Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Antonio CANOVA - 1757 -1822,  
Psyché ranimée par le baiser de l'Amour (Psyche revived by love's kiss) 
Musée  du Louvre

"Celestial Cupid, her famed son, advanced,
Holds his dear Psyche sweet entranced,
After her wandering labours long,
Till free consent the gods among
Make her his eternal bride;
And from her fair unspotted side
Two blissful twins are to be born,
Youth and Joy; so Jove hath sworn."

Comus (1634), John Milton

Photo: jthorpe at Flickr 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Fight Against Proposition 8

Ken Starr, after leading the impeachment effort against Bill Clinton, found a new crusade. On March 5, 2009, he will be arguing the case in the California Supreme Court to forcibly nullify 18,000 same-sex couples that were married in California last year. Going after these marriages retroactively speaks to the mean-spiritness of Starr and others associated with the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund.

The Courage Campaign has created a video called "Fidelity," with the permission of musician Regina Spektor, which puts a face to those 18,000 couples and all loving, committed couples seeking full equality under the law.

After you watch the video, please consider joining me in signing the letter to the state Supreme Court.

One of the marriages Starr is seeking to annul is that of Ellen Degeneres and Portia De Rossi. They had a beautiful wedding in their Los Angeles home last August. Portia’s gown and Ellen’s suit were designed by Zac Posen, flowers were by Mark’s Garden, Ellen mother did the calligraphy for the place cards, and their cake was good ol’ Southern red velvet cake. Their friend Wayne Dyer officiated the wedding. Watch as Ellen narrates the wedding photos and video on her show:

After you watch these videos, please consider joining me in signing the letter to the state Supreme Court. Visit tangobaby for more information on who the donors behind the movement to pass Proposition 8 were.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Candy Jewelry by Edith Schneider

Let me introduce you to my beautiful and talented friend Edith Schneider, jewelry designer.

Last Friday, my husband and I attended the reception that featured her extra special Valentine jewelry made with candy, romance, and whimsey!

Edith is wearing a necklace made out of white Good 'n' Plenty licorice and the red necklace in the case in front of her is made with energizing jelly beans that she picked up at the Fancy Food Show.

The necklace on the left is made of jujubes, Menthos mints, and gummi bears.

She also made one with Life Savers, Jelly Belly, gummi bears, and sterling silver:

Life Savers, horn and sterling silver:

These gummi bears melted into their sterling silver sauna baths:

You will make a real statement when you walk into a room with licorice whips jewelry. Perfect with a black strapless gown. Please note the matching dangly earrings.

The elegance of black licorice with sterling silver:

Licorice allsorts are reaching new potential here:

Edith’s co-exhibitor Pete Zivkov made some amazing, eye-popping candy images:

If you’re in the neighborhood, Edith’s and Pete’s exhibit at the Gallery House in Palo Alto, CA will continue for the month of February.

Edith has a retail shop at Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park and you can also see some of her work at her website. See more of Pete's photos at

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Girl with Green Eyes

La fille aux yeux verts (The Girl with Green Eyes) Henri Matisse, French,  (Le Cateau-Cambrésis, France, 1869 - 1954, Nice, France) 1908 oil on canvas
One painting that was not represented at the 1992 Henri Matisse retrospective exhibit was La fille aux yeux verts (The Girl with Green Eyes), which was bequeathed to the San Francisco Museum of Modern art in 1950 by Harriet Lane Levy. Levy, a UC Berkeley graduate, who traveled to Paris with her childhood friend and neighbor Alice B. Toklas. There they became part of a circle of friends that included Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Toklas’ future lover Gertrude Stein.
I just spent the morning trying to unearth the newspaper article that I read a long time ago about The Girl with the Green Eyes. Since I could not find any reference to it, I will have to do it from memory. Levy’s donation was of course an extremely generous donation, but it has an unusual string attached. The painting is not allowed to be exhibited outside of San Francisco. I don't believe Levy understood the ramifications of this restriction.
I don’t know how commonplace it was for museums to loan works of art to each other back in 1950, but today it is a museum’s life blood. A curator can round out an exhibit by borrowing a pieces of art from another museums and then in turn loan out artifacts from its own collection. There is even a Museum Loan Network that maintains a directory of 20,000 loanable artifacts owned by 400 institutions. I can only imagine how many works of art the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York loaned out, or promised to loan out, in order to gather together 400 pieces of Henri Matisse’s art. It was certainly a huge collaborative effort between many institutions and individuals.
One does not want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I’m guessing that the curators at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art have intermittently been frustrated that they can not leverage this important work by loaning it out. 
I don’t know if Levy put the same restriction on the other works of art in the bequest, like this Fauvism painting by André Derain:
Paysage du Midi (Landscape of the Midi) André Derain, French (Chatou, France, 1880 - 1954, Garches, France) 1906 Painting oil on canvas on board
I never go to the San Francisco MoMA without paying The Girl with the Green Eyes a visit. Both paintings are on display at the Museum of Modern Art on the second floor.
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