Monday, 30 September 2013

Downton Abbey season 4 .

Downton Abbey season 4 trailer reveals Mary's mourning, Edith's bare shoulders, and the show's first African-American character


Lady Mary Crawley was left devastated when her husband Matthew was killed in a car crash during the Christmas special.
And in the just-released trailer for Downton Abbey's highly-anticipated fourth season, Mary (Michelle Dockery) is now a mourning single mother.
'You have a straightforward choice before you,' the Dowager Countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith) tells her granddaughter. 'You must choose either death or life.'
Mary then responds: 'And you think that I should choose life?'
The (mostly) silent one-minute preview then flashes glimpses of emotional moments between characters new and old.
Mary is seen meeting two different potential suitors, and receiving a consoling embrace from Carson the butler (Jim Carter).
Now mother of six-month-old baby George, Mary will be pursued by Lord Anthony Gillingham (Tom Cullen), Charles Blake (Julian Ovenden), and Evelyn Napier (Brendan Patricks).
'Gillingham is an old family friend. The sisters knew him when we were growing up, and we haven’t seen him since then. A party is organised at the house, and he is invited to it,' the 31-year-old actress told TV Line.
'He’s just a different character. And there’s other potential suitors, as well. It’s not just him. There’s a character called Blake, played by Julian Ovenden. And Evelyn Napier (played by Brendan Patricks) comes back, as well. He was the one who brought the Turkish diplomat along. That was lovely to play scenes with Brendan again because we haven’t seen him since Season 1. They’re very different.
'And this year, we have a few new characters coming in. Mary's beginning to come back to real life again because it takes her a long, long time to even interact with anyone.'
Lady Rose MacClare (Lily James) appears to take a far more central role at Downton, and dances with a jazz singer named Jack (Gary Carr, a British actor who plays an American on the show).
Rose personally welcomes the show's first African-American character, who noticeably enters the lavish estate from downstairs.
The normally dowdy Lady Edith Crawley (Laura Carmichael) embraces the flapper-filled 1920s by baring her shoulders in a modern halter frock.
Both Daisy the assistant cook (Sophie McShera) and Bates the valet (Brendan Coyle) are seen breaking down in tears.
Widower and single father Tom Branson the estate manager (Allen Leech) gets a love interest, and comforts Matthew's mother Isobel (Penelope Wilton).
And head housekeeper Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) confronts a mysterious older man in what appears to be a factory.
Set between 1922-1923, the fourth season will premiere in the UK this September on ITV and in the US on January 5 on PBS' Masterpiece Classic.
And while Dan Stevens and Siobhan Finneran have now exited the series - Paul Giamatti, Nigel Harman, Julian Ovendon, and opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa have all joined season four.
And fans of the show will be pleased to know that while season four hasn't even premiered yet, the cast have already signed up for season five.
Michelle said: 'As far as we know, we're all doing season five next year. Beyond that, we really don't know.'
Downton Abbey is up for 12 Emmy nominations on September 22, including nods for Dockery, Smith, Carter, and Hugh Bonneville.

Downton Abbey, ITV, series 4, episode 1, review
The opening episode of series four of ITV's Downton Abbey had laughs, tears and a towering performance from Michelle Dockery, says Serena Davies.

A triumvirate of women made last night’s opening instalment of the fourth series of Downton Abbey (ITV) a glowing success. A great deal rested on this episode. The capacious hole rendered by the death of Matthew Crawley, handsome hero and heir to the estate, was one it wouldn’t be easy to fill. Julian Fellowes did well then to embrace his absence and instead of trying to distract us with too much below stairs frippery, placed Matthew’s grieving wife centre stage.
And how excellently Michelle Dockery filled it. Her character, Lady Mary, was once an ice maiden until Matthew melted her. Here she was back to her frigid best, all hooded eye-lids, chiselled profile, cadaverous frame shrouded in jet black silks: a beautiful raven.
Dockery is blessed with a voice several registers lower than most females, which gave every utterance of misery weight, but it was when she wasn’t speaking that mattered most. The moment of quiet triumph in the episode, the one which signified that Fellowes was Back On Form after the somewhat choppy Matthew-murdering Christmas special, was when Mary came down the grand staircase towards Downton's great hall and was suddenly arrested by the view before her.
She was looking at just an angle of banister and the corner of a room, but it was the spot where she and Matthew had kissed. It was deftly understated, and Dockery wrenched our hearts with the poise of her head and empty eyes. I found myself expecting a spectre of Matthew to appear to look up at her, like Rose remembering Jack on the staircase of Titanic in the James Cameron film, but no such atrocity occurred.
The other marvellous females in the episode were Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess and Penelope Wilton as Matthew’s mother Mrs Crawley. Smith gave us humour, and Wilton gave us a masterclass in how the older generation does tragedy. As often, the Dowager Countess, with her wise counsel, was the engine of the most significant event in the episode: Mary’s recovery, when she finally shed the black for lilac. But Dame Maggie also gave us high hilarity, particularly when sparring off the fine Harriet Walter in a cameo as a neighbouring grandee. While Wilton expressed excoriating pain for the loss of her son just by staring at the chin of whomever she was talking to.
Elsewhere it was business as usual, Lord Grantham bumbled, Cora talked sense. The erstwhile chauffeur (Allen Leech, much better now he’s above stairs) is clearly being groomed for something big. Nothing that happened to the servants seemed to matter much, but then Fellowes has always been better at writing posh than common, or at least making it plausible.
And then there was the masterstroke, the one that indicated that Downton Abbey is now so in touch with the life of the country that it has taken on powers of prescience. Not only had Mary and Matthew’s baby been christened George, but he was referred to as Prince George. It was a joke, I think, but you can’t be sure. This heir apparent is nearly as much the nation’s prince as the real one.

Downton Abbey series four premiere – TV review
Downton Abbey returns, even though some of its best actors haven't – can we bring back the glamour?

Sam Wollaston

Where's the dog? I used to enjoy following Lord Grantham's faithful wagging friend, under the cedar, towards the big house, in the opening credits of Downton Abbey (ITV). Plus it gave me a sense of my own place in the social hierarchy – behind and a little below labrador-arse level. Don't tell me he's gone and upped sticks too, to pursue a career in Hollywood?

Someone else is leaving, sneaking off in the middle of the night. Jesus, they're running like rats from a sinking ship. Drownton. Please make it Bates …

Oh, it's O'Brien, off to the subcontinent. Well, I won't miss that old bag of bitterness much either, not like lovely Lady Sybil. And Matthew is no longer, of course, killed off so suddenly and rudely at Christmas, for Dan Stevens to become the deputy editor of the Guardian in a movie about Wikileaks.

Leaving what behind? A handful of widows, widowers, orphans and ghosts, rattling round Downton Abbey. With all of the energy and kindness and softness drained out of them. Lady Mary is basically Miss Havisham now: she wanders the corridors and staircases, only really there in body and hardly even that. If you touched her she'd surely turn to dust.

Opinions are divided about Nanny West, about the best way to deal with grief, the best way to run the estate, and who should be doing it – like series one all over again. Lord and Lady Grantham are stuck in bed, most probably for ever, not through illness but because O'Brien is no longer there to help them get up. It may be 1922 now – with restaurants, jazz, dancing, kissing even – up in London, but out here in the sticks the toffs are still unable to get dressed by themselves. Oh, Mrs Hughes is going to help, but for one day only. I'd find it so odd having someone else – a person I employed – wandering around my bedroom in the morning. But then I'm lower than a yellow lab, as we've already established.

Downstairs, Daisy gets a Valentine card, from Mrs Patmore – out of pity, not passion, I'm afraid. Carson gets an unwelcome letter from an old pal from another life, now living in the workhouse. Will Downton become a rescue centre perhaps, for the forgotten and the unwanted? Not if Carson has anything to do with it.

Matthew's miserable valet Molesley mopes about without a purpose, his master having spent the past six months six feet under. Bates … AGGGHHH, I HATE BATES, did I mention? Even the new maid, O'Brien's replacement, isn't new; she's worked here before. The most exciting thing is the arrival of a food processor.

It's not the most auspicious of openers to the new season of the posh soap. There's a dustiness and a mustiness about the place, a sense of same-old, same-old. Downton Drabbey. Even Dame Maggie's withering one-liners aren't as sharp as they once were. Dan Stevens's absence leaves an unfilled hole, just as Jessica Brown Findlay's did before. Yes, I do mean there's a dearth of talent about the place, a lack of glamour. That's mostly the point of DA, right?

This is a bit like how it's felt to be an Arsenal supporter recently – with the best players leaving, and the ideas running out. Only Downton didn't get its superstar in the transfer window. OK, so Lady Edith's new fella, this publishing chap in town, says he's willing to become a German in order to be with her. But he ain't Mesut Özil, is he?

How the hell did he get in here? Well, maybe he should be. I'd clean the whole place out, get rid of the lot of them – more car crashes, bad births, hunting accidents, whatever. Any who somehow survive can be forced out by crippling death duties and packed off to live in modest Victorian terraces. Then we can fast-forward 90 years or so, cut to when Downton Abbey has become a posh wedding venue for footballers. With Range Rovers and Bentley Continentals parked up on the gravel, and a luxury spa and gym down in Carson's old kingdom. That would get a bit of sparkle back into the old place. Downton Abi, they might call it.

On the subject of wags, there is some good cast news. Maybe not a thrilling new glamour signing, but a familiar friendly face at least. Well, arse. The dog, Isis, may have been sacked from the opening credits, but here he is, alive and well, on a tour of the estate with his master. That's a relief.

Downton Abbey Season 4 Trailer

Downton Abbey: Behind the Drama

Sunday, 29 September 2013

'The Many Lives of Miss K: Toto Koopman – Model, Muse, Spy’ by Jean-Noel Liaut

Tinker, Tailor, Model, Spy

Chanel mannequin, art-world vixen, Allied spy—Toto Koopman’s remarkable life gets resuscitated in a biography out this week.
Where does one start to tell the story of Toto Koopman? Should we start in Paris, in the ateliers of Coco Chanel and the studios of French Vogue, where a 19-year-old Toto preened for the grand Jazz Age couturiers? Or perhaps in Britain on the brink of another world war, where Toto flitted among three of the country’s most powerful men? Do we start in the prisons of northern Italy, among Mussolini’s anti-Fascist enemies? In the London gallery where avant-garde artists like Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud sold their scandalous works? In the green rice paddies of Java? In the lemon groves of Sicily? In the hell of a camp called Ravensbrück?
Now largely forgotten, Toto Koopman was one of those see-and-be-seen It girls of the early part of the 20th century—a woman who, with her striking good looks and insouciant charm, swirled about in the eddies of European high society, befriending (and seducing) some of the most remarkable characters to shape the continent’s wartime culture and its political destiny. She dallied with media moguls, palled around with ambassadors’ wives, and bedded Hollywood actresses and war heroes alike. She also served as a spy for the Allied Resistance and survived the horrors of the Nazi death machine. Now her cinematic life is getting the hagiography treatment in a fascinating and flawed new book, The Many Lives of Miss K, out from Rizzoli this week.
The biography, by French journalist Jean-Noël Liaut, suffers a bit from breathless adulation of its heroine, as well as a frustrating lack of access to Toto’s own voice. (The author interviewed several late-life friends of Toto’s, along with some relatives, but he presents only a few letters between Toto and her closest contemporaries. As a result, the book tends to gloss over some of her more interesting pre-war episodes.) But Liaut is by no means alone in his extreme Toto infatuation. Indeed, he’s just the latest in a long line of men and women who found themselves besotted with the green-eyed model once described as “Ava Gardner’s double.”
Yet Toto’s early years hardly hinted at her future as a grande séductrice. Born in the volcanic foothills of the East Indies in 1908 to a colonel in the Dutch cavalry and his half-Javanese wife, Toto—real name Catharina—got her nickname from her father’s favorite horse. Despite the nascent stirrings of nationalism and resentment of Dutch rule percolating in Indonesia at the time, Toto led a typically colonial childhood. Her family lived in luxurious officers’ quarters amid tea plantations and tropical gardens, tended to by a fleet of native servants and nannies. It was a world of white linen, afternoons spent horseback riding (sidesaddle for the ladies) or swimming in cool mountain pools, and military fêtes by torchlight. It was a world far removed from the Great War ravaging the motherland.
By 1920, Europe had entered into a tenuous peace, and Toto left Java to attend boarding school in the Netherlands. The teen had a talent for languages—she quickly became fluent in French, German, English and Italian—and began to ripen into a sensuous and fashionable young woman. She also had a taste for the independent life, so after a year of finishing school in England, the 19-year-old Toto arrived in Paris to make her way as a model (a profession that fell, at the time, “somewhere between a cabaret dancer and a tart”) and enjoy the raffish café society that had gripped the Entre-deux-guerres capital.
Installing herself in the 17th arrondissement, a rough-and-tumble neighborhood of starving artists and nightclub singers, Toto was soon hired as a house model for Coco Chanel, though she left after a mere six months. (Later, she said she didn’t like the way the intense, demanding Chanel touched her during fashion show fittings.) But Toto’s career began to gain momentum on its own. She served as mannequin and muse to the designers Rochas and Mainbocher, wearing their elegant creations to nights at the opera and grand galas about town. She became a favorite of Vogue photographers Edward Steichen and George Hoyningen-Huene, an émigré baron who had fled the Russian revolution and who became a seminal force at the French edition of the magazine. Hoyningen-Huene cloaked her in minimalist creations by the likes of Vionnet and Augustabernard, clothing so sheer that Toto had to powder her intimate parts to keep the fabric from clinging indecently to her curves. “We were all exhibitionists, show-offs,” Toto reminisced years later. “One dressed up not to please men, but to astound the other women.”
Still, plenty of men seemed pleased and astounded by the biracial beauty. By the early 1930s, Toto had fallen in with the Mdivani brothers, a trio of bogus “princes” and petty aristocrats from the ruined tsarist court whose party antics and playboy conquests were the talk of Paris. While the boys parlayed their dark good looks into advantageous marriages with socialites and film stars, their two sisters managed to ensnare the son of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the Catalan painter José Maria Sert, whose passionate ménage à trois with the elder Mdivani girl formed the basis for Jean Cocteau’s play Les Monstres Sacrés. Toto befriended Nina Mdivani, the youngest of the clan, and entered into a wild affair with her impulsive, alcoholic brother Alexis, who was married to an Astor at the time. (He would later wed Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton before being decapitated in a horrendous car accident in 1935 at the age of 30.)
As colorful as the Mdivanis were, Toto’s other friends in Paris were equally audacious. Her fellow model Lee Miller swanned about town with her lover, the surrealist painter Man Ray, staging outré gags like carrying around a dissected breast, along with a knife and fork, on a plate. Toto was also close to the poet Caresse Crosby, who with her second husband, Harry, ran the Black Sun Press, publishing the works of Ernest Hemingway, D.H. Lawrence, and James Joyce, and who hosted elaborate soirees-qua-orgies at their rue de Lille apartment, where the couple courted guests from their bathtub. Another friend was Bettina Jones, the American wife of a high-level French politician and future ambassador for the Vichy regime who fraternized with Salvador Dalí and who kept a vicious little monkey, clad in a tiny Schiaparelli coat, by her side at all times.
The high life in Paris was heady, but like many glamorous young women, Toto felt her future lay in the movies. She traveled to London, where the Hungarian director Alexander Korda was auditioning would-be starlets for bit roles in the upcoming Douglas Fairbanks flick The Private Life of Don Juan. After securing an introduction through a mutual friend, Toto was cast as a Spanish inamorata. None of her scenes made it into the final version, and Toto dropped out of filming halfway through, apparently bored by the endless takes and retakes. But she still attended the movie’s premiere on the arm of a flamboyant new lover, the American actress Tallulah Bankhead, famous for her mordant wit and voracious appetites. (“My father warned me about men and booze,” Bankhead liked to tell people, “but he never said anything about women and cocaine.”)
The bourbon-drinking Broadway star had recently been branded “an extremely immoral woman” by MI5 after she dabbled in “indecent and unnatural practices” with six Eton schoolboys, including the sons of a lord and a baronet. (“It is also said she ‘kept’ a negress in America,” the Home Office noted in a confidential memo on the Bankhead scandal, “and she ‘keeps' a girl in London now. As regards her more natural proclivities, [an] informant tells me that she bestows her favours ‘generously’ without payment.”) Tallulah and Toto’s tryst lasted only a few months, but it was enough to change the course of Toto’s life. During that time, Bankhead introduced the 25-year-old ingénue to a billionaire whose shadow would loom large over Toto’s future and her wartime activities.
The 55-year-old Lord Beaverbrook, a Scottish-Canadian press tycoon né William Aitken, had clawed his way up to the highest echelons of political influence through a combination of tabloid blackmail, strategic alliances, and an unquenchable thirst for power. As the owner of the widely read Daily Express, Sunday Express, and the Evening Standard, he held sway over the reputations of Britain’s most illustrious parliamentarians and public figures. Winston Churchill derisively called him “Machiavelli,” and Evelyn Waugh immortalized him as the imperious Lord Copper in Scoop. Serving as minister of information during World War I, the deeply paranoid Beaverbrook developed a taste for intelligence gathering; later, he would employ private spies to tail the movements of his wife and children. He took Toto as a lover in 1934, and she apparently began to eavesdrop for him in Germany and Italy, under the guise of traveling the seasonal opera circuit. The multilingual Toto mingled with Nazi elite and even reportedly had an affair with Mussolini’s son-in-law, all the while taking notes on the inner circles of Fascist intrigue. It was an advantageous relationship for Beaverbrook, but it was soon ruined by one of his own family members.
A year into their affair, Toto began carrying on in secret with the mogul’s son, Max Aitken. Max was as handsome and athletic as Beaverbrook was ambitious and cunning, an aviator with the royal air force and a notorious cad. When Beaverbrook found out about the clandestine dalliance, he was enraged. Worse still, Max was rumored to be giddily in love and ready to propose. Beaverbrook banned his newspapers from mentioning Toto’s name and threatened to disinherit Max if the marriage went through. When that failed, he offered to pay both Toto and Max large pensions if they signed a contract promising not to wed. “He told Max, ‘I’ll give you a lot of money if you promise not to marry that girl,’” Toto later recalled. “I said [to Max,] ‘Take it!’ So he did, and we had a wonderful time.” Toto and Max used the cash to shack up in a luxe penthouse on Portman Square and became a much-desired society couple. Their relationship was an open one; Max kept a string of lovelies on the side, while Toto seduced Max’s friend Randolph Churchill, the spoiled son of the future prime minister.
After four years of frivolity, Max and Toto parted ways. He would go on to become a war hero as an RAF fighter pilot and, in the mid-1940s, a member of Parliament. Meanwhile, in the autumn of 1939, Toto headed south to Italy to rendezvous with some art collector friends. In Florence, she fell for a leader of the Italian Resistance and worked her social connections to help finance his anti-Mussolini activities. She also infiltrated Black Shirt meetings to send reports back to Max and the British government. By 1941, the police had caught on to her stratagems and arrested her “under the old pretense of being Beaverbrook’s mistress,” Toto wrote to a friend. “But once I was in jail…what they wanted was to free me and I was to do some terrible dirty work…of course, I refused flatly.”
Toto was shipped off to rundown prisons in Milan and Lazio before finally escaping from the Massa Martana detention camp and hiding out in the mountains of Perugia. From her refuge, she helped other former detainees connect to Resistance networks and make their way to safety. After being briefly recaptured by the Fascists, Toto fled to Venice, where an aristocratic friend smuggled her into a secret suite at the Danieli Hotel. One night, the friend learned that the Germans intended to search the premises to ferret out spies. In a brazen gambit, the aristocrat threw an opulent dinner for the German general in charge of the operation and seated him directly next to Toto. Dressed to the nines and flirtatious as ever, Toto was so conspicuous that it never occurred to the Germans to suspect her. She survived the raid, only to be informed upon and rearrested within a matter of weeks. Infuriated by the double-crossing debutante, the Italians sent Toto to a much grimmer location: the all-female concentration camp of Ravensbrück in northern Germany.
The largest women’s-only camp in the Third Reich, Ravensbrück housed a mix of political prisoners, gypsies, Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and “race defilers,” a term the Nazis used to describe Jewish women suspected of past sexual relations with Aryans. Situated on a marshy plain 50 miles north of Berlin and surrounded by electrified barbed-wire fences, the camp served as one of the main training centers for female SS guards. Prisoners were forced to manufacture components for German rockets, construct new roads, work in the brothels of nearby men’s camps, and mix the ashes from Nazi crematoriums with fecal matter to produce agricultural fertilizer. Ravensbrück was terribly overcrowded and unsanitary—typhus and cholera epidemics regularly swept through the vermin-infested barracks—and after 1943, conditions rapidly deteriorated. Food rations became severely restricted, with each woman receiving one piece of bread and a cup of fetid soup per day, and prisoners too weak to work were gunned down en masse or euthanized. All told, of the 130,000 women to pass through Ravensbrück during the war, some 92,000 died there.
When Toto arrived at the camp in October 1944, the guards were preparing for the construction of a new gas chamber and a second crematorium. (Before Soviet troops liberated the camp in April 1945, the Germans gassed between 5,000 and 6,000 women and children at Ravensbrück.) Initially assigned to road repair, Toto lied to the guards and convinced them that she had training as a nurse. She was sent to work in the infirmary, among the camp’s sickest prisoners. There the German medical staff performed gruesome experiments on the dying, infecting open wounds with strange chemicals and amputating limbs to simulate soldiers’ battle scars. They carried out sterilization measures on women and young girls—Toto would later tell her friends she had been subjected to the “sterilizing projects of the camp”—and drowned or starved newborn babies in front of their mothers. Toward the end of the Third Reich, pregnant women were often forced to undergo abortions or, if Jewish, sent directly to the gas chambers.
During her seven months in the camp infirmary, Toto smuggled food to the sick at great personal risk and tried to ease their suffering. Meanwhile, Randolph Churchill had learned of her plight and sent her care packages full of onions and garlic to help ward off disease. In April 1945, shortly before the Russians arrived to free the camp, the Nazis agreed to release several hundred prisoners to the Swedish Red Cross. Toto was among them. She left the camp carrying one personal effect, a cardboard portrait a fellow prisoner had drawn of her. Relocated to the Swedish city of Göteborg, she found herself completely alone and psychologically fragile. Churchill came to her aid, flying to Sweden to provide her with money and clothing and to help her secure a passport. He also bought her a wig, to hide the fact that the Nazis had shaved her head in the camps. “I was lucky that Randolph Churchill came here,” Toto wrote to an old friend, “and as I am an old love of [his], he made a terrible fuss over me.”
For all her independence, Toto liked to be cared for, often by a powerful benefactor, and this penchant would bleed into her next relationship, the most enduring of all of her infatuations and one that defined the later years of her life. With money from the Red Cross as well as the modest pension she still received from Beaverbrook, Toto decided to settle in the Swiss lakeside town of Ascona, which served as a utopian retreat for hedonistic artist types. She drifted through a series of brief, tumultuous affairs, mostly with women, before meeting a severe, intense German art dealer who had arrived to vacation in Ascona in the winter of 1946.
Erica Brausen had played her own distinguished role in the Resistance. Under the code name “Beryl,” she ran an underground operation out of Majorca helping Jews and socialists evade Franco’s naval blockade and had ferried the writers Michel Leiris and Raymond Queneau to safety aboard a U.S. submarine. After moving to London in the early years of the war, Brausen had endured considerable prejudice due to her German roots, yet was widely known for her tireless work ethic and her unerring eye for talent. What’s more, she’d finally convinced a wealthy investor to help her open her own space, the Hanover Gallery in Mayfair, to exhibit the work of an unknown painter named Francis Bacon, whose violent canvases had caught her attention.
Entranced by Toto, Brausen brought her back to London and doted on her new amante, buying her sumptuous clothes and gifts despite a limited budget. By all accounts, Brausen was madly in love. Toto seemed also to have felt deep affection for Brausen, but she soon drifted back to her old coquettish ways. As Brausen turned a blind eye, Toto circulated in public with Randolph Churchill and even reunited with her former lover Max Aitken. But she also devoted herself to Brausen’s gallery, working her little black book to arrange glittering openings for the Hanover’s artists.
In the fall of 1949, Brausen and Toto promoted Bacon’s first exhibition at the gallery. Provocative and poisonous, Bacon had been shunned by most established dealers, but Brausen found in him a kindred spirit. Upon seeing his Painting (1946) for the first time, with its decaying animal carcasses and grimacing figures, Brausen offered to buy it on the spot. (Later she sold it to New York’s Museum of Modern Art.) Bacon’s shows at the Hanover, full of screaming popes and bloated self-portraits, shocked and titillated the tout-London. They also launched Bacon as one of the most important postwar painters and solidified Brausen’s reputation as a modern-art visionary. Soon, she was representing luminaries such as Max Ernst, Lucian Freud, Marcel Duchamp, and Alberto Giacometti.
While Bacon was the Hanover’s early star, he was also nearly its undoing. His addiction to casinos led him to beg Brausen for stupendous cash advances, which Toto would smuggle to him in Mediterranean gambling dens. Bacon secretly detested Toto for her hold over Brausen’s heart, calling the model the “Javanese whore” behind her back. Meanwhile, the Hanover’s main investor, who disliked both the attention-seeking artist and his morbid canvases, backed out, leaving Brausen in a precarious financial situation. The final blow came in 1958, when Bacon, facing mounting gambling debts, informed Brausen that he’d signed on with another gallery behind her back. Brausen and Toto considered suing, but Bacon had never signed a contract with them.
Perhaps to escape the indignity of losing Bacon to a rival—or perhaps to get Toto out of London and away from her many paramours—Brausen agreed to buy a property for the two women on the idyllic island of Panarea, just north of Sicily. Set among olive groves and rocky grottoes, the land became a sprawling retreat for Toto, Brausen, and their peripatetic social set. Toto decorated the house in a style that was at once minimalist and posh and hosted stately dinner parties for a never-ending stream of guests such as Bruce Chatwin and Alexander Calder. Brausen “went through all her money from the gallery, money that she had worked so hard to earn over the years” to support the Panarea property, one friend remembered.
While Toto settled into a lifestyle of drifting between Panarea and the continent’s cultural capitals, Brausen shuttled back and forth between the island and London, where the Hanover was flourishing. During the 1960s, everyone from Jean Paul Getty to the Beatles and Princess Margaret stopped by the space for its renowned exhibits. But the pressure of running the gallery and “maintaining Toto’s lifestyle” started to wear on Brausen. Already a dour woman, she turned into a scathing harridan with friends and associates alike. She also seemed to be growing more desperate about Toto’s affairs, the latest of which involved a strapping Sicilian carabiniere whom Toto had installed in the guest room of the women’s London apartment. According to those close to the couple, Brausen found a doctor willing to prescribe heady amounts of morphine and became addicted to painkillers. In the spring of 1968, as Toto left town on another trip with her young Italian beau, Brausen was hospitalized with a serious ulcer. Within five years, the Hanover had closed its doors for good.
Remarkably, Toto and Brausen’s relationship managed to survive the gallery’s closing and their interpersonal turmoil, and they settled into a quiet retirement on Panarea, until they had to sell the property to pay for Brausen’s mounting medical problems. Toward the end, Brausen became secretive and controlling. When Toto had a stroke at the age of 82, Brausen squirreled her away in their London home, barring friends from visiting, firing a series of personal nurses, and subjecting Toto to the ministrations of a doctor reputed to be a medical charlatan. Toto’s health rapidly declined, and she died three months later. In a ghastly scene, Brausen locked herself inside Toto’s bedroom for eight days with the body, draping the corpse in rosebuds and cuddling next to it. In death, if not life, Brausen finally had Toto to herself. She only relented when the state-appointed undertaker showed up to demand that she hand over the remains. It was a shocking conclusion to Toto’s long and remarkable life—though one that might have tantalized her old surrealist Parisian pals—and, if anything, serves to demonstrate the cultlike hold Toto had over her lovers. “Toto had the capacity to inflame people’s imaginations in spite of herself,” a friend told the biographer. Decades on, she still does.

Toto Koopman: model, muse, mistress - and spy
Toto Koopman is little known now but the bisexual model and war heroine used to be infamous. As a new biography is published, Nisha Lilia Diu recalls her life

Back when he was a nobody, Francis Bacon somehow got invited to a famous model’s birthday party in Paris. She was a Vogue cover girl called Toto Koopman, part of a fast-living gang of jet-set Parisians that included Russian princes and American heiresses. They wore Schiaparelli, accessorised their outfits with live parrots and monkeys, and all slept with each other. Bacon was entranced.
He met her again 15 years later, in 1946, in London. By then she had lived all over Europe, been mistress to the press baron Lord Beaverbrook and Winston Churchill’s son, Randolph, spied for the Italian resistance and almost died in the concentration camp at Ravensbruck. Bacon was still a nobody, though that was about to change thanks to Koopman’s girlfriend, the art gallerist Erica Brausen, who launched him onto the London scene (almost bankrupting herself in the process).
The writer Jean-Noel Liaut has unearthed an extraordinary character for his book, The Many Lives of Miss K. It’s the first biography of Koopman, which is odd given how famous her image is. The photograph George Hoyningen-Huene took of her in a backless black and white gown by Augusta Bernard (for Vogue’s September 1933 issue) has become one of the era’s most iconic fashion photographs.
That a mixed-race woman was a model at all at this time was unusual. She was certainly beautiful, with knowing green eyes and a languid elegance that photographers and painters from Cecil Beaton to Joseph Oppenheimer loved. But intense racism was an accepted part of polite society.
Koopman was born in October 1908 in Java, the daughter of a Dutch cavalry officer and a half-Dutch, half-Indonesian mother. She was named Catharina after her mother, and nicknamed Toto after her father’s favourite horse. The latter stuck.
Her parents’ marriage was a scandal. As “green Dutchmen” (as mixed-race people were called), her family was shunned. A friend of Koopman’s who also grew up in Java, the daughter of a Chinese sugar magnate called Hui-Lan Wellington-Koo, wrote angrily in her memoirs about the discrimination she faced. But Koopman, as Liaut points out, “had mastered the art of selective memory” by the time she reached adulthood.
Her stories were of tea plantations, rice fields and exotic pets brought home from her father’s travels. She had a kangaroo and even a baby elephant, a gift from the King of Siam. Unlike the actress, Merle Oberon, who was so ashamed of her Indian mother she passed her off as her maid, Koopman flaunted her ethnicity, telling people about her part-Chinese great-grandmother who had (apparently) been part of the Sultan of Solo’s harem.
She flaunted her sexuality, too. In 1934, she attended the premiere of Alexander Korda’s The Private Life of Don Juan in London on the arm of Tallulah Bankhead, with whom she was having a fling. Koopman didn’t lack attitude. When Coco Chanel hired her as her in-house model, their formidable personalities clashed so badly Koopman quit after six months. She never revealed exactly what had happened, saying only that she “didn’t like the way Chanel touched me during fittings”.
It was Bankhead that introduced Koopman to Lord Beaverbrook, the immensely wealthy and powerful owner of the Express and Evening Standard newspapers. She was 25 and notorious, he was 55 and married – but they were soon in a relationship. Koopman was a lifelong opera fan and travelled constantly around Europe attending the best performances. By some accounts, her trips through Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy throughout 1935 had an additional purpose: gathering information from her high-society circle for Beaverbrook.
Their cosy set-up blew up spectacularly when Beaverbrook found out that Koopman was also sleeping with his son, Max Aitken. Liaut defends her behaviour, saying that Toto was merely “behaving like a man”. But Beaverbrook was so furious that he used his papers to run a series of scandalous stories about her, successfully ejecting her from London society.
Aitken refused to give her up, though. He had fallen madly in love with her and the pair lived together in Portman Square for four years. They eventually broke up when Koopman refused to marry him – she’d signed a contract with Beaverbrook promising not to, in exchange for a lifetime’s pension.
She left for Italy in 1939, where she fell in love with a leader of the resistance. He quickly realised she made the perfect spy: she had no family ties, no fear, was fluent in six languages, and had impressive international contacts. Yet her years as a spy were forever off-limits to her friends. “Nobody ever dared ask her about the espionage,” her friend, Lady Deirdre Curteis, told Liaut.
However, we do know that she sold her furs and jewellery to help fund her lover’s activity, and that she was imprisoned and escaped twice from the Fascists. In October 1944, her luck ran out. A few days before her 36th birthday, she was captured by the Nazis and deported to Ravensbruck. Between 1938 and 1945, 132,000 women were sent to Ravensbruck of whom 90,000 were killed.
By the time the camp was liberated in April 1945, Koopman was in terrible health, emaciated and mutilated by medical experiments. Randolph Churchill, who had been her lover ten years earlier in London, came to find her. He brought her money, clothes and a wig for her shaved head and arranged for a new passport. When he attended the reopening of the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden the following year, he took her with him.
Churchill wasn’t the reason Koopman had returned to London, though. While recuperating on the shores of Lake Maggiore she had met a German art dealer called Erica Brausen. Brausen worked for London’s Redfern Gallery but wanted to strike out on her own. She was excited about a shocking artist she had just discovered: Francis Bacon.
The couple opened the now-legendary Hanover Gallery. Brausen put on shows by Lucian Freud, Henry Moore, Marcel Duchamp and countless others. The extravagant openings were attended by the likes of Penelope Tree, Rudolf Nureyev, Jean Paul Getty and Princess Margaret. Of course, the art was first rate but this was a time when homosexuality was a criminal offence, and “people also came out of curiosity,” says a friend of Koopman’s who Liaut identifies only as F.C. “They wanted a first-hand look at the unusual lesbian couple about whom so many stories circulated.” According to another friend, Malitte Matta, “Toto was aware of it but pretended not to notice. I don’t think it even bothered her. Toto never really cared about how others saw her.”
By all accounts, Koopman was devoted to Brausen – they stayed together for the rest of their lives – but a leopard doesn’t change its spots. Koopman travelled incessantly and had endless affairs. One, with a much younger Italian carabiniere, went on for years. She even moved him into a bedroom at her and Brausen’s home in The Boltons. Brausen had her own affair, with a banker’s wife (“Toto liked Erica’s mistress so much she often invited her to lunch,” says Liaut) but was not quite the free-living hedonist her girlfriend was.
A friend from the art world, Gianna Sistu, told Liaut, “I could see that Erica was much more in love than Toto was, and that Erica was really terrified at the thought that Toto might ever leave her.”
She indulged Koopman’s every whim. In 1959, Koopman bought a property on the Italian volcanic island of Panarea and embarked on an enormous construction project. She built six luxury villas and had soil and water shipped in from Naples for her terraced gardens. She entertained lavishly there: the Sicilian jeweller, Fulco di Verdura, Luchino Visconti’s sister, Ida, and Marina Volpi, the daughter of the founder of the Venice Film Festival, were all Panarea regulars.
“Vegetables, butter, milk and cheese were all brought in from Naples and cost them a fortune,” says F.C. “One day, I calculated that it would cost them less to live at the Ritz.” As their friend the French Vogue editor, Edmonde Charles-Roux, put it, “Toto was expensive”.
Age eventually caught up with them. They closed the gallery and lived a (slightly) quieter life until they passed away within 18 months of each other in the early 1990s. When Koopman died in 1991, aged 82, Brausen locked herself in a room with the body for eight days, emerging only to buy fresh roses that she would arrange around Koopman’s face every morning – a macabre and suitably bizarre epilogue to an astonishing life.
'The Many Lives of Miss K: Toto Koopman – Model, Muse, Spy’ by Jean-Noel Liaut is published on Tuesday (Rizzoli; £15.95)

Toto Koopman: She made the perfect spy: she had no family ties, no fear and was fluent in six languages  Photo: GETTY

Friday, 27 September 2013

Allan Greenberg. New Classical Architect.

Allan Greenberg (born September 1938), is an American architect and one of the leading classical architects of the twenty-first century. He was the originator and leading practitioner of "canonical classicism," one of many design responses to postmodernism emerging in the mid-1970s. According to Paul Goldberger, architecture critic for The New York Times, Greenberg's “life’s work has been a mission to establish the validity of classicism as an architectural language in our time.” In addition to his architecture, Greenberg’s articles, teaching, and lectures have exerted a strong influence on the study and practice of contemporary classicism. In 2006, he was the first American to be awarded the Richard H. Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture in recognition of his major contributions to architectural design and scholarship. The prize is awarded annually "to a living architect whose work embodies the principles of traditional and classical architecture and urbanism in contemporary society and creates a positive, long-lasting cultural, environmental, and artistic impact." George Hersey, author and professor of Art History at Yale University, wrote:
Greenberg is the most knowing, most serious practitioner of Classicism currently on the scene in this country. . . . Greenberg belongs in the succession of Charles Follen McKim, Daniel Burnham, Henry Bacon, John Russell Pope, and Arthur Brown. And above all he belongs to the succession of Greece and Rome, of Vignola and Sanmicheli, of Vanvitelli, Ledoux, and Labrouste, to the visionary company of those who play the great game of Classicism.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Greenberg was educated at the University of Witwatersrand, where he studied classical and Gothic architecture. He attributes his thorough grounding in architectural history to the rigors of his study there. Professors required students to memorize and draw the plans of famous buildings at will. Following a short working career in South Africa, Greenberg moved to London with the intention of studying there, and briefly considered taking a job with Le Corbusier. After a short stay in England he left for Denmark to work in the studio of the leading Scandinavian modernist architect Jørn Utzon during the design of the Sydney Opera House. He subsequently took a job in Helsinki with Viljo Revell, perhaps the best known Finnish architect after Alvar Aalto, whom Greenberg admired greatly.
In 1963 the architect moved his Danish wife and young family to America. He was admitted to the demanding architecture program at Yale, headed by the young genius Paul Marvin Rudolph. Like fellow foreign students Norman Foster and Richard Rogers, Greenberg sought a fresh approach to Modernism in a country that was advancing faster than Europe in technology and architectural theory. After receiving his Master of Architecture degree from Yale University in 1965, he spent two years in the City of New Haven’s Redevelopment Agency and later served as Architectural Consultant to Connecticut’s Chief Justice from 1967 to 1979. He taught at Yale under deans Charles W. Moore and Herman Spiegel, watching the student upheavals of the late 1960s, and helped to develop the school's undergraduate major in architecture. It was during the early 1970s that Greenberg became disillusioned with orthodox Modernism, turning instead to postmodernist critiques offered by Yale colleagues Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown.

Greenberg's work in the mid-1970s was influenced both by the American "grays" (Moore, Venturi, Robert A.M. Stern, et al.) with whom he became associated, and by modern classicists such as Edwin Lutyens and Mott B. Schmidt. But as he came to better understand the achievements of these 20th-century masters, he increasingly pushed his work toward a more traditional vocabulary. His breakthrough projects came in the early 1980s with his design of a large country house for Peter and Sandra Brandt in Greenwich, Connecticut (a commission wrested from Venturi), and George Schultz's extensive classical suite at the State Department in Washington, D.C. After their publication Greenberg's office flourished, and many students interested in traditional design came to New Haven to work with him. No architect in America has had a more profound influence on the younger generation of traditional architects who are practicing today.

Simons Medal to Be Awarded to Allan Greenberg
By MCCAULEYN | Published: MARCH 21, 2013 /

The Historic Preservation and Community Planning program in the Department of Art history presents the Albert Simons Medal of Excellence to classical architect Allan Greenberg, author of George Washington, Architect.
 The Simons Medal of Excellence was established in honor of the twentieth anniversary of the College of Charleston School of the Arts. Albert Simons pioneered the teaching of art at the College, and the medal honors individuals who have excelled in one or more of the areas in which albert simons excelled, including civic design, architectural design, historic preservation and urban planning. Please join us in honoring Greenberg on Thursday, March 21, 2013, when he will also give a lecture on his work.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Allan Greenberg was educated at the University of Witwatersrand, where he trained in classical, Gothic, and modern architecture. He worked for leading Scandinavian modernist architect Jørn Utzon, with whom he worked on the Sydney Opera House. After receiving his Master of Architecture degree from Yale University in 1965, he spent two years in the City of New Haven’s Redevelopment Agency and later served as Architectural Consultant to Connecticut’s Chief Justice from 1967 to 1979. He received his U.S. citizenship in 1973.

In 1972 Greenberg established his firm which currently has offices in New York City, Greenwich, Connecticut, and Alexandria, Virginia. The firm has an international reputation for combining contemporaryconstruction techniques with the best architectural traditions to create solutions that are both timeless and technologically progressive.  Projects include master plans, feasibility studies, new construction, renovations, restorations, and interior and furniture design for academic, institutional, religious, commercial, residential, and retail clients. Completed projects are found throughout the United States, as well as in Europe and the Middle East.

Greenberg’s articles, teaching, and lectures have exerted a strong influence on the study and practice of classical architecture. He has taught at Yale University’s School of Architecture and School of Law, the University of Pennsylvania, the Division of Historic Preservation at Columbia University, and the University of Notre Dame. He has written books and articles, both scholarly and popular, on the dynamic and enduring qualities of traditional architecture and design. A monograph of his work was published in 1995, followed by George Washington, Architect, in 1999. His recent books include The Architecture of Democracy: American Architecture and the Legacy of the Revolution, published by Rizzoli in July 2006, and Lutyens and the Modern Movement, released by Papadakis Publisher in 2007. In the October 2013, Rizzoli will publish a monograph of his recent work.

In 2006, Greenberg was the first American to be awarded the Richard H. Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture, in recognition for built work and scholarship that has enriched the American architectural and cultural landscape

Mid-18th-Century Modern: The Classicists Strike Back

 THE early 1990's did not seem the moment for a revival in classical architecture. On the contrary, from Manhattan to Berlin, museums, hotels, developers and wealthy individuals were clamoring to sign up Richard Meier, Jean Nouvel and other celebrity modernists, hoping that the style and substance of radical design would lure visitors and buyers in droves.

In many cases that strategy worked. Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, has attracted more than seven million visitors since 1997, and Ian Schrager's boutique hotels changed the industry. So one could understand why the design world might dismiss the earnest and tweedy souls in horn-rimmed glasses who founded the Institute of Classical Architecture in 1992. Who needs Ionic columns when you can have Rem Koolhaas?

What a difference a decade makes. Since 2002 the institute has made sweeping changes to its once-fusty agenda, and the design world is scoffing no longer. The group appointed its first full-time president, Paul Gunther, two years ago; merged with Classical America, another traditional scholarship organization; and has fanned the appetite for traditional architecture. In the last 18 months, its membership has more than doubled, to 1,500, and the group (now called the Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America) has opened five new regional chapters for a total of seven.

Its program of classes, tours and lectures teaching the concepts and practices of traditional architecture - a curriculum largely vanished from architecture schools - earned last year's largest design grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Its lectures in New York have drawn speakers like Martha Stewart and crowds as large as 300, even on staid topics like a new translation of Vitruvius.

"Their contribution to the awareness of architecture and design has become enormous in the last few years," said Chase Rynd, the executive director of the National Building Museum in Washington. Even decorators who like their modernism, like Miles Redd and DD Allen, are showing up for the institute's lectures and classes on subjects like ornamental pilastering and theories of proportion. It has started regional programs aimed at developers and builders. While the institute was sustained for more than a decade by pure classicists like Gil Schafer III, Anne Fairfax and Richard Sammons, their preaching did not find a great audience. Now the institute, which last year finally found a permanent home in a neo-Classical style 1890 building on West 44th Street, has opened up the discourse to include traditional architectural styles, including Georgian and Greek Revival, Arts and Crafts, Gothic Revival and shingle style.

"They're really expanding the definition of what constitutes classicism," said Bunny Williams, the Manhattan decorator and a fellow on the institute's board. Last year the institute gave its Ross Award for excellence in architecture to Merrill & Pastor, a Florida firm, whose work ranges from classical to early modern.

"The purists on the board are not ascendant," Mr. Gunther said. While he deflects praise to the institute itself, he is responsible for much of its recent success, members say. Mr. Gunther, a socially well-connected former vice president of the New-York Historical Society, has become a kind of Karl Rove for the classicist movement. "He's a huge factor in their success," Ms. Williams said.

Ever on the lookout for ways to expand the institute's scope and prestige, Mr. Gunther last month announced that in partnership with Habitat for Humanity it would design classically styled affordable homes for use in historic neighborhoods across the country. Prototypes will be built in Savannah, Ga.; Norfolk, Va.; and Rochester.

"It was a well-thought-out and practical collaboration," said Jeff Speck, the director of design at the National Endowment for the Arts, which contributed $50,000. "Nothing is more attractive to an N.E.A. panel than seeing artistic means used toward social ends."

Mr. Gunther, for his part, accounts for the institute's popularity as a reassuring counterpoint to today's technological upheaval, and not an anachronistic clash. "All those high-tech guys on the West Coast, they're on the cutting edge of inventing the future," Mr. Gunther said. "But when it comes to home and hearth, they're building traditional houses. There's a marketplace of demand for this out there. So do you just ignore it or try and do something about it and make it better?"

Classicism's most zealous fans maintain that its tenets mark it as the great and timeless architecture of democracy, and they exalt it above all other styles. But even nonzealots have come to see its allure. "I'll have people who have lived in really fabulous modern apartments," Mr. Redd said. "But then they'll move into an apartment or house that has a lot of classical proportions and details, and they'll say, 'Now, I really feel like a grown-up.' "

Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro's partner in the TriBeCa Film Center, certainly had enough of contemporary loft living. Last year she and her family left their loft (and its Eames-chair décor) for the Dakota on Central Park West, hiring Peter Pennoyer, one of New York's premier classical architects, for the redo.

"I love the new, but I don't ever like to forget what came before," Ms. Rosenthal said. "There's such a sense of history here, and that inspires you to go forward and push boundaries when you can understand that historical context. So you're not trying to be new just for the sake of being new."

But detractors counter that today's traditionalism is more about class than classicism. Instead of recalling the noble aims of the golden age of Mount Vernon and Monticello, classicism today, they say, seems more likely to recall the glory days of Anglo-American aristocracy, a Ralph Lauren version of architecture. One need only look at the limestone-columned, 28,000-square-foot behemoth built in Atlanta by the architect William H. Harrison to get the point.

It doesn't help that many of the institute's members have a knack for speaking in lofty, unbroken expanses of prose studded with arcane details, and its lectures may be the only Manhattan soirées with more bow ties than Botox.

Yet, traditional styles of house building are on the rise, according to the American Institute of Building Design, an association that represents architects and developers, and there are also new markets for metal- and stoneworking methods and materials once nearly defunct.

In upscale subdivisions across the country, for example, the Palladian window has become a prominent architectural feature, letting plenty of light into double-height living rooms, while still summoning up echoes, however murky, of early-19th-century gentility. But paired with an eyebrow window, an off-kilter gable or two and a rambling ranch floor plan, the traditional look becomes something very different: what might be called neo-hodgepodge.

"We were putting the columns in all goofy," said W. A. Lawrence, the owner of Period Style Homes, a large home-design firm based in Fort Myers, Fla., who has attended courses at the institute in New York and has helped arrange for it to give similar classes in Florida for the state builders association. "We had them drawn wrong, spaced wrong. Once you get it right, it's amazing how much better it looks. It's almost mind-blowing."

After the success in Florida, the institute formulated a separate program of classes for home builders, which began last year with a five weekend course in five cities across the South. The Endowment for the Arts helped pay for the program with a $30,000 grant.

The institute's successes do not rub everyone in design the right way. Some of the debate has, not surprisingly, taken on political overtones. One institute staff member said that shortly after he started working for it, he received a furious note from a friend accusing him of having become a neoconservative stooge. He asked not to be identified so as not to reopen a wound.

The dialogue does not often get that heated, but tensions do simmer. David Dowler, an amiable portfolio manager, hired the Florida-based Merrill & Pastor Architects to build a house for him and his wife, Marsha, in Highland Park, Tex., a 1920's-era subdivision just outside Dallas. The house, finished in 2002, was far from classical, a clean, angular white stucco structure reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts style. But to members of the Dallas Architectural Forum, a loose-knit group of architects and architecture fans, which convenes for functions and lectures, Mr. Dowler said, "I may be a dissident."

Mr. Dowler, who also owns a house in the new urbanist community of Seaside, Fla., added, "It's always modernists who come lecture, and I would like to see more exposure to other styles."

He is not, he said, a fan of many modern houses. "They are much better photographed than lived in," he said. "I get mad at architects who overemphasize how something looks rather than how something works as a home."

But others are quick to point out that nostalgia for 18th-century buildings may have more to do with unspoken nostalgia for the 18th century than for the building. "Reviving the classical forms is not the same thing as reviving the culture," said Terence Riley, the chief curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. A 2000 Georgian mansion might be impossible to differentiate from an 1800 one, but the social climates that created the two are two centuries apart.

The institute's brain trust, for its part, argues that traditionalist styles are inherently better models for builders because they do not require a talented, cerebral interpreter, just a good copying machine. "It may be easier for amateurs," Mr. Riley responded. "That said, I don't necessarily buy that argument. Turning a green field into suburban parcels with perfect classical houses, I would argue, doesn't give us anything remotely recognizable within the language of classical architecture."

"The contemporary city is messy," he added, summing up a century of modernist architectural theory. "I don't know if classicism makes a lot of sense, but everyone should study it"

Architect Allan Greenberg and the Dream of an Ideal Home

Gepubliceerd op 21 aug 2013
Take a look inside the new monograph "Allan Greenberg: Classical Architect", from Rizzoli New York, while architect Allan Greenberg discusses the dream of an ideal home and his role in helping his clients achieve that dream.

A leading exponent of classical architecture, Allan Greenberg's work is renowned for its historically inspired façades, its classical detail, and the highest level of craftsmanship. Collaborating with leading sculptors, wood-carvers, mosaicists, metalworkers, and ornamental plasterers to create beautiful details that make his work unique, Greenberg has produced buildings that radiate a sense of classic beauty and artistic integrity.

"Allan Greenberg: Classical Architect" celebrates Greenberg's esteemed career by showcasing in depth his private houses, apartments, university buildings, and civic buildings that demonstrate his lifelong commitment to traditional styles, unparalleled quality, and decorative expression.

Allan Greenberg: Classical Architect

Written by Allan Greenberg
Foreword by Carolyne Roehm

On Sale: October 1, 2013
Price: $75.00
ISBN: 978-0-8478-4073-1

To learn more, visit:

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The Return of the beard.The 100 Beards Project by Jonathan Daniel Pryce.

The 100 Beards Project is one year old. You can pre-order a copy of the book at

Jonathan Daniel Pryce
'When I first started the 100 Beards project, I had a lot of people Tweeting me asking if I had a beard myself. I didn't, and so as tribute I decided to try growing one for the first time'

Beards make men look like they could save you from danger... and let baldies have a different hairstyle everyday: Face fuzz celebrated in brilliant new blog
Jonathan Daniel Pryce takes photos of beards, man's 'ultimate accessory'
Women of the web have gone into frenzy over 'hunky pictures'
'Beards rule for baldies. Only way we can get a fresh hairstyle'

PUBLISHED: 11:50 GMT, 2 August 2013 | UPDATED: 15:49 GMT, 2 August 2013/

George Clooney, Bradley Cooper, Ben Affleck and that John Lewis model all have one thing in common: a brilliant, bang-on-trend beard.
Facial fuzz has become the must-have accessory for stylish men about town, from grey-flecked designer stubble on the Central Line to fearsome facial furniture being displayed at your local pub.
And now the women of Britain can't seem to get enough as news of photo project 100 Beards 100 Days spreads like wildfire through social media.
Fashion blogger Jonathan Daniel Pryce set about trying to capture this furry fashion moment through the photo series - a celebration of all things beardy.
The 100 Beard project started in 2012 and has been so successful Pryce has carried on taking pictures and is now at well over 200. And the women of the web are sharing the love for his work.
Natasha Louisa Davie says beards on men such as those featured in Pryce's project look like they have a 'stronger jaw'.
'They look more manly, and beards are fun to run my fingers through.'
Zoe Liana Brockett went a step further sharing her love of Pryce's bearded blokes lies in the fact: 'They look like they could save you from danger, like a fire or if you were stuck on a mountain!'
A self-confessed bearded baldie said: 'Beards rule for baldies. Only way we can get a fresh hairstyle.'
Deborah-Louise Grant said: 'They look like they're too busy building things and rocking out to care about shaving,' while Victoria Morgan commented bears like these make men 'look more manly'.
Georgia Frost said: 'They are just sexier, more manly. A man with a clean shaven face looks like a boy,' as Julie Jones confessed 'in our world of well-groomed metrosexuals us girls need a little caveman to remind us of the Alpha'.
The girls of Twitter have also got in a flutter as @apalanca shared a link to the blog saying 'Hunky men with beards,' as @amylilyhowes said: 'How about ALL of the beards in ALL of the days?'
Pryce, the blog's founder, men's style expert and editor of style site said:
'Over the past few years, the beard has re-established itself as the ultimate accessory for the modern gentleman. To document this, every day for 100 days I photographed a new beard on the streets of London.
'From big and bushy to trendy and trimmed, I found men from all cultures and creeds who signed up to the cult of the beard.
'For me, the beard represents authenticity and masculinity in equal parts. In a time of uncertainty, like a global financial crisis, it makes sense that this is how men want to be seen. Also if we consider the beard as a fashion trend, it's the best accessory a man can own - it's free, completely unique, very personal and not too flashy,' says Pryce.
'As a trend, the beard won't last. That's the nature of trends - they come and go. However, I reckon the resurgence of the appreciate of the hirsute is here to stay for a while. Once you've dedicated time and energy cultivating a beard it's unlikely you'll be giving it up at the drop of a hat. For many of the men I photographed their beard wasn't trend-led, it was as much a form of personal expression as the hair on their head.
'It's so difficult to place as there is a huge variety. For me I think density, colour and shape are all important factors. I've photographed one man with a huge sprawling white beard  - completely unkempt and natural. That's equally as impressive as then gent with a tightly clipped thick bright red beard.
'The 100 Beards, 100 Days project started on July 1st 2012 and the original concept was simple. I went out to different neighbourhoods in London every day for the next 100 days until October 8th, and over that period the blog had really exploded. In the final month, nearly every guy I stopped to be photographed had heard of the blog which was incredible. I was receiving comments, Tweets & emails en mass from fans of facial hair asking to continue documenting London's beards, so I decided to continue.
'I've been taking beard portraits for 13 months now, mostly in London but also in Paris, Milan and Berlin. I've now reached number 146 on the blog, but I'm planning to have 200 beard portraits for the release of the book next month. Possibly the hardest part of this kind of work is selecting the portraits to use. I've photographed more than 200 men, but only the right portraits get used. The book will include funny quotes and anecdotes about their beards from the subjects.
'When I first started the 100 Beards project, I had a lot of people Tweeting me asking if I had a beard myself. I didn't, and so as tribute I decided to try growing one for the first time. I spent about 8 weeks working on getting some good growth and on Day 100 took a self-portrait to complete the first chapter.
'One of the reasons I became interested in beards was my own inability to grow a good one. Beards have this mysterious masculinity attached to them and to grow a strong one is like the holy grail of authenticity. Once I got past the itchy phase of the beard I started to enjoy it, but mine pales in comparison to the men I photographed so it's now gone. Stubble will have to be enough for me.
'During the 100 days, from July 1 to October 8 2012, the 100 beard project received a huge amount of support, so much so I decided to continue. I want to thank everyone from readers to press who shared the project and appreciated the work.'
The initial 100 Beard project has already been immortalised in a book, with another on the way, but more recently it has seen a slew of new interest from female fans of facial hair, as women around Britain have been sharing Jonathan's Tumblr account via Facebook and Twitter, often with 1,500 comments per picture.

 'This was one of the most popular photographs I captured. Ricki Hall is a model and has an incredible beard. One search on Google will reveal why the photo got such a great response - he has a huge fan base'

 Lloyd: Carnaby Street, London. Number 67 from 5 Sep 2012. Pryce: 'Photographed on Canaby Street, Lloyd is one of the youngest guys I photographed. For me, it's his photo which shows why the beard is popular for young men - it's their first chance to experiment with being a grown-up man and tell that to the world'

 An intense photograph of Daniel on Old Church Street, London. Number 51. from 20 Aug 2012

Brendan sports an auburn beard as he stands on Henrietta Street, London. Number 123. from 26 Apr 2013

James takes a slow drag on a cigarette as he leans against a wall on Greek St, London on 18 Jul 2012

 'Patrick Grant is a Saville Row tailor for Etautz and has become something of a British style institution. He's certainly one of London's best dress men and was recently a judge on the BBC's Great British Sewing Bee'

Joey: Gees Court, London. Number 141. from 15 Jul 2013