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Worth The Wait

I hope everyone has had a wonderful summer. The weather has cooperated, and here on the farm it has been as lush as ever. The response to my new book on Al Hirschfeld and its companion exhibition, as well as for my Grateful Dead exhibition in Chicago has been very gratifying. I am always delighted to tell reporters when they ask how I got involved with Hirschfeld’s work twenty-five years ago, it was because I was researching Ben’s classic theater portraits that often appeared alongside Hirschfeld’s work in the New York Times and Herald Tribune between 1929 and 1942.

I have also had the luxury of extra time to pull together our

Cross River, New York Reservoir Pen, Ink & wash on paper, 1935

Cross River, New York Reservoir
Pen, Ink & wash on paper, 1935

new show here at the Solowey Studio, Ben Solowey’s Paper Trails. It includes a number of fine works that have spent the last thirty years in a private collection and are now having the opportunity to be seen by a wider audience. There are several portraits of Rae that are simply stunning. These portraits range from one of the earliest charcoal drawings Ben ever made of Rae, to works that reveal a much more mature, but still very beautiful, Rae, nearly fifty years later.

There are also exquisite landscapes, primarily in watercolor, of scenes from this property, often times shrouded in snow. These works radiate a tranquility and beauty that Ben felt he saw every time he looked at the window. They are as personal and intimate as his works of his wife.

We have a nice selection of Theatre Portraits in the show, although the emphasis in more on music than theater in this exhibition. Please make sure to read Associate Curator Katherine Eastman’s article on the two drawings from the world of Gilbert and Sullivan.

In the coming weeks we will tell you more about the works in the show, as well as the works in the Main Studio, where we display mostly oils. Look out for news about a “selfie” by Ben that is returning to the Studio for the first time in close to twenty years. There’s also news for the more craftsman minded admirers of Ben, as we will explore Ben’s frame-making featuring a still life in one of Ben’s frame that has never been exhibited before.

We think you will find this exhibition well worth the wait when we open on October 3rd. It will be a great time to take in the beautiful vistas the Solowey farm has to offer in the fall. We look forward to sharing them with you.

David Leopold, Director

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