Tag Archives: Virgil Thomson

LINCOLN KIRSTEIN’S MODERN

The paintings of Ben Shahn, Antonio Berni, Raquel Forner, Honoré Sharrer, and Pavel Tchelitchew, the photography of Walker Evans and George Platt Lynes, the sculpture of Elie Nadelman and Gaston Lachaise, the ballet costumes of Kurt Seligmann, Paul Cadmus, and Jared French, the music of Virgil Thomson, and the philosophy of George Gurdjieff

… all come together in LINCOLN KIRSTEIN’S MODERN, the Museum of Modern Art exhibition devoted to the writer, critic, curator, patron, and impresario who set the aesthetic template for MOMA and brought George Balanchine to America to establish the New York City Ballet.

LINCOLN KIRSTEIN’S MODERN

Through June 15.

Museum of Modern Art

11 West 53rd Street, New York City.

This summer MOMA‘s West 53rd Street location will close for four months—June 15 through October 21—for reconstruction.

From top: George Platt LynesLincoln Kirstein, circa 1948, gelatin silver print, Museum of Modern Art, New York, © 2019 estate of George Platt Lynes; Paul Cadmus, set design for the ballet Filling Station, 1937, cut-and-pasted paper, gouache, and pencil on paper, Museum of Modern Art, New York, gift of Lincoln Kirstein, 1941, © 2018 estate of Paul Cadmus; Walker EvansRoadside View, Alabama Coal Area Town, 1936, gelatin silver print, printed circa 1969 by Charles RodemeyerMuseum of Modern Art, New York, gift of the artist, © 2019 Walker Evans Archive, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Paul CadmusBallet Positions, drawing for the primer Ballet Alphabet, 1939, ink, pencil, colored ink, and gouache on paper (letters reversed on drawing), Museum of Modern Art, New York, gift of Kirstein, © 2019 estate of Paul Cadmus; Pavel TchelitchewHide-and-Seek. 1940–42, oil on canvas, Museum of Modern Art, New York; Harvard Society for Contemporary Art pamphlet. 1931–32, Harvard Society for Contemporary Art scrapbooks, vol. 2 (Autumn 1930–33), Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York; Ben ShahnBartolomeo Vanzetti and Nicola Sacco, 1931–32, gouache on paper on board, Museum of Modern Art, New York, © 2019 estate of Ben Shahn / VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Pavel Tchelitchew, study for a backdrop for the ballet Apollon Musagète, 1942, gouache, ink, and pencil on paper, Museum of Modern Art, New York, gift of Kirstein; George Platt LynesLew Christensen in Apollon Musagète, June 24, 1937, gelatin silver print, Museum of Modern Art, New York, © 2019 estate of George Platt Lynes.


LEO LERMAN

“[Set designer Boris Aronson and I] sat in the Russian Tea Room talking the world away—how it is even past the Decline and now in the Fall. I said that when the theater died in its own place and took to the streets (as it has here—the theater in the streets is fantastic; the novels in the daily papers are extraordinary…), when this happened, revolution and war are inevitable. Boris agreed…

“He had been to view the Picasso sculptures and found them surface things. Everything in the arts today, Boris feels, is surface, since nothing is the outcome of greatness.

“Today is a decorator’s time.” — Leo Lerman, 1967

The Grand Surprise—The Journals of Leo Lerman, ed. Stephen Pascal (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007), 292.

See: nymag.com/books

Top: John Koch, The Cocktail Party, 1956. Leo Lerman is in foreground, facing Ania Dorfmann, the pianist. Virgil Thomson is to Lerman’s immediate right.

Above: During his brief, nine-month stint as editor-in-chief, writers—for the first and last time—were cover subjects of Vanity Fair. Shown here: Philip Roth and Francine du Plessix Gray.

Below: Maureen Stapleton, Lerman, and Julie Harris at the Algonquin Hotel in 1971.