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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

READ THIS: Slim and None My Wild Ride From the WHA to the NHL and All the Way to Hollywood by Howard Baldwin with Steve Milton Our Coverage Sponsored by Vermont Harvest

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This post is dedicated to Peachy's late grandparents, who loved the Hartford Whalers.
Grammy and Grampy, we know you are reading up there.

"Slim and None is a great book detailing how Howard achieved a dream that not too many people thought he could. It's an inspirational true story about how Howard started at the bottom of the ladder and climbed all the way up and was rewarded for it by winning the Avco Cup and the Stanley Cup. It's notable that Howard did not take advantage of his family's financial status and 'made it' on his own with diligent hard work. Slim and None is about the friends that Howard made along the way and helped him succeed in his endeavor, and he gives credit where it is due. Howard's loyalty for the people he brought along with him for the ride is admirable. Howard and I go back to my days with the Flyers and I am very happy that Howard could put his experience in writing and I also consider Howard a good friend."
Thank you Andre for your contribution!

We knew who Howard Baldwin was far before we learned of the word entrepreneur, and well before we understood its meaning.  The face of the ownership of hockey in the great State of Connecticut, the exceptional Howard Baldwin, has penned an autobiography that is a must-read for businesspeople anywhere that are interested in success.  Today, we know an awful lot about entrepreneurship, and Whom You Know is largely a celebration of the best entrepreneurs we have found worldwide.  However, there are no Hartford Whalers in 2014 despite Howard's best efforts; the story of the Connecticut Whale is a sad tale: like Gatsby, Howard and anyone that likes hockey in Hartford has learned you can't recreate the past.  The Hartford Whalers were the only game in town in Connecticut, and they were phenomenal for the community and happiness of the state.

Slim and None is a story of beating the odds with persistence, hard work, intelligence and networking-guess where we learned it's not who you know, it's Whom You Know.  And you'll learn it's a thankful miracle the Whalers ever came to be; the Chicago Blackhawks must think that because the existence of the Whalers provided for their superior coaching staff today (Quenneville and Dineen...Howard comments on alumni affecting the game today on page 149.)

Anyone successful will tell you that there's a lot of working your way up that happens.  Did you know Howard Baldwin experienced U.S. Marine training at Parris Island
Howard did play hockey himself at The Salisbury School, and went on to Boston University to play baseball.  
 His first job was at Alex Taylor and Company, a sporting goods store in New York at $75 a week.  His first job in hockey was in ticket sales-all gate sales and advance tickets in the age of paper tickets and no computer printouts, nevermind StubHub.  Tickets made 95% of a teams's income at the time. (page 31) The bottom line: no one starts on top!  (This paragraph is dedicated to the millennials and the helicopter parents...)

And for the record for all of our New York readers, Howard Baldwin is a New Yorker.  He is from the town of Mount Kisco in Westchester County.  Manhattan readers: when Howard was working at Alex Taylor, he lived in Hell's Kitchen.  Later, he worked on a skyscraper in construction at Central Park West and 74th Street.  We like that Howard is not a fan of the cheesecake here either.

Capital raising, selling, marketing, and finding an arena to play in are all challenges Howard faced, and you know in the end he was successful: however, to learn HOW he did it, you've got to read Slim and None.  We won't spoil it for you, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  Did you know Sandy Weill played a role in this story?  You'll see what kind of partners you want to do business with here, and also learn lessons about what to avoid.   The brilliant involvement of the Insurance Industry in Hartford orchestrated by Howard is key to this success as well.  It's not all business, however, and the pictures included are phenomenal.

Clearly, if you like hockey and the Hartford Whalers, this is required reading.  "On January 11, 1975, the Whalers moved into the Hartford Civic Center, the arena part of which was called the Veterans Memorial Coliseum...What was so incredible was that the city leaders had built an arena in a mall and made it into an entertainment center. " (page 91)  This is the real reason why our site is about Fashion/Eating/Hockey: if Peachy behaved and got good grades, she got to go to the hockey games, and everyone shopped and went out to eat before the game started.  At 6:30pm the doors opened and at 6:50pm warm-ups started.  (Thank you Kevin Dineen for our puck collection.)  Now everyone has this kind of arena, but in the 70's, it was incredibly forward-thinking.  Also if you like sports in general, you'll find the story of the WHA and how it impacted the NHL entirely captivating.

"What I'm most proud of was that when the Hartford team was sold in 1988, we had the third-highest gross gate in the league, while playing the smallest market [21 teams in the NHL at the time we believe] and in an arena with the smallest capacity," Howard tells readers on page 93.

Did you know that Howard Baldwin has produced 30 films!  Howard's Hollywood tales comment on the new idea of Product Placement in Flight of the Navigator, and Russell Crowe's training for Mystery, Alaska.  A most interesting life!

The stories you won't want to miss include:
*Howard's trip to the Academy Awards turned up a Whaler fan: Adam Sandler, who sat beside Howard 
*Howard's little brother Philip dated John Lindsay's (Mayor of New York) daughter-the story is how Philip showered after also working on the Central Park West construction with Howard and before his date
*The first time Howard met Gordie Howe
*Even better, Howard's visit to Colleen Howe and her llamas...and the subsequent goat attack
*The Gucci loafer playoff story (and even better Quebec SWEEP!)
*ESPN was born during all of this down the road from Hartford in Bristol, and it is no accident that the first NHL game on ESPN was the Hartford Whalers vs. Washington Capitals 

Slim and None by Mover and Shaker Howard Baldwin is Highly Recommended by Whom You Know!

Peachy Deegan still wears a Whalers jacket, and she also has blue and green Paul Mayer Attitudes to go with it (that's Paul and her-he designed the shoes.)  She also wears a Chicago Blackhawks hat with a Whalers patch sewn on the back with an arrow pointing to it that says: "Strategy by."


Twitter: @HouseofAnansi 

Sports entrepreneur and Academy Award-nominated film producer Howard Baldwin recounts his experiences in the worlds of hockey and Hollywood. 

From his start as an owner in the World Hockey Association at the age of 28 (“slim and none” was a Boston sportswriter’s assessment of Howard’s chances when he was first awarded the New England Whalers franchise), to winning the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins and then on to Hollywood success, sports entrepreneur and film producer Howard Baldwin recounts his spirited and hugely entertaining life story 

Beginning with his move at the age of twenty-eight from an entry-level position in the ticket office of the Philadelphia Flyers to acquiring and building his own WHA franchise in New England, Howard has built an impressive reputation as a pioneer — and a maverick — in the world of professional hockey. As President of the WHA, Baldwin led the merger with the NHL, and then later became a key figure in the expansion of North American hockey into Russia. 

Topping his journey in hockey off with a stint as chairman of the Pittsburgh Penguins, he then moved successfully into the film industry, producing a number of outstanding films including the Academy-Award winning Ray. 

About the Author: Howard Baldwin is a sports entrepreneur and film producer. He was founder of the New England Whalers, president of the WHA, and chairman of the Pittsburgh Penguins, with whom he won the Stanley Cup in 1992. Along with his wife, Karen, he formed the Baldwin Entertainment Group and produced the Ray Charles biopic, Ray. Baldwin is the first person to have won the AVCO Cup, the Stanley Cup, and an Academy Award. He lives in Los Angeles, California. 

About the Author: Steve Milton has been a sports writer for thirty-five years. A National Newspaper Award finalist, multiple Ontario Newspaper Award winner, and Gemini Award finalist, Milton writes a daily column for The Spectator. He is the author of more than twenty books, including Tessa and Scott: Our Journey from Childhood Dream to Gold. 

Title: Slim and None

Author: Howard Baldwin (with Steve Milton) 

Imprint: Anansi 

ISBN: 9781770893634

Advance Praise for Howard Baldwin and Slim and None:

“Howard Baldwin remains one of the most engaging people I have met in my close to forty years of covering sports.!”— Chris Berman

“An insightful read into the business side of sports from a man who has seen hockey from the ground up. Starting a professional league with incredible characters as players and owners makes for an enjoyable, hilarious read. The challenges of running a franchise and the daily interaction with all levels of hockey should be a must-read for anyone interested in the business of sport.”— Kevin Dineen

“The business of major league hockey didn’t evolve by itself — Howard Baldwin forced it forward, and the meat of Slim and None, the WHA years, shows exactly how he did it. I’ve enjoyed Howard’s book immensely.”— Timothy Gassen, President, WHA Hall of Fame

“Ever since Howard negotiated a contract to bring the Howe family to Hartford in 1977, he has continued to promote the Howe legacy. From raising a Howe family retirement banner at the Hartford Civic Center to producing Mr. Hockey: The Gordie

Howe Story, Howard has been a true friend to the Howe family and a great supporter of the game of hockey.”— The hockey Howes: Gordie, Mark, and Marty

“Few in hockey history have done more for The Game with less credit than Howard Baldwin. His leadership of the World Hockey Association led to the landmark merger with the NHL and grand expansion of the Ice Game. He was the man behind 
the Penguins’ first pair of Stanley Cups and has vigorously —indefatigably — pursued more creative sports ideas than anyone I know. His story, automatically, becomes a must-read.” — Stan Fischler, Madison Square Garden hockey analyst and author of more than ninety hockey books

“Howard was one of the true leaders in ownership in the modern era of the NHL. He has always been a risk-taker and someone unafraid to fail. I am proud to call him my friend.”

— Luc Robitaille

“It figures Howard would pick the toughest sport to fall in love with because he’s a warrior who is all heart!”— Sylvester Stallone


Oscar de la Renta Madison Avenue Windows Fall 2014 Our Coverage Sponsored by Stribling and Associates

For over 30 years, Stribling and Associates has represented high-end residential real estate, specializing in the sale and rental of townhouses, condos, co-ops, and lofts throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, and around the globe. Stribling has more than 200 professional brokers who use their respected expertise to provide personalized service to buyers and sellers at all price levels. A separate division, Stribling Private Brokerage, discreetly markets properties over $5 million, and commands a significant market share in this rarified sector of residential real estate. Stribling is the exclusive New York City affiliate of Savills, a leading global real estate advisor with over 200 office in 48 countries. 

Check out their listings:

Whom You Know Congratulates their new President, Elizabeth Ann Stribling-Kivlan:


Terrific Takeout: La Palapa Our Coverage Sponsored by Fresh Origins

CAMARONES en SALSA DE TAMARINDO shrimp in tamarind~ancho~pasilla salsa saffron rice, sautéed green beans by the incomparable Barbara Sibley!
Fresh Origins is America’s leading producer of Microgreens and Edible Flowers. Combining the benefits of an ideal climate with a deep passion for quality and innovation, Fresh Origins products are sought after by the finest restaurants and top chefs. The farm is located in the picturesque rolling hills of San Diego County, where the near perfect weather allows for production and harvest all year. Fresh Origins produces almost 400 Microgreens, Petitegreens, Edible Flowers, Shoots, Tiny Veggies™ and related items. Many are not available anywhere else, with new introductions nearly every month. Fresh Origins products are on top of the finest cuisine in the world! Fresh Origins supplies distributors of specialty produce who serve fine dining restaurants and resorts nationwide. There are also a few online sources of their products available to private chefs and home cooks. Read our first Culinary Queen interview with Kelly Sasuga:

For more information about Fresh Origins, visit their website at 

In our search for delicious cuisine and a beautiful dining experience, we have found a lot of Italian venues, and a good amount of French, Greek, Seafood and American spots.  We have not found as many Mexican restaurants, and one of the best in our experience based on our inaugural visit is La Palapa, which has an incredibly talented and intelligent owner behind it: Barbara Sibley.  We are proponents of smart businesswomen (Stribling!  Maine Woolens!  The Giving Back Foundation by Meera Gandhi!  Ellen Christine Couture Millinery!  And of course, Entrepreneur Barbie.)
 We began with the succulent QUESO FUNDIDO con CHORIZO CASERO.  You'll remember Peachy studied French for six years, so have no fear, we will translate everything to understand it ourselves.  This means a mexican fondue of baked queso chihuahua with their housemade spicy guajillo pork chorizo served with warm tortillas.  You will not be able to eat just one, so get your rolling skills ready!  The flavor in this dish was superb and definitely spicy enough for us, without setting us on fire, and the pork and cheese combination is genius.    La Palapa has been open for 14 years and everything is made by hand.  There's a level of artisinal quality in the dishes we tried that we do not see prevalent in Mexican cuisine in Manhattan, and we can see how dedicated Barbara is.
invented by Cesar Cardini in Tijuana, Mexico ~ crisp romaine hearts, toasted pine nuts queso añejo, 
anchovy and spiced croutons tossed with lime~anchovy dressing was our green salad component and we reveled in its terrific simplicity.  
If your little heart desires, you also may add grilled shrimp, chicken or steak .
If you've ever read Whom You Know before, you know who is a maniac for shrimp done well-and Solera's Garlic Shrimp is definitely the most mentioned food item anywhere on this site because Peachy Deegan loves it. 
CAMARONES en SALSA DE TAMARINDO shrimp in tamarind~ancho~pasilla salsa saffron rice, sautéed green beans brought us back to our favorite food memory, and the flavor was absolutely stunning.  The color in presentation added to our enjoyment, and Barbara's succulent shrimps we hope to meet again as well as Barbara herself.
La Palapa is Terrific Takeout!


WINTER’S AMAZING TRUE STORY NOW HAS HOPE WHEN DOLPHIN TALE 2 ARRIVES ONTO BLU-RAY COMBO PACK, DVD and DIGITAL HD ON DECEMBER 9, 2014 FROM WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT Blu-ray and Digital HD include home-entertainment exclusive "Dolphin Tale 2: Underwater Magic," other cool featurettes and a hilarious blooper reel

Believe in the spirit of friendship, the strength of family and the power of hope when “Dolphin Tale 2” arrives onto Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD on December 9 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Charles Martin Smith, who directed “Dolphin Tale,” wrote and directed the sequel that was inspired by another true story about the world’s most extraordinary dolphin Winter. 

“Dolphin Tale 2” reunites the entire main cast, led by Harry Connick, Jr. as Dr. Clay Haskett; Nathan Gamble as Sawyer Nelson; Ashley Judd as Sawyer’s mom, Lorraine; Kris Kristofferson as Clay’s father, Reed; Cozi Zuehlsdorff as Clay’s teenage daughter, Hazel; Austin Stowell as Sawyer’s cousin, Kyle; Austin Highsmith as Winter’s lead trainer, Phoebe; and Oscar® winner Morgan Freeman (“Million Dollar Baby”) as Dr. Cameron McCarthy. The film also features Bethany Hamilton as herself.

“Dolphin Tale 2” is produced by Oscar® nominees Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson (“The Blind Side”), together with Alcon President of Worldwide Marketing, Richard Ingber, and Steven P. Wegner. David Yates and Robert Engelman served as executive producers.

“Dolphin Tale 2” will be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack for $35.99 and includes the film in high definition on Blu-ray disc, a DVD, and a digital version of the movie in Digital HD with UltraViolet. Fans can also own “Dolphin Tale 2” via purchase from digital retailers.


The inspiring true story of Winter isn’t over. Several years after receiving a prosthetic tail, Winter loses her surrogate mother, leaving her alone, grieving and unwilling to engage with anyone, even her best human friend, Sawyer. Worse, she may have to be moved from her home at the aquarium due to regulations requiring dolphins to be paired. When Dr. Clay Haskett and his dedicated team can’t find her a companion, it looks like they may lose their beloved Winter...until an unexpected turn of events brings them Hope.


Dolphin Tale 2” Blu-ray Combo Pack contains the following special features:

· Dolphin Tale 2: Underwater Magic Dolphin Tale 2: True Story

· Look Who's Running The Show

· Bethany Hamilton Meets Winter

· Dolphin Tale 2: The Mission

· Cozi Zuehlsdorff - "Brave Souls"

· Gavin DeGraw - "You Got Me"

· Blooper Reel

“Dolphin Tale 2” Standard Definition DVD contains the following special features:

· Dolphin Tale 2: True Story


On December 9, “Dolphin Tale 2” will be available for streaming and download to watch anywhere in high definition and standard definition on their favorite devices from select digital retailers including Amazon, CinemaNow, Flixster, iTunes, PlayStation, Target Ticket, Vudu, Xbox and others. “Dolphin Tale 2” will also be available digitally on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.


*Digital HD with UltraViolet allows fans to watch a digital version of their movie or TV show anywhere, on their favorite devices. Digital HD with UltraViolet is included with the purchase of specially marked Blu-ray discs. Digital HD with UltraViolet allows consumers to instantly stream and download movies and TV shows to TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones through UltraViolet retail services like CinemaNow, Flixster, Target Ticket, VUDU and more. For more information on compatible devices go to Consult an UltraViolet Retailer for details and requirements and for a list of HD-compatible devices.

Standard Street Date: December 9, 2014

DVD Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Canadian French

BD Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Canadian French

DVD Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, Parisian French

BD Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, Parisian French

Running Time: 107 minutes

Rating: Rated PG for some mild thematic elements



About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Inc.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment's home video, digital distribution, interactive entertainment, technical operations and anti-piracy businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees, as well as directly to consumers through


Mover and Shaker Picture of the Week: Jack Fritsch at the August Antiques Show on Nantucket

Jack from the recent August Antiques Show on Nantucket, one of the most prestigious antiques shows in the North East. Jack vetted the show (which included close to 80 antique dealers) at the request of the Nantucket Historical Association.


On October and Stocks, by Mark Twain

"October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. Other dangerous months are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August and February."
-Mark Twain


A New Modern Classic From Across the Pond: The Moto in Black by Lotus Shoes of England Since 1759 Recommended by Whom You Know!

The Moto in Black by Lotus
 Previously on Whom You Know, we recommended the Moto in the fashionable tri-color:
 And as every woman knows, you cannot have enough black shoes!  Ever!  The Moto by Lotus is just as gorgeous in black.  And if you have a busy outfit, you need to wear the black because the tri-color likes to be the star of the look, and besides, you don't want to look like a circus.  The black is a perfect neutral classic when you wear a dress with patterns or ropes of pearls. 
 These look lovely with your favorite LBD (Little Black Dress) , or with a sweater and slacks for a casual style.  They give you the right amount of height with comfort so you can walk.  We think being able to walk is essential in shoes!
Classic styling never goes out of fashion, so the Lotus Moto court shoe is a worthy investment. The classic black leather upper, a 5.5cm stiletto heel, and a stunning pointed toe, the Moto Lotus style will be a great addition to your wardrobe.
Classic Lotus ladies’ court shoe
Leather upper
Pointed toe
5.5cm stiletto heel

Established in 1759, the Lotus brand holds an incredible heritage with a wonderful tale to tell. Unfolding the Lotus story and echoing the intriguing legacy of the oldest British footwear brand in existence, the Lotus archives hold an abundance of delightful artifacts from the brand's 250 year history.
Signature Lotus styling is applied to both timeless classic options and a wealth of contemporary, easy to wear footwear styles. Lotus designs exude sophistication and quality. Many styles from the ladies' Lotus footwear collection perfectly harmonise with a number of co-ordinating bag designs in key shapes for the season, the perfect mother of the bride combination. In addition, Lotus recently introduced a range of formal and casual handbags aimed at the style minded women in search of a chic work bag or weekend option and Whom You Know looks forward to reviewing the bags in the future. 
Lotus also offer stylish men's collection which we look forward to featuring. The Lotus collection is functional, stylish and distinctive, options range from essential casuals to smart formal options.


On Madness, by Mark Twain

"When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained."
-Mark Twain 



Corus Media and A+E Networks® have reached an agreement to bring content and branding from HISTORY® to Historia in Quebec, it was announced today by Mario Cecchini, President, Corus Media and Christopher Barry, Sr. Vice President, International Strategy and Digital Media, A+E Networks.

Slated to roll out this winter, Historia will launch several series from the HISTORY catalogue such as Mountain Men, Appalachian Outlaws, Down East Dickering and No Man’s Land. Historia currently broadcasts a number of HISTORY’s global hit franchises, including Pawn Stars, American Pickers, American Restoration and Counting Cars, all of which rank among the channel’s top ten most-watched shows. Historia will also incorporate the iconic gold HISTORY ‘H’ into its logo.

“We’re delighted to partner with one of the biggest players in the television business,” said Cecchini. “This deal will enrich our broadcasting package with shows produced by a world-renowned brand.”

HISTORY takes viewers on a journey through the ages, connecting our modern world with its historical roots in a way that is relevant, entertaining, and often surprising. Globally, HISTORY is a leading destination for top quality, award-winning original series and specials that challenge perceptions of the past and tell compelling stories through new perspectives and vivid reconstructions. The channel brings history to life; thrusting viewers into the action, and challenging perceptions of what history is.

“HISTORY is a powerful brand with truly innovative content and compelling characters that have struck a chord with viewers globally," said Barry. “We are pleased to join forces with Corus Media to bring our content and branding to Historia viewers.”

“This agreement gives us access to shows that will thrill Historia viewers!” stated Fabrice Brasier, Vice President, Programming, at Historia. “These programs will complement our distinctive existing content, which includes original productions produced in Quebec and form the basis of our identity and success.”

HISTORY is available in 180+ territories and 325+ million households worldwide.

About Corus Média

Corus Média operates the French-language specialty television brands Historia, Séries+, TÉLÉTOON and TÉLÉTOON Rétro in Quebec. It is a subsidiary of Corus Entertainment Inc. (TSX: CRJ.B), a Canadian-based media and entertainment company that creates, broadcasts and licenses content across a variety of platforms for audiences around the world. Corus Entertainment’s portfolio of multimedia offerings encompasses specialty television and radio with additional assets in pay television, television broadcasting, children’s book publishing, children’s animation and animation software. Corus’ brands include YTV, TELETOON, ABC Spark, and HBO Canada, as well as Nelvana, Kids Can Press, Toon Boom and 39 radio stations. Experience Corus Entertainment on the web at

About A+E Networks®

A+E Networks, LLC. is an award-winning global media content company offering consumers a diverse communications environment ranging from television networks to websites, to home videos/DVDs to gaming and educational software. A+E Networks is comprised of A&E® Network, Lifetime®, HISTORY®, LMN®, FYI™, H2™, HISTORY en Español™, Crime + Investigation™, Military HISTORY™, Lifetime Real Women®, A&E IndieFilms®, A+E Networks International®, A+E Networks Digital® and A+E Networks Consumer Products™. A+E Networks channels and branded programming reach more than 330 million households in over 180 territories. A+E Networks, LLC. is a joint venture of Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst Corporation.


Thomas Hart Benton’s America Today Mural Rediscovered September 30, 2014–April 19, 2015 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan Our Coverage Sponsored by Stribling and Associates

Exhibition Location: The Erving and Joyce Wolf Gallery, The American Wing, Gallery 746

For over 30 years, Stribling and Associates has represented high-end residential real estate, specializing in the sale and rental of townhouses, condos, co-ops, and lofts throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, and around the globe. Stribling has more than 200 professional brokers who use their respected expertise to provide personalized service to buyers and sellers at all price levels. A separate division, Stribling Private Brokerage, discreetly markets properties over $5 million, and commands a significant market share in this rarified sector of residential real estate. Stribling is the exclusive New York City affiliate of Savills, a leading global real estate advisor with over 200 office in 48 countries. 

Check out their listings:

Whom You Know Congratulates their new President, Elizabeth Ann Stribling-Kivlan:


The exhibition Thomas Hart Benton’s America Today Mural Rediscovered celebrates the gift of Thomas Hart Benton’s epic mural America Today from AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in December 2012. Missouri native Thomas Hart Benton (1889–1975) painted the 10-panel mural cycle in 1930–31 for New York’s New School for Social Research to adorn the boardroom of its International Style modernist building on West 12th Street. It was commissioned by the New School’s director, Alvin Johnson, who had fashioned the school as a center for progressive thought and education in Greenwich Village. Depicting a sweeping panorama of American life during the 1920s, America Today ranks among Benton’s most renowned works and as one of the most significant accomplishments in American art of the period.

“This exhibition is the culmination of an extraordinary partnership between the Metropolitan and AXA, which donated the mural to the Museum and also serves as the exhibition’s sponsor. For this, we are tremendously grateful,” stated Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum. “The Metropolitan’s presentation of Benton’s great mural will shed new light on this visually and intellectually stimulating landmark in American art of the early 1930s, especially as the Museum will display the mural as the artist originally intended it to be seen. Positioning the mural’s new home in the context of the Metropolitan’s diverse collections, the exhibition also tells a unique story rooted in New York’s own cultural history.” 

“The Department of Modern and Contemporary Art is thrilled to debut AXA’s great gift of Benton’s remarkable America Today mural in the American Wing, where the artist’s expansive vision of life in the United States will resonate deeply with John Vanderlyn’s grand panorama, 19th-century genre painting, and Thomas Cole’s philosophical landscapes, among other treasures,” said Sheena Wagstaff, the Museum’s Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art. “The exhibition will also remind visitors that the key themes of Benton’s mural—the heroic proletariat and modern industry—were greatly significant for artists in a contemporary international context, not only in the United States, but also in Mexico, and in France between the world wars.”

The exhibition is made possible by AXA. 

America Today was Benton’s first major mural commission and the most ambitious he ever executed in New York City. The exhibition will demonstrate how the work not only marked a turning point in Benton’s career as a painter—elevating his stature among his peers and critics—but in hindsight stands out even more as a singular achievement of American art of the period, one that, among other effects, served to legitimize modern mural painting as part of the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Arts Project in the 1930s. Stylistically bold,America Today stands midway between the artist’s early experiments in abstraction, signs of which are still evident in the mural, and the expressive figurative style for which he is best known today. Thematically, the mural evokes the ebullient belief in American progress that was characteristic of the 1920s, even as it acknowledges the onset of economic distress that would characterize life in the following decade. The commissioning of America Todayalso marked an important episode in international modernism; the great Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco was commissioned to paint a mural in the New School at the same time, and the two artists worked on their projects concurrently.

On view starting September 30 in the Museum’s Erving and Joyce Wolf Gallery in the American Wing, the exhibition will be organized into three sections: the first will feature a large selection of Benton’s studies for the mural; the second will present the mural installed in a facsimile of its original space at the New School; and the third will feature related works by other artists, all from the Museum’s collection.

America Today Rediscovered
The keystone of the exhibition—the mural—will be installed in a reconstruction of the 30-by-22-foot boardroom as it existed at the New School in 1931, allowing viewers to experience the mural cycle as Benton conceived it. A highlight of this extraordinary opportunity to view the reconstructed mural in its nearly original setting is the incorporation of elements that were part of the architect Joseph Urban’s modernist aesthetic for the New School building, such as the black and red color scheme he used for the room. Among the mural’s most distinctive features are the aluminum-leaf wooden moldings, which not only frame the mural but also create inventive spatial breaks within each large panel. When the mural was installed at the New School, these moldings echoed the Art Deco details of Urban’s building design. 

The 10 panels—most of which loom to a height of seven-and-a-half feet—depict a panoramic sweep of rural and urban life on the eve of the Great Depression. They capture the tension of early modern America, with allusions to race relations and social values, while simultaneously celebrating the themes of industry, progress, and urban life. An array of pre-Depression types—flappers, farmers, steel workers, stock market tycoons, and others representing a cross section of American life—will surround visitors in the mural space and can be further explored in the adjacent galleries, which will present many of the studies Benton made during his travels around the United States in the 1920s and to which he referred for the mural project. 

The Mural Studies
The second section of the exhibition, featuring Benton’s studies for America Today, illuminates the deliberative nature of his working process. Besides the impressions Benton captured during his travels around the U.S. in the 1920s, the studies on view will include character studies in pencil for figures that appear in the mural, as well as painted compositional studies for individual mural panels. 

Related Works
The final section of the exhibition includes works that relate to Benton’s America Today drawn from the Metropolitan Museum’s Departments of Modern and Contemporary Art, Photographs, and European Paintings. Highlights of this section are other works by Benton; renowned photographs by Walker Evans, Berenice Abbott, and Lewis Hine; and, of particular interest, Jackson Pollock’s Pasiphaë (1943). During the time Benton was paintingAmerica Today, Pollock was his student and served as a model for his teacher’s mural. The inclusion of Pollock’s abstract painting in the exhibition provides opportunities to consider the complex personal and artistic relationship between the two artists.

From the New School to the Metropolitan
After more than 50 years in the boardroom of the New School, a space that was subsequently used as a classroom, America Today proved difficult for the school to maintain in perpetuity. In 1982, the school announced the sale of the mural cycle to the Manhattan art dealer Maurice Segoura, with the condition that it would not be re-sold outside the United States or as individual panels. But the work was a great challenge to sell as a whole, increasing the likelihood that the panels would be dispersed. 

America Today was acquired by AXA (then Equitable Life) in 1984, in support of efforts on the part of then-Mayor Edward I. Koch and others to keep it intact and in New York City. Two years later, after extensive cleaning and restoration, America Today was unveiled to critical acclaim in AXA’s new headquarters at 787 Seventh Avenue. When the company moved its corporate headquarters again in 1996, to 1290 Avenue of the Americas, America Todaywas put on display in the lobby. There it remained until January 2012, when the company was asked to remove it to make way for a renovation. The removal triggered AXA’s decision to place the historic work in a museum collection, and in December 2012, AXA donated the mural to the Metropolitan Museum. This transformative gift was facilitated by H. Barbara Weinberg, Curator Emerita, The American Wing, and Pari Stave, Senior Administrator in the Museum’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art. 

More information about the 2012 gift can be found in the Press Room on the Museum’s website. 

Exhibition Credits
Thomas Hart Benton’s America Today Mural Rediscovered is organized by Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser, the Alice Pratt Brown Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, and Randall Griffey, Associate Curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, both of the Metropolitan Museum. 

Education Programs
A variety of education programs will take place in conjunction with the exhibition. These include gallery talks, a Sunday at the Met lecture, a scholars’ day workshop event, and a one-day symposium. 

Related Publication

The exhibition will be accompanied by a Bulletin published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Essays by curators Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser and Randall Griffey will reveal new findings regarding the significance of the murals, as well as the results of an intensive technical examination, including infrared reflectography, exploring Benton’s working methods. The Bulletin—which will be sold in the Museum's book shop and online for $14.95—will be available in February 2015.

The publication is made possible by the William Cullen Bryant Fellows.

The Metropolitan’s quarterly Bulletin program is supported in part by the Lila Acheson Wallace Fund for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, established by the cofounder ofReader’s Digest.

The exhibition will be featured on the Museum’s website at


Lenovo Offers Users a World of Music at Their Fingertips with Google Play Music Free trial subscription provides users with on-demand, ad free access to 30 million songs

Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) today announced a collaboration with Google Play™ to offer free music streaming and storage for Lenovo and Lenovo Think-branded Windows PC’s and Tablets1 in select countries. With instant access to Google Play Music All Access from their Lenovo device, users will have unlimited, on-demand access to a catalog of more than 30 million songs they can access anywhere, anytime. They can create custom radio stations, browse music curated from Google’s expert music team and share music with friends on Google+, Facebook or Twitter. And they can store up to 20,000 songs from an existing digital music collection in Google Play Music for free, so users can add their existing iTunes library, CDs and MP3s to the cloud for easy everywhere access.

Lenovo and Google Play have come together to bring customers unlimited music streaming through two free trial offers. A Lenovo exclusive free 90-day trial will come preloaded with Lenovo and Lenovo Think-branded Windows PCs and Tablets purchased between Sept. 12, 2014 and Jan. 12, 20152 in select countries. Lenovo PCs and tablets purchased before and after this time frame will receive a free 30-day trial.
Additional features of a Google Play Music All Access subscription include:

“Listen Now” - music recommendations, based on new music purchases, recently played and favorite artists
“Listen Anywhere” - users can pin their favorite music to listen to offline, when they don’t have an Internet connection
Ad-free online radio
Unlimited skips, see what’s coming next, add, remove or re-order stations
“Featured playlists” – find curated playlists from Google’s team of music experts and see playlists from friends

“Music, much like technology, is an intrinsic part of our users’ lives; it is constantly evolving, innovating and transforming the way one experiences the world,” said Peter Gaucher, executive director of Ecosystem Software, Lenovo. “We are pleased to preload Google Play Music All Access on a wide range of Lenovo PCs and devices and provide complimentary trials of the service, so our users can enjoy music their way on their favorite Lenovo product.”

Pricing and Availability3
The 90-day trial offer should be redeemed by 11:59 p.m. ET on March 12, 2015. After this time the promotion will no longer be available. The offer is available in more than 45 countries where Google Play Music is available in North America, South America and Europe. Customers who purchase a Lenovo device before and after the promotion period can take advantage of Google Play Music’s 30-day free trial by signing up for Google Play Music’s subscription service on the web or their AndroidTM device.

For the latest Lenovo news, subscribe to Lenovo RSS feeds or follow Lenovo on Twitter and Facebook.

About Lenovo
Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is a $39 billion global Fortune 500 company and a leader in providing innovative consumer, commercial, and enterprise technology. Our portfolio of high-quality, secure products and services covers PCs (including the legendary Think and multimode YOGA brands), workstations, servers, storage, smart TVs and a family of mobile products, including smartphones, tablets and apps. Join us on LinkedIn, follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@Lenovo) or visit us at

1 Preloaded on Lenovo Windows-based PCs in select geographies.
2 The Google Play™ Music standard 30-day trial comes preloaded on Lenovo and Lenovo Think Windows PC’s and Tablets in select countries and the Lenovo Exclusive 90-day trial is available when these eligible PC’s are purchased between September 12, 2014 and January 12, 2015.
3 Once the trial period has ended, subscribers will be automatically billed the standard monthly rate (e.g. $9.99/month - plus any applicable taxes) by Google, Inc. for their Google Play Music subscription. Users can cancel at any time and will not be charged until their 90 day trial has ended.


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