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Archive for the ‘History’ Category

For some weird reason, I have not received the past two issues of Domino in my mailbox…So, I was browsing their site and saw a mention of Horst photography, which sent me off on a search for more information on this iconic photographer.

Horst, born in Germany, began his career in 1931 in Paris and first became known for his fashion photographs in Vogue, which featured unique lighting and sculptural influences. In the 1960s, Horst began to create lifestyle portraits and interior photos in the United States for Vogue and House and Garden, many of which can be seen in the book Horst: Interiors by Barbara Plumb (currently available on amazon.com for $82.57). Also, the Staley Wise Gallery has a collection of Horst’s work for sale (price available upon request). These images below are just a few of my favorites from the site www.horstphorst.com. Enjoy!

Mainbocher Corset, 1939

1952

Babe Paley, 1964

First Lady Mrs. Nixon

Yves Saint Laurent, 1986

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We couldn’t resist visiting the CineVegas Film Festival again yesterday and watching the film Where I Stand. The movie told the story of Hank Greenspun and was so much more than what I was expecting. I knew the Greenspun name as a publisher here in Las Vegas, but Hank’s influence was felt in so much more.

From Brooklyn, NY, Hank moved to Las Vegas after serving in WWII and became a publicist, working with Bugsey Siegel. Over the next couple of decades, Hank was involved in so much, including smuggling weapons to Palestine as part of the Haganah (the details of that are just amazing), starting his own newspaper with his famous “Where I Stand” column (one upping his competitor whose was titled “Where I Sit”), publicly opposing Senator Joe McCarthy, being the founder of Nevada’s first television station, offering free services to subscribers who were audited by the IRS, and negotiating the buying of several casinos for Howard Hughes, which helped clean up Las Vegas from the mob.

There’s more, but since I’m not an expert, read this excerpt of the New York Time’s 1989 obituary:

“Mr. Greenspun’s dealings with Mr. Hughes gave him a small place in the history of the Watergate affair. J. Anthony Lukas, author of ”Nightmare: The Underside of the Nixon Years,” wrote that President Richard M. Nixon’s operatives planned a second burglary in addition to the famous one at the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate Hotel. The target was Mr. Greenspun’s safe at The Las Vegas Sun, which was believed to contain memos about dealings between Mr. Hughes and Bebe Rebozo, the former President’s close friend.” An audio tape is played in the movie of Nixon speaking of Greenspun and saying something like “Cris, everyone knows who Hank Greenspun is”.

Greenspun helped end the racial discrimination in Las Vegas (which I didn’t even know had existed). He was also very involved in trying to establish Middle East peace, but that was all a little bit above my head…You could tell he had friends in high places. Hank was very vocal on protecting citizens during the nuclear testing and the Yucca Mountain situation (again, another situation that I know little about). All while raising a family!

The director, Scott Goldstein, hopes to have national big screen distribution. This review of the movie doesn’t do it justice, but I think Hank is such an inspiration to us all (especially young people) that his story deserves to be shared.

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Today, as part of the CineVegas Film Festival, my boyfriend and I watched the documentary titled Chelsea on the Rocks from filmmaker Abel Ferrara. We both loved it before we even saw it because it is based on the famous Hotel Chelsea in New York City. Also, the movie was shown at Cannes, so I figured it was worthy of watching. In my opinion, there could have been some improvements (such as labeling who the speakers were, cutting out some recreated scenes), but the information from the interviews in the film cannot be found elsewhere, so that makes it a winner in my eyes.

Some background on the Hotel Chelsea from its own website: “The hotel has always been a center of artistic and bohemian activity and it houses artwork created by many of the artists who have visited. The hotel was the first building to be listed by New York City as a cultural preservation site and historic building of note. The twelve-story red-brick building that now houses the Hotel Chelsea was built in 1883 as a private apartment cooperative that opened in 1884; it was the tallest building in New York until 1899. At the time Chelsea, and particularly the street on which the hotel was located, was the center of New York’s Theater District. However, within a few years the combination of economic worries and the relocation of the theaters bankrupted the Chelsea cooperative. In 1905, the building was purchased and opened as a hotel.

Owing to its long list of famous guests and residents, the hotel has an ornate history, both as a birth place of creative modern art and home of bad behavior.”

The documentary focused on telling stories of past and current residents, who are now facing eviction from new management and the hotel being turned into a boutique hotel (which is pretty much what has happened since the filming last fall). I had heard a lot about this debate of the hotel not being a haven for creative people anymore, and I enjoyed the movie because it gave me enough information to form my own opinion about what I think is best. Most surprising was how nice the hotel looked. The Victorian Gothic architecture creates a unique atmosphere, which I cannot wait to visit-which I am glad I have waited because now knowing so much of the pop culture history that has taken place there, I can appreciate it more.

Photos from hotelchelsea.com

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Hostess Apparel

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Image from Saks

After reading whowhatweardaily.com this morning, I was so curious about hostess pants (they showed the silk pair above from the line Elizabeth and James).  Apparently women wore hostess pants when entertaining at home starting in the 50s, then the pants became more casual with bright prints in the 60s and 70s.  I Googled hostess pants and found that women also wore hostess gowns, which were usually made of beautiful fabrics, reached the floor, and were often worn every night to the family dinner table.  I love love love the idea of these outfits since I spend so much time at home.  I don’t want to get dressed in something that I would wear out, but wearing pjs all day is not attractive or appealing either.  I think the patio dresses that are big this season are also a great style to wear around the house.  If someone stops by, you are not in your robe, but you are very comfortable.  Hostess clothes are a more stylish choice than the Juicy Couture track suits and add a bit of originality to your lounging wardrobe.  Just look how fabulous the Hostess Barbie below looks (available on Amazon).

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 Images from Amazon

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I just finished reading an article where Leslie Day, author of Field Guide to the Natural World of New York City, answered questions from readers that ranged from the Hudson freezing over to a hawk that lives on Fifth Avenue and is named Pale Male.  It is so interesting to learn about the nature in the city instead of the man made creations.  I think this book would make a great present for the so many people that love the city (HINT HINT to my boyfriend!).

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When I heard earlier in the week that photographer Bert Stern had recreated “The Last Sitting” with Lindsay Lohan as Marilyn Monroe, I almost couldn’t believe it.  The original images were so beautiful (see below and this previous post) and now this project seems to me to be one of the best, most artful things that Lindsay Lohan has been a part of.  To read the article and view a slideshow of images, visit this link to the New York Magazine website.

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All photographs by Bert Stern

 

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Lovely Labyrinths

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Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday while I was browsing, I came across the term labyrinth, which is similar to a maze, but only has one pathway through.  It has been used for centuries for meditation and you can find one near you (like the one above at Boston College) by checking out this Labyrinth Locator from The Labyrinth Society.I enjoyed finding out that the labyrinth has been symbolically represented everywhere, including architecture, pottery, currency, in literature, and in art.  Wikipedia says…

” Remarkable 20th-century examples include Piet Mondrian‘s Dam and Ocean (1915), Joan Miro‘s Labirynth (1923), Pablo Picasso‘s Minotauromachia (1935), M.C. Escher‘s Relativity (1953), Friedensreich Hundertwasser‘s Labyrinth (1957), Jean Dubuffet‘s Logological Cabinet (1970), Richard Long‘s Connemara sculpture (1971), Joe Tilson‘s Earth Maze (1975), Richard Fleischner‘s Chain Link Maze (1978), István Orosz‘s Atlantis Anamorphosis (2000), and Dmitry Rakov‘s Labyrinth (2003).”

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Relativity by M.C. Escher

There are a number of labyrinth styles, and the Greek key is considered a form.  I love how this rug has a simple version of a labyrinth (I’m not crazy about the colors).  I think I will try to make a fabric print by drawing the labyrinth pattern with a bleach pen and show my results soon!

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Image via therugs.com

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