Tag Archives: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Lessons in Excellency: Diana Vreeland and Henry Geldzahler in “The Empress and the Commissioner,” Directed by Don Munroe

Presenting Her Excellency Diana Vreeland, Special Consultant, Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, as interviewed by Henry Geldzahler, New York Commissioner of Cultural Affairs, in her New York apartment in 1980 for The Empress and the Commissioner, an Outstandingly informative  episode of  Andy Warhol‘s Fashion, the mid 1970s/1980s Manhattan Cable television show, directed by Don Munroe.

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The Slyly Surreal Excellence of Elsa Schiaparelli as Exhibited in American High Style: Fashioning a National Collection at The Brooklyn Museum

Presenting a necklace, designed by the Outstandingly Excellent Elsa Schiaparelli, made, in 1939, of clear Rhodoid, which was, according the The Brooklyn Museum, “a newly developed material that suited Elsa Schiaparellis design intent for this, perhaps her most macabre and certainly one of her most iconic designs. The transparent foundation creates the illusion that the insects are crawling directly on the skin of the wearer’s neck. Yet Schiaparelli was never too heavy-handed: her choice of brightly colored, toy-like ornaments tempers the repugnant effect.” The piece is part of American High Style: Fashioning a National Collection, the extraordinary exhibition currently on view at The Brooklyn Museum in New York. For additional information, please click HERE.

Elsa Schiaparelli (French, born Italy, 1890–1973). Necklace, autumn 1938. Clear Rhodoid (cellulose acetate plastic); metallic green, red, pink, blue, and yellow painted pressed metal ornaments. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta Ramos, 1955 (2009.300.1234).

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The Portrait of Excellence: Jacques Marquet, Baron de Montbreton de Norvins, 1811; Reworked After 1814, as Painted, With Oils and On Canvas, by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (French Neo-Classicist, 1780–1867)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art says: “Norvins (1769–1854) was the youngest son in a wealthy Gascon family. Despite a checkered political career, he was named chief of police for the Roman States in 1811. Norvins became a staunch Napoleonic apologist during the Restoration and the July Monarchy and wrote a number of historical texts, including the highly successful, four-volume Histoire de Napoleon, the first serious biography of the emperor. His gesture of tucking his left hand into the breast of his jacket is reminiscent of his hero. While in Rome, Norvins was recognized for his wit and affability but criticized for being somewhat frivolous. Ingres, however, represents him in a formal manner. He is solemnly dressed; the only decoration he wears is the red ribbon denoting a chevalier in the Legion of Honor.”

Jacques Marquet, Baron de Montbreton de Norvins, 1811; reworked after 1814 Oil on canvas; 38 1/4 x 31 in. (97.2 x 78.7 cm) The Trustees of the National Gallery, London (NG 3291). Image via The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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EXCELLENT CONNOISSEUR: Mr. Thomas Pearsall Field Hoving

Mourning the recent death of the Outstandingly Excellent (?) Thomas P.F. Hoving, former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and former editor of the long-deceased Connoisseur magazine (1981-1991). Excellent condolence email quote shared by the Outstandingly Excellent journalist Michael Gross, author of the very controversially explosive and Excellent Rogues Gallery: The Secret History of the Moguls and the Money That Made the Metropolitan Museum, via his Excellent website: “He was a remarkable guy, full of life and humor, a little crazy like the very best of us.”

The Excellent (?) Thomas P.F. Hoving at a party in New York shortly after becoming director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in 1967. Image by Marty Lederhandler for the Associated Press via The New York Times.

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