On Tuesday evening, approximately 350 guests gathered at The Jewish Museum to see Maira Kalman and the highly anticipated exhibition Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World). Kalman stood at the entrance to the first gallery greeting each guest. From artists, to curators, to friends, all had a great time. Guests appreciated the unique, homey setting that the Warburg Mansion provided for viewing the exhibition. The installation allowed visitors to explore an artwork one moment and the next moment to observe the hustle and bustle of New York City from the windows over looking Central Park. The original cabinetry from what was the Warburg’s music room (now Heller Gallery) features video installations of Kalman’s Elements of Style song cycle.
Highlights from the evening included remarks from Joan Rosenbaum, the Helen Goldsmith Menschel Director; Claudia Gould, Daniel Dietrich Director, ICA, University of Pennsylvania; and the artists herself, Maira Kalman. At the start of the remarks, with the first mention of Maira Kalman, there was tremendous cheering and a round of applause.
Joan Rosenbaum, The Jewish Museum:
“…we are happy to have on view for the next months an exhibition which I know will delight both the large world of existing fans-of-Maira Kalman, as well as a world of people who will have the great pleasure of discovering her in our galleries.”
Began with “I’m going to make it brief, because I should.” And in her closing comments said, “If I were nice I’d give you some coffee and sell you some goods at my pop up shop.”
Organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, the exhibition presents 30 years of work by one of New York City’s most beloved artists. An illustrator and author of books for both children and adults, Kalman is most recognized for New Yorkistan, a New Yorker cover created in collaboration with fellow illustrator Rick Meyerowitz. In addition to her illustrations, viewers will encounter numerous objects from Kalman’s personal collections of linens, chairs, ladders, and yes, onion rings.