This week: summer galleries, George Marshall, gin crazes & more.
“George Marshall: Defender of the Republic,” with David L. Roll at the Bryant Park Reading Room (July 17): “There are few men,” reflected Winston Churchill, “whose qualities of mind and character have impressed me so deeply as those of General Marshall.” A leader of monumental significance in guiding the free world through World War II and picking up the pieces afterward, George Marshall left an indelible mark on American politics and foreign policy as both a general and a statesman. This Wednesday, the author David L. Roll—whose biography on Marshall was released last week—will be on hand at Bryant Park to tease out the influence that he bore on America’s military and diplomatic ascendancy in the first half of the twentieth century. Free admission courtesy of the New-York Historical Society and the Bryant Park Reading Room, no reservation required. —RE
“ADAA Chelsea Gallery Walk 2019” (July 17): With the solstice nearly a month behind us and with the neo-druidist festival of “Manhattanhenge” having just brought out the woke Wiccans of New Amsterdam this past weekend, we are reminded by the still-elevated position of our particular solar orb that the summer season is pacing ahead at full tilt. In July and August, New York’s many galleries enjoy a period of relative aestivation, but even so there is yet good art to be seen. This Wednesday evening, the Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) is hosting its yearly Chelsea Gallery Walk. Among the thirty participating galleries, note especially Kasmin, which has curated a summery group show titled “Painters of the East End,” and Miles McEnery, host to exhibitions of new works by Amy Bennett and Erin Lawlor in its two Chelsea spaces. —AS
“Leonardo da Vinci’s St. Jerome,” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (through October 6): Although not as comprehensive as competing Leonardo retrospectives in France and Italy, the Metropolitan Museum’s new exhibition of his unfinished Saint Jerome Praying in the Wilderness (begun circa 1483) serves to commemorate the five-hundredth anniversary of the Tuscan polymath’s death. On loan from the Vatican Museums, the painting depicts the early church father Jerome (347–420) with a penitent gaze, kneeling beside the lion that reputedly became his companion during his retreat into the Syrian desert. Leonardo left the elements of his composition finished to varying degrees—the musculature around Jerome’s neck is finely rendered, whereas his outstretched right arm and the lion remain essentially blank—making this painting an invaluable source of information on the master’s creative practice. The painting will remain at the museum until October 6; the Met’s Carmen C. Bambach, the curator of the exhibition, will be introducing the piece in a free lecture this Friday, July 19, at 6:30 p.m. —RE
“Hogarth’s Gin Craze Festival,” at the Morgan Library (July 19): In 1751, at the height of London’s Gin Craze, Henry Fielding wrote that instead of engendering productivity among the English population, drunkenness served “only to fill Alms-houses and Hospitals, and to infect the Streets with Stench and Diseases.” That same year William Hogarth produced his famed Beer Street and Gin Lane illustrations, which demonstrate how gin, in opposition to placid beer, tore English society apart. This Friday, the Morgan Library will display gin’s softer side, with a festival celebrating the juniper-based spirit. Food and drink will be available for purchase and visitors can view Hogarth’s work in person, as part of the museum’s current exhibition “Hogarth: Cruelty and Humor.” At 7 p.m. there will be a screening of the 1946 movie Bedlam, inspired by Hogarth’s Rake’s Progress series. —BR
From the archive:“Virtue gone mad,” by Roger Kimball (September 1997). On the cultural revolution of the 1950s–70s and its aftermath.
From the current issue: “The denunciation machine,” by J. Christian Adams. On the dismal existence of the Southern Poverty Law Center.