Wednesday, May 30, 2018

New York Evening Hours by Lieba Nesis

The Frick Spring Garden Party Draws Ladies in Their Finest Threads

The Crowd
All photos Lieba Nesis
Click images for full-size views

The Frick Spring Garden Party for Fellows and Young Fellows took place Wednesday, May 30, 2018, with cocktails from 6:30-10:00 PM at The Frick Museum. This is one of the big three annual shindigs held by the Museum and more than 600 people attended.  As I looked around, the crowd reminded me of attendees at the recent royal wedding with beautiful and elegant ladies in creative hats and fancy dresses and gowns.

Paola Bacchini and Joanna Fisher

In fact, the fashion was superior with the elite of New York ranging from 20 to 90 years old all coming to enjoy the beautiful weather and socialize before they head to Europe and the Hamptons for the summer.  Some of my favorite dressed guests included philanthropists: Joanna Fisher, Maria and Ken Fishel, Jenny Lenz, Paola Bacchini, Toby and Larry Milstein, and Francesca Beal.

Anna Salzman and Jenny Lenz

Jenny Lenz, 27, the daughter of powerhouse Real Estate broker, Dolly Lenz, who is slated to take over her mother's thriving firm and become the next big thing in Real Estate, just returned from Australia where she and her mother spoke in front of 4,000 attendees. Jenny is a member of the Frick and said their events were her favorite because of the eclectic mix of people ranging from artists and art collectors to businessmen and students.

Alison Marschalk, Johanna Collins-Wood, Frederica Tompkins and Lacary Sharpe

This is one of the few times during the year where guests can view magnificent works of art from the permanent collection and the special exhibition galleries, as well as explore the mansion's rarely seen second floor.  The night was a bit cool and guests who were dressed in flimsy floral flocks were jealously eyeing my leather and fur jacket. As the waiters served hors-d'oeuvres of mushroom tarts and crab cakes the guests enjoyed the jazz band playing under the cherry blossom trees.

Left to right: Larry and Toby Milstein, Xavier Salomon and Dylan Giostra

Chief Curator of the Frick, Xavier Salomon, explained to me how important this event was as it gathers members and devotees of the Museum from all different generations. This evening was also celebrating the opening of the exhibition of Italian artist Antonio Canova whose sculpture of George Washington from 1820 was on view. Canova is regarded as the greatest of the Neoclassical artists who were inspired by the Baroque and classical revival.

Left to right: Chris and Francesca Beal, Barbara Reuter and Bill Williams

After he unveiled this great masterpiece to significant acclaim in 1821 a fire swept through the State Capitol reducing the statue to burnt fragments. The show displays the most accurate replica of what the destroyed marble would have looked like as well as bringing together, for the first time, the twenty objects utilized to create the statue. This was the only item Canova produced for America and one of the first ever to pay tribute to George Washington. Salomon who has been Chief Curator for four years said this exhibition took him two years to complete.

Left to right: Kristina Alexandra, Maria Fishel, Hyewon Miller and Jenia Kovalyuk

Being Chief Curator of the Frick is a highly coveted job as the museum, which was established in 1935, remains one of the preeminent small art museums in the world with a collection of old master paintings and fine furniture. Henry Frick intended the mansion to eventually become a museum and stipulated in his will that works of art that belonged to him could not be lent out. Some of the art on view include Jean Honore Fragonard's masterpiece "The Progress of Love" three paintings by Johannes Vermeer including the renowned "Mistress and Maid" and two paintings by Jacob van Ruisdael including "Quay at Amsterdam."

Left to right: Irene Vukovic, Srdjan Vukovic, and Whitney Whitaker

Its' temporary exhibits have featured the magnificent Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring" and Fabritius's "The Goldfinch" which were exhibited in 2013. The Frick's simple design and glorious layout are breathtakingly beautiful. After the DJ played some tunes and Rice Krispie treats and tiramisu bites were served, guests were informed the Museum would be closing at 10 PM.

Left to right: Alexandra and Tina Rosner

I always find it hard to tear myself away from this elaborate edifice as I sit daydreaming about the kind of parties that must have occurred here in the 1900's with guests in their best attire dancing the night away to jazz and ragtime music. Before I lost myself completely, a guard tapped me on the shoulder and I found myself exiting this sanctuary heading out onto the noisy streets of New York.




- Lieba Nesis

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