Wednesday, December 08, 2010
the opening continues

Opening Night at The Hirshhorn, October 1st, 1974. Someone took this picture of me, standing next to this very Beautiful Manzu Plaque of Pope John the 23rd.....There is something about this Artists work that touches me in such a very deep way. Here above, one of Giacomo Manzu's "Seated Cardinal" renderings. Sometimes you cannot verbalize what it is that moves you about a 'work of art'. Sometimes, there are just no words---there is only the 'feeling'. This is the case with me and Giacomo Manzu. My father had many Manzu's in the collection----all are very beautiful. As I have said before, I have always been partial to the Cardinals--standing and seated---and these beautiful plaques that Manzu did which eventually became part of The Basilica Doors, known as "The Door Of Death"........ There is a wonderful book called "An Artist & The Pope" (no doubt, out of print now--but I found one on Ebay--click on this if you are interested....) about the relationship of Pope John XXlll and Giacomo Manzu, who was an atheist. These two men came from the same small town in Italy and it says a lot about Pope John XXlll that he wanted Manzu to do these doors as well as a death mask of himself. They had a truly wonderful and meaningful close friendship. I truly loved this book and was very moved by the deep friendship of these two men....It's been many many years since I read it---but I know exactly where it is in my library and that's because I just may want to re-read it once again, one of these days very soon......Below....another lovely sculpture by Manzu....... I took this picture on that day we walked through the Sculpture Garden back in October of 1974.....It was great to see all the greenery behind this beautiful piece. Below, a closer look at the girls upper torso and face...... And this same sculpture looked when it was still in the Garden at my father's house in Greenwich....... It was lower to the ground there in Greenwich which meant you could almost be on the same level with this sculpture as opposed to it being so far above you.....How it is now---I really don't know.Above, another beautiful sculpture by Manzu called "Dancer", as it looked in the Garden in Greenwich before the move and then below how it looks in the Sculpture Garden at The Hirshhorn...... I guess you can tell, I really admire Giacomo Manzu's work, a lot! One could say I am in love with his work, and you wouldn't be wrong.....!Above, a magnificent piece by Jean Arp, as it looked on that October day at the Opening of The Museum.....It is a piece you really want to touch---it is so smooth and so round......Below, how it looked back in Greenwich...... And in the background, one of those very beautiful Manzu Cardinals.....As I said, my father owned a lot of Manzu's----there were twenty-six back in 1966, at the time of his original gift to the nation.. And, while we are looking at numbers, there were nine Arp's, back then, and it is my understanding that there were fifty-three Henry Moore's---Big & Small in 1966! I know. I cannot fathom it either! It is overwhelming to read numbers like these---but, he had this passion for most of his life---from the time of that Insurance Calendar, and by the time he donated his collection to The Smithsonian Institution, it was a total of 6000 pieces of art. Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture. And by the time of his death, in 1981, another 6000 more pieces, give or take a few, were donated by him to the museum that bears his name, The Hirshhorn---all part of The Smithsonian Institution. Above, a small Henry Moore called "Family Group" that was a part of the Opening Show---this picture was taken by me, inside the Museum that night......I remember this sculpture from the house in Greenwich.....Sometimes when I read about him it is like I am reading about someone that has no relation to me at all.....I know that sounds strange, but, it is true. He was a very complex man---an extremely complicated individual---and I think the numbers of his collection were just as mind boggling to us---his children---as they were to many many people, because how he was with us, as a father, seemed to have very little to do with the man who amassed these incredible works of art, in such massive numbers. But, that's another story for another post....... Above....Opening Night 'Day', in the Sculpture Garden. Daddy signing someones Opening Commemorative book....... This is a fantastic book.....Quite huge and with incredibly beautiful reproductions of a great deal of the collection that was represented in the Opening show back in October, 1974.....It all boggles the mind........

More To Come.............

Links to this post:


had this to say:

Insert my comments to your prior "sculpture" posts here.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 9:11:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I am awe-struck by the number of art pieces and your Father certainly had a heart of gold to donate all these for all to see, appreciate and enjoy.

This is a wonderful legacy Noami :D

Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 4:18:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

It is incredible just how many pieces your father had. Just an amazing collection. I was really drawn to the plaques and the girl sitting.
I guess he was like two men to you. The dad and the collector.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 5:16:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

You say it boggles the mind re: your father, the father and your father the art collector, but at least you are an artist and an art lover. Can you imagine how weird the disconnection would be if you had zero interest in art?

Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 12:02:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Love your photo at "Opening Night at The Hirshhorn".
I am enchanted with that serie of posts! Just remarkable and amazing collection of art! Thanks for sharing, dear Naomi!

Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 5:44:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I think I will make a special effort to see that museum when I go to DC next. There has never been enough time - or the people I was with didn't want to go - but next time I will press to see it, regardless of what others want to do!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 1:55:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Another lovely post - with such beautiful photos of the sculptures. Thank you for making it possible for me to see them.

Nancy in Iowa

Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 2:32:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Hi, just wanted to let you know I've been here, looking at the photos various times but haven't commented because I could only pop in and out as time allowed. I can't wait to go back to the museum now that I've seen all your pictures.

Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 6:24:00 PM PST 

Blogger Pat
had this to say:

Another riveting post. And a glimpse at the extraordinary man who was your father. Has anyone written a book about him? He certainly is worthy of one. To have amassed such a collection in one lifetime boggles the imagination.
I can't help feeling proud that he so favoured Henry Moore. I once was driven in a taxi past his house in London, and to my delight he was standing in the doorway. Unmistakeable!
On a more flippant note the beautiful model of the young girl makes me sigh for the days before one's bosom started the long descent:)

Friday, December 10, 2010 at 2:08:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

it's true.. the more posts like these have been and it's easy to understand where your love (and talent) of Art came from!...

Friday, December 10, 2010 at 8:31:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

i love the photos of the art (because it makes me feel just a bit more cultured) and the photos of you and your dad (because they make me feel just a bit more connected)! thank you (for both), lady! xo

Friday, December 10, 2010 at 12:06:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

You know I've never really been into sculptures so this is fascinating to me. I do love seeing them all surrounded by greenery rather than the walls.

I love the fact that art touches you so deeply. :)

Friday, December 10, 2010 at 3:58:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I was away on trips again and am slowly getting caught up. I read your post on Lillian Gish and had no idea about her racism. Maybe in her time it was more common and if she had been a girl from the 2000s she would not hold such ideas – one just hopes anyway.

Naomi I looked at all these beautiful art pieces your father donated and now I really would like to go and see them. That will be on my list of trips to make. One of the problems though is that in so many galleries they forbid taking photographs, but I’ll inquire before flying to DC.

These posts are incredible – such wealth of art. Your portrait is stunning. I am totally spell bound by your posts. The picture of you next to the Manzu plaque is gorgeous. You certainly have art in your veins, Naomi, which you inherited from your dad. Thanks so much to share all of this with us. Your posts are really a treat to read.

Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 10:32:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

It must have been nourishing to be around so much art. But maybe you would have rather been nourished by your father. I know what you mean about the feeling art can give without an ability to put it into words. I just love that. Was your father pleased to have his collection donated and responded to?

Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 4:53:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

You are right, it is mind boggling!! An amazing amount of artwork that your father had and donated!! Such large numbers! He was truly an amazing person! I can see why you love art so much. You have always been surrounded by it in many forms!

Hope you are well dear lady, and Sweetie too!! :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 5:58:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

What a collection.

From his immigrant roots, your late dad's world certainly expanded, and he had an admirable taste in his choice of fine art.

For you to have been surrounded by such masterpieces indeed must have influenced your own artistic eye.

Thanks for sharing the stories/visuals of the pieces.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 8:10:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I have loved looking at your photos!

I just ordered that book to prowl through. :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010 at 4:33:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Oooo...thanks to the ease of, I got them both! I've been on a book spree lately.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010 at 4:36:00 PM PST 

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Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
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