This week: Dana Gordon, Herbert Blomstedt, the history of golf & more from the world of culture.
“Hamilton’s Best Friend: Love, Marriage, and the Duel,” at the New-York Historical Society (February 28): “Hamilton’s Best Friend: Love, Marriage, and the Duel” is the fifth and final installment of the New-York Historical Society’s lecture series on Gouverneur Morris, the “Penman of the Constitution.” Joining the host Dale Gregory will be Richard Brookhiser, an eminent biographer and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, as well as the author of 2003’s Gentleman Revolutionary: Gouverneur Morris, the Rake Who Wrote the Constitution and, more recently, John Marshall: The Man Who Made the Supreme Court. The discussion will take place on Thursday evening, and tickets may be purchased by phone, online, or in person at the Historical Society’s admissions desk. —AS
“Dana Gordon: Painting 1968–2018,” at Westbeth Gallery (March 2 through 23): For the painter Dana Gordon, the process of abstraction has produced a lifetime of work singularly dedicated to the interactions of color, shape, and line. The many turns of Gordon’s kaleidoscopic brush are now on view for the first time together in a survey show at Westbeth Gallery. Through thirty canvases, “Dana Gordon: Painting 1968–2018,” opening this Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m., presents fifty years of studio innovation to reveal “what only painting can do”—and “what his paintings do for us.” —JP
“Insights at the Atrium: A Conversation with Herbert Blomstedt,” at the David Rubenstein Atrium, Lincoln Center (February 26): At ninety-one years old, the Swedish-American conductor Herbert Blomstedt leads orchestras just as he always has: with unparalleled precision, faithfulness to the score, and an understanding of the music earned through a lifetime of study. On Tuesday, Blomstedt and Deborah Borda, the president and CEO of the New York Philharmonic, will discuss his sixty-plus years of conducting the world’s top orchestras. Seating for the free event is first come, first served—and the talk will likely encourage attendees to secure seats for Blomstedt’s upcoming performances with the NY Phil and the pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet this Thursday through Saturday. The program includes Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 and his piano concerto, along with Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8. —HN
“The Craft and History of Golf” with Tim Alpaugh, at the General Society Library (February 26): James IV of Scotland is not much known these days, his legacy resting mostly on his 1503 marriage to Margaret Tudor, which for a time joined the royal houses of England and Scotland. But it is an act in 1502 for which he might deserve the most credit. In that year he ended the ban on the playing of golf, which had been enacted to encourage Scotland’s potential soldiers to take up more martial pastimes like archery. In September 1502 he paid a clubmaker in Perth fourteen shillings for a set of sticks. Thus the game received royal patronage, something it still enjoys today. Tomorrow Tim Alpaugh, a craftsman who specializes in old-style hickory-shafted clubs and artisanal divot repair tools, will speak on the history of golf and its equipment at the General Society Library. —BR
From the archive: “State of the essay?,” by Richard Brookhiser (September 1993). A review of United States by Gore Vidal.
From the current issue: “Gehry in Philly,” by Michael J. Lewis. On the renovation of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.