Monday, March 31, 2014

Fascinating Facades

So Ed, Randy and I went to see an Audubon show at the New York Historical Society yesterday - and it was interesting (more later).
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But even more interesting was this odd little thing called Facades.
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I assumed that it was about the Building Facades in New York.  Nope.  It is a series of street scenes shot by eccentric artist Bill Cunningham of his friend Editta Sherman.  He put her in period costumes, then shot the facade of the buildings, where her in the costume of the time it was built.  He did this starting in 1968,
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One of the fascinating things, is that these 2 friends were a few of the last people that lived above Carnegie Hall.  Turns out, for those that don't know - there were apartments for artists above Carnegie Hall.  There were low cost apartments for artists that housed for a short time, famous people like Marlon Brando and Leonard Bernstein.
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Ed and I read about them in the New York Times in 2010, when the owners finally kicked out the last of them.  Editta Sherman was the second to last to leave.  Anyway, while she and Bill Cunningham lived there, the did this project.
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At the end of it, apparently Mr. Cunningham had over 800 period costumes.
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I find the whole thing bizarre. And it was really bizarre to read the footnotes and remember this is the story Ed and I read in the New York Times.
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He found almost all the clothes - that really were period items - in thrift stores in New York.  Remember, starting in 1968 - this wasn't a great time for New York.
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But Wait!  There's More.  There is this quote in the magazine attributed to Ms. Sherman - “I’ve made my name here in Carnegie Hall,” Ms. Sherman said. “I’ve become more famous than ever living here. I don’t know how it’s going to work out now that I’m no longer living here.”
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I am sure they got a big settlement to leave - that is the New York way.  But Ms. Sherman died the very next year (granted at 101 - she was definitely holding out!).
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Video from Bill Cunningham about the studios - very cool.
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http://nyti.ms/1dcGusB

1 comment:

Celebrating the Comments being back on...in Wisconsin said...

I LOVE this. I especially love the 1st and 3rd photos of your post. I could study this kind of stuff all day. It must be my love of architecture, my interest in characters and costumes, and my fascination with things that make people tick (and tock) in their place in history. The Carnegie Hall apartment story is interesting too.