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Art, Drama, Music and Books
Art, drama, music & books

James Lettiere, Art Critic: Max Beckmann at The Metropolitan Museum of Art PDF Print Email


By James Lettiere, Art Critic

Nov. 23, 2016:  While visiting London and Paris during the last week of October, I was fortunate to attend two exciting exhibitions, and I was prepared to write about them (Abstract Expressionism at the Royal Academy of Arts in London and a remarkable joint Picasso–Giacometti show at The Musée Picasso in Paris).

However, I came upon the Max Beckmann show at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and it surely deserves our attention. The show has paintings painted by Beckmann while living in New York City and paintings that have a connection to museums, galleries, and collectors in the New York art world.

There are many portraits, self and others, and they encourage the viewer to try to read the mood of the subjects. His still-life and group scenes are vibrant and enjoyable, but in a serious vein. 

I read a rather somber review in The New Yorker after seeing the exhibition. My view was different because while he was living in self-imposed exile, his work demonstrated an exuberant connection with life.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Open Seven Days a Week
Sunday–Thursday: 10:00 am to 5:30 pm
Friday and Saturday: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm
Closed Thanksgiving Day, December 25, January 1, and the first Monday in May 

Pictured here:  A poster advertising the Max Beckmann exhibit.

Photo by James Lettiere

Art Historian Bill Agee Authors Book on Development of Modern American Art PDF Print Email


By Carol P. Bartold

Nov. 16, 2016:  "Expert" is not a word that writer, teacher, and former museum curator William Agee likes. "I'm a historian," he emphasized. "This is what I believe and think. It's what I have studied."

Bill considers his latest book, Modern Art in America 1908-68, published in March of 2016 by Phaidon Press, his own history. "I told the publisher that I was not going to write a standard textbook with no tone or edge to it," Bill said. "I really wanted to write what had been important to me."

The author of several books, Bill explained that in Modern Art in America 1908-68, he has laid out in detail a continuity over the entire sixty-year time span that most art history texts treat as two distinct eras, with 1945 as the split. "There is more connection between pre- and post-1945 painting than people have ever talked about," he said.

Agee chose 1908 as the starting point of his study because social, demographic, and technological developments that year marked the beginning of a distinct modern age. Henry Ford invented the Model T automobile, which began the shift from an agrarian to an industrial society in America. Five years after their first flight, the Wright Brothers flew for two-and-a-half hours. "That changed the world," Agee noted. Also in 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt sent his Great White Fleet of battleships on a journey around the world to establish America as one of the world's great imperialistic nations.

Although art does not always strictly follow historical developments, Agee said, there were three significant events in 1908 that established a distinctly different and modern direction for art. A New York exhibition of painters who were part of the Ashcan School of realism gained national attention for the movement. That same year, Henri Matisse, at the urging of American artists in Paris, opened a school. "Working with Matisse was being right on the cutting edge," Agee said. Also in 1908, Alfred Stieglitz opened his gallery, 291, in New York and showed the best modern art from Europe and America. The gallery became a laboratory for working through modernist ideas, and from the gallery there came a first American wave of modern art. 


"In 1968, art changed as the world changed," Agee said. Nineteen sixty-eight was a year of revolution that brought about a huge loss in faith in institutions of all types, he observed. Museums were visible institutions that represented money and power. "The same is true of painting as a craft, as making something with paint, canvas, and brushes." Although Agee feels that good art still appeared after 1968, it was created by artists who matured before then.

"Pre-1968 I felt we in the New York City art world were part of something special," Agee said. "There was a common understanding and a mutual respect among people. After 1968, the divisions became so bitter we couldn't have that."

After earning a degree at Princeton University and studying at Yale University, Bill Agee began his career in the art world as a curator and also worked as a museum director. He held positions at the Whitney Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, at the Pasadena Art Museum (precursor to the Norton Simon Museum) in California, and at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas.

After he left museum work, Agee worked on research projects with the help of fellowships. A friend at Hunter College, the chair of the art department, suggested that Agee teach a graduate seminar. That graduate seminar led to a 20-year teaching career at Hunter, where he was awarded an endowed chair, the Evelyn Kranes Kossak Professor of Art History. He retired in 2014.

"I have kept on working," Agee said. "I will write as long as I feel I have something to say."

Pictured here:  William Agee and publicity for his book.

Photos by A. Warner

Six Bronxville High School Students Named to Area All-State Ensembles PDF Print Email


By Plamena Quintavalla, Bronxville School Reporter for Syntax

Nov. 16, 2016:  Six Bronxville High School students have been selected to Area All-State music ensembles by the Westchester County School Music Association (WCSMA) for its 2016 Area All-State Festival Concert, which was held on November 10 at SUNY Purchase.

Juniors Eva Cagliostro (string bass) and Xavier Zhang (violin) were selected to perform with the symphony orchestra, junior Delfina Maldonado (violin) was selected for the string orchestra, and junior Sophia Sulimirski (oboe) was selected for the band. Selected to perform with the women's chorus were junior Margaux Frohlich (soprano) and senior Abby Geiling (soprano). 

Performers were chosen by WCSMA on the basis of auditions at last spring's New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Solo Evaluation Festival and recommendations from their music teachers. WCSMA, which is the county's arm of NYSSMA, sponsors the Area All-State Music Festival each year for eligible Westchester sophomores, juniors, and seniors. 

Pictured here (L to R): Sophia Sulimirski, Delfina Maldonado, Eva Cagliostro, Margaux Frohlich, Abby Geiling, and Xavier Zhang. 

Photo courtesy The Bronxville School

Stephanie Filardi Authors 'Reclaiming Joy: Your 4-Step Guide to Happy, Healthy & Free' PDF Print Email


By Helen Baia, Bronxville Wellness Sanctuary

Nov. 16, 2016:  Stephanie Filardi, co-owner of Bronxville Wellness Sanctuary, recently authored the book Reclaiming Joy:  Your 4-Step Guide to Happy, Health & Free.

"​Many of us spend our life so busy doing things," Filardi writes, "that we neglect to notice how we are being. We end up losing sight of why we are here, what's important to our well-being, and ultimately what brings us joy. We are meant to thrive!"

The practical 4-step guide Filardi has written will help you:

1. Identify what supports your well-being and brings you joy.

2. Discover how health, relationships, career, and life purpose energize you.

3. Move beyond fear and stress to create a future you love.

4. Shift your perspective to attract what you desire.

5. Stop driving yourself so hard and start thriving –enjoy life.

Reclaiming Joy is available on  It can also be obtained by emailing  CLOAKING .

For more information, go to

Pictured here:  Author Stephanie Filardi.

Photo courtesy Helen Baia, Bronxville Wellness Sanctuary

Concordia Conservatory to Present 'Musical Adventures' at the Bronxville Library Thursday, November 17 PDF Print Email


By Kathleen Suss, Executive Director, Concordia Conservatory

Nov. 16, 2016:  The first of three music and literature programs titled Musical Adventures at the Library with Concordia Conservatory will take place on November 17 and 18 at three local libraries. The event, "Thankfulness," is sponsored by The Community Fund of Bronxville, Eastchester and Tuckahoe and is geared towards children.

The program features books and music celebrating the public servants in our community. All performances in the series, now in its fifth year, are free and open to the public. The two musical readings, "Molly's Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen" and "One is a Feast for a Mouse" by Judy Cox, are for children from pre-school to early elementary and their families. The program will be presented by Conservatory faculty guitarist Lee Metcalf and storyteller Audry Ginsburg.

Eastchester Library:  Thursday, November 17, 1:30 pm

Bronxville Library:  Thursday, November 17, 4:00 pm

Tuckahoe Library:  Friday, November 18, 11:00 am

About the Program

The Community Fund sponsors the 2016-17 presentations of Musical Adventures at the Library with Concordia Conservatory in partnership with the Concordia Conservatory and the public libraries of Bronxville, Eastchester, and Tuckahoe along with the librarians in the Bronxville, Eastchester and Tuckahoe School Districts. This grant program is designed to offer free programming to our surrounding communities through music and literature presentations and to enhance the language arts and music curricula in Bronxville, Eastchester, and Tuckahoe. This grant from The Community Fund reaches children age 3-13 and their families. 

The programs are free and open to the public. For information, call the Concordia Conservatory office at 914-395-4507 or contact the Eastchester, Bronxville, and Tuckahoe Public Libraries.

Pictured here:  Performers in "Musical Adventures" 
in a previous year. 

Photo courtesy Kathleen Suss, Executive Director, Concordia Conservatory


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