The Four Seasons restaurant, located in Manhattan’s Seagram Building at 99 East 52nd Street, opened in 1959. A large curtain designed by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) for the Ballets Russes ballet Le Tricorne (1919) hung between the Pool Room and the Grill Room since the restaurant opened, but a controversy started in 2014 when it was learned that the curtain would be taken down to repair the wall. Some New Yorkers felt that the curtain was too fragile to be moved.
The hallway between the two dining rooms has been called “Picasso Alley” since at least 1973.
Wikipedia: The Four Seasons Restaurant
The Four Seasons is a New American cuisine restaurant in New York City located at 99 East 52nd Street, in the Seagram Building in Midtown Manhattan.
Opened in 1959, the Four Seasons is associated with a number of milestone firsts in the hospitality industry. The Four Seasons is credited with introducing the idea of seasonally-changing menus to America. It was the first destination restaurant to print its menus in English. The Four Seasons was also the first restaurant in the US to cook using fresh, wild mushrooms rather than the dried offerings that were more common in the 1950s.
The restaurant’s interior, which was designed by the building’s architects Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson, has remained almost unchanged since construction in 1959. The restaurant was designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission as an interior landmark in 1989.
Art in the Four Seasons
The large curtain designed by Pablo Picasso for the Ballets Russes ballet Le Tricorne (1919) has been hung between the Grill Room and the Pool Room since the restaurant opened. The curtain is a portion of a Picasso tapestry used as a prop for the ballet that was purchased in 1957 by Phyllis Lambert, the daughter of the founder of Seagram, and installed in the entryway to the restaurant for its opening in 1959. In 2014, the curtain is reported to be in danger of being removed permanently from that location, and possibly in danger of extensive damage in the process. Controversy over the plans to remove the curtain exist and the Museum of Modern Art has offered storage space for it if the outcome is removal.
Travel & Leisure
The great canvas by Picasso adorns the hallway — called “Picasso Alley"— leading to the formal dining room.
The New Yorker,
Volume 72, Issues 14-21
You can lunch here among the stolid, double- breasted power brokers or continue on to the Pool Room, which requires a stroll through Picasso Alley, named for its massive theatre curtain, originally designed by the artist in 1920 for Diaghilev’s “Le Tricorne.”
@nytimes hits the Tempest in Picasso Alley http://townand.co/6010gfzs But only @TandC seems to be listening to Aby
11:30 AM - 31 Mar 2014
Fate of New York restaurant’s fragile Picasso heads to court
BY JONATHAN ALLEN
NEW YORK Wed Apr 2, 2014 2:32pm IST
(Reuters) - The question of whether a fragile Picasso painting in New York City’s Four Seasons restaurant will crumble if taken down to allow repairs to the wall it hangs on will go to a state court judge on Wednesday.
The dispute between the restaurant’s landlord and the painting’s owner takes place in a grand setting: The Seagram Building, the influential masterpiece of International Style corporate architecture designed by Mies van der Rohe.
Aby Rosen, the real estate developer who has owned the Seagram Building since 2000, wants the Picasso taken down from its prominent mount amid the rich and powerful who dine at the Four Seasons on the skyscraper’s ground floor.
The 19-foot-high (5.8-meter-high) unframed painted theater curtain depicting figures overlooking a bullring has hung in the hallway between two dining rooms since the restaurant’s 1959 opening, earning the hallway the nickname “Picasso Alley.”
New York City • Restaurants/Bars/Bakeries/Food Stores • Friday, April 04, 2014 • Permalink