York which is located at the Alexander Hamilton U. S. Customs House.  it traces the evolution of the Plains Indian Tribes Narrative Art from the 18th century up to contemporary works.  Since I missed what must have been a truly phenomenal and much broader show which was originated by the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City and was also at the Metropolitan Museum, I really would like to see this one.

If I had to pick one favorite institution in New York, you know the one you feel your friends have to see particularly if they are not necessarily arts people, I would be torn between The Frick Collection and the Neue Galerie.   Both are well focused collections in grand New York mansions with rotating special exhibitions superbly focused.  I wrote previously about the van Dyck exhibition at the Frick.  At the Neue Galerie they recently opened 2 shows that I am keen to see “Munch and Expressionism” and  “The Expressionist Nude”.  The museum is dedicated to the art of the late 19th and early 20th century in Austria and Germany, which greatly interests me.

Fountain Court at the Frick
The Grand Staircase at the Neue Galerie

Of course, I will visit my warehouse rooms where some of my art and most of my New York business files are stored.  I need to review inventory both business and private and research some of the material that people have asked me to do in regard to provenance research.  I hope to visit with Diana Nixon and Vince Hickman who were such wonderful and loyal assistants when I had the gallery.  Vince still puts my Missives on line and Diana does research in the archive for the many people who want information on the history of my family gallery and what they sold in the past.

One of our warehouse rooms

Can’t go to New York without going to the Metropolitan Museum.  While there are probably more that a dozen exhibitions there, one big reason I am going back is to see the show, “VigĂ©e Le Brun: Woman Artist in Revolutionary France”.  It opened at the Grand Palais and was curated by Joseph Baillio, a great scholar of French 18th century who worked on the project for many years.

I actually added a day to my trip so I could see the New York Photo show which I have missed in previous years.  Then there are the friends that I have made in New York over all the years I lived there.  Happily some come to see us in Santa Fe.  Everyone has to make choices every day and my aunt avoided them by not traveling from her home in London to New York because she said, “I know too many people there.” 

Fill in the blanks on how many institutions and theater possibilities I have left out.  I fully understand I can’t do everything but you will hear about some of my choices upon my return.

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