Several days ago I attended an Alumni cocktail reception for my university at the Society of Illustrators on East 63rd St. I had never visited the museum before, but before I get into that let me first talk about the food at the reception.
As anyone who knows me knows, I love my food and was extremely concerned about what would be served. At events like these I tend to befriend one of the waiters in order to get first dibs on one of the newly arriving trays of appetizers. My favorite thing served at this event was a small ball of goat cheese wrapped in a sliver of zucchini, though the miniature crab cakes were a close second. I can never turn those down. The caprese kebobs were good, but rather messy. You had to find someone to hold your glass of wine in order to devote your full attention ( and both hands) to eating them. I also sampled a salmon salad served in endive leaves, which was merely decent.
Now on to the Society. 109 years old, it was founded to promote and maintain the art of illustration. It has a rather clubby atmosphere with a bar on the second floor and the facilities to host dinners, but this contrasts really nicely with their free admission and manageable size. They host a variety events including a sketch and jazz night which I plan on attending at least once. The building itself is a carriage house from 1875, belonging to J.P.Morgan’s lawyer. The small entryway contains the staircase and the gift shop to your left. The current exhibition is on both the 1st and lower level, Illustrators 52: Book and Editorial. I was blown away by the quality of illustration and actually recognized several from the published editions, for example the covers to Julie Powell’s book Cleaving ( illustrator: Chris Silas Neal) and Sense and Sensibility and Seamonsters ( illustrator: Lars Leetaro).
My favorite works from the night belonged to Hiromichi Ito, he had several distributed throughout the exhibit. I loved the color palette and the simplicity of shapes. To get a better look at his work, go to http://www.hiromichiito.com/hello/index.html
I was really thrilled about this alumni event. I thought overall it was a beautiful exhibit and wonderful environment for an event like this. I can’t wait to return to the Society and really be able to devote my attention to it. The only downside to the event? I graduated in May, so almost all of the attendees were from previous classes. I only ran into one fellow classmate, but I can’t complain about that. I hadn’t seen her in months and we were able to catch up and discover that we’re both hoping to attend grad school for museum studies!