March 13, 2013
© Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
After remaining closed for nearly a decade, the Kunstkammer at Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum—a wing of the building that holds the oldest selection of treasures and artworks collected and commissioned by the royal Habsburg family—re-opened on March 1. Spread across 20 new galleries, the 2,200 pieces include everything from bronze statuettes to spellbinding automatons to intricately designed game boards to scientific tools.
Overall, the wing boasts an impressive range that exposes the remarkable reach and resources of the storied imperial clan. Lesser-known, never-before-seen items reside in the Exotica gallery, which displays ceramics, ivory and mother-of-pearl creations. But the star object of the Kunstkammer (or “art room” in English) is Benvenuto Cellini’s Saliera—a 10-foot-by-13-foot sculpture from the 16th century. It is the only surviving work by the Italian goldsmith and had been stolen from the museum in 2003, when the wing was undergoing construction. It was eventually found in 2006, buried in a forest about 60 miles north of Vienna. Burgring 5; 43-1/525-240; khm.at.
March 06, 2013
Chuck Brown, 1986. Photo by Dean Rutz for the Washington Times.
The 1980s were a hard chapter in Washington, D.C.’s history. Known as the “murder capital” shortly after the decade ended, the city’s underground music and graffiti scenes nevertheless thrived, helping to shape D.C. into what it is today. The new exhibit “Pump Me Up: D.C. Subculture of the 1980s” (through April 7) at the Corcoran Gallery of Art shows how it was done.
The area harbored one of the most tenacious hardcore scenes in the country; punk had a similarly robust presence. But go-go music (a fiercely regional mash-up of danceable funk, R&B and early hip-hop) and the graffiti that stemmed from it became the city’s unofficial calling card, despite what was happening elsewhere.
“The go-go music and the art that came out of it, at least as far as the world outside D.C. was concerned, were almost totally overshadowed by the hip-hop culture that sprung up in New York at the same time,” says Roger Gastman, a D.C. local, graffiti historian and co-curator of the show. “So in some ways that neglect cycled around again and made that scene even more self-reliant.”
The exhibit illustrates the symbiotic relationship between the music and the street art of the period through posters, photographs, graphic art and other sundry items. Special programs and lectures punctuate the run, one with Gastman himself, who has written a dozen books on graffiti. But a documentary called The Legend of Cool “Disco” Dan is a particular highlight. Narrated by musician and activist Henry Rollins, it opened in conjunction with the exhibit and pays homage to Cool “Disco” Dan, a graffiti artist who many consider the father of a movement that made an unquestionable impact on a once questionable city.
“There are many graffiti writers who have done more graffiti or done it more skillfully and in greater quantity,” says assistant curator Caleb Neelon. “But Cool ‘Disco’ Dan made himself a beloved, integral part of his city and a symbol of an era.” 500 17th St. NW; 202-639-1700; corcoran.org.
March 06, 2013
JOEL SHAPIRO (American, 1941) Now 2013
Guangzhou, China—a southern manufacturing hub with a population of 15 million, the third-largest city in the country—is getting a taste of New York this month. From March 10–13, renowned New York–based artist Joel Shapiro will install his 22-foot welded-aluminum sculpture titled Now at the entrance of the city’s brand-new U.S. Consulate. Talks featuring Shapiro at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts (March 13) and the Times Museum (March 16) follow the unveiling.
“There’s no collective intent,” Shapiro explained during a chat at his 5,000-square-foot studio in Long Island City late last year. “I wanted to make a sculpture that was lively and vibrant and in the present tense—a metaphor for the human spirit.”
The Foundation for Art & Preservation in Embassies commissioned the angular piece, painted a vivid ultramarine blue. The effort is Shapiro’s second creation for the foundation, the first being a large-scale bronze sculpture called Conjunction (1999), which stands outside the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa.
As for Now, Shapiro said he avoided creating a colossal work and shot for something a bit more life-size. “I’m aware of the parts,” he said. “I want them to correspond with something in your own experience.” 1 Shamian St. S.; fapeglobal.org.
March 06, 2013
Courtesy of Food University
Learning how to cook from a TV show is one thing. Learning how to cook straight from a star-chef source is quite another. Food University at Caesars Palace (March 27–29)—an intensive, three-day culinary school of sorts in Las Vegas—gives just that opportunity to everyday chefs who are eager to learn more.
“This is going to be the next-level food experience,” says Robin Leach, a cofounder of Food Network and one of the University’s organizers. “We felt the time had come for a food event to actually provide meaningful culinary information and education executed in a fun way so the audience can take it away and use it in their daily lives.”
The nine cooking classes and various seminars feature a host of chefs and culinary experts, including Claudine Pépin (daughter of Jacques), Christina Wilson (the season-10 winner of Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen) and Colman Andrews (of the Daily Meal). François Payard will lead a course on chocolate, Duff Goldman of Ace of Cakes fame will teach cake decorating, and Frank Pellegrino of Rao’s will show the ins and outs of classic Italian fare.
Participants will also enjoy field trips to a handful of Las Vegas eateries and receive all the utensils, tools and cookware needed for 72 hours of chef duty as well as a special rate on accommodations at Caesars Palace. Proceeds benefit Keep Memory Alive, an organization that researches brain-disorder cures, which sweetens this experience even more. March 27–29; $1,995; 3570 S. Las Vegas Blvd.; 866-840-8822; FoodUniversityLasVegas.com.
March 06, 2013
Photo courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana
On Monday night, Sotheby’s and Dolce & Gabbana co-hosted a night devoted to contemporary art of every stripe on the tenth floor of the famed auction house. The exhibition “Passion + Transmission: International Contemporary Art from the CAP Collection”—open to the public through March 6 at noon, with pieces auctioned off on March 7—showcased big-name artists like Christopher Wool, Francis Alÿs, Tracey Emin, Sue Williams and Enoc Perez. But it also drew bold-faced New York names like Harry Brant, Julie Macklowe, Kelly Rutherford, Stella Schnabel, Will Cotton and Lauren Remington Platt (pictured here).
The evening, which honored the New York Academy of Art, dedicated a portion of its sales proceeds to the CAP Foundation, an organization that promotes education, the arts, medical research and environmental studies. Fueled by DJ duo AndrewAndrew and free-flowing Champagne, the atmosphere was lively as guests got up close and personal with neon signs, graffiti art and a lacquered bronze balloon. Auction, March 7 (10 a.m. and 2 p.m.); catalogue available at sothebys.com.
March 04, 2013
Photo courtesy of Lucky Brand
Southern California style meets international luxury in Lucky Brand’s new collaboration with globetrotting textile designers Carolina Irving and Lisa Fine, who started their clothing label, Irving & Fine, after a fabric-sourcing trip to India. Irving & Fine for Lucky Brand’s 11-piece Spring 2013 collection blends Lucky Brand’s vintage Americana look with the exquisite textiles and intricate embroidery that Irving & Fine is known for. Vibrant Moroccan-inspired jackets ($199), detailed peasant tops ($169) and bohemian totes with woven leather straps ($129, pictured here) mix and match easily with Lucky Brand’s handmade, SoCal-inspired denim, jackets and sweaters for a healthy dose of East-meets-West couture. luckybrand.com.
February 28, 2013
Courtesy of Cindy Chao
Every two to three years the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., introduces a new addition to its vast permanent collection. On March 5, it will induct a high-style stunner: the Art Jewel 2009 Black Label Masterpiece Royal Butterfly brooch by jewelry artist Cindy Chao.
Though the museum focuses on raw materials, the piece—composed of 2,328 gems (77 carats in total), including sapphires, rubies, tsavorite garnets and fancy-colored and regular diamonds—represents the educational power of a finished object. “Our primary mission is as a gem collection,” says Dr. Jeffrey Post, curator of the Gems and Minerals Collection. “But as most gems eventually are set in jewelry, and that is how they are donated to us, we are fortunate to have a collection that represents many great designers and design periods.”
The brooch, the first gift by a Taiwanese designer, joins items from the likes of Cartier, Tiffany, Harry Winston and Paula Crevoshay. Chao’s Black Label Masterpiece line is capped at just 36 pieces per year, and the Royal Butterfly—which changes colors when viewed under ultraviolet light—is a perfect combination of beauty, technical skill and hidden fascination. “That is what we want objects in our collection to do,” says Post. “Tell our visitors stories that will delight and inspire them.” Constitution Ave. NW; 202-633-1000; mnh.si.edu.
February 28, 2013
Courtesy of Eden Rock
The non-musical background of Eden Rock owner David Matthews (“I sing a bit in the bathtub,” he quips) hasn’t stopped him from creating a recording retreat that has attracted the attention of A-list stars and musicians from around the world.
Matthews and his family purchased the St. Barths property in 1995 and unveiled the Rockstar Villa, a 16,000-square-foot property and the only private recording studio on the island, in 2009. The hotel has a partnership with Ocean Way Recording in Hollywood—an agreement that was forged after Matthews and Ocean Way owner Allen Sides became friends. “We set up the St. Barths Rockstar Studio on a handshake years ago and it’s good today,” Matthews says. Though the studio was previously available only to guests staying at the villa, the recording doors opened to the public this year (packages start at $2,090 a song).
In addition to an easy-going attitude, amenities abound. Butlers are on hand to meet the needs of guests around the clock. Private access to the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean, as well as a pool and a fully-equipped gym, croquet lawn, whiskey bar and 20-seat Cinemascope screening room, add to the state-of-the-art experience. With a villa-employed sound engineer for recording sessions and access to the same Neve music-mixing console that John Lennon used to record “Imagine,” it is no wonder that country star Kenny Chesney chose to record his most-recent album, Welcome to the Fishbowl, here. The title of the first single it released? “Feel Like a Rock Star,” of course. From $26,140 per night; St. Jean Bay; 590-590/297999; edenrockhotel.com.
February 28, 2013
Dorchester Women and Wine
“It is unusual to have three female sommeliers at one company,” says Vanessa Cinti, head sommelier at London’s 45 Park Lane hotel. “So for International Women’s Day 2013, we are joining together to embark on a wine road trip.”
The trip kicks off in London on March 6, moves to Paris on March 7 and ends in Milan on March 8 (the date of International Women’s Day). In each location, Cinti and her Dorchester Collection colleagues, Alessandra Veronesi of Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan and Estelle Touzet of Le Meurice in Paris, will engage guests in conversations about female winemakers (and their palates), next-generation wine families and what it’s like being a woman in the sommelier world.
But lest you think of the event as purely academic in nature, there will be plenty of fine vintages to augment the dialogue. Each night the sommeliers will compare old-world and new-world wines with two selections from the United States, France and Italy. “These evenings will be a celebration of all that wine brings to an occasion and the moments that different wines evoke for the individual woman,” Cinti says.
As for the future, Cinti believes that more women are opting to become sommeliers than ever before. “The wine industry is constantly evolving and changing fast,” she says. And as far as wine trends go? Cinti says Londoners should prepare for the upcoming popularity of the California Merlot and the German Riesling in 2013. We’ll certainly raise our glasses to that. March 6–8; $2,600 (includes a one-night stay at each property and wine); 45 Park Lane, Mayfield; 44-20/7493-4554; 45parklane.com.
February 21, 2013
Courtesy of Lungarno Collection
Leonardo Ferragamo, president of the Lungarno Collection, Salvatore Ferragamo’s son and an avid sailor, recently added two new Swan sailing yachts to his two-year-old fleet. The boats, which dock in the Mediterranean (Greece and the Aeolian islands included), the Caribbean (Virgin Gorda, Tortola), the Spanish and French Rivieras and the East Coast of the United States, are available exclusively to guests of Lungarno hotels via customizable itineraries, such as a sail through the Tuscan Archipelago.
Like their sister ships (Solleone 90 and Virago), the two new additions—Highland Breeze and Alix—feature interiors hand-built by a Finnish craftsman and designed by architect Michele Bönan. Special touches are featured throughout, including custom leather door handles, leather-lined drawers and a 12-seat saloon table where a private chef serves delicacies like classic risotto nero, grilled vegetables, line-caught fish and pomegranate sorbet (all accompanied by crisp Italian wines). A four-member crew takes care of on-water details.
The experience is second to none: A group who chartered a Lungarno yacht during the Rolex Swan Cup in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, last year took an afternoon swim at anchor and ate grilled local seafood and Amedei chocolate fondant under the stars. Three-night cruises (including crew), from $27,960; weeklong cruises (including crew), from $53,260; lungarnocollection.com.