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

Eastchester History Book to Be Launched December 11 at Concordia College PDF Print Email

Written by Linda Laird, Co-Chair, Steering Committee, Eastchester 350th Anniversary, Inc.

Dec. 3, 2014: Eastchester's 350th anniversary celebration will culminate with the December publication of Out of the Wilderness: The Emergence of Eastchester, Tuckahoe & Bronxville, NY, 1664-2014, the first-ever book on the history of the town and its two villages.

Concordia College will host a book launch and panel discussion on December 11 at 7:00 pm at its Sommer Center for Worship and the Performing Arts.

Sponsored jointly by Concordia's Books & Coffee lecture series and Eastchester 350th Anniversary, Inc., the panel discussion will feature several of the book's authors and include a reception with book sales and signing following their presentation.

Out of the Wilderness: The Emergence of Eastchester, Tuckahoe & Bronxville, NY, 1664-2014, is a 340-page full-color hardcover history of the town and its villages. The book has generated rave reviews: Katie Hite of the Westchester County Historical Society called it "a monumental achievement," and historian Patrick Raftery praised its "meticulous research, lively text, and beautiful illustrations." Pelham historian Blake Bell proclaimed the book a "magnificent, entertaining, carefully crafted, lovingly detailed, and richly illustrated record with more than 300 images, most in color, of 350 years of history."

The book combines the style and appeal of a coffee table book with solid, documented historical research and reference information, according to Bronxville Village historian Eloise Morgan. "It is something everyone in the town and villages will treasure," said Richard Forliano, Eastchester town historian.

The book's fifteen contributing authors and the Eastchester, Tuckahoe, and Bronxville topics they address include Regina Baio--the 1665 Eastchester civil covenant; Harry Dunkak--the 1733 election; Joseph Esposito--350 years of population change; Richard Forliano--early 20th-century population and ethnic changes; Edna Gabler--Revolutionary War life in the Neutral Ground; and Clare Gorman and Jeff Zuckerman--memorable early 20th-century athletes; Lissa Halen--the Bronx and Hutchinson rivers and parkways; Marilynn Hill--the practice of slavery into the early 19th century; Claudia Keenan--20th-century growth of three separate school systems; Janet Lentz--the Great Depression and the New Deal; Eloise Morgan--the community's changing borders and municipal structures; David Osborn--the Civil War from Eastchester's perspective; James Pecchoni--the town's lakes; and George Pietarinen--Anne Hutchinson's life on the land that later became Eastchester.

Concordia president Viji George said, "We eagerly anticipate the publication of Out of the Wilderness and look forward to celebrating this grand finale anniversary event with the Eastchester community on December 11 in Sommer Center."

Out of the Wilderness will sell for $50. No reservations are required for this free program. For further information, please contact Linda Laird at 914-771-3351.

Pictured here: Cover of Out of the Wilderness: The Emergence of Eastchester, Tuckahoe & Bronxville, NY, 1664-2014.

Photo courtesy Linda Laird, Co-Chair, Steering Committee, Eastchester 350th Anniversary, Inc.

John Corry: Iron Age Art Is Major Show at the Met PDF Print Email

Written by John A. Corry

Nov. 26, 2014: If you are visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art this fall, perhaps to see the Cubist or El Greco shows I reviewed last month, you should make at least a short stop in the large second-floor exhibition gallery to view art of a genre you will be unlikely to experience on these shores for years to come.

Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age displays more than 200 items, most created in what is now Iraq between 1000 and 500 BC, first along the Tigris in the kingdom of Assyria, and later south along the Euphrates in Babylon until its fall to the Persians in 539.

Landlocked Assyria derived much of its wealth through tributes from the Mediterranean lands of Phoenicia and its port cities of Sidon and Tyre. The seafaring Phoenicians were meanwhile expanding westward to found Carthage as well as colonies in southern Sicily and southeastern Iberia. Thus, the exhibition includes such items as gold jewelry from a museum in Seville.

Most of the items in the exhibition are fairly small, with the largest probably being the Met's own ten-foot-high gypsum alabaster human-headed figure of a winged lion. There is also an Egyptian-style Phoenician statuette of a seated small woman. Also especially impressive is a fully rounded small statue of Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II.

That the times were bloody is illustrated by a Phoenician plaque depicting a lioness brutally attacking a young man. Loaned by the British Museum, it is described in the exhibition's excellent catalogue as "one of the finest examples of ivory carving to survive from the ancient world." A striding lion and also a dragon are portrayed on sections of Babylon's impressive Ishtar Gate, belonging to Berlin's Pergamon Museum, a model of which is included in the show.

As the New York Times's Holland Cotter notes in his fascinating review, the overall theme of the Assyrian art is that "might makes right." He points out that even in the seemingly tranquil panel showing an Assyrian king and queen in a royal garden, a close look at the upper left-hand corner shows a severed head, supposedly of a vanquished foreign ruler, hanging in a tree. Thinking of all this in the context of today's Iraq reminded me of the adage "The more things change . . ." This show closes on January 4. 

Last week, the Met began showing Madame Cézanne, an exhibition of paintings, watercolors, and drawings by Paul Cézanne of his wife, Hortense Fiquet. It features twenty-four of the twenty-nine known portraits of her.

The show is likely to be very popular. It will run until March 15. Thus, a visit to the show can be deferred until after the busy holiday season.

Picture here: John A. Corry.

Photo by N. Bower

James Lettiere on Noteworthy Area Art Exhibits: Carl Andre, Picasso, and Renaissance Tapestry PDF Print Email

Written by James Lettiere, Investment Banker and Art Specialist

Nov. 19, 2014:  Three art exhibitions currently showing in the New York City area are well worth a visit.

Carl Andre: Sculpture as Place, 1958–2010

Now showing at the Dia:Beacon galleries in Beacon, New York, is an exhibit of Carl Andre's sculptures well worth the visit.

Carl Andre built his career by challenging the principles of sculpture that constituted the art for centuries, the unity of volume of modeled material, separated in space by means of a pedestal. He endeavored to create a body of works of unattached identical units of industrial materials, arranged in structures that could be extended or recombined.

What might be called minimalist can easily be reimagined in a monumental size or number of units. They are in reality unclassifiable productions that range from assemblages of everyday items like ball bearings or bricks to collections of uniform-sized and shaped pieces of red cedar. Andre's use of standardized units constitutes his emphasis on substance rather than the handiwork of the artist.

A small example of Andre's style can be observed through the window of the ground floor of the Donald Judd House on the corner of Spring Street and Mercer Street in Manhattan. Friends, Andre and Judd exchanged works and provided, I think, inspiration to each other.

Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries
3 Beekman Street
Beacon, NY 12508

Running currently until March 2, 2015: November and December, Thursday to Monday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm; January to March, Friday to Monday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Picasso & the Camera 

This exhibition explores how Pablo Picasso used photography not only as a source of inspiration but as an integral part of his studio practice. 

While not the genius that he was a painter, Picasso as photographer shows his human side, something that we are not generally privy to. We know him as this outsized figure that dominated the art and social worlds for a considerable amount of time.

Spanning sixty years, the show includes many photographs taken by Picasso but never before seen or published, as well as related paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints, and films. The works of much more gifted photographers such as Brassai and Cartier-Bresson are included in the exhibit and are contemporaneous with and as inventive as Picasso's painting.

Brave the potential lines outside the gallery. The exhibition is well worth the effort. Also, visit the Cubism collection donated by Leonard Lauder to the Metropolitan Museum and recently opened as a discrete exhibit that features Picasso, Juan Gris, Fernand Léger, and Georges Braque.

Running currently until January 3, 2015: Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Gagosian Gallery
522 West 21st Street
NY, NY 10011

Grand Design: Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Renaissance Tapestry

You love tapestry. You just did not realize it until you went to this exhibit at the Met. Coecke, a contemporary of Raphael's, was a master designer across media from tapestry to panel paintings, prints, and stained glass.

The exhibition unites nineteen of his grandest tapestries from around the world. They were collected by Emperor Charles V, Henry VIII, and Cosimo de Medici.

When you see the detailed expressionism and the sumptuous materials of the tapestries collected here, you will understand why at their height of popularity, tapestries were the ultimate demonstration of the owners' taste and wealth.

Running currently to January 11, 2015: Sunday to Thursday, 10:00 am to 5:30 pm; Friday and Saturday, 10:00 am to 9:00 pm.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
NY, NY 10028

Pictured here: Poster for the Picasso photography exhibit.

Photo by James Lettiere, Investment Banker and Art Specialist

Concordia Conservatory to Perform Musical Production 'Christmas Every Day' December 5-7 PDF Print Email

Written by Kathleen Suss, Executive Director, Concordia Conservatory of Music & Art

Nov. 19, 2014: Eight local students will perform in a holiday production of the musical Christmas Every Day, presented by Concordia Conservatory of Music & Art from December 5 to 7 at the Schoenfeld Campus Center at Concordia College.

All performers and crew members are from the region, hailing from the Bronx, Bronxville, Eastchester, Harrison, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Old Greenwich, Pelham, Scarsdale, Tuckahoe, and Yonkers.

Christmas Every Day, with book and lyrics by Matt Van Brink, is a one-act musical about a young girl, Natalie, whose wish is to have Christmas every day, but when her wish is granted, Natalie, her family, and the town find that life is not quite as they thought it would be. Christmas Every Day is based on a book by William Deans Howell.

This is the fifteenth annual musical production for the conservatory, which features children ages 8 to 18 who complete an audition and interview to participate. The productions are part of the conservatory's tuition-free community outreach program. The yearly musicals are funded through private donations to the conservatory.

The cast and crew are led by stage director Greg Suss, music director Ari Rossen, choreographer Alex Amiro, set designer Eric Zoback, lighting designer John Flanagan, and producers Marcy Damasco and Sharon Shearon.

Performances Schedule:

Friday, December 5: 4:30 pm and 7:00 pm
Saturday, December 6: 11:00 am and 1:30 pm
Sunday, December 7: 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm

Tickets are $22 for adults and $11 for children/seniors. To purchase tickets and for more information, please call 914-395-4507.

Pictured here: Students performing in last year's annual Christmas production.

Photo courtesy Kathleen Suss, Executive Director, Concordia Conservatory of Music & Art

Award-Winning Journalist Gregory Zuckerman to Discuss Fracking at Concordia's Next Books & Coffee PDF Print Email

Written by Ellen de Saint Phalle, Director of Community Relations, Concordia College

Nov. 12, 2014: Award-winning journalist and best-selling author Gregory Zuckerman will discuss his latest book, The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters, on Thursday, November 13, at 7:00 pm in Concordia College's Sommer Center for Worship and the Performing Arts.

The Frackers, Zuckerman's second best-selling book, describes how a few unlikely individuals created an American energy resurgence. Ignoring the ridicule of experts and derision of colleagues, these wildcatters experimented with hydraulic fracturing through extremely dense shale--a process now known as fracking. Against all odds, they created an energy revolution while making astonishing fortunes in the process.

Zuckerman also explores the environmental risks of fracking and whether those risks are worth it for the United States to achieve energy independence and for the rest of the world to follow.

Matthew Bishop of the Economist said, "Greg Zuckerman tells the remarkable story of the larger than life entrepreneurs and deal makers behind this energy-industrial revolution. A great read, whether you are pro-fracking or against it."

Zuckerman is a special writer at the Wall Street Journal. He writes about big financial trades, hedge funds, private equity firms, the energy revolution, and other interesting business topics. He appears frequently on CNBC, Fox Business, and Yahoo Finance, as well as NPR, BBC, ABC Radio, and Bloomberg Radio.

Nominated four times, Zuckerman is a two-time winner of the prestigious Gerald Loeb Award, considered the highest honor in business journalism. His previous book, The Greatest Trade Ever: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Made Financial History, is also a best-seller, and it has been translated into nine languages.

A reception with book signing will follow Mr. Zuckerman's presentation. No reservations are required for this free program.

For more information, please contact Ellen de Saint Phalle, director of community relations, at 914-337-9300, ext. 2159, or CLOAKING .

Pictured here: Cover of Gregory Zuckerman's latest book, The Frackers.

Photo courtesy Ellen de Saint Phalle, Director of Community Relations, Concordia College

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