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We have some good news and some bad news about our next show at the Studio of Ben Solowey. Let me start with the bad news. For only the second time in 23 years, we will not be opening a new show at the Studio in June. Unfortunately my work as a curator for museums around the country is to blame. Just last week I opened a big new show on Al Hirschfeld at the New York Historical Society titLeopold_jkt_r2led THE HIRSCHFELD CENTURY bringing together many of his greatest drawings under one roof for the first time. It coincides with the publication of my book of the same name by Alfred A. Knopf. It is probably the best thing I have ever written and while it is only available for sale for the first six weeks at the NY Historical Society, it will be in book stores everywhere (ok, Amazon, etc) on July 8th.

This week I head off to Chicago where I have been asked to assemble, in a very short time, an exhibition celebrating the Grateful Dead and their fans for the Field Museum to be on view when the band plays its final shows on July 3rd through 5th. The show will include not only lots of wonderful artifacts from the band and Deadheads, but it will be in fabulous Stanley Field Hall at the Field Museum which includes a dinosaur skeleton, stuffed elephants, and totem poles. In other words, it will be unlike anything I have ever done before.

Consequently, I can’t give the Studio show what it deserves and what our audience deserves, so rather than spread myself too thin, we are postponing the show until September.

And this is the good news actually. The show, Paper Trails by Ben Solowey, is an incredible collection of works of paper by Ben, many of which you have never seen before. There are several stunning drawings of Rae, including one of Ben’s first portraits of his wife who came to represent “woman eternal,” in so much of his work, along with very personal drawings of paintings of the Solowey farm in all of its seasons.

Of course, we will include some of Ben’s legendary Theatre Portraits, including one drawn from life of Arturo Toscanini that was exhibited only once before, ten years ago. There are works in charcoal, pencil, ink, pastel, watercolor, casein, etchings, woodcuts, and monotypes. Just when you think you have seen all that Ben has to offer, you will be surprised to discover works that will remind why Ben’s work continues to enthrall viewers.

In the Main Studio, there are oil paintings that have never been exhibited here, including his prize winning Pink Tablecloth, and even a selection of handcrafted frames by Ben that will be new to Studio visitors.

I apologize that my work denies many of you of your annual trek to Bucks County to revel in the world both in and outside of the Studio. I promise you that this new exhibition will be worth the wait. We will keep you up to date over the summer and share with you some of the pieces that will be included in the show in the fall. Remember it was the Philadelphia Inquirer that said, “When you visit the studio of Ben Solowey, you do more than see an exhibition, you enter an artist’s world…The charm of [the Studio] is its sense of intimacy and immediacy. Nothing is under glass or roped; rather, it conveys the uncanny feeling that Solowey has just stepped away from his easel and will be back any minute. On a crisp fall day, you couldn’t imagine wanting to be anywhere else.


We’ll see you when we do,

David Leopold

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