Sunday, December 29, 2019

Bartolo's Nativity

"Madonna and Child With Saints Jerome and Mary Magdalen" hangs in a quiet gallery at the Metropolitan Museum. I try to take myself back 500 years, to the workshop of Matteo di Giovanni di Bartolo. Who posed for Mary? Does the painting really look like her? The saints are lost in contemplation, but Mary looks directly at me with a mother's protectiveness, tinged with some vague understanding of what is to come. Whose baby sat for Jesus? A relative or friend? Unlike many conventionalized religious images, this little Jesus has a distinct visage. Did these people go back some time to see the portraits of themselves? What did they think? Lives pass but art remains.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Winner Takes All At Bergdorf Goodman

Games are the focus of the holiday windows at Bergdorf's this year. Who knew that glamorous women would find a round of musical chairs to be such fun? Bursting with pattern and texture, it's almost too much but I think it works. Limiting everything to black and white reins it in just enough. Viewers stopped to puzzle out the scene and enjoy the details. I suspect that some of them, like me, left feeling a tad underdressed.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Saks Holiday Lights

Sometimes being late is fortuitous. A walk up Fifth Avenue took us past Saks. The front of the building was paved in holiday lights but they were not doing their usual tricks, flashing and changing colors. This was actually a good thing, a chance to take in the beauty of the design and colors, inspired by "Frozen 2." An icicle-laden tree spread gracefully around the door. Colored lights scattered within the white swags made them seem to glitter. We returned another night to see the spectacular show, but it is the facade in its state of calm that I will remember.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Anthropologie's Holiday Words

When the weather outside is frightful, fools like me traipse around New York searching out the holiday windows. This year Anthropologie's are key words writ large, knitted, woven, fringed, wrapped in yarn. They speak the language of the holidays while reminding viewers that a wooly sweater or nice warm scarf might be a very good thing.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

A Mysterious Shape

It looked like some untamed natural phenomena, perhaps a whorl of dust in a storm or the most threatening clouds imaginable, backlit around the edges. I discovered it as afternoon turned into evening. The shapes, the textures the sense of light made me stop and look more closely. It's only the hood of a very beat-up car, but that flaking paint holds worlds of possibilities.