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Fall for Art – Tis’ the Season to Get Enlightened!

As New York ramps up for Salon Art + Design, we list up a few other exhibitions in the city that have enchanted our imagination recently!

When the weather finally turns chilly and the leaves add a dramatic, colorful spark to the cityscape, keep your eyes out for interesting cultural exhibits and fine art fairs. Recently, we made some remarkable discoveries at the majestic New York Public Library in Bryant Park, New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World which is housed in a gorgeous Upper East Side townhouse, and visited the venerable Metropolitan Museum of Art for an unforgettable photography exhibit.

Fortune & Folly at NYPL

“Fortune and Folly in 1720” at the New York Public Library (entrance is free) is a genius exhibition of the world’s first bubble economy when everyday citizens speculated in New World trading companies. By the close of 1720, an unprecedented bull market would culminate in the world’s first international financial crash. Orchestrated by the insolvent governments of France and England, and fueled by illusions and propaganda of colonial wealth, these investment bonanzas are synonymous with get-rich-quick schemes. On view are stock shares, newly created banknotes, crazy farcical political cartoons illustrating the “financial alchemy” that drove that market volatility, plus other propaganda like maps and travel literature from the library’s extensive collection. Little did many investors know that Louisiana was an unprofitable swamp! 

Armband from Hungarian National Museum

Armband from Hungarian National Museum, Budapest, Hungary.

Ritual and Memory at New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (free admission) was a unique discovery! Two hundred ritual objects from the Neolithic Period (about 8,000 years ago) through the Iron Age (about 2,500 years ago) used by men and women, warriors and wives, kings and farmers in the ancient civilizations of the Balkan region are on view. Great skill and technological accomplishment of each item, from jewelry to warrior-wear, will capture your imagination. 

Becher photographs MMoA
Becher Comparative Juxtaposition, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (admission price varies) offers a fantastic exhibit featuring 200 photographs in Bernd & Hilla Becher, the German artists’ first posthumous retrospective of their 50-year career. Working as a rare artist couple, they developed a rigorous practice focused on a single subject: the disappearing industrial architecture of Western Europe and North America that fueled the modern era. This anthology of architecture is remarkable in its detail: the couple worked exclusively with black-and-white photographic materials, intentionally avoiding the medium’s inevitable move to color that took place during the 1960s and 1970s, and methodically recorded blast furnaces, winding towers, grain silos, cooling towers and gas tanks with precision, elegance, and passion. This pushes photography into the realm of fine art and historic preservation of industrial architecture. 

Two knights Salon Art + Design New York
Two Knights by Raty, Salon Art + Design.  

If you’re in New York City from November 8 to 14, be sure to catch Salon Art + Design at the historic Park Avenue Armory that presents the one of the world’s most sophisticated design fairs offering vintage, modern and contemporary items. Galleries, mostly from Paris, gives this event its “je ne sais quoi” flavor with an eclectic mix of blue-chip 20th century art and ancient art that spotlight the trends of collectible design. It’s a feast for the eyes and an inspiration for anyone interested in interior design and collecting. Booths are transformed into living spaces so tantalizing and chic that you’ll want to immediately redecorate! To illustrate some of the eclecticism of the galleries, take a look at Christophe Côme’s Camouflage Cabinet (2020) made of iron and agate and the jaunty Two Knights sculpture by Francois Raty (1978) at the Thomas Fritsch Gallery. If anything, you’ll be inspired to rethink how you might change your own living spaces! 

Isabelle KelloggIn addition to a career in communications and marketing focused on the luxury lifestyle sector, including co-authoring and lecturing a case study on French heritage jeweler Mauboussin with Harvard Business School, Isabelle continues to share her experiences about fine art, wine, travel, jewelry and culture as a freelance writer for internationally based digital publications.