This fall, Manhattan's American Museum of Natural History will showcase a fascinating fragment of its collection of forty-thousand magic lantern slides, all dating from the turn of the previous century, during the Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival. The natural-history museum used to lend these sorts of images to public schools statewide, pre-organized in boxes for what must have been excruciatingly boring lectures on topics ranging from “Useful Trees” to “Minor Industries of New England.” Yawn! But seriously, folks,this image is fantatstic, eh?, and the show promises to be a real treat.


Suzy Solidor (1900 – 1983) was the French singer and actress whose greatest achievement was the décor of her nightclub La Vie Parisienne, decorated with thirty three pictures of herself, painted by some of the greatest known artists of the day including Pablo Picasso, George Braque, Raoul Dufy, Tamara de Lempicka, Francis Picabia and Kees van Dongen. The result? One magnificent, massive, and multifaceted self-portrait.

For the Social X-Ray

Even though Salvador Dali and Elsa Schiaparelli’s stark black crepe Skeleton Dress was created for the Italian designer’s February 1938 Circus Collection, it has held up particularly well from an aesthetic point of view and would create a sensation today at, say, Per Se. So don’t just push that Marscapone Enriched Parsnip "Agnolotti" around on your plate, now you can eat it, too!

No one will know the difference.

Box 272 Interior, Harry Burton, Gelatin silver print circa 1927

Photo documentation from the excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun. And, I think, one of the loveliest photographs ever made.


About one hundred years ago, New York's swanky socialite spinster Stettheimer sisters began the decoration of a dynamic, yet diminutive, Deco-influenced early Modernist-style dollhouse.

Now to be found among the dreary period rooms and droves of dusty dolls that comprise the Museum of the City of New York’s permanent collection, Carrie and Florine Stettheimer’s creation really stands out as a work of art that’s quite spectacular and super-original.

Ahead of its time, indeed -- yet also an encapsulation of the era in which it was produced.

And the
sister’s artistic endeavor is ambitious in another way, ‘cause the mini mansion contains a Meta-magnificent mélange of original, to-scale works created by the Stettheimer's artist friends, including William Zorach, Alexander Archipenko, and Gaston Lachaise.

Crouch down, peer in to its many rooms, and it just might be hear a tinny-sounding, Cole Porter song spinning on the gramophone, and tiny satin-shod feet stomping on a postage stamp-sized polar bear fur rug to the detumescent fzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz rhythm… of a plethora of Pop! Pop! Popping! Popped! pen nib-sized champagne corks.


Caspar David Friedrich’s’ ‘Das Eismeer' (The Ice Sea) 1823/4

Monica Bonvicini’s 'Hun Ligger' (She Lies), 1997

I know what you’re thinking:

“Pictures of Icebergs. Oh no!

But please, suppress that yawn, Gentle Reader. There's no need for alarm.

‘Cause I’m not going to ascend a soap box to preach about global warming.

To hell with the ill-effects of greenhouse gasses! Let’s throw caution to the wind, and emit a collective sigh of relief -- to the detriment of the ozone layer. 'Cause we're gonna talk about some frivolous stuff, instead.

...take a look at Monica Bonvicini’s preparatory drawings for the sculpture 'Hun Ligger' (She Lies) a steel structure partly covered with translucent diagonal stripes, measuring approximately 17 x 16 x 12 meters -- riffing on Caspar David Friedrich’s’ genius ‘Das Eismeer' (The Ice Sea) -- to be installed floating in front of Oslo’s new opera house.

Whenever there’s any discussion of global warming, I tend to get distracted and start thinking about Arctic Explorer Lorenc Peter Elfred Freuchen (1886 - 1957).

I can't decide which is the most luxurious:
Peter's beard, or maybe his fur hoodie?

This guy sure was dreamy:


Incredibly good-looking.


And such a great writer—his encyclopedic Book of the Seven Seas is one of my favorites, ever.

And, most importantly, this guy looked fuckin' fantastic in fur.

Peter Freuchen and the equally dashing Knud Rasmussen.
I'm saving up all my pennies for a pair of bear fur gaiters, just like Peter's.

Arctic Adventure: My Life in the Frozen North (1935) is the product of Freuchen's long, dark winters in Greenland, when his mind sailed off with the big bergs "as they floated eternally to their doom".

In addition to scampering around on snowdrifts with his cute friend Knud while sporting the finest quality polar bear, blue fox and baby seal pelts, Freuchen married a lovely Inuit wife Navarana Mequpaluk and the union produced two children: Mequsaq Avataq Igimaqssusuktoranguapaluk and Piplauk Jette Tukuminguaq Kasaluk Palika Hager.

But man, oh man, isn't
it just too exhausting, thinking about crawling out of the igloo, night after night, and mustering up the energy just to call those kids in for dinner?

Peter Freuchen and Navarana Mequpaluk
in a fabulous pose

Peter and his third wife Dagmar, in an astonishing photograph by Irving Penn. Peter really puts all of today's so-called 'bears' to shame, eh? Any old fool can grow a belly and wear a flannel.


The rather louche Greek myth of Ganymede has been omitted from the curriculum of fables taught in middle schools today.

However, the tender young Trojan shepherd’s rape and abduction by Zeus metamorphed as an eagle, was deemed appropriate subject matter for a Budweiser ad, circa 1900.

Ganymede was Zeus “piece”at Mount Olympus and enjoyed great popularity as “cup bearer to the gods”.

Hence the forty-ounce!

Doesn’t it look like a Max Ernst collage?