6817 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038
6817 Melrose is very pleased to present an exhibition of recent and new works by The Bruce High Quality Foundation.
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Divorce was inevitable. But her smile was perfect in the wedding pictures. Same went for the strapless dress, his two-button tailored blazer, the immaculate reception - equal parts elegant and hip as both her coworkers and his college friends would attest - and the proper Catholic ceremony - for which the couple had promised their hearts to Jesus and her uterus to children as required.
There would be no children. The rice hit the pavement. Her plane took off for Rome, London, New York - wherever the job required. He'd bought a house and a dining table she hated. Her small dog and his smaller dog did not get along. When she was in town, he would drive her to her office on his way to his and try to be cute in the bedroom and they'd attend social functions together functionally, appearing smiling in the pictures as required.
She met New York. He met his intern. Papers were signed, notarized and filed accordingly. She took stock of the furniture, the plants, the books, the linens, the taxidermy, the electric mixer still in its box, the white plates and steel spoons - and divided accordingly. Her dog moved in with her parents, and the smaller stayed with him looking on seemingly pleased with the arrangement as carpets were rolled and loaded onto a truck between medium-sized cardboard boxes neatly labeled according to region, culture, and era. Papers were signed and filed accordingly, and the shipment set off for New York.
The first shipment arrived in 1870, a Roman sarcophagus from Tarsus, accession number 1. A landmark acquisition for the city of New York, for any American city, it was placed at the entrance of the museum and used to collect donations toward the expansion of the collection. Other major acquisitions followed. Donations from J.P. Morgan, the banker, and Jacob S. Rogers, the locomotive manufacturer, a crystal bowl from her great aunt, a pair of monogrammed bathrobes from his college roommate, a college fund for their non-existent children, would lead to the establishment of an independent department of Classical Art in 1909.
As moving men carried the last of the boxes up the four flights to her new apartment, she was already unpacking the ones marked 'kitchen.' The mixer survived the move, and she opened it for the first time. As she peeled away the plastic packaging she caught her reflection in its stainless steel body, her smile revealing classical art in all of its complexity and resonance. Ranging from small, engraved gemstones to black-figure and red-figure painted vases to over-lifesize statues reflecting virtually all of the materials in which ancient artists and craftsmen worked: marble, limestone, terracotta, bronze, gold, silver, and glass, as well as such rarer substances as ivory and bone, iron, lead, amber, and wood.
She pressed a finger on its body, leaving a print where her face had been.
As the sun set, he sat on the floor of the house amidst the aftermath of marriage. She'd left half the record collection. Half empty bookshelves. The dining table. The smaller dog. She'd left half the liquor. He poured whiskey into a jam jar, opened his laptop, and started, half-heartedly, to search for furniture on eBay.
Within a week items started arriving from various regions, cultures, and eras. It began with necessities. Flatware. An overstuffed sofa. A large flat screen television. Soon enough his purchases became palliative. A box set of Dylan records in good to acceptable condition. Replacement books: The Collected Wallace Stevens, the novels of Norman Mailer, Barthe's "A Lover's Discourse."
The acquisition of a pool table marked a significant turn in the development of the breadth of the collection. Now among thepainted Greek vases, Greek grave reliefs, Cypriot sculpture, marble and bronze Roman portrait busts, and wall paintings from two villas on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, was a naive yet palpable yearning for communion. The shoeboxes of baseball cards. The two-player video games. There was always beer in the refrigerator when friends came over after work. A new stereo system and a maximalist array of minimalist technology.
The intern made her mark with a closet full of clothes and an open disdain for his friends and acquisitions. The friends stopped coming. The acquisitions and disdain did not. They endured it for a time with television and take-out. Containers piled to either side of the overstuffed couch. Beer bottles. Empty pints of ice cream.
She completed her internship. He set about organizing the collection. The first phase was achieved in June 1996 with the opening of The Robert and Renée Belfer Court for prehistoric and early Greek art. The second phase, seven galleries for Greek art of the archaic and classical periods (6th through 14th century B.C.), opened in April 1999. With objects arranged in a new contextual display combining works of different media, the new Greek galleries present such themes as religion, funerary customs, civic life, and athletics, in magnificent Beaux-Arts spaces created for the collection between 1912 and 1917 by the architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White. The grand, barrel-vaulted gallery in the center of the installation-now known as the Mary and Michael Jaharis Gallery-is one of New York City's great interior spaces, flooded with natural light and ideal for exhibiting large-scale marble sculpture, bronzes, and vases, the perfect setting to host the city's most important charity galas, social functions, and picture perfect wedding receptions.
She left the brochure on the kitchen counter by the mixer. New York got the hint. The ceremony was in January and they bought a house together soon after. With more than 5,300 objects on view in an area of more than 30,000 square feet, the focal point is the Leon Levy and Shelby White Court-a monumental, skylit peristyle for the display of Hellenistic and Roman art with a soaring two-story atrium, all new HVAC, eat-in kitchen, and five large sunlit bedrooms for your growing family.