Sunday, January 27, 2013

Last Call: Bodleian Manuscripts at the Jewish Museum closing February 3; NYAE Tours begin Tuesday

Crossing Borders: Manuscripts from the Bodleiain Libraries at the Jewish Museum
through February 3rd.

The exceptional exhibition of manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries (Oxford, England) at the Jewish Museum is about to end on Sunday, February 3rd. Even in these multiculti times, this occasion to study Hebrew, Latin and Arabic manuscripts side by side in a museum is quite rare. Here, we learn through looking at the mutual influences among Christian, Muslim and Jewish artists during the Middle Ages and Renaissance.  The installation is beautifully arranged and suitable for lingering - provided there isn't a holiday mob.  

Please join us on Tuesday, January 29th for a conversational tour of this extraordinary exhibition and the Sharon Lockhart/Noa Eshkol installation on dance.

Sharon Lockhart/Noa Eshkol, at the Jewish Museum through March 24

Winter Tours on Tuesdays
January 29 through March 19, 2013
1 pm

January 29: Bodleian manuscripts/dance exhibition, Jewish Museum
February 5 – Museum of Art and Design:  Art of Fragrance, etc.
February 12 - Museum of Biblical Art and Museum of Folk Art
February 19 – Fifty-Seventh Street Galleries
February 26 – Chelsea Galleries
March 5 – Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity @ the Met
March 12 – Uptown Galleries
March 19 – National Museum of Native Americans

The series of 8 tours/classes $400; $60 a la carte.

Take care in this brutal cold - warmer temperatures on the way.

Hang in there,
Beth New York

aka Beth Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
New York Arts Exchange

Monday, January 21, 2013

Last Call: Lin Tianmiao at Asia Society through January 27

Lin Tianmiao, Installation,  Bound Unbound, Asia Society

Lin Tianmiao is one of the most famous Chinese artists of her generation. This fall Asia Society presents a mid-career retrospect of works and installations by this extraordinary 51 year-old woman. Her imagination combines the sensual with the strange - and disturbing. The title of the exhibition Bound Unbound alludes to thread wrapped around objects.  This video on the Asia Society's website explains her memories of winding thread for her mother, which she hated to do.  Nevertheless, she returned to this activity to articulate or enhance various invented forms.

Lin Tianmiao, Badges, Galerie LeLong, Fall 2012

I discovered Lin Tianmiao's other exhibition at Galerie Lelong in Chelsea this past fall.  There she exhibited numerous circles embroidered with typical slurs aimed at women in China and elsewhere. The dainty presentation of nasty comments confused and captured my mind for a very long time. An audio component spoke the words out loud.

The New York Arts Exchange offers a tour of the exhibition at Asia Society on Wednesday, January 23 at 1 pm.  We will met in the lobby at 1 pm.  $60 a la carte.  Please confirm your reservation at 

Best wishes for Chinese New Year - February 10, 11, and 12 -
新年快乐(xīn nián kuài lè) Happy New Year!

Beth New York

aka Beth Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
New York Arts Exchange

Monday, January 14, 2013

Happy Birthday, Berthe Morisot Manet

Berthe Morisot, The Cradle, 1872, Musée d'Orsay

The French Impressionist Berthe Morisot would have been 172 years old today had she not died on March 2, 1895.  I'll let you do the math.

Her sister Edma was an artist too, but gave up on the idea of a career when she married. Here we see Edma with her second child, Blanche.  Berthe persevered and participated in the infamous Impressionists' exhibitions.  In 1874 she married Edouard Manet's brother Eugène.
For more information on Berthe Morisot, please look for my essay on Art History - Berthe Morisot.  

Bon anniveraire, chère Berthe.  We love your paintings so very much.

Beth New York

aka Beth Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
New York Arts Exchange

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Interactive Picasso Painting - "Black and White" closing January 23

Woman Ironing (La repasseuse), Paris, 1904. 
Oil on canvas, 45 3/4 x 28 3/4 inches (116.2 x 73 cm). 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York,Thannhauser Collection,
 Gift, Justin K. Thannhauser  78.2514.41.
 © 2012 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Do we need another Picasso show after the major exhibitions Picasso in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2010 and The Steins Collect in 2012?   Yes, we do!  The Guggenheim's Picasso Black and White brings together so many important works from 1904 to 1971, both well-known and rarely seen.  

At first, I envisioned an abundance of Picasso's prints: The Vollard Suite (1930-37)and 347 etchings (late 1960s). Hardly the case. Here you will see astonishing oil paintings that - ironically - call attention to Picasso's deliberate emphasis on color in all his works. Choosing grisaille (tonalities of black, white and gray) plays different roles in each case. Women Ironing, which we see above, seems to linger on sculptural contours in the figure, bowl and rag.  The Charnel House registers an appropriate grimness for this horrific scene - similar to his celebrated Guernica (1936), which, unfortunately, does not appear in this show.

Pablo PIcasso, The Charnel House, Paris, 1944-45.
Oil and charcoal on canvas, 6' 6 5/8" x 8' 2 1/2" (199.8 x 250.1 cm).
Mrs. Sam A. Lewisohn Bequest (by exchange), and Mrs. Marya Bernard Fund in memory of her husband Dr. Bernard Bernard, and anonymous funds. 
© 2013 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 93.1971

Best of all, the exhibition website provides an interactive link to the conservation of Woman Ironing, which has a portrait underneath the painting  Click on this link to try it yourself: Woman Ironing interactive.  Could this be a self-portrait?   

By the way, the "woman" ironing is most likely Picasso's lover in 1904, Madeleine.  (More on Madeleine another day.)

Picasso Black and White will close at the Guggenheim Museum in New York on Wednesday, January 23, 2013.  

The New York Arts Exchange is offering a tour of the show on Wednesday, January 16 at 1 pm.  We will meet in the lobby by the bench.
$60 a la carte

Come join us!
Beth New York

aka Beth Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
New York Arts Exchange

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Winter Session Art Tours - Met, Guggenheim and Asia Society

  François Boucher (French, 1703–1770) 
Toilet de Venus, 1751
oil on canvas, Metropolitan Museum of Art

It's Winter Session for those of us who follow the Academic Calendar.  I am teaching an online course for Purchase College on Impressionism from January 2 through January 22:  three jam-packed weeks of those mighty Modernist rebels.   Fortunately, this Intersession Break liberated Dr. Kim de Beaumont, our guest lecturer for a tour of 18th century galleries at the Met.  Later this month, her teaching schedule at Hunter College and Pace College will once again "occupy" her precious time.

I am very excited about Kim's tour because the Impressionists, despite all their strident avant-garde-ness, looked to the 18th century for their ideas.  Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) especially liked the delicacy of the Rococo, exemplified in works by François Boucher and Jean-Honoré Fragonard.  Below, you will find Renoir's early painting Diana, which I just happened to bump into at the National Gallery this past weekend during my trip to Washington, DC.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Diana, 1867
Chester Dale Collection, National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC 

Please join us for an exceptional opportunity to tour the 18th-century Wrightsman Wing and painting galleries at the Met with Dr. Kim de Beaumont tomorrow, Wednesday, January 9 at 1 pm.  

Winter Session Tours - $150 for all three tours; $60 a la carte
Wednesdays at 1 pm

  • January 9 - 18th century galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Dr. Kim de Beaumont
  • January 16 - Picasso Black and White at the Guggenheim
  • January 22 - Lin Tianmaio at Asia Society (impossible to understand in photos - a must see!)
Please confirm your reservation at

Enjoy this lovely warm weather,
Beth New York

aka Beth Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
New York Arts Exchange

Monday, January 7, 2013

Merry Christmas - Julian Style

Merry Christmas 
С Рождеством (S-RazhdestvOm) 
Καλά Χριστούγεννα (Kalá hristúyenna)

According to the Julian calendar (named after Julius Caesar), today is Christmas.  Who still follows the Julian calendar?  Orthodox Christians, such as the Serbs, Russians, Greek Old Calendarists, Ukrainians, Bulgarians and Macedonians.  In 1582,  Pope Gregory XIII decreed the adjustment of the Julian calendar, adding almost two weeks, hence the Gregorian calendar which most of the world follows today.   

For more information, please click these links:

The greetings on Christmas Day, Jan. 7, in Serbian are: Mir Bozji! Hristos se Rodi! (Peace of God! Christ is Born!). The response is Voistinu Hristos se Rodi! (Indeed, He is born!). 

(By the way, when George Washington was born on February 11, 1731, the colonies were still following the Julian calendar. In 1752 the British adopted the Gregorian calendar and Washington's birthday was changed to February 22. Why the difference in year?  Here is the explanation for Old Style - O.S. - vs. New Style - N.S.)

Well, I am off to bake Christmas bread and prepare zito (wheat pudding) for our Christmas celebration.

May all your days be full of holiday spirit.

Честита Коледа (Čestita Koleda - Merry Christmas in Bulgarian),
Beth New York

aka Beth Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
New York Arts Exchange

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Last Call: Bernini at the Met closes January 6

Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Italian, Naples 1598-1680 Rome), Model for the Lion on the Four Rivers Fountain, ca. 1649-50. Terracotta. 125/8 x 23¼ x 12 5/8 in. (32 x 59 x 32 cm) Accademia Nazionale di San Luca, Rome. Photo by Zeno Colantoni, Rome [LEONE ©ZC-041].  Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Bernini: Sculpting in Clay: a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the master's touch on clay..Here is an excellent review of the exhibition: The Art (Founders)  Project

Hurry!  Closing Sunday, January 6, 2013.

Beth New York
aka Beth Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
New York Arts Exchange