The New-York Historical Society’s summer-long Swing Time exhibition has stirred up such excitement that even Caffè Storico, Stephen Starr’s Italian restaurant within the museum, has taken part in the hype. Caffè Storico, inspired by the exhibit, concocted a refreshing cocktail, known as the Juniper Julep. The exhibit (and the drink) are only available until September 1st, so catch it before it closes.
Fully titled, Swing Time: Reginald Marsh and Thirties New York, the exhibition features around sixty paintings, drawings and prints by artist Reginald Marsh and a selection of artworks by his contemporaries. With the coming of the Great Depression, Parisian-born Marsh found his major subject interest in the gaudy glamour of lower and middle class New Yorkers. Many would have been living under great social and economic duress during this period. Nonetheless Marsh’s artistry really records them through the vitality and energetic pulse of New York City. For him, the buzz of street life is what made the city so exhilarating.
By displaying Marsh’s work juxtaposed against other artists of his era, Swing Time really addresses Marsh’s work in the context of 1930s social realist painting. Giving an insight into urban New York life in the 1930s, this display will be the first major retrospective of Marsh’s work in over twenty years.
Marsh traveled frequently to Coney Island, fascinated by the festive and raucous atmosphere there. He photographed and sketched the beachgoers who seemed to defy the hardships and restraint of 1930s New York. With their boldness of spirit, such characters represented relief from the inanity and homogeneity of modern life. In Marsh’s eyes, their vivacity and love for life made New York City so unique and captivating.
Caffè Storico’s Juniper Julep is a take on two popular drinks of the era. Combining the gin, lemon and honey from the Bee’s Knees and mint from the classic Julep, it is a refreshing mix of Brooklyn Gin, B&B (a liquor made from Brandy and Benedictine), lemony juice and honey syrup. The cocktail is only available for the running of Swing Time…so why not reward yourself after taking in the vibrant displays of Marsh’s artwork!