Paper & Felt Research Trip - Part 1

Hi friends and family,

Currently in NY (at least at the start of this mail). Don has been asked to speak at the Met and the Renaissance Society early next year on his several years project of trying to re-create Renaissance textured paper, the type of surface that Michelangelo and Leonardo may have drawn on. After receiving the invitations, we realized we better get our facts down. Theories abound, but we need to back them up with something, or if we find out they’re in error, the time to eject them is now and not during or after he gives his talks.

Right before we left we were madly trying to get everything done in prep for our trip and the time we would be gone from Magnolia when we received an invite from Arturo Bejar, a new photographer friend. He invited us to see Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson performing together in Carmel. We could not possibly turn that down, so we went, and we are so glad we did. It was an amazing performance. They riff so brilliantly off each other. They are both such splendid musicians, and there was poetry, beautiful visuals, and two recordings which they played to, one by Alan Ginsberg and one by Lou Reed. Magical and other worldly.

They asked us not to photograph during the performance, but many shots were taken at the audience applause.

There was a great cocktail party on the roof of a nearby restaurant after the performance. Don got to show Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson a preview of Phil, Glass's portrait in ceramic tiles by Chuck Close and produced by/at Magnolia Editions.

Don, Era, Arturo Bejar and Philip Glass
Photo by Arlene Kim Suda

Not sure what’s going on here; I pledge allegiance to Phil?

Don and Laurie Anderson listening to Era. 

Above photos by Arlene Kim Suda

Don & Laurie Anderson
Photo by Arturo Bejar

Two days of research at the Metropolitan Museum, inspecting up close some of their incredible drawings on Renaissance paper and working with the wonderful staff there.

Michelangelo’s Libyan Sibyl, study for the Sistine Chapel. Amazing to think he drew this with chalk. No wonder everyone referred to him as "Maestro".

 Don inspecting a Leonardo da Vinci drawing. Note; no plexi. We were ably assisted throughout by Alison Rudnick and Liz Zanis; we unfortunately did not get a photo of those lovely women.

Curators in paper conservation: Rebecca Capua, Shannon Mulshine and Marina Ruiz-Molina with Don

Looking at Magnoila’s experiment of ink on attempted re-creation of highly-textured Renaissance paper under a microscope.

Furio Rinaldi of Drawings and Prints research associate at The Met, showing us a cartoon of The Blessed Edigius (a close companion of St. Francis) executed for a fresco by Lo Spagna (Giovanni di Pietro). Furio generously shared some of his extensive knowledge of Renaissance artists with us.

Walked over to the 86th Street Station (we’re actually at 83rd) on the new Second Avenue line. 

View from the sidewalk. Mike, wearing the requisite hard hat, orange vest and steel-toed boots. He blends right in, but he's an artist with Mosaika, the Canadian company who have created and installed a number of the wonderful mosaics in the NY MTA stations. They also most kindly installing Phil and Lou for us. Mike and Era peek at Phil, ceramic tile mosaic by Chuck Close, produced at Magnolia Editions.

 Then we observed a nail-biting moment while the thousands of pieces of cut glass, tiles, stones, etc. are lifted by crane high into the air and down to an underground pit for installation. Happy to report that it landed safely.

Lunch with Chuck and Suzanne Scott at the Whitney.

Chuck generously paying; Don and Suzanne seem happy about that.

Visited a few galleries. Went to Danese/Cory thinking we were going to see April Gornik’s show, but it hadn’t opened yet.

Flew out to Italy that night. British Air (business or I think they call it Club World). Not the experience it once was, at least on our last couple trips, but still pretty good. 

Love from the road,

Era and Don