NYC-ARTS

S2020 E496 | FULL EPISODE

NYC-ARTS Full Episode: June 11, 2020

A selection of NYC-ARTS Greatest Hits: a tour of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum located in Newport, Rhode Island; a profile of pianist Henry Kramer, winner of a 2019 Avery Fisher Career Grant Award; and a visit to the Nevelson Chapel at St. Peter’s Church, a sculptural environment created by Louise Nevelson, one of New York City’s most celebrated artists.

AIRED: June 11, 2020 | 0:27:46
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

♪♪

>> Coming up on "NYC-Arts,"

we'd like to share with you

some of our favorite segments.

>> The Newport Casino represents

one of the finest examples

of Shingle-style architecture

in America.

We are a National Historic

Landmark

and the first sports hall

of fame to be accredited by the

American Alliance of Museums.

>> Receiving this Avery Fisher

Career Grant makes me feel like

I can really believe in myself.

And it truly motivates me

to be the best I can.

♪♪

>> Once you're inside,

you're surrounded by Nevelson.

She was the grandmother

of environmental art in America,

and she really believed

the importance of surrounding

people with art.

>> Funding for "NYC-Arts" is

made possible by...

>> This program is supported

in part by public funds

from the New York City

Department of Cultural Affairs

in partnership

with the city council.

Additional funding provided

by members of Thirteen.

"NYC-Arts" is made possible in

part by First Republic Bank.

>> First Republic Bank presents,

"First Things First."

At First Republic Bank,

"first" refers to our first

priority -- the clients

who walk through our doors.

The first step?

Recognize that every client is

an individual with unique needs.

First decree -- be a bank

whose currency is service

in the form of personal banking.

This was First Republic's

mission from our very first day.

It's still the first thing

on our minds.

♪♪

♪♪

>> Good evening, and welcome

to "NYC-Arts."

I'm Philippe de Montebello at

the Tisch WNET Studio at

Lincoln Center.

It's been my pleasure,

along with my colleague

Paula Zahn,

to bring you the very best

of arts and culture

in the tri-state area,

whether it's music, dance, film,

theater, the visual arts,

classic or contemporary,

well-known or newly discovered,

"NYC-Arts" has provided unique

access to the people and places

that represent the richness

of our arts community.

In this program,

we'd like to share with you

some of our favorite segments.

We hope they are some of your

favorites, as well.

♪♪

>> My name is Doug Stark,

and I'm the museum director

at the International Tennis Hall

of Fame & Museum,

which is located on historic

Bellevue Avenue in Newport,

Rhode Island.

The story of the Newport Casino

began in the summer of 1879

with James Gordon Bennett Jr.,

who was the publisher

of theNew York Herald Tribune.

He was also a summer resident

in Newport,

so he purchased the land

across the street,

and he hired

the architectural firm of McKim,

Mead & White, and construction

started in January of 1880,

and six months later

in the summer of 1880,

the Newport Casino opened.

The Newport Casino represents

one of the finest examples

of Shingle-style architecture

in America.

We are a National Historic

Landmark,

and recently we became

the first sports hall of fame

to be accredited by the

American Alliance of Museums.

In 1881, the United States

National Lawn Tennis Association

was looking for a place to host

its first championship.

The Newport Casino was selected,

and with that, the first

U.S. Nationals was contested

here in 1881,

which was won by Dick Sears.

That tournament today

is the U.S. Open.

Newport has three distinct

things -- architecture,

leisure, and sporting events,

and the Tennis Hall of Fame

and the Newport Casino sit at

the confluence of all three,

so as visitors come through

our grounds, they're transported

back to Gilded Age Newport.

Today, our site is 6 acres.

We have 13 grass courts,

three indoor hard courts,

one clay court,

one court tennis building,

which is a predecessor

of the game of tennis.

It's the game from which

tennis evolved.

It was played in medieval

monasteries.

Tennis Week in Newport

is still a very big event.

It's usually the second

week of July.

We have our tournament,

and then at the end of the week,

we have our

Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Each year, we induct a new class

of Hall of Famers.

We have 235

Hall of Famers representing

20 countries around the world.

Today, our museum occupies

the second floor

of the Newport Casino.

As visitors walk through

the museum, they can get a sense

both of the history

of the Newport Casino as well

as the history of tennis.

We have a re-created card room.

Our museum collection totals

more than 25,000 objects,

and we have trophies,

tennis balls, rackets,

racket presses,

outfits, stamps, medals.

It's really the central

repository for the study

of the history of tennis.

♪♪

Tennis was patented in 1874

by Queen Victoria,

and that patent is currently

on display in the Credentials

Gallery.

We also have a painting

from 1538.

We believe it's the earliest

known painting of tennis.

Visitors also like the evolution

of fashion and clothing.

We have some early outfits

that women would've worn

in the Victorian Era,

and we also have Venus Williams'

outfit from her participation

in the 2012

Wimbledon Championships,

and we also have Roger Federer's

outfit from when he participated

and won in the 2009

Wimbledon Championship.

Also on display is memorabilia

from the historic match,

The Battle of the Sexes,

contested between

Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs

in September of 1973,

and a lot of visitors

still remember seeing

that match on TV,

which was quite a spectacle,

but obviously it had significant

ramifications for equal rights

and equal pay

in sports in this country.

From the start,

the Newport Casino was both

for men and women,

and it's one for the earliest

that included women.

One of the things that we do

when we tell this story

of tennis is, we tell

the evolution and the growth

and the development of the game

through our Hall of Famers,

so with 235 Hall of Famers

from around the world,

it's an opportunity to give

a personal element

to the story of tennis,

and it's important

because people can relate.

A lot of our visitors come in,

and they can remember,

"Oh, I used to play with

Jimmy Connors' T-2000 racket,"

or,

"I had a Jack Kramer racket,"

or they might remember

going to a tournament

and seeing a Hall of Famer play,

and so that's a really unique

experience.

The next time that you're

in Newport, we hope that

you'd visit the Hall of Fame.

It's a unique opportunity

to see and learn

about the history of tennis

but also to play on our historic

grass courts,

and we welcome everyone

to Newport

and the Tennis Hall of Fame.

♪♪

>> "NYC-Arts" isn't only

available on Thursdays.

It's also on the web.

Please visit our website at

nyc-arts.org, where you can

watch clips and learn more about

institutions and events featured

on this show.

♪♪

>> Good evening, and welcome

to "NYC-Arts."

I'm Paula Zahn

at the Tisch WNET Studios

at Lincoln Center.

The ceremony for this year's

Avery Fisher Career Grant awards

took place in March at the

Jerome L. Greene Performance

Space at WQXR.

These individual grants

of $25,000

give professional assistance

and recognition to talented

instrumentalists who have great

potential for solo careers.

This year, there were four

recipients -- violinist

Angelo Xiang Yu...

♪♪

...piano duo Christina and

Michelle Naughton...

♪♪

...the Jack Quartet...

♪♪

...and pianist Henry Kramer.

Originally from Cape Elizabeth,

Maine,

Henry Kramer is an insightful

soloist who began playing

at the age of 11.

Since then, he graduated from

Juilliard and earned a doctorate

in musical arts from Yale.

A passionate educator,

Kramer currently teaches

at Columbus State University

in Columbus, Georgia.

♪♪

>> Receiving this Avery Fisher

Career Grant is one of those

things that you dream of.

One of the difficult things

of being a classical musician

is you obviously need

an enormous amount

of internal strength and believe

that you deserve to be heard.

But you also need people

to recognize and confirm that.

Beyond the financial support,

which is obviously incredible,

just the title and the

recognition makes me feel like

I can really believe in myself.

And it truly motivates me

to be the best I can.

♪♪

♪♪

I wanted to present something

that is true

to what I usually play.

I play a lot of French music.

I play a lot of Chopin.

I wanted to do something that

showed a little bit of variety.

Naturally, the Chopin "Preludes"

came to mind.

A friend of mine

suggested the C sharp minor,

which is a bit risky

to start with.

It's not an easy piece.

It's fluttering figuration

and then followed by this

unsettled Mazurka-like melody.

♪♪

♪♪

The piece by Rameau that I

played, "Le Rappel des Oiseaux,"

the title translates

to "The bird's conversation,"

or "The bird's chatter."

He evokes this in the piano

with these constant trills,

and the hands are very close

together and staggered.

So you can imagine when

listening to this piece two

birds in conversation with

one another.

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

The Rameau, specifically,

is very challenging

because, technically, the trills

are very fluid, very fast,

and they happen so rapidly.

♪♪

And I think, also, just

to capture the right sound,

there's a tenderness, I think,

in the sound and a bit

of sadness in the E minor,

and it shouldn't sound

too pointed.

♪♪

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♪♪

♪♪

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Rameau and Debussy

are a great pairing.

Obviously, Debussy has so much

in his music -- piano music,

specifically -- that looks back

to the French clavecinists

of the early Baroque

and also to Chopin.

So I felt these pieces all

kind of spoke to one another.

♪♪

Debussy's "L'isle joyeuse,"

which translates

to "The joyous island,"

apparently was inspired

by a painting by Watteau, who

was, I think, an 18th-century

French painter.

It's called "Embarkation

for the Island of Cythera,"

which was a mythical island

of joyousness and revelry.

♪♪

But Debussy's is all about

the anticipation of arrival.

The whole piece is going toward

something, and obviously,

there's the evocation of water

and floating, in

the second theme specifically.

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Another thing is, around the

time in, I think, 1904,

he had eloped and married.

So he was very happy,

stayed very joyous,

stayed himself.

I think it's such a fantastic

piece.

It's the arrival

of the central theme at the end

after all of this anticipation

is so satisfying.

It just gets more and more

excited until it finally

explodes at the end with this

last note on the keyboard.

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

[ Applause ]

♪♪

>> Next on our program,

we'll visit the Nevelson Chapel

at St. Peter's Church,

a sculptural environment

created by Louise Nevelson,

one of New York City's most

celebrated artists.

With a career spanning nearly

five decades,

Nevelson became especially

well known for her technique

of collecting discarded

furniture

and other random objects

from the streets of New York

and then reassembling them

into often large-scale

art installations.

Levenson's artwork for the

Chapel of the Good Shepherd

at St. Peter's Church

is the artist's only remaining

environment always open

to the general public.

It is a gem hidden

in plain sight

within the Citigroup Center

in Midtown Manhattan.

The entire complex,

including the church,

was designed by Hugh Stubbins

and Easley Hamner with interiors

by Lella and Massimo Vignelli

After 40 years,

Nevelson's master work

is undergoing a critical

restoration and rediscovery

as an oasis of peace.

♪♪

>> Nevelson considered this

environment her oasis

of silence.

It's a place that people

come day in and day out to find,

in the middle of this incredibly

busy city, some element

of peace and silence.

>> Once you're inside,

you're surrounded by Nevelson.

And she was the grandmother

of environmental art in America.

She really believed

the importance

of surrounding people with art.

>> Nevelson was one of the few

women artists in the 1970s

who realized public art

with great success.

>> The Nevelson Chapel is

the only intact environment

that she ever made.

>> Louise Nevelson was born

in Ukraine in 1899.

Her family immigrated

when Louise Nevelson

was a little girl.

Nevelson's father was

a woodcutter in the old country,

and once they came to Maine,

he had a junkyard.

Of course, that inspired

much of Nevelson's work.

She would use toilet seats

and bed stands and chair rails

and everything that

she would find on the streets

of New York City

to make a collage, these

reliefs.

And that was her signature,

and that's how she's best known.

She had her first

breakthrough project,

her first public breakthrough

project, in 1959

at the Museum of Modern Art.

Louise Nevelson

was 60 years old.

It took her that long

to achieve public recognition.

>> Well, St. Peter's was

a neo-Gothic Lutheran church

that had been here a long time,

and the congregation

had dwindled down to 65 or 70,

so it was not doing very well.

>> In the 1970s, St. Peter's and

Citibank came together to start

planning and then ultimately

build what was called

Citigroup Center.

And at the heart of that complex

is Nevelson Chapel.

>> The pastor at that time

was Ralph Peterson.

At the point where they

decided that they wanted

a decorated chapel,

an interfaith chapel,

Easley Hamner was approached

by Pace Gallery,

and Pace Gallery said,

"Look, there's 1% for the arts,

which means there's quite a lot

of money available for the

arts."

And Hamner knew Nevelson's

work and reputation

and wanted her to do it.

And Petersen knew her work,

also, and really liked it.

♪♪

The works in the chapel are not

the kind of found object,

whether it was furniture

or something she found

on the street.

They were shapes made to order

for her.

>> Nevelson was Jewish by birth.

This isn't a specifically

Christian-feeling space.

It's a very spiritual space.

>> I want to read you

some quotes from her

because they -- they say

something about

how she saw her spirituality.

"Abstraction allows me

to transcend Christian imagery

to the essential point

where all religions meet.

Each element forms a whole

in itself,

a deliberate expression of joy,

of human warmth.

For me, for my work, this chapel

is a state of purity and truth."

I think the fact that they

are doing a restoration

would be something Nevelson

would 100% approve of.

She always wanted her work

to look as fresh as possible.

>> There are two major elements

of the restoration

for Nevelson Chapel.

The first is to deal with

problems with the environment.

So we're introducing a dedicated

HVAC system

that will ensure that

this environment is properly

regulated for long-term care

of the wood and the paint.

The second element

of the restoration is cleaning

almost 35 years

of restoration overpaint.

But in the end,

all of these sculptures will be

Nevelson's original paint.

>> Nevelson's significant

contribution to modernism

was that she forged a unique

visual language.

It was part surrealism, part

constructivism, part collage,

had resonance of minimalism,

but it was really all Nevelson.

>> The chapel is not as well

known as it should be.

Hopefully with the restoration

going on, many more people

will know about it.

>> We want to ensure that 40,

50, 60 years from now,

people will find this in

not a pristine condition.

It's a living environment.

But what people will see

is that we have honored it

and we're passing on to them

as best we can

what has been handed down to us.

♪♪

♪♪

>> I hope you've

enjoyed our program.

I'm Phillipe de Montebello

at the Tisch WNET Studios

at Lincoln Center.

Good night, and see you next

time.

>> To enjoy more of your

favorite segments on "NYC-Arts,"

visit our website at

nyc-arts.org.

♪♪

>> Leonard, what a privilege to

be able to sit down and talk

with you.

>> I love being here with you,

too, Paula.

>> Where are we?

We're at a moment to take

nothing for granted.

>> Well, it's a pleasure to be

with Marci Reaven, the curator

of this exhibition full of hope.

We are in the midst of some

of the greatest sculptures

by the iconic names.

♪♪

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♪♪

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♪♪

>> Funding for "NYC-Arts" is

made possible by...

This program is supported,

in part, by public funds

from the New York City

Department of Cultural Affairs,

in partnership

with the City Council.

Additional funding provided

by members of Thirteen.

"NYC-Arts" is made possible in

part by First Republic Bank.

>> First Republic Bank presents

"First Things First."

At First Republic Bank,

"first" refers to our first

priority -- the clients

who walk through our doors.

The first step?

Recognize that every client is

an individual with unique needs.

First decree -- be a bank

whose currency is service

in the form of personal banking.

This was First Republic's

mission from our very first day.

It's still the first thing

on our minds.

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