Monday, January 6, 2020

Beth's lecture on January 7th - Last Call for January and the Winter Holidays!

Félix Vallotton, La Paresse (Laziness), 1896

Greetings, Friends and Happy New Year!

Today is Three Kings Day, "Little Christmas" and Christmas Eve for members of the Christian Eastern Orthodox churches. Thank you, Hyperallergic, for providing the list and a great source to keep us up to date on art happenings and issues. If you haven't subscribed to Hyperallergic, yet, please make that your New Year's resolution.  Thank you, Hrag Vartanian, for a great online art magazine that is absolutely free!

Félix Vallotton's print, Laziness, is part of a wonderful exhibition of this Swiss artist's paintings and prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, through January 26th.  The show is located in the Lehman Wing, so it's a small selection of his work - not too taxing for the weary.

Also, Vallotton and other non-French artists will be featured during my lecture at the Byram Shubert Library, Greenwich, CT on Tuesday, January 7th - that's tomorrow - at 5 pm.
The title is "When Modern Art Came to Paris: Immigration and Assimilation." The talk will highlight the great artists who came to Paris and contributed to modern art when this "City of Light" was the mecca for all aspiring artists. Those who stayed, the immigrants like Vallotton, belong to our concept of "French art."  Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Sonia Delauney, and Amedeo Modigliani were other immigrants who established their careers in France and became part of the French avant-garde during their respective lifetimes.  On January 24, 2020, we honor the 100th anniversary of the  death of Modigliani

I hope you will be able to join us at the Byram Shubert Library at 5 pm - it's free and open to the public.

Other exhibitions that are closing:
Vija Celmins, through January 12 (at the Met Breuer).
The Cloisters: The Colmar Treasures: A Medieval Jewish Legacy, through January 12.  
The Last Knight closed on January 5th - here is the exhibition page to view online.

Michael Amitage, through January 20
Energy, through  January 26
Betye Saar: The Legends of a Black Girl's Window, closed January 4 - here is the exhibition page to view online.

Hans Haacke: All Connected, through January 26

John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Charcoal, through January 12

Beyond Midnight: Paul Revere, through January 12

Abstract Expressionist Women of 9th Street Show, through January 26

Vera Neumann (Vera scarves), through January 26
Anna Sui, through February 23

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2020 -

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and owner
New York Arts Exchange
On Twitter: @bethnewyork

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year! Happy New Decade!

Happy New Decade!

Wishing you peace, joy and plenty of art adventures in 2020!

The New York Arts Exchange

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Happy Holidays!

 John Galliano for House of Dior. 
Evening ensemble, autumn/winter 2005–6. haute couture. 
Courtesy of Dior Heritage Collection, Paris. 
Digital composite scan by Katerina Jebb
(From Heavenly Bodies at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2018)

Wishing You Heavenly Holidays

And a Peaceful New Year!

The New York Arts Exchange

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Friday, October 25, 2019

Fall 2019 - Closings, Openings and Beth's Public Lectures

Amy Sherald, Sometimes the king is a woman, 2019

It's been a spectacular fall weather-wise and art-wise: The Museum of Modern Art reopened on Monday, October 21st, the Felix Vallotton will open this Monday, October 29th at the Met (closing January 26, 2020) and the elegant TEFAF  art fair will fill the Park Avenue Armory November 1st - 5th.

This weekend two exciting exhibitions will close:
Saturday, October 26th, Amy Sherald the heart of the matter, Hauser & Wirth, 548 West 22nd. St. 
(Ms. Sherald is best known for her portrait of Michelle Obama in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.) 

Alicja Kwade, Parapivot, 2019

Sunday, October 27th, Alicja Kwade, Parapivot, Metropolitan Museum of Art, roof installation

Also - IFPDA Fine Art Print Fair is still on at Jacob Javits Center, closing Sunday, October 27th.

Please join us at Beth's Public Lectures and Panels this fall:

Amadeo Modigliani, Portrait of Max Jacob, 1916

Monday, October 28th - "When Modern Art was 'Jewish': The Anti-Semitic Campaign Against Cubism and the School of Paris," Shames JCC, Tarrytown, 10 - 11:30 am.

 Ann Cefola   

   Ann Launger         

Beth Gersh-Nesic

Translation for Writers - Workshops

Saturday, November 2nd - "Translation for Writers," with poets Ann CefolaAnn Lauinger and art historian Beth Gersh-Nesic at Desmond-Fish Library, Garrison, NY, 1:30-3 pm. 

Sunday, November 10th - Sunday Afternoon with George: "Translation for Writers," with poets Ann Cefola and Ann Lauinger and art historian Beth Gersh-Nesic at Shames JCC in Tarrytown, NY, 1:30 - 3:30 pm.

Georgia O'Keeffe, Blue and Green Music, 1919

Monday, November 4th - "American Women Artists," late 19th-20th century, Learning in Retirement, Temple Beth El, Stamford, CT, 1 - 3 pm.

Monday, November 11th - "20th Century European Women Artists," Learning in Retirement, Temple Beth El, Stamford, CT, 1 - 3 pm

Monday, December 9th - "Was André Salmon a Feminist?,"  André Salmon Colloquium, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.

More News:  The Launch of Za Mir Press

Our first publication is Professor Jacqueline Gojard's book Pablo Picasso and André Salmon: The Painter, the Poet and the Portraits (Za Mir Press, 2019), available on Amazon. 

As for  teaching art history, some of you know that I retired from Purchase College and joined the faculty of the College of New Rochelle last fall as an adjunct.  CNR closed in August and Mercy College, which took over CNR, hired me back.  I taught at Mercy on and off from 1994-2013.

Please keep in touch and let us know if you have exciting exhibitions, books or other events that you would like to announce through the New York Arts Exchange.  Write to Beth at

Happy Halloween!  Shanah Tovah!  

Hoping to see you this fall -

Beth Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and owner

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Museum at Eldridge Street Features Exhibition on Jews in China through October 4th - Special Lecture September 12th

Museum at Eldridge Street (aka Eldridge Street Synagogue)
Built from 1886-1887
Architects: Peter and Francis Herter
Photo: Courtesy of the Museum at Eldridge Street

The world's populations have been in flux for millennia, but now, it seems, more than even, concerns about migration and immigration dominate the news every day. The planet may be in crisis and immigration may be among the symptoms that point to the urgency of the situation. Wars, crime, slavery, pogroms, economic opportunity, and climate change have been the major forces driving people to move to different lands. In most cases, there is a need to escape hardship and find a better life.  

View of the main sanctuary from the Women's Gallery
Photo: Beth S. Gersh-Nesic

The Museum at Eldridge Street regards its existence as a chapter in the New York immigrant experience. The museum is a 19th century synagogue built by a Jewish Russian population living on the Lower East Side. It was completed for this Orthodox congregation called Kahal Adath Jeshurun in 1887 to serve this mainly Eastern European (Ashkenazi) tradition of Judaism.  The Museum at Eldridge Street is the only Jewish synagogue open to the public as a place to educate and share multicultural programming. To access an introduction to the Museum of Eldridge Street, visit their website which explains the building's restoration (rededicated in 2007) and their permanent collection.

Main Sanctuary viewed from the Women's Gallery.
Rose stained-glass window by Kiki Smith, installed in 2010
Photo: Beth S. Gersh-Nesic

The museum's mission states. we  . . . 
  • Welcome people of all faiths and cultures.
  • Teach and reinforce tolerance.
  • Believe diversity is our strength.
  • Believe openness and exchange makes us stronger.

View of the stained glass window in the ceiling
Photo: Beth S. Gersh-Nesic

For more information about the museum's mission, please read this interview with the museum's wonderful archivist and curator Nancy Johnson. Since the fall of 2016, she has either organized or overseen the exhibitions and programs for The Michael Weinstein Art Gallery within the museum. Her exhibitions have made a significant contribution to this burgeoning arts community.  Please subscribe to their email blasts for news about their active schedule of programs, such as the ones listed below.

Photo: Courtesy of the Museum at Eldridge Street

Today, the Museum at Eldridge Street stands among the bustling streets of Chinatown and the exploding Lower East Side (LES) gallery scene stretching in all directions around the New Museum on the Bowery.  Located at 12 Eldridge Street, the museum is a mere hop, skip and jump away from the magnificent Manhattan Bridge.  From there, myriads of diverse ethnic adventures beckon - cafés, restaurants, boutiques, and food markets galore.

Street Performance during "Egg Rolls, Egg Creams and Empanadas"
Photo: Courtesy of the Museum of Eldridge Street

With this in mind, the museum offers the annual June event  "Egg Rolls, Egg Creams and Empanadas," an exciting day of art, dance, street performances, and music - lots of music.  This year's celebration was especially memorable because Harbin, China: Past/Presentan exhibition about Jews living in Harbin, China, filled the museum's beautiful Weinstein Art Gallery.  

Harbin alone deserves a long, relaxed visit, before or after a tour of the synagogue.  Richly detailed in its educational presentation, Nancy Johnson has curated an excellent combination of photographs, text panels, and narratives about a few Russian emigrés who settled in Harbin and raised their families. The history of Jews living in Harbin begins in the late 1890s and ends in the 1960s.  

Steven Lane, Installation on the Women's Gallery

The Harbin exhibition includes a contemporary art component produced by the New York artist Steven Lane, who works in Harbin during the summer, when he is not teaching at Keio Academy of New York, a Japanese-American high school located in Purchase, New York.  Photographs of Lane's work in Harbin as well as his prints and glorious installation in the Women's Gallery ably connect Harbin of the past to the present, hence the title of the show.

Steven Lane's installation in the Women's Gallery

The history of the Jews settling in Harbin, previously a cluster of villages in Manchuria, begins with the Russian invasion of Manchuria and the subsequent Russo-Manchuria Treaty of 1897.  Then Jews immigrated to Harbin to build the Chinese Eastern Railway. The whole enterprise created a modern urban oasis of freedom for Russian Jews who were extremely restricted and unwelcome in their homeland. By 1903, 500 Jews lived in Harbin. By 1908, there were 8,000. For more information online, please read Dr. Irena Vladimirsky's article "The Jews of Harbin, China,"

Tours of the Museum at Eldridge Street, a typical Moorish Revival style synagogue inspired by mid-19th century synagogues in Europe, like Dohany Street Synagogue in Budapest, are available during the days the museum is open.  Check out their website for details.

Harbin, China: Past/Present closes on Sunday, October 4th. 

Three important activities in September and October:
Thursday, September 12:
Artist's Tour of the Exhibition: Steven Lane, at 5:45 PM.
"Jewish Lives in China," at 6:30 PM.
Lectures by Professor Jim Ross, Department of Journalism, Northeastern University; Irene Clurman, a journalist from Colorado, who maintains a website on Harbin; and Varda Yoran, born in China in 1929 of parents who emigrated from Russia.
Details and tickets available on the museum's website.

Wednesday, September 18, 6:30 PM:
"EastRiver Ensemble Concert," a mixture of Chinese and other kinds of music.
Tickets are available here.

Sunday, October 6, 10:45--1:30 PM:
"Shuls of Grandeur: A Tour of Bialystoker Synagogue and  Eldridge Street Synagogue.
Meeting at Bialystoker Synagogue.  Tickets available on this website.

Best wishes and enjoy this glorious weather!

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and owner
New York Arts Exchange
Twitter: @BethNewYork

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Labor Day Weekend - Last Call for September/October Closings

Milton Avery (American, 1885-1965). Swimmers and Sunbathers, 1945. 
Oil on canvas, 28 x 48 1/4 in.
 The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Roy R. Neuberger, 1951 (51.97). 
© 2019 The Milton Avery Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), 
New York. Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY.

Labor Day is nigh and the end of summer is here!  I sincerely hope you all had wonderful summers with friends and family, whether here in New York or far, far away.  

Now is the time to catch the last days of the New York Summer Season's best exhibitions, each closing very soon. Here is the list:

James McNeill Whistler, Fumette, 1858.
 Etching and drypoint, black ink on cream French laid paper, 6 3/8 × 4 1/4 inches. 
Gertrude Kosovsky Collection; © The Frick Collection

Labor Day Weekend:
Whistler as Printmaker: Highlights from the Gertrude Kosovsky Collection, Frick Museum, through Sunday, September 1.

Summer with the Averys: Milton, Sally and March, and Sharks! Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT, September 1.  (This one venue is perfect for the family as both exhibitions are suitable for children of all ages.)

Ragnar Kjartansson:  Death is Elsewhere, Metropolitan Museum of Art, through September 2.

Blue Man Group: Ready . . . Go!, Museum of the City of New York, through September 2

Anne Samat, Che Yah (The Greatest Love),2019

Next weekend:
Camp: Notes on Fashion, Metropolitan Museum of Art, through September 8.

Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything, The Jewish Museum, through September 8.

Anne Samat: Greatest Love, Hudson Valley Museum of Modern Art, Peekskill, NY, through September 8

Two weeks from now:
Summer Revolution, New York Historical Society, through September 15.

Walt Whitman, Bard of Democracy, Morgan Library and Museum, September 15.

Three weeks from now:
Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum, through September 22.

Hogarth: Cruel and Humor, Morgan Library and Museum, through September 22.

Mrinalini Mukherjee, Aranyani, 1996

Last weekend in September/October 1:
Phenomenal Nature: Mrinalini Mukherjee, Met Breuer, through September 29.
Free Lecture on Thursday, September 5th, 6:30 and Gallery Talk on Tuesday, September 10th, 12:30.

From Manet to Picasso: The Thannhauser Colllection, Guggenheim Museum, through September 29.

Best wishes for the Labor Day Weekend and the Fall Season ahead - 

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and owner
New York Arts Exchange