Running account of Skinny’s show, 1967, from before it opened until the last week

Sally Iselin

November 3.The ads appeared, or rather the one in Women's Wear did. It is on the next to last page, near an article on Acapulco. The article downgrades the resort, with very funny remarks. As for the other ad, it was in the New York Review, on the Letters page, in the issue with the final piece by Mary McCarthy deploring the Viet Nam war, which should glean a lot of readers. Skinny spent a long day preparing the art objects, patining, etc. He worked after dinner as well as during tne day.

November 4. Today was more of the same. It started with the arrival of Antonio Martinelli who is acting as his assistant for the next two days, painting stands black, and moving things to the gallery. I spent most of the time checking on who got invitations. Yesterday I found that the one sent to the girl friend of Mr. Martin Revson had been returned. At first I was appalled because I did not see how I was going to get her address again, she having given me both hers and Martin's. The idea of her becoming upset that he was asked and she was not was very upsetting. Luckily, I had also taken her telephone number which was on our card file, and when I called I got a maid who gave me the correct address, which enabled me to send it out again, which I did today. I discovered by sheer luck and checking that Bowden Broadwater had NOT been asked, due to his not belng on my list, and not on Dick's. Considerlng he reviews for Newsday, I was equally appalled, but it is corrected now. One cannot help but think of the invitations which did not get delivered which I will not hear about. Otherwise, a sort of numbness based on “there is not much we can do about it now.” Skinny is exhausted.

November 4th cont. High hysteria on my part in the form of imagining that 1 had not included some people only to find that I had done so. Skinny is going to pack up tne bronzes tonight. Tomorrow, he delivers them, and sets them up in place. All of this sounds so dull. I met the Strauses, and Schwartz their huge black poodle this pm on the street. They were surprised to hear that Skinny actually patined bronzes, painted stands, moved the objects himself. Skinny explained that he was becoming a last do-it-yourselfer. Nowadays it IS done by the foundry or whoever produces the stuff.

Other notes: Mildred Lynes met me in the drugstore as I was buying some special delivery stamps--three in all--to put on invitations which I had truly forgotten. She remarked how pleased her ga ga stepfather was to receive an invitation. I nearly faded. All I could think of was "There goes fifty cents including mailing." Then, I said that "undoubtedly Leonid (who has the show following Skinny) had known her mother.” “No” was the answer, “he never knew him." I ended the conversation by saying hopefully that it must have happened because her mother (long deceased) had been interested in contemporary art. Main point is that Skinny and I are shivering with worry. Have we spent too little on promotion or too much? This year, all the money has gone into the catalogues, the mailing list which has been expanded into all and every person we know personally. The idea is that those that are not interested in art are in a position to commission Skinny perhaps. We will see what we will see. Skinny has gone out to buy vodka. I have decided to read the papers. Tomorrow, I will read the Sunday papers. Particularly the art pages. Today I went to the Mark Tobey show which was terrific. Next Saturday Skinny MUST go to every show other than his just to scout who is looking at art at all. And shame them into looking at his. What a life?

Other notes: What shall I wear? It looks like Ungaro. It might be my new fur coat, plus a pretty sexy black shift. Or it might be an old Courreges in which nothing has gone wrong. As for the day, it is the birthday of the USSR. Should we ask the Russian consulate en masse? Roger thinks so. Do I?

>November 6. Today began early with my leaving the house to have my hair done. I felt as if I was having it done before an operation or perhaps before having a baby. A sort of final hair-do in that nothing will EVER be the same. Yesterday was a long day for Skinny. Tanna Martinelli and Skinny began moving the sculpture out of the studio about ten-thirty. He, Skinny, and Dick had lunch here, then returned to moving, and installing. I spent the day worrying and reading the papers. Finally, I took a bus down to the gallery (having already visited it in the morning via the bus when everything was in disarray), and found it looked great, very important, and stark. The white walls and the lights give a lot of movie atmosphere. Edith, Fred, and Ken arrived about six-thirty pm after having visited Grandma Iselin for tea, and we all had dinner. Very jolly, and homey. I was so glad to see them. And I am so glad they are here. It will be much happier for me tomorrow. I can hardly believe that it is going to really happen tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Saturday, November 11. No reviews. No visit from the Times or any other paper. A mention in Cue magazine, with a "highlight” which is their form of signalling an event of importance. The Times "left out" the ad for Sunday, a constant pastime of that paper, according to George Staempflii, who told us thus this pm when we toured the galleries. I happened on Mrs. Louise Smith on the Avenue, and she asked me to take her to Skinny's show, which I did. She admired Henry Allen Moe's portrait, knows him well from board meetings at the Museum of Modern Art. Perhaps she might present the portrait to the Museum? One of Skinny's projects for it. It would not cost her a great deal because of taxes, or rather, tax relief. Disappointment of the week was the fact that Lucien Wulsin Jr. did not buy anything at the show. The reason for thinking he would do so was that he had said he would on seeing the sculpture last summer. Wel1, well, there is no point of worrying about what people say they will do, then do not do.

This afternoon Mr. Van Day Truex came in with news of his house in France, and admiration for the sculpture, saying it had a look of "high wind." He looked surprised. But not displeased. Next week we hope something more will happen ...

To retrogress into what happened at the opening and afterward. There was a crush of people when Fred, Sarah, and I arrived about five pm, and the crush continued until about 8 pm. Enthusiasm all over the rooms, perhaps due to the drinks, perhaps due to the sculpture. Mr. and Mrs. Tom Finletter, Mr. and Mrs. Ted Rosczak, Mr. and Mrs. Ezio Martinelli, Anita McClellan, Roz McClellan, Edith with newly cut hair from Kenneth, Nelson and Anna Lou Aldrich, George Aldrich, who came, I suspect to look at his daughter's portrait, which he did not buy. It looked marvelous. Very much like her and very dramatic. The Aults came. Tony Bower. And at long last, the Shirley Burdens who within ten minutes bought one of the big figures. Then, A1 and Ruth Swan, whom I did not recognize as quickly as I might have, due to the fact that I had not seen them much since 1945, and they bought the head on the catalogue. We almost died with surprise. Jerome Zerbe. And many others.

The day was a long one starting with Skinny and Edith going to a private viewing at the Museum of Modern Art of the Picasso sculpture. This had been offered by Mr. Monroe Wheeler who men¬tioned at dinner at the Zadoks’ that it was ok to come to the Museum on Tuesday at ten am, and that the early opening was not being announced to the public, hence, it would not be crowded. It wasn't. And Gov. Rockefeller was there too. Edith enjoyed same. All in all, we got through the afternoon, and were on pins and needles which vanished as soon as we got there. Oh, Stuart Preston and the Jim Fosburghs came early in the afternoon. Typical. More later, if I remember it.

November 26, 1967. I have just cut out all the clippings, all ads, and some editorial listings, and put them into plastic leaflets to go into an album. All in all, it has been discouraging, particularly today when Skinny is going back and forth in rented Volkswagen bus with the things which were not sold. These consist of all the portraits, and two big figures. We had hoped that the finale would bring one more sale of one of the big figures, which would have meant we broke even. The show cost about $10,000, and we are to get back $8,000 as things are now. We never did rate a review from the Times, why I do not know. I suspect that our status in the world of society is against us. There [are] rumors that Canaday likes to drink, likes to choose his own subjects in an autocratic way. Anyhow, he went to Mexico last Tuesday, which meant that he would not be in the gallery this week, this we discovered by chance after he had told Dick Larcada that he would try to get in on Monday. We were very upset that the Times dropped our ad twice, once in the beginning, the second time when it would been useful, on the second Saturday of the show, because of there being no review. This dropping of ads is a constant practise of theirs, by the way. To "make up, they ran two ads on the final Saturday, which looked ghastly, sort of as if we were desperate for attention. We got a big crowd last Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) including one enthusiastic couple who have plenty of money, and one via Sandy Choate re a museum. Flora Irving went to the show, and wrote Skinny. Otherwise, no museum people. Skinny got so blue last night that I thought I would die. And he will be dead tonight after carrying everything from bus to house and into studio. Will we ever have another show?