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Archive for the ‘Palm Beach Art Scene’ Category

Solo Show for Elle Schorr

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Elle Schorr,  "Contra Jour"

Elle Schorr, “Contra Jour”

Tomorrow night, Saturday, May 25, 2013, a one-woman exhibit of the work of Palm Beach-based artist Elle Schorr will be on view from 7 till 11 pm at Project Fine Art by Helium Creative in the FAT arts district in Fort Lauderdale.  For more info visit www.projectfineart.com or call 954-333-8900.

Schorr is an artist I have a great deal of respect and admiration for.  I’ve written about her work before.  I met her in 2011 when she organized a photography exhibit at the Armory Arts Center in West Palm Beach and I wrote about the exhibit and her work for Palm Beach ArtsPaper.

I mentioned her again in the Palm Beach 2013 season preview for art that I wrote for the paper back in the fall because she runs these wonderful art salons, also at the Armory.   There are two different salons.  The Mixed / Multi Media Salon is held on the first Tuesday of the month from 6:30pm until 8:30pm.  The other is the Art, Women and Culture Salon, which is held on the third Tuesday of the month from 6:30 till 8:30pm. They explore artists who have been influential and inspirational, and discuss participants’ own contemporary art practices.  Schorr has lectured on her photography, and organized several group presentations.  (Read more about Schorr’s salons here: http://www.armoryart.org/ArtSalons )

Elle Schorr, "Water View"

Elle Schorr, “Water View”

My admiration for Schorr is the result of both her talent and her commitment to art in South Florida.  She’s the most in-the-know-about-art person I know here.  Not only does she organize the salons, but she supports all of the major art events and exhibits by other artists in the county at galleries and museums. If I want to know about interesting art events happening anywhere in between Palm Beach and Miami, I know that Schorr is the right person to ask.

Her commitment to art is complemented by the fact that she supports others.  She gives back to the artistic community and I admire that.  Her salons give many local artists the opportunity to showcase their talent and their expertise and that’s something that was really needed here in Palm Beach before she began.  So, she’s also helping to shape a supportive community for artists, and even art writers like myself.

And her work is excellent.  She’s an extremely talented photographer who sees the world in her own unique way and brings that vision to her viewer.  Her photographs look like collages, but they are not.  Rather, they are reflections of images in windows and those images are often full of interesting people and objects, color and composition.  In many ways, Schorr’s work reminds me of the photo-realist paintings that Richard Estes did in the 60s.   Yet, Schorr attributes her use of reflections to being spurred by an exhibit she saw of the work of Lee Friedlander, who also did many photos of reflections in his car’s rear-view window.

Schorr also references Walker Evans, Berenice Abbott and Diane Arbus as artists that have influenced her.  What makes her work so unique is her penchant for capturing a reflection at precisely the moment when there’s something very interesting happening.  Often, you’ll think she’s incorporated multiple images into the work when it’s really just one reflection that was caught at a moment when the light shone a certain way to creative multiple reflected images.  Schorr says that she’s fascinated by the interplay of light and shadows and watching, “…different things emerge and disappear.”

An artist is always showing the viewer their viewpoint, but when what is being shown is a reflection the work takes on multiple layers of intrigue and that’s what I find most captivating about Schorr’s imagery.  I find myself creating narratives in my mind about what I’m seeing reflected back at me and those narratives likely say more about me and my associations than they do about Schorr’s intention, and that’s another layer.

Elle Schorr, "Walk in the Park"

Elle Schorr, “Walk in the Park”

You can see more of Schorr’s work and learn more about her on her website: http://elleschorrphotography.com/presentations.php

Written by Jenifer Mangione Vogt

May 24, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Cheryl Maeder in Icons & Images

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Dreamscapes, Everglades I, 4/10, Photograph on Plexiglas, 30 x 45 inches in size | Permanent Collection of the Frost Museum of Art

Cheryl Maeder, Dreamscapes, Everglades I, 4/10, Photograph on Plexiglas, 30 x 45 inches in size.   Permanent Collection of the Frost Museum of Art

The exhibit “Icons & Images” opens tomorrow night, Saturday, May 18, at Curator’s Art Voice Projects during the monthly Wynwood Art Walk.  The show will feature work from Palm Beach-based artist Cheryl Maeder.

I’m a fan of Maeder’s work where she creates dream-like images, derived from underlying photographs that challenge the viewer’s subconscious response to familiar scenes by literally blurring the line between perception and reality.  She calls them “Dreamscapes” and that’s also the title of the series these works belong to.  It’s like she’s applied the principles of impressionistic painting to photography and the viewer is left with an impression, rather than a clear-cut image.  Yet, enough of the original image is discernible to make out figures at rest, at play and frolicking on the beach.

I derive a sense of joyfulness from Maeder’s work because in blurring reality she brings to the forefront what’s most beautiful about each image – the light, the color, the sense of motion and expression.  Before launching her artistic career, Maeder enjoyed a lucrative career as a fine art and advertising photographer.  Her work was actually the inspiration for the Dove Campaign onReal Women, Real Beauty that’s been seen all over the world.  You can learn more about Maeder and her work on her website at www.maederphotography.com.

Cheryl Maeder Dreamscapes

Cheryl Maeder, Dreamscapes, Sea & Sky V, 4/10, Photograph on Plexiglas, 30 x 45 inches in size

Two of the works form Maeders’ Dreamscapes series will be on view in Icons & Images.  These include, “Dreamscapes: Everglades I” and “Dreamscapes, Sea & Sky V.”   The exhibit is curated by Milagros Bello, Ph.D. and will also feature work from 16 other artists.  In her description of the show she writes, “Through the intertext of the visual images or through univocal frontal figures, the artists signal and echo societal issues: the critical feminine condition, the chaos of urban life, the money factor, death or war, the critical poverty condition in poor countries, lay underneath some of the works.

Curator’s Voice Art Projects is located at 299 NW 25th St., Miami, FL 33127.  You can get more information about “Icon & Images,” including the full schedule of events, at the website at www.curatorsvoice.com or by calling 786-357-0568.

Written by Jenifer Mangione Vogt

May 17, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Gaelin Rosenwaks at the Liman Gallery

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Gaelin Rosenwaks Liman Gallery Palm Beach

I caught a great show last week on my second visit to Palm Beach’s Liman Gallery.  This time it showcased work by a young artist named Gaelin Rosenwaks.  I was as equally impressed by this show as I was by the Emily Zuch show I’d seen there a few weeks prior.  I’m a bit surprised to find such cutting-edge art at a gallery in Palm Beach.  I expect to see work of this caliber and creativity in Miami, but not necessarily in SoFla’s sleepiest and most exclusive enclave.  Here, I guess, the stereotypical notions I hold in my mind make me think I’ll find pretty seascapes and pictures of Palm trees and hibiscus flowers, not a socio-commentary on the ills and ravages of over-fishing.

But that’s what I found at Rosenwaks exhibit, “Global Catch: Portraits of a Precious Resource.”  My friend Elle Schorr was with me.  She’s an accomplished and innovative fine art photographer.  So, I greatly value her opinion and as soon as we entered the small gallery space, she told me she was impressed.  What we saw in front of us, on all of the gallery walls, and hung salon-style cascading up towards the ceiling, were photographs of fish and fish markets.  This is how the Liman Gallery’s press release described Rosenwaks’ work:

“As a marine scientist focusing a majority of her academic career on fisheries, Gaelin Rosenwaks
personally witnessed the tremendous declines in fish populations and the devastation happening to
our oceans. Because of this, she set out to document the diversity of fish and how different cultures
approach their consumption of fish and other marine resources. The Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations reports that 47% of major fish stocks in the world are considered
fully exploited, 18% are considered over-exploited and 10% are considered depleted. In total 75% of
the world’s fish stocks are harvested either to their maximum or beyond, an alarming statistic as we
move into the future. However what Rosenwaks found in her quest to document this consumption is
that many of the largest consumers of seafood appreciate the resource in a way she could have never
imagined. The fish are treated as precious jewels, carefully handled and displayed in vivid colors.”

There was a lot to take in, but the photographs told a story and I felt compelled by that story, even though it’s one that I had no knowledge about, or even interest in, until I saw this exhibit.  After I stopped marveling at the photos, I began to marvel at the fact that Rosenwaks is a Duke-educated marine scientist.  So her art is an extension and expression of her work and studies.  It’s admirable that she found a way to use her creativity and intelligence to make a statement about something she clearly feels very passionate about.  She’s definitely an artist to watch.  She also has created a very interesting company.  Please visit Global Ocean Explorations to learn more about her and to watch videos and see more photos.

Ellen Liman Alexander Dreyfoos and Gaelin Rosenwaks

From left: Ellen Liman, Alexander Dreyfoos and Gaelin Rosenwaks.

 

Written by Jenifer Mangione Vogt

March 27, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Charmed by Palm Beach’s Liman Gallery

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Liman Gallery Bookstore Palm Beach

Liman Gallery Bookstore, Palm Beach

Last week, I trekked up to Palm Beach — and I mean way up beyond Worth Avenue to near where The Breakers is — to review a show of work by Emily Zuch at the Liman Gallery.  I’m so glad I did.  I really fell in love with this gallery, which occupies one large gallery space at the corner of the Paramount Building and another smaller exhibition space a few storefronts down.

In both of these spaces, Ellen Liman has created a charming venue for art that includes a nook area for out-of-print and rare art books, as well as ample exhibitions space that is teeming with art work from some very well-known artists, but everything is so jam-packed that if you don’t look closely and take your time, you’ll miss some real gems.

For example, what made this visit even more of a delight, Liman had a work by one of my favorite artists, who I also wrote my senior thesis about, Miriam Schapiro.  Schapiro emerged in significance during the 70s when she was recognized as part of a group of feminist artists that included Judy Chicago who helped elevate traditional female crafts, such as needlepoint and quilting, to “high art” status.

Liman has a great eye and is also very well-connected in the art world. She attends all the major fairs in the US and Europe and she’s bringing cutting edge and interesting contemporary art to Palm Beach.  Her gallery is not to be missed if you’re visiting or even if you live here and have never been.

Miriam Schapiro Geometry of Needlework 1979

“Geometry of Needlework,” 1979, Miriam Schapiro

I also enjoyed Zuch’s exhibit, “The Land of Fake Nature.”  Zuch, who is 27, created large-scale oil paintings done on sheets of paper that are colorful and imaginative, as well as smaller drawings that bring to mind the work of Edward Gorey.  You can read more about her in my review of the show for the Palm Beach ArtsPaper.

Emily Zuch Land of Fake Nature

Emily Zuch stands amidst her exhibit, “Land of Fake Nature” on view at Palm Beach’s Liman Gallery until March 16, 2013.

Interview with Ellen Roberts, Norton Museum of Art

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Ellen Roberts Norton Museum of Art

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Ellen Roberts, the new Harold and Anne Berkley Smith Curator of American Art at the Norton Museum of Art for the Palm Beach ArtsPaper (click to read the interview).  I think she’s terrific and I was impressed by her enthusiasm and knowledge.  When I met with her, she’d been at her post less than two weeks and she already knew the museum’s collection like she’d been there for years.  In the photo I took above (that unfortunately came out very dark) she stands between Edward Hopper’s August in the City (1945) and Charles Sheeler’s Shadow and Substance (1950).

Written by Jenifer Mangione Vogt

January 29, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Sylvia Plimack Mangold at the Norton Museum of Art

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sylvia plimack mangold

I’m finally writing again after more than a month of not feeling well.  The fog is slowly lifting as I sort through everything that got neglected and I’m still not quite 100 percent.  However, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see an exhibit from an artist that works in my favorite region of the world, the Hudson River Valley.  I was born there.  I lived on the Hudson River for 10 years.  My window faced the Tappan Zee Bridge.

I miss it every day.  Wait, let me say that again.  I miss it every single day.

So, I was not going to miss seeing Sylvia Plimack Mangold: Landscape and Trees, which opened at the Norton Museum of Art this past weekend.  I attended the preview on Thursday with curator Cheryl Brutvan and on Sunday I attended a public event with Cheryl and Sylvia.

I got teary eyed while looking at Plimack Mangold’s paintings of the Maple, Elm, Locust and Pin Oak trees that surround her studio in Washingtonville, NY, also the hometown to NY’s oldest winery, Brotherhood.  It also happens to lie in between Goshen and Middletown, areas I drove to often as a kid with my parents when we’d pick up and return my beloved, and now departed stepbrother Greg. So, this is a place that really has a special place in my heart.  Plus, it’s less than 50 miles south of the Catskills where Thomas Cole worked.

I liked the exhibit very much.  I’m a tad more emotional in my approach to the subliminal beauty of the region, however, than Plimack Mangold, who emerges from the Minimalist tradition.  But no matter how analytical and heady one may be, it’s hard not to capture the essence of what makes the Hudson Valley so beautiful when you’re painting its landscapes and trees.

I submitted my review to the Palm Beach ArtsPaper yesterday, but I only had 800 words, which was a challenge because Brutvan provided many references and information in the exhibit’s accompanying catalog.  And, despite the subject matter, Plimack Mangold’s work is complex and requires both context and explanation to really fully “get” it.

Up next: I’m now reading through books given to me by Andrew Stevovich, one of my favorite American painters and my next subject, and then want to contact an Italian photographer named Mauro D’Agati….

Italian Modern and Contemporary Art – Tuesday, September 4, 2012, Armory Arts Center in West Palm Beach

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Maurizio Cattelan All

Maurizio Cattelan’s “All” retrospective concluded at the Guggenheim in January 2012.

Please join us!

The Influence of Italian Post-War and Contemporary Art
 
When people hear “Italian art” generally their minds conjure up images by Michelangelo or Da Vinci. There’s no doubting the impact of the Renaissance, but that period often overshadows what came afterwards and Italy never stopped producing great art. In this presentation and discussion, Wendy Blazier, former senior curator of the Boca Raton Museum of Art, and art critic Jenifer Mangione Vogt will survey the landscape of significant post-war and contemporary Italian artists and their enduring impact on the global art world.   They will focus primarily on recent major exhibits in New York and South Florida featuring works by artists Sandro Chia, Valerio Adami, Maurizio Cattelan and Alighiero Boetti.
Armory Arts Center

New Work from Sibel Kocobasi

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ImageI just got this wonderful new drawing by Turkish artist Sibel Kocabasi.  I’ve been following her career since I met her here in South Florida a few years ago when she curated a pop-up show for a group of contemporary artists who mostly work and teach in Palm Beach.

Sibel’s work, for many reasons, is riveting to me.  I just did a studio visit and was mesmerized by some new, very large paintings in her home.  The work she does is varied, but she does have a unique style.  What I find most absorbing is the depth that her work conveys.  There’s one painting in particular that has these beautiful layers of color, almost like Peacock plumes. I told her, “I’m either going to make you a wonderful offer on this work someday, or I’m going to get you a great price from someone.”  She just smiled.

Sibel has that beautiful depth and sensitivity that so many great artists have.  This past year, she curated this very thoughtful show at the home of contemporary art collectors Elayne and Dr. Marvin Mordes.  I wasn’t able to attend, but read about it in the papers.  She gathered a group of artists to work around the theme “Outside the Box,” a clever play on the fact that the exhibit was held outside the gallery “box” of the public exhibit space the Mordes have in their West Palm Beach home.

The drawing here is exquisite. It’s nuanced and layered with such intricate detail that it makes me think she must have the patience of a saint.  Though it’s abstract, when I look at it I begin to see all these wonderful shapes and images, so it’s becoming like a Rorschach test of the days’ mood.

I’ll post more of Sibel’s work soon.

Written by Jenifer Mangione Vogt

August 24, 2012 at 2:07 am

Edward Gorey’s Grimly Amusing Art

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Edward Gorey Elegant Enigmas Norton Museum of Art West Palm Beach Jenifer Mangione Vogt

“B is for Basil assaulted by Bears from The Gashlycrumb Tinies; or, After the Outing,” 1963, by Edward Gorey Pen and Ink, 2 7/8 x 4 in., ©2010 The Edward Gorey Charitable Trust

Poor Basil.  Clearly he’s doomed.

I’ve been enchanted with Edward Gorey’s black and white illustrations since I first saw them gracing the opening and closing credits of the PBS Mystery! series, but clearly never looked too closely because when I did, recently, at Elegant Enigmas: the Art of Edward Gorey, I realized I’d missed a lot.  I’d missed the grim and humorous nuances that makes his work so enchanting.  I wrote about these observations in my review of the exhibit for The Palm Beach ArtsPaper.

Gorey appeals to me because he was a quirky original who loved cats and frequently attended NYC ballet performances in a full-length fur coat then, according to the Paris Review, left his estate to animal welfare organizations because he felt guilty.  Responding evasively to inquiries about his sexual preference, he’d say, “I’m not sure if I’m gay.”  I relate to his ambiguity, but I think I most admire his insistence on remaining true to himself.

At the time of his death in 2000, Gorey had become a global brand with a cult-like following.

“Other” Koch’s “Real West” Engulfs Palm Beach Museum

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This post has now been referenced in The New York Daily News, The Huffington Post, The Denver Post, Yahoo News and the photos used in Bloomberg’s Businessweek.  If you are an editor or photo editor, please contact me for permission to use any or all of this article by leaving a comment below.  Your comment will not appear on the page and I will respond to you via email.

William-Koch-Recapturing the West-Society of the Four Arts Palm Beach

William Koch stands in front of an authentic Western saloon, which has been installed in a gallery at The Society of the Four Arts as part of the exhibition “Recapturing the Real West: Collections of William I. Koch”

Every nook and cranny of Palm Beach’s Society of the Four Arts is bursting with over 500 paintings, photos, artifacts and antiquities for “Recapturing the West: The Collection of William I. Koch.”

Recapturing the West William Koch The Society of the Four Arts Palm Beach

“Recapturing the West: Collections of William I. Koch” at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach.  This painting is “Mountain Lake” by Albert Bierstadt. Photo: Jenifer Mangione Vogt

Items are hung Salon-style, cascading down the walls.

Recapturing the West William Koch The Society of the Four Arts Palm Beach

William Koch at “Recapturing the West: Collections of William I. Koch” at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach. Photo: Jenifer Mangione Vogt

There are even garments hanging from the ceiling.

Recapturing the West Society of the Four Arts Palm Beach William Koch

Items are hung from the ceilings for “Recapturing the West: Collections of William I. Koch” at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach. Photo: Jenifer Mangione Vogt

Outside, the front lawn is littered with wagons.

Wagons-Four-Arts-Palm-Beach-Recapturing-the-West-Koch

Wagons on the lawn outside Palm Beach’s The Society of the Four Arts as part of “Recapturing the West: Collections of William I. Koch” Photo: Jenifer Mangione Vogt

“Unfortunately,” the billionaire collector noted during a preview on Friday, “the poor Four Arts just doesn’t have enough space.”  This he remarked while standing in the midst of his hurriedly scurrying, large curatorial and handler staff, four Palm Beach police officers and a private security firm equipped with state-of-the-art surveillance rivaling the Secret Service.  All were readying for Saturday’s opening.

Recapturing the West William Koch The Society of the Four Arts Palm Beach

William Koch at “Recapturing the West: Collections of William I. Koch” at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach. Photo: Jenifer Mangione Vogt

Koch has been referred to as the “other” Koch because he’s often upstaged by his twin, David, also a billionaire art collector, who, along with their older brother Charles, runs Koch Industries. (Earlier this week The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that David Koch is funding the renovation and restoration of the fountain area in front of the museum on Fifth Avenue.) But in 1983 he escaped their shadows, sold them his share of the business, which they all inherited from their father, for a reported $470 million, and started his own Fortune 500 company, Oxbow Group. His current net worth is estimated at $3.5 billion.

Recapturing the West William Koch The Society of the Four Arts Palm Beach

William Koch at “Recapturing the West: Collections of William I. Koch” at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach. Photo: Jenifer Mangione Vogt

The brothers had a long-standing legal feud as a result of the sale that lasted until 2001, when they settled. Now, Bill acknowledges David as his best friend.  Yet, while David and Charles are highly involved in conservative politics,  Bill prefers the less incendiary pursuit of collecting — mostly art and wine — voraciously.  Koch likes to amass things.

Recapturing the West William Koch The Society of the Four Arts Palm Beach

William Koch at “Recapturing the West: Collections of William I. Koch” at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach. Photo: Jenifer Mangione Vogt

“My wife thinks I should be on hoarders,” he joked, referring to his third wife, Bridget Rooney Koch, granddaughter of Pittsburgh Steelers founder Art Rooney.

Recapturing the West William Koch The Society of the Four Arts Palm Beach

William Koch at “Recapturing the West: Collections of William I. Koch” at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach. Photo: Jenifer Mangione Vogt

Inspired by his father’s legacy, he began collecting Western Art thirty years ago. He tears up, and momentarily pauses, as he shares his fond memories of working on his father’s ranch, outside of Wichita, Kansas, where he often performed grueling, physical labor. “It wasn’t a dude ranch,” he explained. Koch became enamored with the cowboy lifestyle and discovered he had more of an affinity with the working man than his country club peers.

There are items within “Recapturing the Real West” that have unrivaled historical significance, such as the only known photograph of Billy the Kid, which Koch nabbed at auction last year for $2.3million.

Billy the Kid Recapturing the West Willliam Koch The Society of the Four Arts Palm Beach

The only known photograph of the legendary Billy the Kid, which was purchased at auction last year by William Koch for $2.3 million. It is part of the exhibit “Recapturing the West: Collections of William I. Koch” at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach. Photo: Jenifer Mangione Vogt

There are the over 150 guns from historic outlaws and lawmen, including ones that belonged to General Custer and Sitting Bull.

Recapturing the West William Koch The Society of the Four Arts Palm Beach

William Koch stands in front of a display case containing artifacts that belonged to Sitting Bull, including the gun he used, as part of “Recapturing the West: Collections of William I. Koch” at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach. Photo: Jenifer Mangione Vogt

There are Charles Marion Russell paintings, Frederic Remington bronzes, antique cowboy hats, saddles, bowie knives, Jesse James’s gun, Jesse James’s killer’s gun, women’s apparel, Native American Indian artifacts, branding irons and a restored U.S. Mail stagecoach.

Recapturing the West William Koch The Society of the Four Arts Palm Beach

William Koch stands in front of an authentic, restored U.S. Mail stagecoach that is part of “Recapturing the West: Collections of William I. Koch” at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach. Photo: Jenifer Mangione Vogt

There’s Wyatt Earp’s vest and his star, which reads, “Constable.”

Wyatt Earp Recapturing the West William Koch The Society of the Four Arts Palm Beach

Gears and guns belonging to Wyatt Earp, including the star badge he wore, which reads, “Constable” on display as part of “Recapturing the West: Collections of William I. Koch” at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach. Photo: Jenifer Mangione Vogt

There are photographs of Jeremiah Johnson, Annie Oakley and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Jeremiah Johnson Recapturing the West William Koch The Society of the Four Arts Palm Beach

A photo of the real Jeremiah Johnson (who didn’t look at all like Robert Redford) is part of “Recapturing the West: Collections of William I. Koch” at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach. Photo: Jenifer Mangione Vogt

There’s Custer’s guide-on, made by his wife, which is thought to be the flag flown at Little Big Horn.

Custers Stand Alone Flag Little Big Horn Recapturing the West William Koch The Society of the Four Arts Palm Beach

William Koch stands in front of General Custer’s Stand-Alone, the flag thought to be the one flown at Little Big Horn, which is included in “Recapturing the West: Collections of William I. Koch” at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach. Photo: Jenifer Mangione Vogt

The exhibit is organized into groupings, each creates an environment.  One nook contains a general store.

General Store Recapturing the West William Koch The Society of the Four Arts Palm Beach

A recreation of a general store, with authentic artificats is part of “Recapturing the West: Collections of William I. Koch” at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach. Photo: Jenifer Mangione Vogt

An entire gallery houses a Western saloon, equipped with a fully restored, authentic bar, which you enter through the original swinging wooden doors.

Saloon Recapturing the West William Koch The Society of the Four Arts Palm Beach

William Koch in the Saloon at “Recapturing the West: Collections of William I. Koch” at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach. Photo: Jenifer Mangione Vogt

In the corner, there’s a brothel containing erotic images, aids and corsets.

Brothel Recapturing the West William Koch The Society of the Four Arts Palm Beach

The recreation of a Brothel at “Recapturing the West: Collections of William I. Koch” at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach. Photo: Jenifer Mangione Vogt

Koch quipped, “My wife hates this stuff.”

Brothel Recapturing the West William Koch The Society of the Four Arts Palm Beach

The Brothel at at “Recapturing the West: Collections of William I. Koch” at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach. Photo: Jenifer Mangione Vogt

Throughout his guided tour, Koch, who has a Ph.D. in engineering from M.I.T., demonstrated vast historical knowledge. At one point, Elizabeth Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwich Gallery, remarked, “I’m from Independence, Kansas — home of the Jesse James Gang.”

Koch replied, “No, that’s the Dalton Gang and I have Bob Dalton’s gun.”

Broun later said, “I am blown away. We have a wonderful collection, but this puts it to shame.”

Recapturing the West William Koch The Society of the Four Arts Palm Beach

William Koch at “Recapturing the West: Collections of William I. Koch” at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach. Photo: Jenifer Mangione Vogt

Where will the Koch collection go when the exhibit ends in mid-April? “I shouldn’t tell you this, but I am building my own Western town in Colorado,” said Koch. He then explained that the town will only be for family, friends and historians because, at his age, he doesn’t want to deal with the legal and accessibility hassles of opening a public institution.

He remarked, “I want to have a compound for my kids, and structured in such a way that they get along and not fight the way that I did with my brothers.”

Recapturing the West William Koch The Society of the Four Arts Palm Beach

The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach. Photo: Jenifer Mangione Vogt