At the Greek and Roman collection inside The Metropolitan Museum of Art,

Sean Hemingway, the curator of the collection discussed the objects that dated back thousands of years,

and the ideals that their makers and these ancient civilizations had hoped to portray.

The white marble sculptures and carved texts were all originally were brightly painted.

The Museum had paintings that were wall frescos that showed images of people expressing deep emotions.

The collection includes memorial statues made to look like the ideal of a person, instead of the actual person the art portrayed.

Sean Hemingway at Metropolitan Museum of Art

Before the first visit, it was revealed that a couple in the group

had become engaged the night before at the top of the Empire State Building.

This was a wonderful story to begin the trip.

The group met at the Manhattan home and studio of artist Ena Swansea, a figurative / abstract painter and her husband Antoine Guerrero

at their bright top floor space filled with Ena’s intriguing paintings. They were hosting a conversation with the author André Aciman,

whose psychological memoirs, novels and writings explore memory, place, and identity.

Aciman’s books include the memoirs ‘Alibis: Essays From Elsewhere’, ‘Out of Egypt’, and novels ‘Harvard Square’ and ‘You Can Call Me Your Name’

Andre spoke about memoirs and novels, about finding meaning and if words matter.

He reflected on contradictions, and he discussed the author’s liberty with framing of an ending.

André Aciman

The next day, bright and early at Grand Central Station, the group boarded a train for New Haven and the campus of Yale University.

The first visit was at a secret library on the top floor of a Gothic tower of the Old Campus.

The members met with Dale Martin, one of the leading Biblical scholars who specializes in The New Testament and Christian Origins.

He discussed the historical critical approach to the Bible, belief, and meaning.

Afterward Dale led the group to the Yale Art Gallery to view the Dura-Europa exhibit of Yale archaeological excavations an

discoveries from the 1920’s and 1930’s including frescoes of the oldest surviving Christian church in the world,

and oldest extant images of Jesus in the world.

Dale Martin


The group’s second visit at Yale was with Ellen R. Cohn, editor of The Papers of Benjamin Franklin

Ellen discussed the life and role of one of the most influential Founding Father. Inside the collection room,

the group discovered a vast library of books about Benjamin Franklin, paintings whose portrait images

are easily recognized from printed money and postage stamps,

Franklin’s book about Electricity. Ellen showed examples of Franklin’s beautiful handwriting and spoke of his character and humor.

Back in Manhattan the next morning, the group met at Christies auction house at Rockefeller Center.

Therese Stark a contemporary and post war specialist toured the group thru

the exhibition on display for the following week’s Contemporary Evening Sale.

What is art, the role of money and fame, and the history of The Art World, were questions explored.

Park Avenue was filled with Tulips.

The concluding visit for this journey to New York was hosted in a former candy factory by artist Will Cotton,

a figurative painter of surreal candy landscapes and beautiful muses, with themes of temptation.

The group gathered for a discussion between Will Cotton and Samira Kawash,

author of ‘Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure’. Samira discussed her book which is a cultural history of America.

The conversation led to a lively exchange of ideas about craving, candy, temptations, and life.

Samira Kawash

Will Cotton

Will Cotton 
Ribbon Candy Portrait  (detail)

oil on canvas 
34 x 24 in. 
Painted in 2008

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