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Frida Kahlo Portraits of an Icon

by Margaret Hooks (Turner and Throckmorton Fine Art, 2002) 150 pp.; $65

Even before Hollywood beauty Salma Hayek portrayed her in a popular recent film, Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) was a twentieth-century legend. Perhaps one of the best known Latin American artists, Kahlo led a lively, bohemian life that was also marked by tragedy. Until her death at age 46, Kahlo constructed a self-image that was as carefully crafted as any of her artwork.

This selection of portraits of Kahlo brings together the work of some of the most renowned photographers of the twentieth-century including Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, and Manuel Alvarez Bravo. The images span her life from precocious child to famous artist; they bring Kahlo into focus as a painter, an invalid, a wife, a daughter, a lover, and a friend.

Fifty-nine plates were reproduced from Spencer Throckmorton’s collection of more than 100 photographs of the artist, many of them unique and published for the first time in this volume. Each plate was scaled to size and printed with different combinations of tone to capture the size and nuances of the original prints.

Throckmorton, of the eponymous New York gallery specializing in photography and Latin American and pre-Columbian art, has been collecting images of Kahlo for about twenty years. On view at Throckmorton Fine Art through March 22, 2003, is the exhibition Mexican Suites Part II, Photography in Mexico. For more information, call 212.223.1059 or visit www.throckmorton-nyc.com.

One Great Nation

Questroyal Fine Art; On view now through April 26, 2003; For information, visit
www.questroyalfineart.com or call 212.744.3586

This exhibition of Hudson River School and luminists works at Questroyal Fine Art presents over 100 paintings celebrating the American landscape. Highlights include Sanford R. Gifford's (1823-1880) Carriage on a Country Road, 1863, shown here.

A historically significant scene for the artist, Carriage on a Country Road is an example of Gifford’s signature rich aerial luminism. In this painting, however, Gifford uses effulgent light not only as a visual trope to dazzle the eye, but more importantly, as a psychological ploy to draw the viewer's thoughts away from the ongoing Civil War. This work relates to the series of Civil War subjects Gifford painted after he enrolled in New York's Seventh Regiment of the National Guard.

While Carriage on a Country Road is not an overt reference to the war, its artistry is very much informed by Gifford's feelings on the war. It was most likely painted somewhere between Maryland and Pennsylvania along the northern Potomac, within the general vicinity of where Antietam and Pickett’s Charge occurred.1 The emotional distance of the painting from the tenor of such frightful events staged within the same area, its emphasis on a blithe afternoon carriage ride, and its illustration of a perfect bucolic landscape, veiled in glowing light, underscore Gifford’s efforts to try to heal the national consciousness. It is hard to imagine that the charming, stone fences lining the road doubled as bunkers during combat.

Gifford was one of several artists, writers, and poets who expressed similar reactions to the war. In Come up from the Field, Father, poet Walt Whitman described an idyllic backdrop that contrasts poignantly with references to the war. In the poem, a letter arrives to the family of a fallen soldier informing them of his death. His sister is handed the letter and calls to her mother and father in the fields to read its sad contents. However, before the sister is able to do so, Whitman, in his narration, describes the becalmed setting of the fields as follows: "Lo' tis autumn/Lo, where the trees, deeper green, yellower and redder…Above all, lo, the sky so calm, so transparent/after the rain, and with wondrous clouds,/Below too, all calm, all vital and beautiful,/and the farm prospers well."

—Jennifer Krieger, Gallery Director, Questroyal Fine Art

  1. Conversation with art historian Alex Boyle, August 15, 2002.

Paul Revere's Ride

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow;
Illustrated by Charles Santore
Harper Collins Publishers (2003)
40 pp.; $16.99

Artist Charles Santore's newly illustrated version of Paul Revere's Ride, brilliantly captures in boldly executed, yet precise detail, the thrill and excitement of Longfellow’s historic tale. Though a children’s book, this volume will appeal to both young and old. Santore, winner of numerous awards for his artistic achievements in the magazine and advertising worlds, is also the author of The Windsor Style in America (Running Press, 1992).

A collector of Windsor chairs, Santore illustrates his favorite form, the comb-back, in the opening section of Paul Revere's Ride. Says Santore, "They were the first Windsor form imported, used, and made in this country in the early eighteenth century, so I felt it fitting to use it in a story recounting an important episode of early American history."

Art Through the Ages: Masterpieces from Titian to Picasso

Guggenheim Hermitage Museum,
Las Vegas, Nevada
On view now through May 4, 2003
For information, tel. 702.414.2440.

High rollers aren't the only ones flocking to desert funland Las Vegas these days. High art at the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, which opened in 2001, is drawing record crowds. The current exhibition of six centuries of Western art has already pulled in 120,000 visitors since opening in August 2002.

The museum has extended Art of the Ages, the first exhibition of Renaissance art in the greater Las Vegas region, by two months. A Pop Art retrospective follows in late May.


In the 3rd Anniversary/Winter 2003 issue, Taylor B. Williams Antiques was mentioned in Profiles as exhibiting at The Winnetka Antiques Show. This was an error; they will be exhibiting at The Chicago Botanic Garden Show, April 11, 12, 13 in Glencoe, Illinois.

The Neville-Strass Collection

Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Hagerstown, Maryland
On view now through May 4, 2003
For information, call 301.739.5727.

The Neville-Strass Collection of American paintings dating from 1819 to 1947 includes many works by women who lived or studied in the Philadelphia area. The dated 1878 study shown here is a rare example of Emily Sartain's (1841-1927) work. A member of the famous Philadelphia family of artists, Sartain was noted for her role in educating women artists as the principal of the Philadelphia School for Design for Women (now Moore College of Art) between 1886 and 1920. A catalogue is available through the museum.

The Grand Acquisitors: Acquiring Art Through the Ages

The Newport Symposium, The Preservation Society of Newport County
Newport, Rhode Island
April 28 through 30, 2003
Reservations required ($500).
Call 401.847.1000, ext. 154

The 11th annual Newport Symposium will examine great personalities in the history of collecting and the remarkable stories of art treasures that have become celebrities in their own right. Speakers will include Daniel P. Jordan, President of Monticello, and London art critic Robert Cunningham, among others.

English-style Restoration

Eighteenth-century English furniture dealers Diana and Mark Jacoby of Philip Colleck, Ltd., a venerable firm founded in 1938, have moved to a wonderful circa-1850 brick house. The freestanding three-story historic landmark is surrounded by a white picket fence, an unusual feature in midtown Manhattan.

When the Jacobys found the house in 1999, it had been lived in by one family for half a century and was in need of serious renovation. The exterior was painted mauve, which was removed to reveal the natural red brick beneath. Many original features were preserved including double sash windows, wide pine floor boards, and cast iron mantelpieces.

Behind the house, a long-neglected garden was redesigned. A porch was added with steps leading down to graceful pathways, newly constructed of antique brick, and a formal English-style garden was set out with blue and white hydrangeas, roses, linden trees, Korean boxwood, holly, ivy, and all manner of spring flowers.

The interiors offer a perfect setting for displaying the Jacoby's eighteenth-century English furniture and accessories inventory. Diana oversaw the painting and papering of the rooms and selected custom hand-painted wallpaper for the "Chinese Room" leading to the garden.

The Jacobys recently discovered a set of five early nineteenth-century Chinese polychrome wallpaper panels in London. The wallpaper, having flowering trees and branches with birds on a cafe au lait background, was never hung and remains in pristine condition. Several panels from the same series are in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Another recent acquisition is a beautifully-carved circa 1740 Irish console table with an antique marble top, which the Jacobys found in Scotland. A George II mahogany secretary with chinoiserie fretwork carving and wonderful details such as secret drawers was also just acquired.

Philip Colleck, Ltd., 311 East 58th Street (between First and Second Avenues), New York City. Tel. 212.486.7600; www.philipcolleck.com.

—Frances McQueeney-Jones Mascolo

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