I arrived in New York last Sunday with a terrible tooth ache which took me a week and organising by Pat to get to a dentist who prescribed antibiotics. I had to make sure I was okay before we got to our friends Angela and Gerry’s house where we spent Christmas.
The day before Christmas we caught the F train to Rockefeller Centre where I took the photo of Pat. Each year they chop down a 60 year old tree and bring it in and trim it for all to gogle over. then it was up 5th Avenue to MoMA to see the exhibition of Georges Seurat’s drawings, Lucian Freud’s etchings and fantastic wooden sculptures by Martin Puryear. The next stop on the wandering was at the Neue Galerie to gape at Klimt’s paintings.
A dazzling gold-flecked 1907 portrait by Gustav Klimt has been purchased for the Neue Galerie in Manhattan by the cosmetics magnate Ronald S. Lauder for $135 million, the highest sum ever paid for a painting.
The portrait, of Adele Bloch-Bauer, the wife of a Jewish sugar industrialist and the hostess of a prominent Vienna salon, is considered one of the artist’s masterpieces. For years, it was the focus of a restitution battle between the Austrian government and a niece of Mrs. Bloch-Bauer who argued that it was seized along with four other Klimt paintings by the Nazis during World War II. In January all five paintings were awarded to the niece, Maria Altmann, now 90, who lives in Los Angeles, and other family members.
The MET was next.