Images Of Elegant New York


It is a tribute to what the artist can do without commission, when left to his own devices and imagination, that some of the finest pictures in the show were those that the painters had done of their own families: J. Alden Weir’s two daughters on a donkey; William Chase’s three children; the Stettheimers. This group suggests the idea of another show to be done entirely of painters’ families. William Chase evokes all the atmosphere of the dunes of Long Island with his beautiful picture of his shingled house and his three daughters playing outside; Florine Stettheimer has turned the typical Manhattan interior into a frankly artificial, splendidly exotic glorification of the grotesquely huge flowers that she and her mother and sisters are admiring.

A word of warning to those who would use the art benefit show in lieu of the theatre party. Although the former requires a great deal of work and considerable imagination, while the latter simply involves taking a block of seats and peddling them to one’s list of subscribers, the theatre party is, alas, more profitable. To begin with, the expenses of an art show are great. My catalogue ran to S3,500 and the food and liquor for the opening night party came to another Sl1OOO. At $15 a ticket for the opening night and with a $1 entrance fee for the two and a half weeks that the exhibition was open to the public, I managed to make a gross of something over $13,000. The net, however, was closer to $8,000. But at least I had a memory that lingered longer and more agreeably than Ben Franklin in Paris !