Sunday, June 27, 2010

"Cinderella Ball", a photo by Weegee(1941). My mother posed for this while in her motorized peacock costume for a benefit at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. She was dancing in Radio City Music Hall at the time and used the stage name Marina Lord instead of her Ballets Russes name Marina Franca. The costume consisted of 827 rare Australian feathers while the size of the fan tail was eleven feet high by fourteen feet wide.
Marina Lord(Salz) in her peacock costume for Radio CityMusic Hall(photo by Bruno of Hollywood).
A drawing by Al Hirschfeld of my mother, stage name Marina Lord, in her peacock costume, for the New York Herald Tribune, 1941.

Marina Lord's(Salz's) peacock dance at Radio City Music Hall.

In 1940 my mother left the Ballets Russes only to find out that her figure and style of dancing did not fit into choreographer George Balanchine's requirements. She was a Dutch woman alone in New York with her relatives in Europe during the war trying to find a new outlet for her dancing talents. Her stage name at the time was Marina Franca but she decided to change it to Marina Lord. She tried sending publicity photos to Hollywood and even did a commercial to promote ballet slippers but nothing seemed to materialize as a viable alternative. Finally through an agent she was hired to perform a dance in a peacock costume at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The job was humiliating for her since she had received so much classical ballet training in Paris with Russian teachers. For the peacock dance, she was required to wear a huge construction of feathers behind her back with a motor that activated the moving feathers when she bent forward. For publicity, she was photographed with the costume in the peacock cage of the Central Park Zoo. The famous cartoonist Al Hirshfeld did a drawing of her for the Herald Tribune. The New York documentary photographer WeeGee did a picture of her in the costume titled "Cinderella Ball".

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A painting donation to the White House.

Around 1962, Sam Salz (my father) donated a painting to the Kennedy White House titled "The Signing of The Declaration of Independence" by the French artist Charles Edouard Armand Dumaresq(1826-1895). He wanted to give a gift to America for having welcomed him after his escape from Nazi dominated Europe. In the late eighties, First Lady Barbara Bush decided to hang the painting over the fireplace in the Cabinet Room. It has been there ever since. Jacqueline Kennedy also bought a Monet for the White House but with Kennedy funds. It's also still there in the White House. It was President Clinton's favorite painting. "The Signing...." painting hung above my bed when I was twelve years old before it was donated (photo from TIME magazine). For more on this painting from Wikipedia go to:,_c1873.png or the White House web site at:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"Cage", 2001, oil/wood, 19"-15". This painting was made around the time of 9/11. It was shown in a Russian artists show close to the site a few months later. The gallery was located way under ground in the basement of a Russian bar two blocks from where one of the jet engines landed. The gallery was named Artyama, "yama" meaning cave in Russian. I only noticed later that the black and white patterns were similar to the pseudo Islamic arches on the lower part of the Trade Centers.

"Blue Notes", 2002, oil/wood, 19"-18".

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Babies Marc and Andre Salz with their father Sam Salz, art dealer, near a Renoir(1952). This Renoir is now in the Museum of Art in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Years later I was lucky to visit the Durand-Ruel family home in Paris where Renoir's two paintings, "The Dance in the City" and "The Dance in the Country", were hanging in their dinning room. There are no Renoirs in our own home. Just paintings by friends, teachers and my own work (posted Father's Day, 2010).

Saturday, June 19, 2010

"Things Grow", 2001, oil/wood, 20"-24". A painting from the "Narrative Abstractions" Series. I was thinking about what to do with the darker pink vessel shape on the right when I passed a man at a bus stop who had a large almost ball size growth on his neck. Things grow.

Friday, June 18, 2010

"Scribe", 1999(revised 2002), oil/wood, 19"-22". From the "Narrative Abstractions" series. This series was shown at the Design Arts Gallery of Drexel University, Philadelphia in December 1999-January 2000.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"Celeste's World", 1998, oil/wood, 21"-30". From the same series, this one is dedicated to my cat named Celeste who lived for eighteen years.

Monday, June 14, 2010

"Self Portrait with Masks" By James Ensor, 1937, oil/canvas, 12"-9" (The Philadelphia Museum of Art).

Sunday, June 13, 2010

"White and Red Clowns Evolving" by James Ensor, 1890, pencil, ink and gouache on paper, 9"-11".
"Clown Time"(for James Ensor), 2007, oil/wood, 14"-18". A shaped painting by Marc Salz.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Marina Franca, my mother Marina Salz, in a costume designed by Henri Matisse for the Ballets Russes production of "Rouge et Noir"(1939) with music by Dimitri Shostakovich. Matisse had already completed his murals in the arches at the Barnes Foundation in Merion Pa. when he then did the set and costumes for this ballet. The remnants of the set are at Butler University:
Marc Salz and "The Serf" by Henri Matisse at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (photo by Ted Knerr).

Henri Matisse and my parents (Sam and Marina Salz).

In 1939, my mother Marina Franca(Salz) danced in the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo's production of "Rouge et Noir"("Red and Black") with costumes designed by Henri Matisse. The ballet was based on a work by Stendhal with the music of Dimitri Shostakovich. Matisse had finished his versions of the Barnes Foundation murals before he did the ballet's background which also consisted of large arches as those above the central windows of the Foundation's home in Merion, Pennsylvania.My father had known Henri Matisse and sold many of his works during his lifetime. The paintings he handled were mostly those from Matisse's middle "Nice period" which were less modernist than the earlier or later works. He visited Matisse several times when he was vacationing in the South of France. He used to tell me that Matisse would always test a color on a piece of paper, place it where he wanted it on the canvas and then after that fill it in directly with a brush. These preliminary tests of colors on paper could have lead to the painter's later cut outs with paper.In the middle fifties my parents gave Matisse's early sculpture "The Serf" to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It was a fitting tribute to a great artist and a way to remember his connection with my parents. Here is a link to MoMA and "The Serf":