Wednesday, December 29, 2010
happy new year

In very short order, there will be a New Year........It is hard to believe we are about to go into the second decade of the 21st Century....... Quite frankly, I'm still getting used to the year 2000....So, I am kind of shocked we are almost at 2011......Where did those ten years go? I don't know. But, all I can think of is how we waited for the year 2000 as if it might never come, and now---magically---it is over ten years later! So, we will pop a Cork to Celebrate the New Year that is almost upon us. I will have 'the usual suspects' here at my home to watch the clock strike 12 midnight........ We will have a lovely dinner.....Play the 'White Elephant' game, taking home many things we don't want but threw the dice for, and then sip a bit of Champagne and/or Martinelli's Sparkling Cider as we stand out on my deck and listen to Greater Los Angeles bring in the New Year along with all of us....... So here is wishing each and every one of you the most wonderful 2011 possible. Good Health, Great Happiness, and an Abundance of Laughter....the Best Medicine I know! I hope you all have a Very Happy New Years Eve, my dears....If you are out on the road, drive carefully. And, be sure to lift a glass for the safety of our troops wherever they may be.....May they all come home safe and sound and whole......







More To Come........






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Sunday, December 26, 2010
lovely aftermath

There were two rainbows the other day when there was a lull in the rain.....You can just barely see the second one in this picture above---I took this just before the rain began, once again.....Here below....another shot of the rainbows...... You can see how dark it still was, looking East that day.....Yesterday, Christmas Day, it was a beautiful day that became more and more overcast as the day wore on.....When Garrett P. picked me up to take me to their house, it felt and looked like it was going to rain at any moment....And of course, it did, about an twenty minutes after I arrived there---It Poured, once again. But Christmas at Betty's was wonderful....And here below, a picture of Karen Culliver Parks with 'Buddy' and the tree.... More on Christmas Day in a later post.....I need to organize my pictures and also get ready for my New Years Eve Celebration.....I thought it might be fun to show you a photograph I took of Daddy Joe and Olga which they ended up using on their Christmas Card that year....It was taken in 1978 in front of my garage door.....It is such a cute picture, isn't it? So, as I get ready for my little New Years gathering, I hope you all had as wonderful a Christmas as I did......Being at The Parks' is always filled with great fun, lots of laughs, delicious food, and the loving embrace of long time friendships....As Betty said, it is just 'the family' this year....And soon, there will be......


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







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Wednesday, December 22, 2010
merry christmas

Wishing everyone who stops by to visit or comment from all over this big world, the most wonderful Christmas, ever......Below....are two pictures from Christmas, 1989, New York City, Rockefeller Center.......The top picture is me with my 'bestest' friend Betty Garrett, who was performing on Broadway, at the time, in the stage musical of "Meet Me In St. Louis"........ Above, is Betty's dear older son, Garrett Parks. We were standing in the freezing cold there, near the Rockefeller Center Tree.....We got no good pictures of the tree...but, I found a few on The Net, and what you see below is very much like what we saw that Christmas Eve Night...... There is something so very magical about New York City at Christmastime---if you have never experienced it you are missing one of the most moving and memorable happenings that exist! It is beautiful and elegant and tasteful, in every way...... May your Christmas be Blessed with the Grace and Seriousness of the Season and may the Joy that accompanies this time of year be yours, as well........Again, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and may all good things be yours on this coming Christmas Day, 2010, and in the New Year to come, as well! Blessings, To Each And Everyone Of You!




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


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Monday, December 13, 2010
more of the opening-4

Above is an Alexander Calder Stabile, that sits outside the Hirshhorn Museum---at least it did. I'm not sure where it sits now....Below, how it looked in the Garden in Greenwich...... This is a huge monumental piece and personally, I think it looks good both places. Though I guess I will always be partial to how everything looked in Greenwich even though I never lived there and probably only saw everything there maybe ten times in all the years my father lived there. I think because it was so very personal to my father---the house and the collection---Everything meant more to me there, in Greenwich..... Above is a picture I took on that daytime visit in October, 1974, before the actual 'opening' of the Hirshhorn. I was upstairs in the Museum, and this was a partial view of the then Sculpture Garden.....I love the cars parked along the side of the street---all examples of the 1970's. And if you look carefully at the bottom of the picture above, you can see the edges of the George Rickey Mobile that stood outside the Museum at that time.......(Click on all pictures to make them bigger...) And above, another of my photographs that day; the opposite view from the Sculpture Garden looking up at the Museum and seeing the window where I took the previous picture---plus that wonderful George Rickey Mobile, moving in the wind..... This was another picture I took---I believe this is a Henry Moore or maybe a Barbara Hepworth, I'm not sure. But whatever it is, it is Beautiful! This is at street level, before going down the steps into the then Sculpture Garden....... The light changed and so this is not one of my better pictures above...."The Burghers Of Calais" by Rodin, as it looked that overcast day, there in the Museum Sculpture Garden....Below....how it looked in Greenwich...... Winter, with snow....Quite Beautiful, I think..... What a gorgeous piece this is! I love the way the snow looks on it....These pictures, and the one below were taken by Gjon Mili, the great LIFE Photographer, while everything was still in Greenwich...... Such a great great picture of such a breath taking piece of Sculpture......And below, a picture of Daddy standing beside 'The Burghers' during the days of the moving of the sculpture from Greenwich to Washington, D.C....... I think Gjon Mili took this photograph, as well---but I'm not really sure about that. And another photograph on a sunny day in Greenwich of "The Burghers Of Calais", below...... And, indulge me...one more close up of this magnificent Sculpture....a close-up of one of these incredible Rodin faces..... One never tires of looking at this amazing sculpture....It is so truly beautiful and has such an emotional impact.....When you arrived in front of the house in Greenwich---having driven up a rather long wooded driveway...this fantastic sculpture stood right in the middle of a kind of turn-around....Someone dropped you off at the front door and then drove around the 'turn-around' to go park the car---if that makes any sense.Above, Daddy Joe, standing next to a Henry Moore---I love that he has his hand on this wonderful 'Reclining Woman' in a kind of familiar loving way. This photograph was taken in Greenwich, just before all the sculpture was moved (1973-74)-----Daddy certainly was his own person, wasn't he? Funny little Bow Tie; rather Eccentric Plaid Pants----I love that he was really so comfortable in his own skin, Bless Him! I wish I had been as comfortable in mine! Below, these are two snapshots taken in the late fall of 1963........ This was taken as we were leaving "Round Hill", the name given Daddy's house, having had a lovely lunch on that very cold wintry day....Who are all these people? Well, this was most of our "Spoon River" cast. Charles Aidman on the left; His then wife Frances, somewhat hidden behind him, Daddy Joe, Me, Hal Lynch, Joyce Van Patten and Betty Garrett....It was our one day off the week, and really, the only time we could possibly take this kind of a 'day' trip...... Above, you can see Frances a lot better, right next to Daddy.....I think my father had hired a Limo to bring us all up from the city to Greenwich and to take us back at the end of the afternoon, as well.....I have very few pictures of me at Greenwich---these are two of them. We were standing in front of the front door.....I found this picture below, of the front door, in more recent times...... My father sold "Round Hill" around 1976 and moved to Washington, D.C. permanently. And he lived in D.C., till his death, in 1981. Somewhere I have some pictures of the Washington house taken on his 80th Birthday Weekend.....That was the first of only two times I saw that house on Bancroft. The second time was after his death, when I went back to D.C. for his Memorial Service. One last shot of "The Burghers Of Calais" by Rodin, as it stood in front of the house in Greenwich...... You can see there are a number of other sculptures sitting closer to the house and you can see that 'turn-around' that I was describing earlier.....This property certainly lent itself so very beautifully to sculpture. And it was everywhere, as you have seen.......





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






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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 below.....how 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.............












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Saturday, December 04, 2010
more about the museum

Above, Henry Moore's "KING & QUEEN", as it looked in Daddy's garden in Greenwich before everything was moved. It is a monumental piece. I love seeing all the greenery in the background....Below, I'm not sure when this was taken---it is in The Hirshhorn Museum Sculpture Garden---but this was not the way it looked when the Museum opened. It probably was after the re-design...... Below......this picture was taken at the opening, and I know that for sure, because I took it and that is my sister Robin walking in front of the David Smith sculpture.....And in the foreground you can see the top half of this very exquisite Maillol beauty...... It is interesting to me that there was ivy--or something----on the wall behind the Henry Moore....And I'm so glad there was.....! And the trees were actually outside the Garden walls. I do wish I could see what the Sculpture Garden looks like now....dear Kenju said next time she goes to Washington, D.C. she will go to the Museum and take some pictures of the way it looks today just for me. I look forward to that! Another picture of "The King & Queen" that I took, that opening weekend.....This is certainly a magnificent piece....All of these sculptures and the paintings in the Museum as well, are just stunning to see 'in person'. One of my father's favorite paintings is this one below, by Thomas Eakins...... I took this picture because I knew what this particular painting meant to him. He always said it reminded him of his mother and it made him cry....It's not a very good picture, I'm sorry to say. Back in 1974, I hadn't mastered my SLR yet and many of the indoor pictures were not good at all.....At least this one is in focus.Here above is a much better representation of the Eakins painting. This is a portrait he did of his is of wife. Very representational and it is truly breath taking in it's reality. One can really see why my father was so moved by this beautiful painting......Below....Daddy, outside the Museum, during the day back in October, 1974......... I took this of Daddy on the same day that we were walking through the Garden and the Museum. I like it because you can see the wonderful building behind him, including that enormous George Rickey Mobile--a perfect day to see this huge sculpture. With the cold wind blowing. there was a lot of beautiful movement....And here below is a photo I took of George Rickey and and my father, later on that same day. A very sweet man! What was really wonderful was how many of the "living" Artists who's work is included in the collection, came for the opening. Daddy had close relationships with so very many of these Artists, which enriched and deepened the whole experience of this landmark opening.....Below, a not-very-good indoor picture which I took opening night, of Lily Harmon with her husband, Milton Schacter......Lily was a very fine Artist and was my father's second wife. (They were married for ten years....) Daddy Joe married Lily right after my mother and father were divorced. She was a really lovely woman, but the transition from my mother to Lily becoming Daddy's wife was very hard for me---I was still quite young----it took years for me to see Lily as the lovely person she really was.....I'm glad I did. She was a very bright, interesting and talented woman. Below, a large painting by Kenneth Noland....A wonderful artist---some of you may remember I met Noland and his then wife in the South Of France in the summer of 1969 when I visited Daddy & Olga---I know he was at the Opening, but I don't have a picture of him there. And I took this picture during the day when quite a bit of natural light was available. The night of the opening, the place was incredibly crowded and I missed getting pictures of so very many people.....And below, a picture I took of a very large painting by Morris Broderson.....Another not-good-at-all picture---the colors are all muddied and it is much more vivid 'in person'......Above, this is a professional photograph of the very same painting-----much truer in color. Soooo very beautiful! Morris is a great friend of mine. I met him in 1961, through my father and we became fast friends. I own a lot of his work and I never tire of being surrounded by it. In 1967, Morris asked me if I would pose for him so he could paint an oil portrait of me, I was beyond thrilled that this great great Artist would want to paint me, and I was deeply honored, too. It is part of The Hirshhorn Museum collection. Here it is, below.This photo is not an exact replica of the painting, but it's all that I have. I love that he decided to put two images in the painting---the two sides of 'Naomi'. And I also love that it is Morris' interpretation of me and not like a photograph. It wasn't included in the opening show of The Hirshhorn back in 1974, but I understand that it has been shown since that time...... Above....the famous, 'Matisse Backs' in the Museum Sculpture Garden on that opening weekend...(this picture taken by me....).....This is such an interesting piece....The first one of these 'backs' is quite realistic and each successive one gets more and more abstract. Below.....how this same piece looked in the garden at Greenwich....(Picture taken by Gjon Mili....) You can really see the progression in this picture above. Another monumental work of art by one of the great great Modern Masters of the 20th Century......I hope you are not bored, because there is still a great deal more to share with you. So, as always......



More To Come









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