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This week in LA: Christie’s Preview of Old Masters Sale



Preview of Old Masters sale

including Masterworks from The Estate of Lila and Herman Shickman

and an Important Private Collection

Christie’s Los Angeles
336 N. Camden Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

January 10–16
Weekdays: 10am – 6pm
Saturday: 12pm – 4pm
Sunday: Closed

Angelenos have a chance to preview works from the estate of Lila and Herman Shickman, in advance of an Old Master sale in New York in May.

A prominent art dealer of the 20th century, Herman Shickman fled Nazi Germany and moved to New York where he dealt Old Master works on paper and still life paintings. Until he retired in 2003, Shickman ran his eponymous gallery on New York’s Upper East Side.

Juan van der Hamen y León’s Still Life with Flowers and Fruit is expected become the most expensive Spanish still life ever auctioned.

For more information, please see:

Image Above: Detail of Juan van der Hamen y León’s (1598-1631) Still Life with Flowers and Fruit. Oil on canvas, 33¼ x 51½ in. (84.5 x 130.8 cm.). Offered in Masterworks from the estate of Lila and Herman Shickman on 2 May 2019 at Christie’s in New York Image: Courtesy of Christie’s

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2011 Art Crime: Stolen Rembrandt found in Encino Church

This post first appeared in Cultural Cocktail Hour in 2011:

Only three days after a Rembrandt drawing valued at $250,000 was snatched from the Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Rey, “The Judgement,” turned up mysteriously at St. Nicholas of Myra Episcopal Church in Encino. An assistant priest noticed the drawing placed inside his boss’ office. He assumed that it was a donation by a parishioner before recognizing the work as the stolen Rembrandt.

Questions abound:

Why did the art thief dump the painting in the church? Was it a spiritual crisis of conscience? Or a convenient place without security cameras? Did the title of Rembrandt’s drawing, “The Judgement,” give the thief pause?

How did the art thief get access to the church’s inside office? Did he watch Ben Affleck’s heist-caper “The Town” too many times and don a nun disguise?

Do we know for a fact that the drawing dumped in the church is the real Mc Coy? Could it possibly be a copy to get the police off the criminal’s scent while the thief sells the real painting on the black market to a Rembrandt-loving oligarch? (This is one theory on the current location of Rembrandts stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum)

What happened to the person who “distracted” the curator with art chatter on Saturday at the Ritz, coincidentally at the very moment when the painting was snatched? The articles imply that this person was part of a team? Shouldn’t the loquacious interlocutor be an LAPD “person of interest?”

Why did the thief choose to take a Rembrandt from the sailing haven of Marina Del Rey to Encino? He could have made a seaside escape with his looted booty. Is it possible that the art thief is,in fact, a Valley Boy?

Photo from LA Times by Irfan Khan: Detectives handle Rembrandt’s “The Judgement”

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George Gershwin and the Parisian Taxi Horns

Thanks to Brian Lauritzen of KUSC for today’s Cultural Trivia!

His show revealed that George Gershwin purchased taxi cab horns in Paris to produce the effect of bustling city streets for American in Paris. The taxi horns were used in the New York premiere of the piece at Carnegie Hall in 1928 with the New York Philharmonic. Since then, orchestras have often rented taxi horns to perform the piece. If you listen to it again, you will be sure to hear the unmistakable honk!


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This weekend in LA: CCH Highlight- Zubin Mehta, Yefim Bronfman, and Brahms


This weekend’s Cultural Cocktail recipe includes  a splash of Zubin Mehta, a dash of Yefim Bronfman , and 2 Oz. of Brahms Enjoy!

Former LA Phil director Zubin Mehta returns to conduct the music that started his tenure with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the age of 24: Brahms!

Thurs. Dec 13th 8:00 P.M Brahms Symphony No. 1

Friday Dec 14th 8:00 P.M Brahms Symphony No. 1

Saturday Dec 15th 8:00 P.M Brahms Symphony No. 2

Sun Dec 16th 2:oo P.M Brahms Symphony No. 2

Walt Disney Concert Hall. 111 S. Grand Ave. LA, CA USA 90012 (323) 850-2000


Zubin Mehta Toast at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Opening Night on December 6, 1964.

Photo Credit: LA Philharmonic Archives

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Review: Family Day at the Norton Simon “Artful Weaving”


Family Day at the Norton Simon

“Artful Weaving”


Leticia Marie Sanchez

Norton Simon Family Day 3

Family Days at the Norton Simon are always a treat for parents and children, due to a wonderfully engaging formula that packs a two-fold punch: 1) A kid-friendly tour of the latest exhibition 2) A children’s craft project  inspired by the latest exhibition

Norton Simon Family Day 5

Educator Gorman Bentley is a natural with children, with an ebullient personality and insights about art history. He patiently explained the concept of a loom and taught my four year-old to complete his own tapestry. With his friendly spirit, Mr. Bentley welcomed all the children sitting at the tables, making each of them feel included and welcome.

Norton Simon Family Day 6


Following the craft project, Educator Fabrizio Flores took us on a child-friendly the visually arresting new exhibit, “Once Upon a Tapestry: Woven Tales of Helen and Dido.” Flores embodied a perfect balance between playful and informative, showing my son the difference between the cartoon and the tapestries, which happened to be highly informative for me as well!

Kudos to the Norton Simon for creating a space for children to reflect and create!


Photography  © 2018 Leticia Marie Sanchez

Norton Simon Family Day 2

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This weekend in LA: Holiday Open House at the Pasadena Museum of History

Pasadena Museum of History

Holiday Open House 

Sunday 12/9

1:00 – 4:00 pm. 

The perfect Cultural Cocktail of Music, Visual Treats, and a Family Craft in a Beaux-Arts style Pasadena Cultural Heritage landmark.

Pasadena Museum of HistoryPasadena Museum History 4

Performances by the Ad Hoc Consort throughout the afternoon. The costumed musicians will perform on a variety period instruments including the Viola da braccio and the Oud, an early form of what became the Lute; and a 16th century German Serpent horn.

In addition to the music the event will include:

refreshments, a family craft, and a visit to the exhibition

Something Revealed; California Women Artists Emerge, 1860-1960.

470 W. Walnut Street
Pasadena, CA 91103


All Photography from a prior Holiday Open House

© 2018 Leticia Marie Sanchez


Pasadena Museum History 5Pasadena Museum History 3









Photo Below:

Children’s Craft Station at the Pasadena Museum of History’s Holiday Open House

Pasadena Museum History

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Autumnal Splendor in Southern California


“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” 

- Albert Camus

(at the Garden of Flowing Fragrance, Huntington)

All Photography  © 2018 Leticia Marie Sanchez

Autumn Gold









Huntington Stroll

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Rossini’s Risky Business

“Please don’t throw me out the window!! I’m a MAESTRO!”

Does Procrastination lead to Defenestration?

Professor Robert Greenberg, in a wonderful lecture for the Teaching Company, read a letter in which opera composer Gioachino Rossini (nicknamed “The Italian Mozart”) confessed his last minute habits.

According to Rossini:

Wait until the evening before opening night- nothing primes inspiration more than necessity!

Whether it be the presence of a copyist waiting for your work or the prodding of an impresario tearing at his hair (In my time, all the impresarios of Italy were bald by 30).

I wrote the overture to La Gazza Ladra the day of its opening-

in the theater itself-

where I was imprisoned by the director

and under the direct surveillance of the stage hands who were instructed to throw my original text through the window, page by page, to the copyists waiting down below.

If I did not compose quickly enough-

the stage hands were instructed to throw ME out the window, instead.”

Lucklly, Rossini finished the overture to La Gazza Ladra in the nick of time.

Thus, avoiding the fate of the gentleman in pantaloons above.

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“Maria By Callas”- A MUST SEE FILM

 “Maria By Callas: In Her Own Words”-



Leticia Marie Sanchez

Directed by Tom Volf, “Maria by Callas,” offers a sublime, moving portrait of a legendary opera singer using never-before-seen footage. The film dispels the notion that Callas reigned as a diva, revealing instead the grace, poise, and self-restraint she showed while perpetually facing intrusive harassment by the media. Through the film, one gains insight into the cruelty of the headlines towards the opera singer, who was called tempestuous, for instance, simply for having bronchitis. The world expected her to be beyond human, but the film revels in her humanity.

 As Callas herself noted, those around her, including her ex-husband seemed drunk on the glory of being in her orbit; meanwhile the star, no matter how successful, continued to focus obsessively on her vocal craft. Even in middle age, she nervously consulted with her teenage vocal coach prior to her performances, yearning always to perform each note to a flawless standard. What also came across in the film was the sensitivity that Callas felt towards her audience. The more energy and love she felt, the more of herself she poured into each performance, driving herself to the point of exhaustion.

 This film is a MUST SEE not only for the personal insights into Callas’ life, but for the many glorious footages of her performances, breathtaking and untouchable.

 Laemmle’s Royal Theatre

 Laemmle’s Playhouse 7 

 Laemmle’s Town Center 5

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The Key of D Minor? Vitamin D deficiency may have contributed to Mozart’s death

According to an article in Live Science, the lack of sunlight-induced Vitamin D may have contributed to Mozart’s young demise. The authors of the study surmise that the Vitamin D deficiency could have made the composer more susceptible to a plethora of infections during the winter.

According to the authors of the study,

Mozart did much of his composing at night, so would have slept during much of the day. At the latitude of Vienna, 48 degrees N, it is impossible to make vitamin D from solar ultraviolet-B irradiance for about 6 months of the year. Mozart died on December 5, 1791, two to three months into the vitamin D winter.”

The researchers include: D. William Grant, of the Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center in San Francisco, and Stefan Pilz of the Medical University of Graz in Austria

For the full Live Science article, “Mozart’s Death was written in the Key of (Vitamin) D,”

please see:

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