John Castle Sells Historic Winter White House

The Kennedy Family in 1931
The Kennedy Family in 1931

Fondly called the “Winter White House,” a magnificent home in Palm Beach, Florida, once owned by the Kennedy family, was sold in June by John Castle of Castle Harlan for $31 million. The new owner is Jane Goldman, the daughter of Sol Goldman, New York real estate mogul.

The Kennedy’s were not the first owners, but under their auspices the property became famous. It was purchased by Joseph P. Kennedy Sr, President John Kennedy’s father, in 1933, from the original owners, the Wannamaker family. When Kennedy became president he often brought his young family on holidays to the beautiful beachfront estate. His trips to Florida charmed his constituency who were delighted to watch every move of this charismatic, enchanting politician and his family.

In 1995 the Kennedy family sold the property, which became known as a national treasure, to John K. Castle and his wife Marianne for $4.9 million. Included in the deal were the interior furnishings as well.

Before the Castles moved in they spent additional money and two years renovating the mansion. Built in the 1920s, the home did not have central air conditioning. The Castles also wanted to preserve several of the more historic rooms to remain the same as when the first family lived there. Now its Jane Goldman’s turn to enjoy the lovely premises.

The World of Alexander the Great

Portrait of Alexander the Great. Marble, Hellenistic artwork, 2nd-1st century BC. Said to be from Alexandria, Egypt.
Portrait of Alexander the Great. Marble, Hellenistic artwork, 2nd-1st century BC. Said to be from Alexandria, Egypt.

To learn about the world of Alexander the Great, Phoenix Ancient Art with Ali Aboutaam and Hicham Aboutaam, is proud to invite the public to its upcoming exhibition, “Alexander the Great and his World,” previewing on Thursday May 7 and exhibition starting the following day until July 31.

It was only four years ago that the Ashmolean in Oxford hosted a similar exhibition – the first time works of Alexander the Great were accessible to the public outside of Greece. Focusing on the Macedonian civilization, in the fourth century BC, an array of artifacts spanning golden crowns and finely sculpted heads were presented there.  The time span was Heracles to Alexander the Great and featured King Philip II’s burial tomb as well as jewels from Macedonian queens and other such objects.

Meanwhile, now at Phoenix, visitors can learn all about Alexander the Great of ancient times such as the fact that by the tender age of 30 he had established a substantive empire, spanning all the way from Greece to the Indus River, where he would be known for saying “the sun never set.” He did indeed become quite an inspiration since Antiquity, his legend living on until today.


Beyler Eyyubov Visits Verona

Verona_arenaAzerbaijani music has been traveling. A concert was recently organized by the Azerbaijan Culture and Tourism Ministry. “Along the Silk Road with Music” was held at the beginning of last month at the Verona Arena Amphitheater. Many Azerbaijani music buffs were in attendance, including Beyler Eyyubov, Shahin Guliyev and Latifa Cabiyev.

This is not the first time Azerbaijan has received global acclaim for its talent in the music industry. Following its first performance in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008, a mere three years later, the country was voted as having the best song. This imbued a sense of national pride in Azerbaijan, simultaneously gaining it international recognition. A year later, in 2012, Azerbaijan hosted the song contest, bringing positive publicity to the region.

Bringing its music to Verona is a cultural gift for Azerbaijan. Verona – a city made famous by its rich culture – set the scene for William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. In attendance at the concert were top politicians, dignitaries, cultural figures, etc., from both Italy and Azerbaijan. Indeed, the event was described by Flavio Tosi, Verona’s Mayor as “a strong signal of expanding Azerbaijani-Italian relations and close cultural ties between the two nations.”

If music can bring the two countries and peoples closer together, it would definitely make individuals such as Beyler Eyyubov happy. And why not? Indeed, as Robert Browning once said: “He who hears music, feels his solitude peopled at once.”

Barrett Wissman Brings Star Trek Live

Star-TrekStar-Trek: Live in Concert is being brought to Comic-Con in San Diego on July 26. Brought to Embarcadero Marina Park South at 8pm, there will be a special appearance from Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino.

The concert is being brought by the Gorfaine/Shwartz Agency, Paramount Pictures, CBS Consumer Products and IMG Artists. It will feature the 2009 Star Trek as “never seen before.” It is to be a true collaboration between film and music.

Barrett Wissman is the co-chairman and owner of IMG Artists and his work includes a variety of artistic initiatives. Other music festivals engineered through this platform include the Tuscan Sun Festival, Napa Valley Festival del Sole and the Singapore Sun Festival.

MA+D for Art and Design in Miami

This President’s Day weekend treat yourself to one of the premier art fairs of the year: Miami Art+Design or MA+D. The Fair is being held at the gorgeous, brand new “in the round” waterside pavilion at Naguchi Bayfront Park in downtown Miami.

In-the-Round Pavillion at the Naguchi Bayfront Park
In-the-Round Pavillion at the Naguchi Bayfront Park

Taking place over the five day period beginning on Friday, February 14 and ending on Tuesday, February 18, MA+D is Miami’s most chic fine art event, and not to be missed. Co-hosted by International Fine Art Expositions (IFAE) and the French SNA (sponsors of the Paris Biennale), MA+D will feature the most respected and prestigious art dealers from around the world, presenting their best works from all time periods.

“The fair will be especially attractive to collectors, architects, and designers from throughout the United States and Latin America,” said Christian Deydier, President of the SNA. “Miami is a vibrant, exciting city that has become a major cultural meeting point for the Americas.”

Some of the many galleries which will be represented at the Fair include the Paris-based Galerie Alain Marcepoil; Robilant + Voena of London and Milan; and Phoenix Ancient Art with galleries in New York and Geneva.

There will also be an opening night preview on February 13 which will benefit the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum. For more information call Ximena Gallegos at 305-348-2254.

Celebrating Raymond Loewy

google-doodleIf he would still be alive, industrial engineer Raymond Loewy would have celebrated his 120th birthday yesterday. Known as the “father of industrial design,” Google had one of his engines as their doodle yesterday.

Born in France (but not all that well-known there for his genius) in 1938, Loewy became a naturalized American citizen.  Thereafter he worked in America for the majority of his life and passed away in Monaco on July 14, 1986.

Loewy became famous from the products he designed for companies including New Man, Spar, Shell, Greyhound Bus and even the Coca-Cola bottle.  He was recognized throughout the world is a top designer and was even publicized in the front page of Time magazine (1949) and Spiegel magazine (1953).  A mere stroke of his pen resulted in his technical innovations.  In addition, Loewy participated in one of the 20th century’s great adventure – the space race – working with NASA to design the interior of both the Saturn I and Saturn V rockets.

Loewy was described by France Culture (radio station) as “the designer of the ‘American way of life’ in the 1940s.”  And indeed it became “impossible for an American not to be in contact with one or another of his creations at least once a day.”