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Get Lost! (Lost in Liberty Park, that is)

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in Cultural Cocktail Hour in 2008. In 2017, the Sphere moved from Battery Park to Liberty Park, where it now overlooks the World Trade Center site.  Fritz Koenig’s The Sphere by Leticia Marie Sanchez It is the stillness after the storm, a place for reflection on the violence that occurred nearby in lower Manhattan. It is what Mayor Michael Bloomberg called a symbol of the “power of art to heal.” The Sphere, a globe sculpted by the German artist Fritz Koenig, is the only structure to survive and remain standing after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The 45,000-pound steel and brass work, its face dented, chipped, fragmented, scuffed and scratched, now rests in a quiet place in Liberty Park, a short distance from Ground Zero. More than survivor, the

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May I get another Cultural Cocktail, please?

  by Leticia Marie Sanchez “Is there an escape hatch down there?” “May I get another Cultural Cocktail, please?”  Walking by John Singer Sargent’s “Dinner Table At Night” at San Franciso’s De Young Museum. I was struck by the disconnect between the female subject and her dinner companion who are not even facing each other. The artist’s palette is overwhelmingly red, yet, there are no sparks in this frosty tête-à-tête. Red sconces burn on the table, but there is nary a torch burning between these two. Instead, the woman looks out to the viewer for a possible human connection. Detail from the Painting: John Singer Sargent; 1884; de Young Gallery 28; 19th Century AD; Oil On Canvas20 1/4 x 26 1/4 in. (51.4 x 66.7 cm); Frame: 29 1/2 x 35 5/8 x 3 1/4 in. (74.9 x 90.5 x 8.3 cm); American Painting; United States; Provenance: Mr. and Mrs. Albert Vickers, Lavington Rectory

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Review: “The Sweetness of Life” at the Norton Simon: Sweetness With a Side of Sauciness

The Sweetness of Life: Three 18th Century French Paintings from the Frick Collection On View at the Norton Simon June 14-September 9, 2019 by Leticia Marie Sanchez Three French Eighteenth-century ladies have arrived to the Norton Simon from the Frick. François Boucher’s A Lady On Her Day Bed, Jean-Siméon Chardin’s Lady With A Bird Organ, and Jean-Baptiste Greuze’s Wool Winder can now be viewed in Pasadena. At first glance, these paintings appear to be sweet Rococo confections, frothy predecessors to subsequent gritty images of French women post-Industrialization, like Degas’ portrait of women ironing that also hangs in the Norton Simon. Underneath the effervescent surface of these ladies of leisure, however, the paintings convey eroticism and melancholy, providing clues to the era from which they hail. In a lecture at the Norton Simon, David Pullins, Assistant Curator at the Frick, described this group of

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Cultural Cocktail Hour in Paris: Backstage at Palais Garnier, the Paris Opera, Part II

Backstage at Palais Garnier, the Paris Opera Part Two by Leticia Marie Sanchez All Photography and text © Leticia Marie Sanchez This article first appeared on Cultural Cocktail Hour in 2012 Charles Garnier declared, “I have two shows in my opera; one on the stage and one in the theater.” The most prestigious box, that of the emperor, was monitored by bodyguards.  Nobles and industrialists had private boxes equipped with a curtain that came in handy for playing cards, ordering food, and engaging in amorous intrigue. On the ground floor stood working professionals, writers, and composers. Ladies were not allowed on the ground floor due to the tight conditions and bumping which resulted in occasional fisticuffs. Only prostitutes stood here as very few ladies in the nineteenth century worked as writers or composers.  The very high chicken box nosebleed seats were called Paradise:

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Kick up your heels! The “Sweetness of Life” at the Norton Simon

by Leticia Marie Sanchez All Photography and text © Leticia Marie Sanchez Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered trademark Cultural Cocktail Hour encourages you to kick up your heels and enjoy an art and culture-filled weekend! The mischievous detail of the slipper comes from François Boucher’s “A Lady On Her Day Bed,” one of three 18th-Century French paintings from the Frick Collection currently on view at the Norton Simon Museum. The Sweetness of Life: Three 18th-Century French paintings from the Frick Collection opened on June 14th and will be on view until September 9th. The exhibit also includes paintings by Jean Siméon Chardin and Jean-Baptize Greuze and depicts an artfully constructed vision of 18th century life and fashion. The pastel flourishes of the decor and florals are from the opening night reception for the “Sweetness of Life.” The detail of the slipper is

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LA Opera Music Director James Conlon curates and conducts A Tale of Two Émigrés-This Sat. at 3pm at the Colburn School

A Tale of Two Émigrés with James Conlon  Saturday, June 15, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.  Zipper Hall, Colburn School Pittance Chamber Music, known for featuring the exceptional resident artists of the Los Angeles Opera pit and stage, presents A Tale of Two Émigrés with James Conlon. LA Opera Music Director James Conlon curates and conducts a unique program that tells the tale of Jewish émigré composers Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Arnold Schoenberg, who left their homelands and ultimately settled in Los Angeles as a result of the Nazis’ rise to power. James Conlon is one of the world’s most important and successful advocates for the music of composers suppressed during the Nazi regime. The program will include a talk by Conlon, who will also conduct works by Korngold and Schoenberg performed by a large ensemble consisting of members of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra. Ticket Information:  www.PittanceChamberMusic.org

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Review: Bauhaus Beginnings- Getty Research Institute- a peek inside the artist’s studio

Bauhaus Beginnings Getty Research Institute June 11-October 13, 2019 by Leticia Marie Sanchez Imagine being able to see firsthand what it was like to be a student of Paul Klee or Vassily Kandinsky! What is engaging about Bauhaus Beginnings at the Getty Research Institute is that the concept of the Bauhaus is brought down from its esoteric pedestal; viewers are able to warm themselves conceptually to the show because the philosophy is laid bare through vivid visuals illustrating the teaching tools, creative output, and life as a student of this seminal art movement, which is now celebrating its 100th anniversary. Even before stepping foot inside the exhibition, we experience a pop of color on the exterior of the Getty Research Institute, the unmistakable hue of Meier white currently decked out in the vibrant colors of the Bauhaus, an influential school of art and design that was established in 1919 and closed by the Nazi

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Cultural Cocktail Hour Photography: Riviera Gardone, Italy

 Cultural Cocktail Hour Photography: Riviera Gardone, Italy All Photography and text © Leticia Marie Sanchez Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered trademark Lake Garda has long provided a wellspring of inspiration for creative-minded souls, including: Nobel Laureate Paul Heyse, Goethe, Thomas Mann, Rainer Maria Rilke, Franz Kafka, and D. H. Lawrence, who once wrote, “The lake is dark blue, purple, and clear as a jewel.”

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Cultural Cocktail Hour at Chiesa San Vidal in Venice, Italy

In this episode, from a few years back Cultural Cocktail Hour founder Leticia Marie Sanchez takes you briefly inside the Chiesa San Vidal, a deconsecrated church that was rebuilt after the fire of 1105 and the fire of 1696. The new facade was built in the 18th century and housed works by Carpaccio and Piazzetta. Now, the church has been revitalized by the music of Interpreti Veneziani. These days, one can hear Vivaldi emanating from the walls.

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Cultural Gems- Bernard Berenson

“No artifact is a work of art if it does not help to humanize us. Without art, visual, verbal and musical Our world would have remained a jungle.” Bernard Berenson, I Tatti, Florence, 1952  

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