In South Africa, a New Hotel With an Antique Feel
Cape Town, in the shadow of Table Mountain on the South African coast, has become one of the most buzzed about travel destinations in Africa in recent years. But while the city’s food and wine scenes continue to flourish, its hotel options have remained limited. The opening of Dorp, a new hotel in the historic Bo-Kaap neighborhood in the city center, known for its colorful Cape Dutch and Georgian style houses, is set to change that. Conceived by the hotelier and clothing designer Gail Behr, who opened the plush old-world Grand Hotel in the South African seaside town of Plettenberg Bay in 2004, the intimate 30-room property is more of a club than a traditional hotel. “It’s old-fashioned without being cloyingly personal and intrusive,” Behr says. Constructed from scratch with the help of the local designer Gregory Mellor, the building was devised to fit antique wooden doors, windows and slatted shutters that the team sourced from as far as India and Egypt. The interior — filled with oversize printed couches, antique cabinets, old books, wood-burning fireplaces and claw-foot bathtubs — was decorated by Behr herself. “I was determined not to take the design too seriously,” she says. “The surrounding mountains cannot be competed with!” Indeed, located on the gently sloping base of Signal Hill, Dorp has astonishing views of Table Mountain and the city’s twinkling lights. One of the best places to enjoy the vista is the hotel’s rambling garden, created by the Cape Town-based landscape designer Leon Kluge and planted with ancient mission olive trees, gnarled guava trees and purple poppies. “The garden is the prettiest place on earth, with millions of butterflies, dwarf Cape chameleons, birds and bees,” Behr says. A light-filled cafe on the ground floor serves unfussy dishes like homemade scones, grilled cheese sandwiches and slow-roasted local lamb. But perhaps Behr’s favorite space is the salon, a great homey living room brimming with couches covered in pink velvet and a playful dinosaur-printed toile by the British interiors brand House of Hackney, where she encourages guests to mingle. Already, she says, it is “filled with interesting people collaborating — and playing a poker game at the same time.” dorp.co.za — MARY HOLLAND
At One Exhibition, 180 Years of Photography
In 1979, Fraenkel Gallery opened in San Francisco with an exhibition of Carleton E. Watkins’s series “Photographs of the Pacific Coast 1873.” The stunning mammoth-plate prints nodded to the recent past while embracing a medium that came into its own in the 20th century and anticipated its own future ubiquity. Since then, through one location change prompted by an earthquake — in 1991, in the aftermath of the Loma Prieto disaster, the gallery moved a block away to its current space at 49 Geary Street — Fraenkel’s exhibitions have often explored the work of photographers in relation to other modes of art: the paintings of Ad Reinhardt and Agnes Martin in conjunction with the photographs of Paul Strand and Edward Weston, for instance, or shows that incorporated works by John Cage, Edward Hopper and Vija Celmins.
For its 40th anniversary, though, Fraenkel reconsiders photography on its own terms. Opening on Oct. 24, the exhibition “Long Story Short,” curated by the gallerists Jeffrey Fraenkel and Frish Brandt, is a fascinating survey that highlights the medium’s capacity to compress and explicate the vast and peculiar human experience. Together with a catalog of the same name, it represents “180 years of picture making, 40 years of a gallery, two minutes in time,” as Fraenkel and Brandt write in the book’s introduction. Included in the tightly edited selection of 60 images are works by some of Fraenkel’s core artists, representing a flash history of photography: There are moments from Eadweard Muybridge’s motion studies, Diane Arbus’s street encounters, Robert Adams’s lonesome nights, Ralph Eugene Meatyard’s gothic masks, Nan Goldin at a Jersey drive-in, Alec Soth in a back room somewhere along the Mississippi. An anonymously made photograph of a massive balloon in the shape of a dinosaur, held aloft by 20 some people processing through a field, is an emblem for the evolution of the medium, and the inherently odd enterprise of creating pictures of ourselves. Like the dog gazing back at the photographer Peter Hujar on a Provincetown street in another work, it’s a surprise, an affirmation in an image-conscious and saturated world, of the possibility of seeing afresh. “Long story short” is on view at Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco from Oct. 24 to Jan. 18 with an opening reception on Oct. 26. An accompanying catalog of the same title is available from artbook.com. — REBECCA BENGAL
Bespoke Rings Shaped Like Treasured Pets
Larkspur & Hawk, the Manhattan jeweler known for its colorful foil-backed necklaces and drop earrings, has introduced the option to create bespoke rings honoring your favorite animals. The idea was born out of a design that the founder Emily Satloff made for herself — a smooth persimmon-colored cabochon tourmaline encircled in diamonds and flanked by two tiny 18-karat gold sculptures of her cats, Clementine and Mojo — inspired by animal-themed Renaissance jewelry and Georgian cluster rings. After lots of compliments, she decided to take the idea public. To start, you’ll submit an image of one or two pets (or spirit animals) that will appear on both shoulders of the setting from which a hand-drawn sketch is made. From there, one can choose from an array of natural tourmalines which come in a spectrum of colors from stormy sea green to grapefruit pink, around which rose-cut diamonds are encircled in either an oval or cushion cut. In six to eight weeks, the ring will arrive in a monogrammed velvet box, along with Satloff’s original sketch of your adored hound, horse or hare. From $6,000, larkspurandhawk.com — ALEXA BRAZILIAN
In Maine, a Restaurant Pays Tribute to a Beloved Ceramist
Perhaps no decorative touch feels as of the moment as handmade ceramics, but the new gallery, restaurant and event space Betty Forever takes this idea one step further. The community-oriented hangout, which will open this month in Camden, Maine, is named for the artist Betty Woodman, who was known for her vibrantly colorful ceramic vessels, and aims to channel her distinct aesthetic. The project is the brainchild of Molly O’Rourke, who worked at the pioneering farm-to-table Brooklyn restaurant Diner in its early years and now specializes in floral design, and Ariela Nomi Kuh, a ceramist who has made wares for the popular Portland restaurants Drifter’s Wife and Flood’s. “She’s very much feminine and her pottery is fearless,” Kuh says of Woodman. “Betty, not even the artist, but in the abstract, is in all of us. She’s in the menu and design, the conversations I can imagine having in this place.”
The multipurpose space occupies a converted gas station and the area that is now the dining room — complete with coral painted concrete floors and a long pale-wood bar — was once filled with car lifts. Friends and locals helped with the construction (often in exchange for babysitting) and in keeping with that D.I.Y. ethos, a painting by the duo’s friend Meghan Brady, of a vase in sunset hues, will hang proudly out front instead of a sign bearing the business’s name. Guests will enter through a store stocked with Kuh’s ceramics and food will also be served on her pieces. The menu of simple but nourishing meals will be overseen by O’Rourke’s cousin, Matt O’Rourke, who for the past three years has been working at the seafood restaurant Sammy’s Deluxe in nearby Rockland. Expect dishes like thinly sliced local eggplants cooked in Parmesan, silky panna cotta with tart plums and focaccia topped with whatever produce is in season.
Camden, which has a population of less than 5,000, comes alive during the summer months when tourists flock to the harbor. But O’Rourke, a Maine native, and Kuh, who moved to the Camden area seven years ago, hope to create a space for residents in the town’s quieter months. The menus will change according to the needs of the community and for now Betty Forever will be open only on Sundays and Mondays, when most other businesses are closed. “We’ve gotten some cute stories already,” Kuh says. “Locals have memories of coming here when it was a gas station and having crushes on people who worked there.” 46 Elm Street, Camden, Maine. — EMMA ORLOW
An Ode to the Elegant Dressers of India
“A lot of life happens outside in India, and it’s so crowded that a lot of people feel unseen,” says the American fashion photographer Scott Schuman, who founded his street style site The Sartorialist in 2005. Best known for shooting on the streets of New York, London, Milan and Paris, Schuman traveled farther afield for his fourth book, “India” (Taschen). Released last month in Europe, and out next month in the United States, the 300-page coffee table tome juxtaposes candid portrait photography with scenic images to document the country’s vibrant landscape. The 200 images feature a wide array of subjects: a teenager wearing a striking red-checked shirt and selling bottles of water at the roadside; a woman in a violet patterned sari standing in the waters of the Bay of Bengal; a young race-ready jockey in Chennai. Ten years in the making, the book was shot over 14 separate trips; Schuman flew into Mumbai or Delhi and stayed for two weeks each time, enlisting a guide and driver to help him navigate. “Each day we would pick out a different place on the map,” he says. Setting off at 4 a.m., Schuman visited regions from Goa in the west to Odisha in the north. “A lot of the shots are from me looking out of the window and saying, ‘Stop the car,’” Schuman explains. “I’ve always wanted The Sartorialist to be a mix of something more cultural with something fashion.” He deliberately didn’t include any personal information about the people pictured in the book’s pages. “It’s about the mystery of who that person is,” he says. “I like to let the reader create their own story. I wanted to capture the India not seen in books — a modern India with this cross section of life. I hope it makes them curious to visit.” $70, taschen.com. — GRACE COOK
A Photographer’s Eclectic Selections From the Morgan Library
The photographer Duane Michals, 87, might be having too good of a time. “It’s such a nasty world, it really seems criminal I should be having so much fun,” he says of his life in recent years. But humor and theatrics have long been central to his work. One of the most innovative photographers of the 20th century, Michals is known for his theatric photographic series (for example, “Empty New York,” which depicts vacant city spaces as stage sets of sorts) and incorporating words into his photography (as in his poignant 1975 text-framed family portrait “A Letter from My Father”). “Photographers always say a photograph’s worth a thousand words, except for me,” Michals says. “I never got the memo.”
Part of Michals’s fun, of late, has been helping to curate a show at the Morgan Library, “Illusions of the Photographer: Duane Michals at the Morgan.” It will be both a retrospective of his six-decades-long career and an exhibition of works from the Morgan’s collection that Michals has selected himself. Browsing the vast collection for the show, he says, “was like Alice in Wonderland, it was like Christmas morning.” Among his picks are a drawing by William Blake, dated to roughly 1805, which depicts a biblical scene of Satan smiting Job with boils; a 1987 drawing for a comic strip by the American illustrator Richard McGuire; an 1857 edition of “The Fables of Aesop and Others”; and a 1965 Saul Steinberg drawing of a cat and a wheel. These eclectic selections will sit alongside Michals’s own images from over the years, organized by themes that have animated his work, ranging from “Playtime” to “Death.” The show promises to be a smorgasbord of photographs, books and even objects (including a 19th-century gentlemen’s pocket watch from the Morgan’s collection), guided by the tastes and concerns of a versatile, playful artist. “In this show, you’re going to see Duane in full,” he says. “Illusions of the Photographer: Duane Michals at the Morgan” is on view from Oct. 25 through Feb. 2 at the Morgan Library, 225 Madison Avenue, New York, themorgan.org. — SOPHIE HAIGNEY
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