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Upcoming events (4)
Our Second book will be: Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane by Andrew Graham-Dixon “This book resees its subject with rare clarity and power as a painter for the 21st century.”—Hilary Spurling, New York Times Book Review In a bravura performance, Andrew Graham-Dixon explores Caravaggio’s staggering artistic achievements, delving into the original Italian sources to create a masterful profile of the mercurial painter. This New York Times and Washington Post Notable Book of the Year features more than eighty full-color reproductions of the artist’s best paintings.
Hi all, if anyone is interested in joining me for this docent lecture, let's do it and then see the exhibit afterwards! This exhibition, East Meets West: Jewels of the Maharajas from The Al Thani Collection, explores the cultural and material exchanges between India and Europe through jewelry and precious objects ranging from the seventeenth century to the present. It features more than 150 pieces made in India or Europe associated with Mughal emperors, maharajas, and their courts. These objects include jewelry to be worn on ceremonial occasions, weapons such as swords and daggers, and precious works of art for display or use. Diamonds were at the center of this exchange, which, up until the mid-eighteenth century, were mined in India and then traded to Europe where they were often recut in sparkling new forms. European enameling on courtly jewels presented as diplomatic gifts inspired the Mughal courts from the sixteenth century to develop goldsmiths’ work decorated with enamel, a practice that continues in India to this day. In the twentieth century, the exchange ran in the opposite direction through Indian influences and gemstones that inspired the work of the great Parisian jewelry houses. Gender plays a significant role in this exhibition as, contrary to Western expectations, the most splendid jewelry was supplied exclusively for the male rulers of India. Furthermore, great pieces of jewelry conceived to adorn the queens of Europe, such as Catherine the Great of Russia or Empress Eugenie of France, could be happily worn by male maharajas in India. https://legionofhonor.famsf.org/calendar/docent-talk-all-glitters-jewels-al-thani-collection-marsha-holm-0
We will be reading The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt's Masterpiece National Bestseller The true story that inspired the movie Woman in Gold starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds. Contributor to the Washington Post Anne-Marie O’Connor brilliantly regales us with the galvanizing story of Gustav Klimt’s 1907 masterpiece—the breathtaking portrait of a Viennese Jewish socialite, Adele Bloch-Bauer. The celebrated painting, stolen by Nazis during World War II, subsequently became the subject of a decade-long dispute between her heirs and the Austrian government. When the U.S. Supreme Court became involved in the case, its decision had profound ramifications in the art world. Expertly researched, masterfully told, The Lady in Gold is at once a stunning depiction of fin-de siècle Vienna, a riveting tale of Nazi war crimes, and a fascinating glimpse into the high-stakes workings of the contemporary art world. One of the Best Books of the Year: The Huffington Post, The Christian Science Monitor. Winner of the Marfield National Award for Arts Writing. Winner of a California Book Award.
For something (slightly) different - hopefully people in this group are interested in architecture as well as art... From the Amazon.com description: "The Roaring Twenties in New York was a time of exuberant ambition, free-flowing optimism, an explosion of artistic expression in the age of Prohibition. New York was the city that embodied the spirit and strength of a newly powerful America. In 1924, in the vibrant heart of Manhattan, a fierce rivalry was born. Two architects, William Van Alen and Craig Severance (former friends and successful partners, but now bitter adversaries), set out to imprint their individual marks on the greatest canvas in the world--the rapidly evolving skyline of New York City. Each man desired to build the city’s tallest building, or ‘skyscraper.’ Each would stop at nothing to outdo his rival. Van Alen was a creative genius who envisioned a bold, contemporary building that would move beyond the tired architecture of the previous century. By a stroke of good fortune he found a larger-than-life patron in automobile magnate Walter Chrysler, and they set out to build the legendary Chrysler building. Severance, by comparison, was a brilliant businessman, and he tapped his circle of downtown, old-money investors to begin construction on the Manhattan Company Building at 40 Wall Street. From ground-breaking to bricklaying, Van Alen and Severance fought a cunning duel of wills. Each man was forced to revamp his architectural design in an attempt to push higher, to overcome his rival in mid-construction, as the structures rose, floor by floor, in record time. Yet just as the battle was underway, a third party entered the arena and announced plans to build an even larger building. This project would be overseen by one of Chrysler’s principal rivals--a representative of the General Motors group--and the building ultimately became known as The Empire State Building. Infused with narrative thrills and perfectly rendered historical and engineering detail, Higher brings to life a sensational episode in American history. Author Neal Bascomb interweaves characters such as Al Smith and Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt, leading up to an astonishing climax that illustrates one of the most ingenious (and secret) architectural achievements of all time." Sounds pretty interesting to me! We may deviate from Vesuvio but for now I am using it as a placeholder. Location to be somewhere in San francisco /downtown area