Celebrating ....

OUR 40th YEAR!

Friday, 25 November 2016

YES, THAT SARGENT!


Gassed (1919) by John Singer Sargent
SARGENT AS WAR ARTIST
By Richard Carreño
[WC News Service]
Like many laymen, I've always thought of John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) as a Society portraitist. A trenchant -- even oftentimes, an unforgiving filter of the genre -- to be sure. The 'scandalous' full-figured Portrait Madame X attests to that. For the most part, though, Sargent's softer side, summed up in the fan-favourite Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, elicits the most raves.
 
This is the Sargent that most viewers have known and loved. And the one that gets reinforced in one Sargent show after another. Most notably, for me, it was the blockbuster Sargent retrospective I went to see in 1999 at the Tate (it was rebranded Tate Britain only later). Comprehensive? Really?
 
Well, I didn't see Sargent's pencil and charcoal drawings and sketches. His landscapes and seascapes? I got up close and personal with these only some years later at the former Corcoran in Washington.
 

As for his tour de force, Gassed (1919), currently doing a star turn at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, I had to go to the Imperial War Museum for that experience. Step forward, John Singer Sargent as war artist. Who knew?
 

Thursday, 24 November 2016

PJ EXCLUSIVE: 'CRY-IN' AT MOMA FOLLOWING TRUMP VICTORY

BOO-HOO: DIRECTOR LOWRY 'DISMAYED 

The Museum of Modern Art | 11 West 53 Street | New York, NY 10019
(212) 333-1273

Glenn Lowry
From: Lowry, Glenn <glenn_lowry@moma.org>
Date: Wed, Nov 9, 2016 at 4:22 PM
Subject: Today

I know many of you, like me,  were dismayed by the results of the election last night. I will spend a long time trying to understand what happened and what it means for our future. But I take comfort in a note that I received from Marie-Josée Kravis, our president, first thing this morning who reminded me not to forget what we stand for, and to strive to be a beacon for the values we care about most. As I read her note, I thought about how fortunate we are to have trustees like her. I realized that our mission going forward suddenly had become clear: to be a model of an open, tolerant, and generous institution in everything we do.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Letter from Washington

THE WAY FORWARD
By Richard Carreno
[WC News Service]




WASHINGTON -- I read this in The New Yorker, in print, as well, and was equally impressed.  But for some reasons that might somewhat differ from your view. I thought at the time that the tone -- despite many good points in the article -- was too hysterical and crisis laden.  (I still hold this view upon re-reading). Understandable, I suppose, in that it was written just after the biggest presidential upset in history, and the grief at the unexpected was overwhelming for many. (Me included, except for the overwhelming part). Ergo the cry-ins and sensitivity sessions at many institutions of higher learning (Penn included) to calm the nerves of these poor dears.

I am in Washington at the moment, as I write this, and I just visited Trump's new International hotel in the Old Post Office Building. What a triumph in design -- all in bad taste, of course. The rooms run about $400 per night. Less, with discounts of course. Not quite the Georges V. It will serve the right-wing swamp lizards who are now descending on this capital in great numbers. These people from Des Moines and other nether parts who will of course be appropriately impressed. For the rest of us, it's time to boycott Trump properties. Here. Now.  (I was struck by the service of a bellhop who out of one eye noticed I had to relieve myself. You know, that twitchy dance number.  He caught my eye and pointed in the direction of the lavatory. Not a word was spoken. Well done! I also sort of liked the idea that my only activity in Trump-land was to pee on a part of it).

The point is, We really don't know how Trump will proceed -- despite what knowing, elite, establishment New York liberal David Remnick (The New Yorker's saviour and Sy Newhouse's house toady, by the way) might deduce. I think more reasoned thinking suggests that Trump will be at his worst in dealing with social policy(ie healthcare and the like, Supreme Court, etc.. , immigration). He might fare better in international matters (ISIS, Russia, Syria, etc). His administration will be replete with second-raters, with conflicts of interest up the wazoo. So there will be many nefarious compromises of course.

The reaction of the media and responsible corporate press (not Bernie incidentally) is to normalize Trump. (Pence and Nancy Pelosi had a hand-holding session yesterday here, wherein they and press lackeys blew kisses at each other). This is, Trump would say, a YUGE mistake.

Trump must be taken down. In my opinion, this can only happen if the opposition (and I'm not strictly speaking of the Democratic Party) reconstitutes itself to reflect the broad spectrum of the truly and honestly aggrieved and disaffected. All the talking heads of course are talking about Hillary's neglect of white men. But, oddly, they're not commenting on the white, brown, and black men and WOMEN who voted for The Donald. (Hello, Philly suburbs).

The Wall will NOT be built. The swamp will NOT be drained. I wonder how it will take before the White Man brigade realizes that it has been conned -- again!

Earlier today, I stopped at the new Museum of African-American History and Culture. I couldn't get in. No tickets are available, and won't be for months, I'm told. By all accounts that museum is stunning, a true wonder and celebration of America's black minority. (Interesting, Philly's African American Museum is failure. No one goes). These museums are identity keepsakes of course, and makes one wonder when the Museum of Latino History and Culture will open on the mall, celebrating a minority (my minority by the way) whose numbers are far greater than that of the black populace. The point is this: The Dems (viz Hillary) are too constricted by their links to identity groups -- the celebration of diversity, as opposed to unity, our true cause!

Some of us have been saying this for years. Finally we might have a chance to refashion a more progressive form of  neo-liberalism.

Sending you a copy of the article on this topic in today's New York Times.

Meantime, they're still blowing kisses. So I'm not optimistic.



Monday, 14 November 2016

MULTI-TALENTED THAI ARTIST


 
Janine Yasovant, of the WC News Service, reports on Decha Warashoon
Decha Warashoon
Works by Professor Decha Warashoon, an art lecturer and Thai national artist (Visual Arts, Graphic Arts, and Mix Media Arts) in 2007, are shown here. Warashoon graduated from the School of Arts and Crafts in Bangkok, an institution that focuses mainly on artistic skills. Warashoon himself frequently makes replicas of his works as samples and as teaching materials for his students. From 1967, he has exhibited widely in Thailand and abroad and has won many well-known art competitions. He was also the first visual Thai national artist to be awarded eight honorary PhD. degrees. Apart from painting in oils, watercolours, and acrylic, Warashoon is also interested in printmaking and in making leather bags and hats. He also sculpts, mainly Buddha's image.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Long Memories

HILLARY DOGGED BY BILL'S PAST
By Richard Carreño
[WC News Service]
London
In 1996 I also happened to be in London when that other Clinton, William Jefferson Clinton, was reelected to his second term. The mood then, in the media and amongst my friends and acquaintances, mostly academics and journalists, was strong, widespread interest in the election. But little expressed concern. Even less emotional engagement. Twenty years later, that same platter is still on offer.
 
With a twist. Brexit anyone?
 
Back then, my political cohort of centre-lefties, largely New Labourites and enthusiastic followers of their new team captain, Tony Blair, saw Bill Clinton as being in the same putatively progressive mold of Blair. Clinton's sexual dalliances, exploits, and financial scandals were, as was the case then in the United States, set aside by his supporters, including his feminist cadre. for the greater good.
 

Friday, 28 October 2016

A QUEBEC KISS?

QUEBEC'S CHÂTEAU DISNEY
By RICHARD CARREÑO
[WC News Service]
Quebec
Gare du Palais
Château Frontenac
Every visitor to this historic city, founded in 1608 and one of the oldest in North America, can't miss the monumental, turreted structure that looms over St. Lawrence River. In fact, the Château Frontenac almost swallows whole the city's legendary Haut-Ville, dominating the skyscape as the iconic symbol of this capital of Quebec Province and the indisputable heart of French Canada. 
 
Iconic. Also ironic.
 
First, the Frontenac, despite its vague architectural conceit to Loire Valley antecedents, isn't really a château. (It's a hotel). In addition, the building's founding was rooted in a very American  instinct -- capital and economic growth. Its owner, the Canadian Pacific Railway, wanted to expand and centre tourism and commerce in what still a riparian backwater, and hired American staritect Bruce Price, who was then making the rounds in Anglo-Canadian business circles, to do the job. Historic? Hardly. Most telling of all, at least by local standards, the edifice isn't really that old. Construction began only in 1893.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

An Opposing View: He's Entitled

Albert Barnes and Paul Guillaume

By Robert Zeller
June 03, 2014
Albert Barnes by Giorgio de Chirico
 
My colleague Richard Carreño [at BroadStreetReview.com] compares the Barnes Foundation’s art collection, of which some 800 pieces were hung on permanent display in Merion, to that of Paul Guillaume in the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris. There are some important differences, however.
Giorgio de Chirico's portrait of Barnes.
 
Guillaume’s collection, as Richard points out, consists of 145 works. Barnes owned some 350 works by Cézanne, Renoir, Matisse, and Picasso alone. In addition to the works in the galleries, he had ten times as many in other repositories, notably his estate at Ker-Feal. These included works by Corot, Courbet, Millet, and De Chirico, the latter a portrait of Barnes himself. He wasn’t just hiding them; they simply didn’t fit in with the conception he had for the galleries. In the case of De Chirico, Barnes may simply not have wished to call undue attention to himself in what was designed as a pedagogical setting. Guillaume’s portrait of himself by Modigliani does hang in l’Orangerie. De gustibus.

Monday, 3 October 2016

FAST-FOOD, BLUE JEANS, AND ROCK 'N ROLL

FLY ON THE WALL
Facing Down the Ugly American
By Don Merlot
[WC News Service]
New Orleans
Back in 1968 I started my international career in February and took off for my first international trip in June. When I stepped off the plane to experience my first foreign culture exchange and to pursue an international global career, my expectation was, as a recent college graduate, that I could handle anything and everything. 

One of the things that I was told about seeing a new culture was, do not judge a culture or compare it to your own. You do not have to like it, nor comment about it publicly. You are a business ambassador doing business and be polite and diplomatic.

Maybe as I look back, that was true; in the American Culture of the 1960s we were the Baby Boomers out represent the USA and its interests but it was not practiced by all American travelers that I had met or known. And there I was, starting my first business trip in June 1968 surrounded by an anti War movement, racial discord, political division.  My new business group consisted of Americans who wanted to sell excess manufactured goods. There was a common feeling then that Americans were exporting “fast food, blue jeans, and rock 'n roll." 

Books Received

Liberace's Filipino Cousin
By David R. Brubaker
ThingsAsian Press, 2016
$12.95 

David Brubaker knows and loves this corner of the world [the Philippines], and his passion for it is infectious. History, humor, and travel tips are brought together in his tantalizing glimpses oi this country of 7,000 islands and the delightful people who live there. As you read and laugh through pages, you'll be learning how to navigate your way through the crazy streets of Manila, how to travel country roads to meet an island witch who uses her powers to heal, how to join one of the most exclusive clubs on earth, and above all, how to enjoy your time in a country that is still off the beaten track for many travelers. -- From the cover

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Ben Franklin in Paris

Hôtel de Valentinois
Photo: WC News Service
'I WAS THE ONLY ONE LOOKING UP' 
By Richard Carreño
[WC News Service]
Paris
DURING HIS LONG life of eighty-four years, Benjamin Franklin was an inventor, postmaster, printer, librarian, scientist, politician, journalist. Here in Paris, though, the polymath Franklin reached his apogée, as an American freedom fighter, Society maven, intellectual superstar, statesmen, and, despite his age and age-related ailments, even as an envied roué and lady's man.

Franklin (1706-1790) was always peripatetic. This was all the more remarkable in that 18th century travel, both overland and overseas, was time-consuming and involved incredible hardship, planning, and danger. Franklin mastered it all, becoming arguably the most well-travelled American of his time.
 
Born in Boston, he wound up, via New York, in Philadelphia in 1723, where he married, raised a family, and blossomed as the Anglo-American luminary of legend.

Friday, 9 September 2016

TOURIST ALERT

THE GREAT PARIS MÉTRO SCAM
By RICHARD CARREÑO
[WC News Service]
Paris
While France remains on high-alert, following recent terrorist attacks, and its armed forces and national and local police deployed to block still more murder and mayhem (a potential bombing was thwarted just this past Sunday at Nôtre Dame), another zealous security force is working diligently underground here to deter another fierce threat -- this from unsuspecting tourists.

In fact, these agents are nothing more than a band of weasels employed by Paris's equally conniving subway system, the Métropolitan, or Métro, to ostensibly enforce a wide range of rules of regulations to maintain underground safety and order. Not a word of truth to it! The Métro police have, in fact, have a singled out docile -- often non-French speaking -- visitors as their prime target. The offense? Not retaining the paper ticket used at turnstiles to enter the subway network. The punishment? Strict fines.

I know. I was nailed this week. This, after eighteen months of residence in Paris (in the 60s) and more than forty visits in subsequent years. And I speak (and read) French.

Shame on me.

The Buddha Image in Art

GRACEFUL AND SERENE
By Janine Yasovant
[WC News Service] 
Yothin Narasak
The Buddha image is a symbol of gracefulness that many art collectors seek. It is said by many that Chiang Mai is the city of culture and religionIn the city center, outside the city wall, temples can be seen in every two kilometers. Each temple has paintings and sculptures that are the symbol of the Buddha. Many Thai northern artists are working as teachers and art lecturers. Apart from teaching or making their own art, they occasionally paint murals in temples or sculpt Buddha images for temples. This involves a mixture of faith and the development of an artistic knowledge they already have.     
 
Yothin Narasak is a northern artist from Chiang Mai who has had a number of interesting commissioned works to draw the head of Buddha on teakwood. His works have unique beauty; many have mentioned his works as “naïve art.'
 

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Fly on the Wall

YOU DECIDE
By Don Merlot 
[WC News Service]
 
Chacun  a son goût.

To each his own taste.

When it comes to wine, the French categorization of red and white (Bordeaux and Burgundy) in the 19th century have dominated  oenophile and epicurean palates until the end of World War II, when Europe had to be rebuilt and the Pax Americana renovated France in the post war period.  American G.I’s who returned from VE- Day who had learned about and had savored the wines of France became acquainted with the wine habit and formal dinners with family, friends and social associates. The historical epitome of a dinner was guided by the French who influenced the British on wine with dinner. 

Monday, 15 August 2016

Book News: Vietnam Angst

War Saga in 60s Setting
 
Paris to Saigon
Lawrence J. Potesta
Amazon Kindle: Free (limited time) at amazon.com
 
It’s 1966, and Mickey Van escapes the jungles of Vietnam for a cushy post in Germany. James, his best friend, is black, alone, afraid and not so lucky as he fights for his life and sanity in the daily terror of the Hell known as 'Rice and Dice Land.' The letters that these two soldiers share are horrifying, bloody, and brutal as well as life preserving and morale boosting. Following a long and treacherous battle fighting the North Vietnamese, James is cut down by friendly fire and sent home to his sobbing mother in a flag draped coffin along with thousands of other sacrificial lambs.

Mickey Van, suffering from survivor’s guilt, trades his escapades in Paris for likely death as a Medevac helicopter pilot in the country that took James’ life. These choppers bearing giant red crosses taxi maimed and bleeding soldiers screaming for their gods and mothers to healing hands providing that they might someday see their grandchildren.

Monday, 25 July 2016

LUXE BAG MAN


THE HORSEY WORLD OF HERMÈS
By RICHARD CARREÑO
[WC News Service]
MONTREAL -- In the surreal world of ultra luxury shopping and privilege, nothing better conveys a lady's status as a regal One Percenter than a handbag from Hermès, the Parisian leather, scarf, and lifestyle goods maker and purveyor. Especially if that accessory is demurely coded as a Kelly bag, eponymously named after the blondish Hollywood movie star, fairy-tale princess, and Philadelphian.

Indeed, the bag might be another kind entirely, one that fits as comfortably over a saddled horse, as does Kelly nestles in the crook of an arm. Yes, a saddle bag -- and, yes, it's among an extensive array of horse furniture, including bridles, girths, saddle pads, and saddles themselves (starting price, from $6,750) that Hermès turns with the same kind of faithfulness to quality and the high art of customized workmanship that's imbued in other of its products.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

TALLY-HO!


TOULOUSE-LAUTREC AS HORSE PAINTER
By RICHARD CARREÑO
[WC News Service]
MONTREAL
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) is best known as France's shortest painter, never more than 4 feet, 8 inches. That and -- even by the hard-core middle-brow, the kind of folk who used to troll the once-ubiquitous shopping mall 'art' shops -- for his Belle Époque-era poster prints of Jane Avril, Aristide Bruant, and other habitués of the louche world that the diminutive roué made his own in late 19th-century Paris, principally in the seedier precincts of Montmartre.
 
There's also the wild-and-crazy guy of  movie fame, many popular books, and of an even an abortive West End musical production, written by Charles Aznavour, which lasted all of about three months in 2000. 
 
But 'Toulouse-Lautrec Illustrates the Belle Époque,' a current exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts here, another, lesser-known side of the intense Art Nouveau practitioner is explored. That of horse painter. Who knew? My bad.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

BOOK NOTES

RECOMMENDED SUMMER READING 
Northern Liberties: The Story of a Philadelphia River Ward (The History Press, 2012), by Harry Kyriakodis
ISBN-13: 978-1609496821
Since the time of William Penn, the Philadelphia neighborhood of Northern Liberties has had a tradition of hard work and innovation. This former Leni-Lenape territory became one of the industrial River Wards of North Philadelphia after being annexed by the city in 1854. The district's mills and factories were powered not just by the Delaware River and its tributaries but also by immigrants from across Europe and the city's largest community of free African Americans. The Liberties' diverse narrative, however, was marred by political and social problems, such as the anti-Irish Nativist Riots of 1844. Local historian Harry Kyriakodis traces over three hundred years of the district's evolution, from its rise as a premier manufacturing precinct to the destruction of much of the original cityscape in the 1960s and its subsequent rebirth as an eclectic and vibrant urban neighborhood. In this first history of Northern Liberties, Kyriakodis unearths the story of this remarkable riverside community.

Condemns Baton Rouge Police Murders

PRESIDENT SPEAKS OUT
By Barack Obama
Remarks delivered by the President in an afternoon statement
Good afternoon, everybody.  As all of you know now, this morning, three law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge were killed in the line of duty.  Three others were wounded.  One is still in critical condition.
  As of right now, we don’t know the motive of the killer.  We don’t know whether the killer set out to target police officers, or whether he gunned them down as they responded to a call.  Regardless of motive, the death of these three brave officers underscores the danger that police across the country confront every single day.  And we as a nation have to be loud and clear that nothing justifies violence against law enforcement.  Attacks on police are an attack on all of us and the rule of law that makes society possible.

BOOK NOTES

RECOMMENDED SUMMER READING
The Benjamin Franklin Parkway (2014, Arcadia Pub.), by Harry Kyriakodis
ISBN: 973-1-4671-2153-8. The Benjamin Franklin Parkway has sliced through the Logan Square neighborhood of Center City (downtown) Philadelphia since World War I. Named after Philadelphia's favorite son, the mile-long boulevard begins at City Hall and heads diagonally towards Logan Circle before reaching the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Parkway is the chief corridor for the city's cultural institutions and serves as the primary gateway to Philadelphia's renowned Fairmount Park. The postcards and other images in this work show the grand thoroughfare's development and its role in Philadelphia's civic and cultural life, despite it often serving as a speedway into and out of town. All told, the Ben Franklin Parkway is a triumph in urban planning and roadway design that has become a treasured part of the City of Brotherly Love.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Equine Movement


CLICK SCREEN ABOVE, THEN 'MOVIES & TV'

The PJ depends exclusively on reader support. Please help us continue by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com. Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMXVI. All Rights Reserved

Dressage

Click Below

https://youtu.be/TmdrRLO_VPE

The PJ depends exclusively on reader support. Please help us continue by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com. Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMXVI. All Rights Reserved

Monday, 27 June 2016

RIZZO REDUX

A Lost Industrial Kingdom
Working-class anger and economic decline
could deliver Pennsylvania to Donald Trump
 
Resurgence of Updike's Rabbit Voter Could be Harbinger
 
 By CHARLES McELWEE
[WC News Service]
Pennsylvanians will be under close political, psychological, and anthropological observation during this election cycle. The state is home to a large white working class that resides in urban and rural pockets undergoing profound demographic and economic change. Although Pennsylvania has reliably trended Democratic since 1992, there are enough of these voters to imperil Hillary Clinton’s chances. The state is witnessing an emerging coalition of Republicans and Democrats who are devoid of ideological preferences, furious over the perceived failures of both parties, and believe the changes transforming the state threaten their future.

In April, Republican voters expressed enough anger and carried enough grudges to make Pennsylvania one of Donald Trump’s best performances in the GOP primary season. In the coming months, Hillary hopes to win over the right number of Democrats and disaffected suburban Republicans to eliminate Trump’s pathway to Pennsylvania’s twenty Electoral College votes. But a closer inspection of Pennsylvania’s primary results, combined with a historical and cultural understanding of the state’s working class, portend a much more difficult campaign for Hillary than Trump.

In the primary, Trump outperformed Hillary in the Lehigh Valley, the Harrisburg area, two suburban Philadelphia counties, and parts of northeastern and western Pennsylvania. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders won thirty of sixty-seven counties statewide, including the northern tier counties impacted by the natural gas industry and the Democratic strongholds of Cambria and Berks counties. Shortly before the primary, a New York Times reporter interviewed a retired steel worker at a Sanders rally in Reading, the Berks County seat and Pennsylvania’s fifth largest city. When asked who he would support in a Trump-Clinton matchup, he responded, “I would probably go for Donald Trump.”

Sunday, 26 June 2016

TRADITIONAL ART...

 
 
'...SEMI THAI'
By Janine Yasovant
[WC News Service]
The artist
Chaiwat Kamfun is a lecturer from Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna and an artist of Thai traditional art, though he defines his style of work “semi Thai traditional” which contains impressive dimensions of dynamic movement.
 
His works are mostly related to Thai culture and tradition. Chaiwat has received awards from several art contests and has participated in art exhibitions in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. His works focus mainly on movements of natural phenomena and imaginative animals in Thai mythology and Thai traditional patterns like garuda and naga.

Philabooks|Booksellers

Used Rare Antiquarian New Books via PhilabooksBooksellers.blogspot.com

Used Rare Antiquarian New Books via PhilabooksBooksellers.blogspot.com
10 % Off All Orders!