A lone leaf balanced on a railing. 9:25 PM.
|10/24. Yesterday in New York was cool, sunny and breezy with the temperature dropping with the afternoon Sun. Beautiful weather.
The opinion in these parts is that Mr. Obama is going to win the election. I say this with no partisanship whatsoever. I have my own reservations about many things most of the time. This I hear without even asking, however. It is reported by many I know with authority, with certainty. Even when with regret.
I believe that whoever wins the Presidency will have his work cut out for him. It could be a lose-lose situation. The American Way of Life is undergoing changes in perception that are apparent to me for the first time in my now long life. This first began crossing my mind a number of years ago when it became apparent that we didn’t trust our own drinking water. And were thus drinking bottled. Now we have a whole generation who think of it as just one of those things. It isn’t. A small matter but not really. We are in a metaphor mode from here on in.
Photographs for me are about the personality of the photographer. I first discovered that from JH’s photos that run on the top of the Diary most days. He started taking those photos because we needed one every night.
Later he surprised me with the image choices because they often fit so well with the text. And the little things he seemed to spot on the canvas; the touches of life. I realized that he was a “noticer,” a person who sees a lot of his environment. I’m that way about social situations but not as much visually. As a result his photos often intrigue me.
I also discovered that busiess of personality from taking photos. Your relationship to the subject is what the photo is all about. If you like that kind of personality, you like the noticers, you’ll like those photos.
From Diana Walker's The Bigger Picture.
|Diana Walker’s images of contemporary Washington are what you’d see in Time Magazine. But the context has changed, taking them out of the magazine and giving them their own space. Her subjects are always contemporary, no matter who they are. There is a certain informality that just exists for all of us. Obviously her subjects liked her. I read that to mean you might too.
A moment, like the image we’re showing of men in power having a laugh. I looked at that and saw many other things than “men in power.” It may be that it is true: we are all the meek. In the meantime, Walker captures it in such a way that you could almost see the smile on her mind’s face as she was taking the picture, knowing what they’re really like. And I believe her.
|Hilary Califano, Diana Walker, and Louise Grunwald||Joe and Elizabeth Conason||Diana Walker and Bartle Bull|
|I left the Howard Greenberg Gallery, headed for Rockefeller Center and 51st Street and Fifth. There were no taxis vacant. I had to walk fast because I was getting close to the hour of seating for the Royal Academy Dinner. The American Associates of the Royal Academy Trust dinner. This an annual thing. Longtime NYSD readers have been there with me before.
I’ve always like this evening. It could be taken by some (many?) to be a little stuffy because there’s an element of the barnacled Establishment to it. The Royal Academy in Burlington House, Piccadilly, has been going for about 300 years. Its second president, was the American artist Benjamin West. John Singleton Copley exhibited there. It is where artists can study and exhibit. Today it is one of the most important public galleries in the world. Their shows are big hits with the public.
This year the honored guests were Their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. There’s something about the sound of that, don’t you think? Your Royal Highness. Imagine somebody saying that to you. It’s got to get to you, no?
The Duke is the Queen’s first cousin. Their fathers were brothers. I’d met him before although I can’t put my finger on the occasion. He was here on some kind of junket for British commerce. He’s a very pleasant, man, unassuming in bearing yet formal and reserved. He looks and seems like one of those guys you know will always take care of the important matters and feels a natural sense of reponsibility. In other words, he’s very unroyal in comportment. But very serious.
One honoree was John Richardson, recipient of the John Singleton Copley Award. Mr. Richardson, the Picasso biographer, needs no more introduction. When he went to accept his award, he was having a hard time seeing the speech he prepared. It got so difficult (he is experiencing a form of macular degeneration that impairs his sight under many circumstances).
John Richardson, I should add, is one of the most interesting men in New York, maybe on the planet. There are a couple of others I can think of – Jacques Barzun, for example – who know a lot, whose minds are not only full of information but also its relationship to the scheme of things. Richardson’s books reflect this. The Picasso biography, now in three volumes, is like reading the most interesting person you’ve ever listened to. The pay-off is not only what you’ve learned but even more, the pleasure of the company of a man who trumpets life – warts and all.
Kathleen Hearst took over the directorship of the American Associates about a year and a half ago. She’s added some new energy to this annual affair and brought some new and interesting personalities to the fore.
|Pat Altschul, Somers Farkas, and Victoria Wyman||Pat Patterson and Boaz Mazor|
|They also honored Ambassador and Mrs. Robert H. Tuttle. Mr. Tuttle is the Ambassador to the Court of St. James. He’s a California boy whose father was an original member of the Reagan Kitchen Cabinet. Holmes Tuttle was a Ford dealer in the Southland. It made him very rich and his nature made him a political force in the community.
We saw, shook hands with, the Tuttles last June when we went to London to attend the Olympia Art and Antiques Fair. California people are the same no matter where they are – the natives. Very down home and sunny smiles. Mrs. Tuttle is a very attractive California brunette. There’s a difference between the look of the California and the East Coast girl. The California girls often look like they’ve been cavorting at the sunny oceanside for several generations. To me, the Californians are the most American looking Americans. All ethnicities included.
He thought when he was advised by his predecessor to do that, that he’d never feel the need. He soon learned that he did. Government jobs at that level are demanding 24-7. Last night he told us how much he and Mrs. Tuttle loved London but how the Royal Academy, not far from the American Embassy in London, was his “new” garden.
Mrs. Tuttle, not so incidentally, has published a coffee table size book on the history of Winfield House, the American Ambassador’s Residence in London. The house was built for (and named by) Barbara Hutton, the Woolworth heiress, in the 1930s. In the late 1940s she gave it to the American government and it has been used ever since as the American Ambassador’s residence.
Mrs. Tuttle’s book about it is a wonderful book – beautiful photographs of the interiors and the grounds along with fascinating history. It’s one of those houses that evokes the child’s fantasy about where it would be nice to live.
|Maria Tuttle, HRH The Duke of Gloucester, and Dame Jillian Sackler||Mildred Brinn and friend|
|Mercedes Bass and Daphne Guinness||Ellen and James Marcus||Jill Spalding and Noel Lateef|
|Daphne Guinness, John Richardson, and Maria Tuttle||Bob Hardwick|
|Wilbur and Hilary Ross||Kipton Cronkite, Catherine Forbes, and Alan Pepe||Frances Hayward with Roddy and April Gow|
|Boaz Mazor and Pat Altschul||Valentine and Yaz Hernandez with Annabelle and Alberto Mariaca||Barbara Bancroft and Marc Biron|
|Photographs by DPC/NYSD||
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