Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Watercolors, photographs, rare books open at the National Gallery of Art

Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr., curator, Northern Baroque paintings, National Gallery of Art, discusses Sir Peter Paul Ruben's Pan Reclining (possibly 1610) in the Print Study Room, East Building, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C./photo by Patricia Leslie

Guests are welcome to visit the Print Study Rooms at the National Gallery of Art to view and study rare books, prints, drawings, watercolors, photographs, images, and more.

All that are required are an advance appointment (some, two weeks ahead) and that a person be 18 years of age or older, or accompanied by an adult. 

Some 117,000 works from the 12th century through contemporary times by Europeans like Leonardo da Vinci, Albrecht Dürer,
Rembrandt van Rijn, and M.C. Escher are found in the East Building Print Study Room while the Americans, John James Audubon, James McNeill Whistler, Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer, Romare Bearden, Jasper Johns, and many more, are found
in the West Building Print Study Room.

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), Lion, c. 1612-1613 on display in the Print Study Room, East Building, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

In the photography collection are some 15,000 works beginning in 1839 to the present by, among many, Paul Strand, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Robert Adams, Alfred Stieglitz and his "Key Set" of 1,600 photographs from the 1880s through the 1930s, with 330 portraits of his wife, Georgia O'Keeffe.
The library has more than 400,000 volumes of Western art history, architecture, and criticism which begin with the Middle Ages.  Giorgio Vasari’s Lives of the Artists and serials by Dada artists are among the collection of 10,000 rare books, travel literature, annotated catalogues, price lists, and books about artists.

One of the rare books in the East Building's Print Study Room at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Lucius Annaeus Seneca (Roman author), Justus Lipsius (editor), Cornelis Galle I and Theodor Galle (engravers) after Sir Peter Paul Rubens (designer):  L. Annaei Senecae Philosophi Opera, quae extant omnia:  A lusto Lipsio Emendata et Scholiis Illustrata, Editio Secunda, atque ab ultima Lipsii manu, 1615/photo by Patricia Leslie

The library's images department has almost 14 million photographs, slides, negatives, digital copies, and more of primarily Western art and architecture from European and American art dealers, scholars, and international expositions.

To save time, search the online collection before calling for an appointment. The National Gallery staff will be happy to help.

What:  View, research, and study photographs, watercolors, images, rare books, and many other media.

Where:  National Gallery of Art between Third and Seventh streets at Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. On the Mall. 

When:  Print and Photograph Study Rooms:  10 a.m. - 12 p.m., and 2 - 4 p.m., Monday through Friday

Library and Images: 12 - 4:30 p.m., Monday, and 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday

For an appointment at the Print Study Rooms, call
(202) 842-6380 (European works), or (202) 842-6605 (American works), or email printstudyrooms@nga.gov.

To make an appointment at the Photography Study Room, call (202) 842-6144 or fill out the online form.

To make an appointment at the Library, call (202) 842-6511.

To make an appointment at Images, call (202) 842-6026 or fill out the online form.

No charge to visit, view, research, read.

Metro stations: Smithsonian, Federal Triangle, Navy Memorial-Archives, or L'Enfant Plaza

For more information: 202-737-4215



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dumbarton Concerts presents another world premiere

The Historic Dumbarton Church in Georgetown/Photo by Patricia Leslie

Last Saturday morning while I bustled with cleaning chores getting ready for a weekend visitor, I looked at the photograph of my mother posted on the refrigerator door and sighed:  "I wish I could talk to you."

She's been long in the grave (almost 18 years) and I wondered if this same thought occurs to me every day.

That night at the Dumbarton Concerts the Tiffany Consort sang Angelo Cicolani's poem, "My Mother's Shadow (after Bach)":

My daily world goes on and on,
Yet special moments bring her close,
When joy or trouble make me wish
That we could talk.

It was the world premiere of the piece Mr. Cicolani commissioned Nicholas White, Tiffany's founder and director, to write, the third White composition directed by Mr. Cicolani. 

The "Mother" selection came at the end of the evening's concert of an otherwise solemn presentation of mostly a cappella medieval and Renaissance music, most dedicated to the upcoming Holy Week.  If anyone forgot it was Lent, the first part of the program was a stark reminder.   

(For the concert, the darkened and historic (1850) Dumbarton United Methodist Church always makes a beautiful setting with window sills decked with lighted candles.)
Nicholas White

The program led with another White compositions,  "Kyrie (after Albinoni)":  "A Lament for those who left this life too young," a tribute to Cicolani's  college roommate which included "In the midst of life we are in death....deliver us not into the bitter pains of eternal death." 

Eloquently accompanying the vocalists on "Kyrie" was cellist Benjamin Wensel. (Saturday's consort was composed of Steven Combs, sopranos Emily Noel and Laura Choi Stuart, tenor Matthew Hill, countertenor Roger Isaacs, and Mr. White. Was a singer or two missing?)

Music for Maundy Thursday included  the somber "Lamentations of Jeremiah" (Part One) by Thomas Tallis (1505-1652) with these words:

[The city] weeps bitterly in the night, tears on her cheeks, among all her lovers she has none to comfort her; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her.

In case those words were too uplifting, ending the first half of the program was "Miserere mei" by Gregorio Allegri (1582-1652), originally intended for Renaissance monastic matins (after midnight) at the Sistine Chapel for Holy Week and included:

...cleanse me from my sin.  For I acknowledge my faults;  and my sin is ever before me....Turn Thy face from my sins:  and put out all my misdeeds.  Make me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me.

After intermission came the hymn, "Jesu, meine Freude" BWV 227 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), a motet which may have been written for a funeral.  I counted seven movements over its 20 minutes (and understand I missed four), but the appreciative audience seemed to like it best of all. 

Wensel followed with a much welcomed detour from verbal beatings with Bach's short solo "Sarabande" (Suite IV in E flat BWM 1010).

The best was saved for last.  Cicolani described his motivation for the commissioning of "My Mother's Shadow" in the program: " ... to express a wistful lament for the loss of our mothers....we often wish to summon her shadow to seek her thoughts, or to share something special in our lives....This commission is dedicated to all those mothers who have left too soon, and I hope will speak to the people they leave behind."

In the program notes Composer White wrote he could not escape the knowledge that the day of the concert was the 330th anniversary of Bach's birthday (O.S. March 21, 1685) which laid the foundation for the music.

More from the poem:

She left so long ago,
Mourning's done, our lives apart,
Waiting near my wistful heart,
To share our thoughts.

Thoughts of mother etched in my soul,
Yet sadness comes not anymore.
I miss her presence every day,
Her shadow lives by me evermore.

Based on the audience's warm response to each piece and the standing ovation at the finish, the Georgetown crowd, with a few music critics, thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

A happy surprise at Dumbarton Concerts is the "Concert Cafe" (in the wine cellar) with spirits and desserts to savor before the concert and during intermission, highlighted last week by an art show of color photographs of the region, some so splendidly reproduced they looked like oils on canvas. The artist, Rob Rudick, was on hand to talk and answer questions.

With the lamentations behind us, it was time to walk the Georgetown streets and find joy among the people who, at that time of night, were celebratory and it is presumed, unmindful of self bashing.   

"Sizzle" is the name of the last concert at Dumbarton this season,
which suggests an entirely different kind of music, more in tune with spring's colorful array to contrast with the dark and sad, long-lasting winter.

Who:  Salome Chamber Orchestra

What:  "Sizzle" at Dumbarton Concerts

When:  8 p.m., Saturday, April 11, 2015

Where:  Historic Dumbarton Church, 3133 Dumbarton Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20007

Admission:  $35 and $30, seniors

Free limited parking:  At Hyde Elementary School, 3219 O Street, NW a half block off Wisconsin Avenue where an attendant will direct you on the short walk to the concert hall.

For more information:  202-965-2000



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

National Portrait Gallery celebrates Elaine de Kooning

Elaine de Kooning (1918-1989), John F. Kennedy #21, 1963, Michael and Susan Luyckx
I've been twice in five days.
If you lived in a generation with the halcyon JFK administration and recall the verve, the energy, spontaneity, glamour, and intelligence the Kennedys brought to the White House, you will not want to miss the nine portraits and drawings which Elaine de Kooning
(1918-1989) drew of President Kennedy in 1963, some larger than life and now on display at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

They are part of the major retrospective of Ms. de Kooning's portraits which went up last week, coinciding with Women's History Month and the artist's birthday on March 12.

President John Fitzgerald Kennedy sat for "Elaine" (the name the Portrait Gallery says she likely would have favored) at the "Winter White House" in Palm Beach, Florida in late 1962 and early 1963. 

At the National Portrait Gallery,  Senior Curator Brandon Brame Fortune discusses Elaine de Kooning's John F. Kennedy, 1963.  This work usually hangs at one of the National Gallery's entrances and is part of the museum's permanent collection, "America's Presidents."/Photo by Patricia Leslie

Ms. de Kooning called President Kennedy "bigger than life....I was determined to...communicate his warmth, sharp wit, appraising glance, and something of the outdoor figure I saw." In the year after his death in 1963, the artist barely lifted a paint brush, and throughout her life, she kept the JFK portrait #21 (at the top of this page) which still belongs to her family. 
How she came to be selected to paint the president's portrait makes fascinating reading in the de Kooning catalogue ($49.95), but, in a few words: If it were not for the Harry S. Truman Library, there might not be a JFK series by Elaine de Kooning. According to the library's executive director at the time,  David D. Lloyd, she "obviously belongs in the new frontier of art," and she got the commission.  (Later, Ms. de Kooning said it would take a while for President Truman to grow accustomed to her style since he was not a big fan of modern art.) 
Pretty amazing stuff when one realizes she was competing against male artists in 1962.  Not only was she a woman, but her style was unconventional and one might say extreme for a presidential library located in the Midwest.
Once it got wind of the library's interest in a Kennedy portrait, the White House went to work right away to accommodate Ms. de Kooning, and off to Palm Beach she went.
Of the portraits and drawings in the show, the Truman JFK is my least favorite.  And why is that?
The whole thing is stilted and artificial.  The background of bright yellows and oranges overshadows the subject who sits in the center with a puzzled expression as if to say: "Why am I here?" He appears uncomfortable, thinner, more timid than the person we have come to know, lacking his customary confidence and sex appeal but with a fire (the assassination?) about to engulf and shroud him, his expression and bearing make more sense.
Yellow is not a strong color.  It's a weak color, especially compared to the vibrant and energetic greens and blues Ms. de Kooning used for the National Gallery's official JFK portrait that is part of the Gallery's series of presidential portraits.  (She is one of two female artists represented in the series, the other, Greta Kempton, who, coincidentally, painted President Harry S. Truman!)
The year attached to the Truman painting is 1963. The catalogue has a photograph of President Truman with Ms. de Kooning  at the presentation ceremony in 1965. 
The color catalogue features the works in the show, naturally, and an entire section is devoted to JFK, and Ms. de Kooning's experience trying to paint a figure constantly in motion: "He was--well, he was just a great-looking man." And "incandescent, golden." (The yellows in the Truman JFK?)
Ms. de Kooning was an abstract expressionist, known for her stark, angular, and bright renditions  of contemporary figures, usually men, who dominate the show.

"Men always painted the opposite sex, and I wanted to paint men as sex objects," the catalogue quotes her. (Rock on, Elaine!) She drew several men (Fairfield Porter, Johnny Snow) sitting with their legs spread, and when JFK drooped his leg over a beach chair and asked her "Is this pose all right?" Yes, it was! (Rock on, Elaine!)
The exhibition is not entirely about JFK, but that's who (or what) engulfs me. Three free films run continuously in a loop.

National Portrait Gallery Senior Curator Brandon Brame Fortune with Elaine de Kooning's The Burghers of Amsterdam Avenue, 1963, private collection.  Loosely modeled after two Dutch paintings, both titled The Governors of the Kloveniersdoelen, one executed by Govert Flinck (1615-1660) in 1642 and the other by Bartholomeus van der Helst(1613-1670) in 1655, both on loan from the Netherlands to the National Gallery of Art where they may be seen at the Seventh Street, NW entrance to the ground level through March 11, 2017/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Govert Flinck, Dutch (1615 – 1660)
The Governors of the Kloveniersdoelen, 1642, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, on loan from the City of Amsterdam to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Bartholomeus van der Helst, Dutch (1613 – 1670) The Governors of the Kloveniersdoelen, 1655, Amsterdam Museum on loan to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
In the Kogod Courtyard at the National Portrait Gallery, there was "a party going on" to celebrate Elaine de Kooning's birthday March 12 and the opening of a major retrospective of her portraits/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, welcomed guests to the reception for "Elaine de Kooning: Portraits." In a statement Ms. Sajet said the artist "ensured that a person's likeness was linked to their innate vitality and spirit."  The Gallery holds the largest museum collection of Ms. de Kooning's portraits, and the new exhibition includes rarely seen works on loan from the artist's estate and from family members/Photo by Patricia Leslie
At Elaine de Kooning's birthday party March 12, 2015 at the National Portrait Gallery/Photo by Patricia Leslie
At Elaine de Kooning's birthday party March 12, 2015 at the National Portrait Gallery/Photo by Patricia Leslie
A man in black (subject for the artist?) at Elaine de Kooning's birthday party March 12, 2015 at the National Portrait Gallery/Photo by Patricia Leslie
At Elaine de Kooning's birthday party March 12, 2015 at the National Portrait Gallery/Photo by Patricia Leslie
The Dolls, and Sean Lane and the Bay Jazz Project made music at the Elaine de Kooning party at the National Portrait Gallery, and this energetic gal with a bobbing head slashed her fiddle with a force to stun and silence the crowd/Photo by Patricia Leslie
William Wordsworth would have been proud of these golden daffodils at Elaine de Kooning's birthday party March 12, 2015 at the National Portrait Gallery. The colors match the yellows in Ms. de Kooning's JFK portrait on loan from the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, Missouri/Photo by Patricia Leslie

What: Elaine de Kooning:  Portraits

When: Now through January 10, 2016.  The National Portrait Gallery is open from daily from 11:30 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Saturday, March 21, 2015, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.:  Women's History Month Family Day, Kogod Courtyard

Friday, April 17, 2015, 12 p.m.: "In Her Own Light:  Liz Rideal on Elaine de Kooning."  Ms. Rideal from the National Portrait Gallery, London, is the author of How to Read Art (2015), and she will lead a tour of the de Kooning show.

Where: Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F streets, N. W., Washington, D.C. 20004

How much: No charge

For more information: 202-633-1000 or visit the web site

Metro station: Gallery Place-Chinatown or walk 10 minutes from Metro Center


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

An ethereal concert at St. John's, Lafayette Square, Washington, D.C.

Jared Denhard with his bagpipes and  Michael Lodico on the organ at the First Wednesday concert at St. John's Episcopal Church.  The eagle landed and approved/Photo by Patricia Leslie

It wasn't that I had died and gone to heaven; I had just gone to heaven at St. John's Episcopal Church, listening to Jared Denhard's bagpipes and Celtic harp, and Michael Lodico on the organ at the church's mid-day First Wednesday concert.

I still breathed, but barely, and floated in the tranquility of the moment, hearing the celestial sounds which carried me far away to peaceful places, a respite for any soul seeking truth and beauty. 

Michael Lodico played at the First Wednesday concert at St. John's Episcopal Church/Photo by Patricia Leslie
The presentation began with Pipe Dreams and then My Shepherd Will Supply My Need, followed by Highland Cathedral, O'Carolan Suite for Celtic Harp, Maids of Morn Shore for Celtic Harp, and to finish, Over the Hills Medley which included Amazing Grace whose beauty still remains in my mind for which I am grateful.

At the end of the performance I found myself wanting to buy the artists' CD, but none was offered.

Jared Denhard on the bagpipes at the First Wednesday concert at St. John's Episcopal Church/Photo by Patricia Leslie
The crowd continues to grow at these concerts (I estimate about 200 attended last week), and it's no wonder since, in just 35 minutes, they can embrace you quickly and carry you off to just about anywhere you want to go.

Only three concerts remain in this year's First Wednesday series, and April 19th's will be on a Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. when the St. John's Choir will sing.

The May and June Wednesday performances will begin at 12:10 p.m. Food trucks are located at Farragut Square, two blocks away, for those on lunch break.

Who:  St. John's Choir

What: Spring Concert

When: 4 p.m., April 19, 2015

May 6, 12:10 p.m. The U.S. Air Force Strings accompanied by Benjamin Hutto on the organ will play a Handel concerto and other works.

June 3, 12:10 p.m.  Benjamin Straley, organist at the Washington National Cathedral, will perform.

Where: St. John’s, Lafayette Square, 1525 H Street, NW, at the corner of 16th, Washington, D.C. 20005

How much: No charge

Wheelchair accessible

Metro stations: McPherson Square (White House exit), Farragut North, or Farragut West

For more information: Contact Michael Lodico at 202-270-6265 or 202-347-8766


Sunday, March 8, 2015

At the 2015 Philadelphia International Flower Show

At the entrance to the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show where nothing is artificial/Photo by Patricia Leslie
This year's theme at the Philadelphia Flower Show was Hollywood movies, "Lights!  Camera!  Bloom!" and what fun and beauty it all was, as usual.  Claire and I have made it an annual trek with the Smithsonian Associates for three years now, and our expectations are always exceeded, with the show, the pageantry, the artistry, lights, color, and action!  And the alcohol (beer and wine we drank) which make it more fun to walk around and admire the outstanding creations of so many, which increased in beauty, somehow, the more we drank (just kidding). 
And the products to buy!  I must have been the only one on the bus back to D.C. to leave with nothing purchased, save wonderful memories, and the visuals of Gene London's exhibition of Hollywood gowns for $5; well worth it in my playbook.  Below are highlights from the "world's longest-running and largest indoor flower show."
At the entrance to the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show.  It was bigger than my bridal bouquet/Photo by Patricia Leslie
This is the back of the entry from the Men's Garden Club of Philadelphia which based its design on the movie, Tarzan.  At the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show/Photo by Patricia Leslie
At the front of Tarzan, entered by the Men's Garden Club of Philadelphia at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show/Photo by Patricia Leslie
The entry by Inchscape, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was based on the movie, The Prince of Persia, at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show/Photo by Patricia Leslie
A multi-award winning entry by Leon Kluge Landscape Design of South Africa, modeled on A Maleficent View at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show/Photo by Patricia Leslie
A scene inspired by Finding Nemo by J. Downend Landscaping from Crum Lynne, Pennsylvania at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show.  "Underwater" viewers could look above and find a big boat "floating" overhead/Photo by Patricia Leslie
 From "Pooh's Hunny Depot" by Irwin Landscaping of Hockessin, Delaware at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Waldor Orchids from Linwood, New Jersey used Peter Pan in Neverland as its theme at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show/Photo by Patricia Leslie
One of my favorites, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice Meet the Horticulturist's Apprentice" based on Walt Disney's (a lot of Disney was present) Fantasia, presented by Mercer  County Community College from Trenton, New Jersey in the Education Division at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show/Photo by Patricia Leslie
The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe by Paul Hervey-Brookes & Associates from Gloucestershire, United Kingdom at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Another view of The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe by Paul Hervey-Brookes & Associates from Gloucestershire, United Kingdom at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show/Photo by Patricia Leslie
"Cinderella's Wedding" by Robertson's Flowers & Events, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Based on Frozen by Michael Bruce Florist, Pennsauken, New Jersey. Flowers seemed sparse because they don't grow on ice?/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Based on Aladdin by Pure Design of Philadelphia at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show/Photo by Patricia Leslie
This flower purse won the Blue Ribbon in its category at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show.  A purse with wings. Can you see Kate Middleton carrying it? I doubt the Queen would approve/Photo by Patricia Leslie
In the Miniatures Division, Beverly Sue Palacia won an Honorable Mention portraying Miss Scarlett on the porch calling to Mr. Butler in Gone with the Wind at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show.  A judge wrote:  "While the placement of Tara is pleasing to the scene, the architectural details are inaccurate." I do declare, Miss Scarlett: Tara was a figment of imagination so does that make "architectural details" inaccurate since they didn't exist?  Those judges are outright picky. but they need to find something to pick on, I suppose. The labels for every miniature list all plants used in each design/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Lucille Dickerson took Third Prize with her An Affair to Remember entry in the Miniatures Division at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Cathy Bandoian won Second Prize with her Enchanted April entry in the Miniatures Division at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show/Photo by Patricia Leslie
First Prize in the Miniatures Division was awarded to Louise Krasniewicz for Rear Window at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Pamela Goldman won a First Prize in the Miniatures Division at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show for her "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" entry/Photo by Patricia Leslie
In the movie posters category, Peggy S. Moore from Fairfield, Connecticut's Garden Club won Second Prize for her Thor at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show. A judge wrote the "placement of Heliconia disrupts the balance." If I knew what the hell "Heliconia" is, it might have added more points to the Blue Ribbon I would have awarded Ms. Moore for Originality, Style, and Design.  Look at it!  Incredible!/Photo by Patricia Leslie
In the jewelry division of previous Blue Ribbon flower show winners, a watch of flowers and plants which Richard Burton might have given to Elizabeth Taylor, on display at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show. Made with macadamia, crape myrtle, grapevine, nandina, wild rice, oak, pokeweed, green peppercorn, and black peppercorn.  Good enough to eat!  Edible watches.  Another product idea for Apple.  If you get hungry, just eat your watch!/Photo by Patricia Leslie
 Another jewelry entry from previous Blue Ribbon winners in the category of a Richard Burton gift to Elizabeth Taylor at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show.  The components are all plants and flowers, mind you:  anise seed, almond, chickpea, coriander seed, cumin seed, rice bean, juniper berry, split pea, peppercorn, mustard seed, pecan shell, andromeda, crape myrtle, hibiscus, money plant, allium, and cotton.  No wonder I failed biology/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Another outstanding jewelry design at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show made from eucalyptus, millet, wisteria, split pea, billy ball, French lentil, silver brunia, and star anise/Photo by Patricia Leslie
This asparagus fern won a Blue Ribbon at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show and won at the 2013 show. (How many times can one enter the same plant?  Another multi-year winner is further down.) We wondered if the white fronds were an outgrowth of age /Photo by Patricia Leslie
Lynn Cook and Troy Ray from Liberty Bell Gesneriad Society won a Third Prize for their Sinningia Bulbosa at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show/Photo by Patricia Leslie
Another Blue Ribbon winner at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show which also won a Second Prize in 2013. Something for everyone! "Help!  I've fallen and I can't get up."/Photo by Patricia Leslie
This is a replica of Cinderella's glass slipper which the actress in the upcoming movie actually wears, said a vendor at the Philadelphia 2015 Flower Show. The actress (who is?) said the shoes are really uncomfortable, according to the vendor.  Really?  Wearing broken glass is uncomfortable?  Sounds like a typical shoe design to me/Photo by Patricia Leslie