The Cool House: museum
Showing posts with label museum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label museum. Show all posts

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Andrew Geller: Deconstructed at Nassau County Museum of Art

Author and documentary film maker Jake Gorst, grandson of iconic architect Andrew Geller, will be talking about his grandfather and signing copies of his book Andrew Geller: Deconstructed, at the Nassau County Museum of Art on Saturday, September 26th at 3pm.  The event is being held in conjunction with the Museum's current exhibition The Moderns, Chagall, Degas, Léger, Miró, Picasso and more...

Do not miss Jake Gorst's unique presentation which is full of stories about his grandfather, the "architect of happiness", and his influence on architecture and design from the 1950s onwards. Tickets available here

Andrew Geller Beach House Sagaponak Long Island 1966 (Elkin House)

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Mid-century British Design

Design Onscreen, the architecture and design programme makers will be premiering their latest documentary on British design duo Robin and Lucienne Day at the National Geographic Museum’s Grosvenor Auditorium in Washington, DC on May 15th. Director Murray Grigor and Cinematographer Hamid Shams will take part in a Q&A session after the screening.

Lucienne, who died earlier this year, designed textiles, wall papers and ceramics that embody the optimism and vitality of the mid-century era. Calyx, the fabric that launched Lucienne Day's career, was exhibited at the Festival of Britain in 1951 where it won the International Design Award of the American Institute of Decorators.

While Lucienne designed fabrics, Robin's mass-market furniture can be found in homes and offices across Britain. Millions of examples of the Eames-influenced stackable Polyprop Chair have been sold since its inception in the early sixties. I sat on bright orange ones at school, magenta in Village Halls and grey in waiting rooms all over the UK.

The showing is scheduled to coincide with the opening of Art by the Yard: Women Design Mid-century Britain, featuring Lucienne Day’s work, at Washington DC’s Textile Museum.
Tickets to the movie premiere on May 15th must be purchased in advance from Design Onscreen.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Maybe this bed?

Art Nouveau bed (1899) by Belgian artist Gustave Serrurier-Bovy at the Musée d'Orsay, Paris.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Getty Museum

With all the reupholstery/renovation/yard/maintenance drama that's been happening on the home front I completely forgot to post some of the photos from LA where we ended up after our trip to Palm Springs. So, with minimal commentary, this is what we packed into 4 hours one afternoon...

The breathtaking architecture that is the Richard Meier designed Getty Center

The juxtaposition of rough and smooth surfaces

The Robert Irwin designed Central Garden at The Getty Museum - a growing maze in a water-filled arena. Stunning!

More hard/soft shapes and textures

Feeding my Magritte obsession

The plaza at the end of the day.
That's just the exterior, the Getty collection is just as stunning - as anyone who saw last week's Project Runway 6 will attest to. More from California tomorrow.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Upside-down Cupcake

The upside-down cupcake, a hot-cross bun, a ball of mud - some of the descriptive names given to the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum during the planning and construction phases of the building in the 1940s and 50s. It took a while for New Yorkers to accept the Frank Lloyd Wright design, but once it was opened in 1959 it was quickly embraced as a NYC landmark, and became the iconic symbol it is today. The white concrete building remains a testament to Wright's vision and is the most interesting exhibit in a repititous and occasionally boring show Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward.
All his major works are represented here: plans, blueprints and architectural drawings in abundance; but also too small scale models, too little information, too many renderings of the same building. It looked like the first stage of planning the project rather than a polished exhibition. More deconstructed models, like the Herbert Jacobs House, built on a greater scale would have held my attention, as would bigger artists' representations of projects that were never realised, like the Plan for Greater Baghdad. The show felt flat, and without any wow factor this visitor would have left disappointed except for the saving grace of the fabulous exhibition space, within

- and without.

Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward runs at The Guggenheim New York until August 23 2009; I found I got all I needed from the museum website. I can also highly recommend the book Frank Lloyd Wright Interactive Portfolio by Margo Stipe: it's detailed, informative and celebratory in a way the Guggenheim show should have been.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Day at the Museum

We're doing touristy things this week, like hanging out with this guy at The American Museum of Natural History

exploring Indonesia at the Margaret Mead exhibition

and of course, meeting "Dim Dum"
Off to New England for a few days of lobstah and sundownahs so posting will be light non-existant. Byeeee

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Luminous Landscapes

Sag Harbor artist April Gornik's exhibition at the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington presents twelve huge canvases, including Suspended Sky (2004) (above) that blur the boundaries between representation and imagination to produce works of mystery, luminosity and power.

In this collection paintings inspired by trips to the Caribbean, China, and Namibia are shown alongside landscapes of New Mexico and Long Island. In each piece Gornik plays with the juxtaposition of light, in the form of water, moon/sunlight or a lightening strike and dark weight: rocks, sand dunes, pounding seas or a threatening sky, contrasting calm and menace in a way that provokes an almost physical reaction to each painting.

From Turning Waterfall (1997), where the viewer seems to be enveloped by a swirling cascade of silken water, pinned on either side by foreboding rock walls, to Mirror Lake, China (2004), where we gaze from the side of the lake upon an ethereal hazy landscape, the sun only a reflection in the water, we are compelled to be engaged in her landscapes.

The Luminous Landscapes of April Gornik runs through July 5, 2009. In conjunction with the show, Heckscher Museum's Voices and Visions series will feature a lecture/gallery talk with the artist on June 18 at 7pm. Admission to the talk $5.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I got sunshine

Actually I'm about to get buckets of rain but yesterday I took this photo in the middle of cleaning the house, doing the laundry and locating and re-attaching screens - it was a summery 78F on Saturday and we wanted all the windows open and I couldn't remember where we had stored them (yes, we do have that many closets and no, I am not complaining) - all the things we do as spring finally gets a grip on Long Island.

Pierre Bonnard: Table in Front of the Window

The day before we had managed to catch the Pierre Bonnard: The Late Interiors exhibition at The Met Museum before it closed and I was stuck by the summery mimosa in his paintings that reminded me of glorious warm days in the south of France - sunshine and azure blue skies.
When I saw the yellow forsythia in full bloom I knew I had to run and get a shot before the incipient rainstorm ruined it for another year, it might be the last sunny thing we see for the rest of the week. It ain't mimosa but it will do.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ceci n'est pas un musée

Well not quite yet anyway but in six short weeks the long awaited Magritte Museum will open in Brussels. In somewhat surreal fashion the website is still under construction but there is a link to this fantastic video that shows the stately Beaux-Arts Museum as well as the virtual Magritte Museum.
Visitors to The Cool House may get a clue how much I love Magritte's art, and I've been to many retrospectives that brought together paintings from all over the world but this museum will house the largest single collection of his work - more than 170 paintings - as well as letters, photographs and films.

The Musée Magritte Museum opens June 2 2009 in the former Hotel Altenloh, a neo-classical building on Place Royale, Brussels. Tickets can be reserved now: by email or phone: +32 (0)2/508 33 33.

I'll be there as soon as possible.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Renaissance Porn

A literal Testa de Cazi or dickhead from the profane section of the Met Museum exhibition Art and Love in Renaissance Italy. We stumbled upon this gem of an exhibition quite by accident. After viewing the Baroque Christmas Tree we wanted to see some European art to complete the old world feeling. Somewhere past Caravaggio's Denial of Saint Peter we wandered through the exit of the exhibition and were entranced by the images of the Bella Donna and Venus. It was entrancing. All aspects of love, marriage, family, platonic, as well as sensual both heterosexual and homosexual, are covered by works on paper, paintings, ceramics, sculpture, glass, jewelry and furniture. Other standouts are the maiolica childbirth plates and the wedding rings, including a beautifully ornate Jewish ceremonial ring. The curators have provided a thorough explanation of the imagery employed in these works of art. Let's just say I will be looking at keys, birds and vegetables in a totally different way from now on. And it gave us a new insight into the holiday windows at Bergdorf Goodman that we saw later that evening.
The exhibition runs until February 16th and, brilliant idea this, accompanying lectures are available on the youtubes.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Jesus Christ on a Jet Bomber

Buenos Aires is a city of art: sculptures in the parks, paintings in cafes and fantastic museums including MALBA. It was at the last that I saw a work that has haunted me ever since. La Civilización Occidental y Cristiana (Western-Christian Civilization) 1965 by León Ferrari hangs at the end of the exhibition space on the second floor and is as profound and valid today as it was when Ferrari made it to protest the Vietnam War forty years ago. Exploiting religious beliefs to make a case for war or imposing democracy on a country is arrogant, imperialistic and costs thousands of human lives; it doesn't work. I doubt if we'll ever learn this lesson from history, maybe art as arresting as this can make the case.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


We'd gone to the Moma to see the Van Gogh and the Colors if the Night and the Joan Miro: Painting and Anti-Painting exhibitions but it was Kirchner and the Berlin Street that really thrilled us. This small show, that sadly finished its run on Monday, was a true delight. Depicting Berlin's working women in the years just before World War I, the colors are thing you notice first about Kirchner's art; vibrant pinks and luminous yellow, moody greens and blues. The stylised figures, elongated streetwalkers and their furtive clients with blackened eyes, reminded me both of El Greco and the masked characters in James Ensor's paintings.

Potsdamer Platz, 1914

Danger is here on the Berlin streets, you feel the furtiveness of the figures in the background, but there is also vitality, the women dress alluringly in furs and plumed hats. It's almost like looking at stills from My Fair Lady or mannequins in a department store window.
This exhibition along with other works by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner can be seen next at The Brücke-Museum in Berlin, if you are planning a visit to Germany between December 13 and March 15 2009.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Today is Armistice Day, the 90th anniversary of the end of World War One. Even in this time of war it is difficult to image the trauma that millions went through fighting "the war to end all wars", but if you have lived in Flanders there is a constant reminder in the landscape and the rebuilt city of Ieper.
One of the starkest, most powerful experiences is to visit the Menenpoort or Menin Gate and see the names of the missing 54,896 soldiers inscribed into the walls. No one leaves there unaffected by the sacrifice the mostly very young men made in the name of civilisation. Further out of town there are the Cemeteries where thousands of soldiers are buried and the harrowing but compelling In Flanders Fields Museum that tells the story of The Great War from the perspective of witnesses, both soldiers and civilians, to the misery and horror of Ypres, Passchendaele and The Somme. The war ended at 11 am on 11th of November 1918, and is remembered every year at this time with a minute's silence. Lest we forget.

In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

- Lt.-Col. John McCrae

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Art Deco and All That Jazz

Ok, it was tiny, poorly laid out and badly lit but the Paris/New York: Design Fashion Culture 1925-1940 did have a couple of gems: The radiator grille from the Squibb Building in Manhattan, designed by Buchman & Kahn and the gold on glass panels from the grand hall of the SS Normandie. Then there was a tantalisingly short clip of Josephine Baker performing at a French Revue and a steel model of the Trylon and Perisphere at the 1939 New York World's Fair.
It takes almost as long to read the title of the show as it does to go round it, but really the exhibition was a sort of hors d'oeuvre - it left me hungry to know more about the relationship between the two cities in that inter-war period and reminded me to walk down Fifth Avenue soon to look at the beautiful Art Deco facades we have in New York.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Where am I?




No, somewhere a little closer to home.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Essential Art of African Textiles: Design Without End

While we were at the Metropolitan Museum of Art soaking up the sun on the roof and admiring the Jeff Koons sculptures, we took time to wander through the galleries and see The Essential Art of African Textiles: Design Without End. It's only a small exhibition placed in the middle of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas wing, but it was very inspiring.
Three pieces in particular stood out for me:

El Anatsui Between Earth and Heaven, 2006, aluminium and copper wire textile

Sokari Douglas Camp Nigerian Woman Shopping, 1990, steel sculpture

Grace Ndiritu The Nightingale, 2003, video installation

In addition to these three works, the exhibition features textiles dating from the 19th century to the present day and is held in collaboration with the British Museum, London. Catch it if you can at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Shiny Happy Sculptures*

Perfect weather last Friday to view the Jeff Koons exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Sacred Heart (Red/Gold), 1994–2007

Balloon Dog (Yellow), 1994–2000

You may think Koons' work is simplistic but I have to admire the technical genius of the construction. It's flawless. And it made me smile on a day when the financial markets were plummeting.

* To sing along, click my playlist at the bottom of the page

Saturday, October 04, 2008

To do list and city fun

Ok, so we have a few things to get done this weekend:
1) Tackle the new hole the blasted woodpecker has made in the post by the front door before the porch falls down.
2) Clean out the gutters. Again. Yes, someone is going back up on the roof. And yes, that would be the same someone who forgot our anniversary. As both this and chore #1 require someone else to hold the ladder, I can foresee all sorts of calamities before we are done.
3) Clean out the dead moles from the pool filters so the guys can come and close it up without being totally grossed out.
4)Run into the city to see the Jeff Koons exhibit on the roof of the Met before it closes.
All these things require fine weather, so it BETTER NOT RAIN BEFORE SUNDAY EVENING.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

YSL Retrospective

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Montreal was visiting the Musee des Beaux Arts to see the Yves St Laurent retrospective. The exhibition, which opened only a few days before YSL died, spanned forty years of innovative fashion design and was awe inspiring, not least because you could really get up close and examine the garments to see the work that the couturier put into each outfit.

It is only when you get within two feet of a dress that you can truly understand how they can cost thousand of dollars.

All the designer's work was represented from Le Smoking, via safari jackets and the yeti style jackets to the transparent blouses and glamorous evening gowns

Memorable designs were the lattice beadwork fringed tribal dresses and this tiny little black micro minidress on the right designed for Diane Von Furstenburg by Yves St Laurent in 1990. Exquisite.
The retrospective in Montreal has now closed but will open at the de Young Museum in San Francisco on November 1st. Go, and be inspired.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Words fail me, so go here for the story. I await your comments.