Archive for March, 2010

“All the news that important people let us print.”

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An item worth reading on The Wire at businessinsider.com: “We don’t mean to be overly critical here, but we get tired of holier-than-thou mainstream media bellyaching about how only mainstream media can be trusted — when so much of the mainstream media game is granting control over coverage in exchange for access. Which certainly seems to have been the case here.”

In the matter of looting

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Looting Matters, a blog about archaeology and ethics by the distinguished scholar David Gill of Swansea University, name-checks Rogues’ Gallery today in a post about the famously looted Morgantina Silver, returned to Italy by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2008 and currently on display at the Palazzo Massimo of the Museo Nazionale Romano, Rome (through May 23). In his wonderfully understated way, Gill notes that the book “says a great deal about the Met’s attitude to enlightenment and cosmopolitan ideals.”

Requiem for a Heavyweight

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Today’s local community newspaper quotes my 1997 profile of Patrick McCarthy, outgoing editorial director of W and WWD. “Bite the hand that feeds you,” he told me. “Never stop biting it. And you know what? It will feed you more.” Protege of the legendary editor-publisher John Fairchild, McCarthy was famous for following that dictum, but he also protected his powerful pals right up to the end. After he punished me for letting Vogue see a copy of Model at the same time W did by cancelling a story on the book, I learned to give his publications first looks at … Continue reading

Guts & Glory

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The Fairfield Museum and History Center has a lot of nerve. Rogues Gallery will be the featured book tonight at its History Book Club. Join the discussion at 7 PM at 370 Beach Road, Fairfield, CT.

A Modest Madoff Money Proposal

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It’s been just over a year since Vos Iz Neias, an Orthodox Jewish blog, took umbrage at the presence of plaques on several Central Park benches celebrating convicted Ponzi thief Bernie Madoff’s parents and in-laws. Though it speculated that Madoff’s “adopted” benches, just inside the East 67th Street entrance to the park, would be vandalized, they haven’t been, though they still draw gasps from eagle-eyed strollers. Here’s a modest proposal for the Central Park Conservancy: Since they were probably paid for with Other People’s Money, how about reselling those benches at twice the going rate of $7,500 (or even better, … Continue reading

Yes, that’s $1.25 per room

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My post yesterday on Metropolitan Museum of Art director Thomas Campbell‘s $10.00 (yes, ten dollars, it’s no typo) Fifth Avenue apartment didn’t include a description or floor plan because I didn’t have one. The apartment floorplan above found by a Gripebox reader is not Campbell’s, but it’s the same line — one floor up. It shows a 20 X 30 ft. living room next to a library and master bedroom, all with windows on Fifth, a second bedroom, a maid’s room, and a kitchen with pantry, as well as a foyer the size of some studio apartments. The reader asks, … Continue reading

I’ll take one of those…

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Back in 1991, William Luers, then president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, moved into an apartment on the second floor of 993 Fifth Avenue, a distinguished limestone building by architect Emery Roth, right across the street from the museum. It had previously sheltered Luers’ predecessor William Macomber, and would subsequently be passed to his successor David McKinney. It’s changed hands twice in the years since, according to city records. On November 28, 2005, it was sold by McKinney to his successor, Emily Kernan Rafferty for a mere $10, though she apparently never moved in, for last March 31, when … Continue reading

Giving Museums Characters

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On New York Social Diary today, David Patrick Columbia unveils the all-new paperback jacket of Rogues’ Gallery, starring Henry Kissinger, Brooke Astor, J. Pierpont Morgan, Andy Warhol and Anna Wintour (click here to see it) and generously adds, “Michael Gross loves research and loves details but mostly he loves the characters in his books. They’re all out of a movie or a novel for this guy who has the perspicacity to dig the tales out from under the rocks that make the characters what they are.” Problem is, you can’t make this stuff up. The truth really is stranger than … Continue reading

From the Vault: A Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Cherry Bomb!

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The new movie The Runaways reminded me that back in the day, I saw them from the front row of a place called Santa Monica Civic. I knew their manager and Pygmalion, Kim Fowley, because in fall 1974 as a fledgling freelance writer, I’d interviewed him for a story on the Hollywood scene that Joan Jett, Cherie Currie, Sandy West and Lita Ford sprang from a mere few months later. You can read Where Have All The Groupies Gone? here. Caveat Lector: It’s X-rated and NSFW.

Rogues, blogged

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Ten months after publication, Rogues’ Gallery continues to draw readers and praise around the world. This week, three blogs cited the book. Pravdakino, by Indonesian film and video student Veronika Kusumaryati calls it “worthy reading but in some parts, regrettable due to its writer’s love of gossip and drama. But I still think it should be read by art history students and those who are curious about the life of the rich people who made USA.” Turn The Page by Birmingham, Alabama, writer Susan Swagler, recommends it. And I’m A Domestic Goddess, a blog by an anonymous “mother, wife and … Continue reading

A reader speaks

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This customer review of Rogues’ Gallery was posted recently by marilynnewyork on barnesandnoble.com. “I heard this author speak at the Mid-Manhattan Library a few months ago. He was such a fabulous speaker, I recommend him to all history aficionados — especially Manhattan history — what a great dinner speaker he would make. If you live in NYC, you’re always curious about what makes Manhattan tick. Why are the lives of the rich and famous people who contribute to the Metropolitan Museum and to the New York Public Library … so protected from criticism by the media including the New York … Continue reading