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Monday, May 17, 2010

NIGHTLIGHT: Happy Birthday Henry Darger! Patti Smith Live in Concert a benefit for the American Folk Art Museum on Saturday 15 May 2010 a Resounding Success!

Prior to Saturday, Peachy Deegan did not have a strong grasp of how all-encompassing and how much fun American Folk Art was, and she is now a fan!  What everyone in Manhattan and everywhere else for that matter should understand about this area of the art world is that it is far more than the stereotypical folk art items; it is a whole world of creativity that is uniquely AMERICAN, and what other museum in the city celebrates with a concert by Patti Smith!  Opening for Smith was Caroline Jones, who sang sweetly and warmed up the crowd perfectly.

WHO: Patti Smith performed, with Caroline Jones opening, as part of a benefit concert for the American Folk Art Museum. At first Patti had a calming, serene effect on the crowd.  Later it escalated to pure joy and exuberence!  And every age was represented which was nice to see.

If you are an avid Whom You Know reader, you know we are super-selective about music, and this is only the 30th time a post has made it into New York Notes.  Patti Smith, though we have not heard her before and she was a hit on the scene here in New York when Peachy was an infant, is absolutely phenomenal and we are pleased to say we are fans of hers now too.   
Actually we were fans of hers before but did not know it: she was an influence on U2 (favorite of Peachy) so during Dancing Barefoot we stood corrected: it is only sung by Bono because it was first sung and written by Patti Smith.  Her talent, her extraordinary energy and her spirit made all in the audience jump out of their seats and everyone connected with her.  We were pleased to see that Betsey Johnson is not only a fabulous designer but also a great dancer as well!  You could not tell during the songs that Patti needed the hot water and lemon inbetween them.  She and her band including Lenny Kaye who we were pleased to meet during cocktails were the ultimate entertainers and the American Folk Art Museum could not have picked a better group for the night.  We understand this is the first time this event has been held and we were honored to cover it-and we think it should be an annual affair!

Guests in attendance included Betsey Johnson, Jeff Koons, Ruben and Isabel Toledo, Ryan McGinley, Moises de la Renta, Leigh Keno, Steven Sebring (director of Patti Smith: Dream of Life), Glenda Bailey, Wendy Diamond, Micah Jesse, Ulla Van Zeller, Valerie Steele, Edward Mapplethorp, Sam Baron (Fabrica Designer) and Petra Levin (former Miss Germany).  

The benefit’s chairmen are Lawrence B. Benenson, Peyton Cochran, Petra and Stephen Levin, and Ian Tobin. The Benefit Vice-Chairs include: Melinda Anderson, Barry D. Briskin, Joan Juliet Buck, Ken Copeland, Randall Fenlon, Henry Grimball, Alex Hahn, Michel Heredia, Elizabeth E. Jacoby, Luise and Robert Kleinberg, Taryn and Mark Leavitt, Jessica London, Frances S. Martinson, Gillian McCain, Angela and Selig Sacks, Amanda Salvaggio, Amanda Smeal, Sarah Sperling, Samantha Thompson, Michael Trese, Wayne Verspoor, and Jason Whalen.   

Event production by JKS Events.   

Art In America and Fabrica generously sponsored the event. 

WHAT:  Patti Smith performed live to celebrate Henry Darger’s birthday in a benefit concert for the American Folk Art Museum. Caroline Jones opened. An aerial performance by Cirque-tacular Entertainment and dancing and DJ were all part of the glamorous evening.

Henry Darger (1892-1973), an American artist from Chicago, created a fantasy world through his writings and scroll-like paintings and is considered one of the most notable artists of the twentieth century.  

The American Folk Art Museum is home to the largest public repository of works by Henry Darger and the nation’s premier institution dedicated to the work of contemporary self-taught artists as well as traditional folk artists. An accomplished and prolific writer and artist, Darger created a fantasy world through his manuscripts and illustrations and is today considered one of the notable masters of the twentieth century.  The American Folk Art Museum is also celebrating Henry Darger’s birthday with the exhibition “The Private Collection of Henry Darger” on view through 19 September 2010. 

Among those that Peachy Deegan enjoyed seeing/meeting included during cocktail hour:
Andrew Edlin, Dealer of Henry Darger
Nick Pettifer, Welcome to New York!
Marjorie MacFarlane, great hair, best outfit of the night in a white suit
Lawrence Benenson, Happy Birthday!
Lenny Kaye, not only was he gracious at the bar but he also is a guitarist extraordinaire!
Karen Boyer, a nice surprise to see you!
Anne Booth Dayton, nice to meet you!
Ian M. Tobin, part of the Dennison contingency
Megan Reilly
Alyssa Landry
Tim Dukovich
Frances Martinson
Su-Ellyn Stern
Valerie Rousseau
Ginger Komar
David Komar
Michael Trese
Patrick McMullan, taking spectacular pictures as always
Jonathan Marder, the Wizard of Oz behind it all

The American Folk Art Museum, founded in 1961, is home to one of the world's preeminent collections of folk art dating from the 18th century to the present day, including soaring weathervanes, dazzling quilts, handsome portraits, and exuberantly painted furniture as well as mythic watercolors and idiosyncratic drawings, paintings, and sculptures by contemporary self-taught artists from the U.S and abroad. For further information visit: 

WHEN:              Saturday, May 15. VIP party began at 8:00PM. Concert began at 9:30PM.
WHERE:            Espace, 635 West 42 Street (between 11 and 12 Avenues) NYC   

An impressive and phenomenal job by Jonathan Marder!       

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