Griffin Gallery Celebrates Women From Antiquity To Contemporary Times

The Griffin Gallery specializes in “Art through the Ages” and invites the public to visit their location  in Boca Raton, FL.  Browse the mystical wonders of Antiquity through the contemporary age.  Celebrating “Women’s History Month”, Griffin Gallery will feature items from the Ming Dynasty, ancient Rome, early 20th Century, the Collection of Elizabeth Taylor and an Ecuadorian terra-cotta.  The Rickie Report shares some sneak peeks and the details here.

 

 

 

5501 N. Federal Hwy., #4      Boca Raton, FL 33487

561.994.0811

 

 

 

G  R  I  F  F  I  N          G  A  L  L  E  R  Y

PRESENTS:

 

 

WOMEN  FROM

ANTIQUITY  TO  CONTEMPORARY  TIMES:

 

 

Ming Dynasty Stone Head of Guan Yin, China (1368 – 1644)
Roman Marble Head of a Young Woman, 1st Century BCE – 1st Century CE
Burkina Faso Bronze Female Riding a Turtle, Early 20th Century
Collection of Elizabeth Taylor, Jay Strongwater Swarovski Crystal Picture Frame, 20th Century
Jama Coaque Terracotta Female, Ecuador 400 BCE – 500 CE

 

 

 

According to Molly Murphy MacGregor, Executive Director and Co-founder of the National Women’s History Project, as recently as the 1970’s, women’s history was virtually an unknown topic in the general public’ consciousness. The Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (CA) Commission on the Status of Women initiated a “Women’s History Week” celebration for 1978. The week March 8th, International Women’s Day, was chosen as the focal point of the observance. The local Women’s History Week activities met with enthusiastic response.  Over one-hundred women participated by doing special presentations in classrooms throughout the country and an annual “Real Woman” Essay Contest drew hundreds of entries. 

 

In 1979, Molly Murphy MacGregor was invited to participate in The Women’s History Institute at Sarah Lawrence College, which was chaired by noted historian, Gerda Lerner and attended by the national leaders of organizations for women and girls. They  initiated similar celebrations within their own organizations, communities, and school districts, as Sonoma County had. In addition, they agreed to support an effort to secure a “National Women’s History Week.

 

In February 1980, President Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8th 1980 as National Women’s History Week. In the same year, Representative Barbara Mikulski, who at the time was in the House of Representatives, and Senator Orrin Hatch co-sponsored a Congressional Resolution for National Women’s History Week 1981. This co-sponsorship demonstrated the wide-ranging political support for recognizing, honoring, and celebrating the achievements of American women.

 

As word spread rapidly across the nation, departments of education encouraged celebrations of National Women’s History Week as an effective means to achieving equity goals within classrooms. Within a few years, thousands of schools and communities were celebrating National Women’s History Week, supported and encouraged by resolutions from governors, city councils, school boards, and the U.S. Congress. Each year, the dates of National Women’s History Week, (the week of March 8th) changed and every year a new lobbying effort was needed.   In 1987, Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month in perpetuity. A special Presidential Proclamation is issued every year which honors the extraordinary achievements of American women.

 

President Jimmy Carter’s Message to the Nation designated March 2-8, 1980 as National Women’s History Week.  “From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.

 

 
As Dr. Gerda Lerner has noted, “Women’s History is Women’s Right.  It is an essential and indispensable heritage from which we can draw pride, comfort, courage, and long-range vision… I urge libraries, schools, and community organizations to focus their observances on the leaders who struggled for equality – – Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Tubman, and Alice Paul. Understanding the true history of our country will help us to comprehend the need for full equality under the law for all our people. This goal can be achieved by ratifying the 27th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states that “Equality of Rights under the Law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

Works Cited: http://www.nwhp.org/

About Griffin Gallery:

 

Griffin Gallery specializes in Art through the Ages and invites you and a friend to visit our gallery at 5501 N. Federal Hwy in Boca Raton, FL to browse the mystical wonders of Antiquity through the contemporary age. Our holdings include over five hundred authentic artifacts that reflect a spectrum of the cultures of Antiquity in addition to contemporary and fine works of art. Among our treasures are pieces from Greece, Rome, Egypt, the Far East, the Near East, the Holy Land, Pre-Columbian cultures, and pre- historic Native America.

 

Griffin Gallery
5501 N. Federal Hwy., #4       Boca Raton, FL 33487
561.994.0811     fax: 561.994.1855
www.griffingallery.net
griffingallery18@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

Rickie@therickiereport.com   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

Griffin Gallery Announces Move To New Location In Boca Raton And Special Sale

Griffin Gallery has moved to a stunning new location, three miles north of the Boca Raton Museum of Art on Yamato Road on the west side of Federal Highway! You are invited to browse the splendid works of art including magnificent ancient artifacts, contemporary, fine, and tribal art. In addition they have beautiful antiques from centuries past to enhance your home or office. To celebrate, Griffin Gallery is offering price reductions up to 20% on most pieces over $1,000.  The Rickie Report shares the details and some photos of the new exhibit.  Stay tuned for news of the Gallery’s upcoming Grand Opening Gala.

 

 

griffinlogo

Griffin Gallery

NEW LOCATION:
5501 N. Federal Hwy., #4
Boca Raton, FL 33487
561.994.0811, fax: 561.994.1855
www.griffingallery.net   griffingallery18@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

Griffin gallery2Federal gallery collage low res

 

Griffin Gallery specializes in museum quality Ancient Art. Our holdings include over five hundred authentic artifacts that reflect a spectrum of the cultures of Antiquity in addition to contemporary and fine works of art. Among our treasures are pieces from Greece, Rome, Egypt, the Far East, the Near East, the Holy Land, Pre-Columbian cultures, and pre historic Native America.

Griffin Gallery
5501 N. Federal Hwy., #4
Boca Raton, FL 33487
561.994.0811, fax: 561.994.1855
www.griffingallery.net
griffingallery18@yahoo.com

Sponsored by: Beiner,Inkeles & Horvitz, P.A. 2000 Glades Road, Ste. 110, Boca Raton, FL, 33431, (561) 750-1800

 

 

 

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420

Rickie@therickiereport.com

561-537-0291

Griffin Gallery Explores Ancient Weaponry Dating from 2150 BCE

The Griffin Gallery offers rare opportunities to see ancient artifacts in a personal way.  This month, they explore the role of ancient weaponry in humankind’s evolution as a civilization.  Visitors will see three bronze swords that date to the time of  the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the time of Moses; and then King David.  The Rickie Report urges parents to bring their children to this gallery to explore ancient history in a new and engaging way.

griffinlogo

Griffin Gallery Presents:

THE AGE OF ANCIENT WEAPONRY:

Featuring Three Bronze Swords Found in the Holy Land
Time of the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob (2150 – 1550 BCE)
Time of Moses (1550 – 1200 BCE)
Time of King David (930 – 556 BCE)

Public Reception:

Thursday, March 12, 2015  

  5:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M.

The exhibition continues through April 09, 2015. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10:30 A.M. until 5 P.M., Monday by appointment only and closed Sunday.

Griffin Gallery Ancient Art

Gallery Center, 608 Banyan Trail       Boca Raton, FL 33431

Bronze Swords

Bronze Swords

Ancient Weapons: The Game Changers

There is a wide range of ancient weapons from around the globe. They are often advancements on the earlier phase of weapons development, the primitive weapons man first created for hunting and warfare. However, some have no primitive predecessors, like the sword. Swords can only be crafted through a forging process that had not been invented in the earliest phase of weapon construction. Ancient weapons come in three forms, ranged weapons, melee (close combat) and siege weapons. The age of ancient weapons technically ended with the dawn of the medieval period, but these human powered weapons continued to dominate battlefields up until the ascendance of firearms. However, they can still be found on battlefields up to this very day.

Spears: Primitive Weapon of Choice

Spears are one of humankind’s earliest weapons and they reigned supreme for a hundred thousand years. The material culture of our Paleolithic (500,000 BC – 8,000 BC) ancestors covers 99% of the total time that man has been making tools and weapons.  The spear has been credited with creating 450,000 years of peace on earth, as even an outnumbered man holding a spear would be deadly to attack without ranged weapons.

 

 

The spear offers its user a level of protection due to its long reach and found a place in many ancient armies. The simple spear is cheap and effective, as ancient armies often combined it with a shield when equipping the ranks of their heavy infantry units. Spears units were found in many, many ancient armies from around the world.

 

 

Spear warfare hit its pinnacle when used by the Greeks and Macedonians. Spear armed Greek warriors, called Hoplites, mastered this style of warfare as their city states battled each other over hundreds of years. The terrain of Greece is broken up by rough terrain so Greece never developed the Chariot or Cavalry warfare, but instead focused on the use of infantry. During the Bronze Age, Greek warriors battled in the heroic style, each man fighting for his own glory independently. They considered the use of range weapons to be cowardly so their focus was primarily on heavy infantry. By the classical age of Greek civilization they had developed formation tactics. The Phalanx was developed, were rows of hoplites formed a shield wall, the left side of one hoplites shield protecting the man on his right. Heavily armored, spear wielding armies would form up and fight set piece battles. Casualties were generally light until one force’s formation was broken, then slaughter ensued as they fled.

 

 

 

Strategy in Battle

 

The next strategic development took advantage of this when an astute Theban general, Epaminondas (ca. 410 BC – 362 BC), realized that battles between phalanxes were essentially giant shoving matches. Whichever phalanx had the strength to put enough pressure on their opponent caused them to break formation, route and loose the battle. It was correctly reasoned that if he loaded up one side of his line and had his weaker side trailing behind them in an echelon formation that by the time the week side engaged the enemy the strong side would have already broke their formation, winning the battle.

 
The next major development would be made by their neighbors to the North. Phillip of Macedonia, who paid attention to Epaminondas’ innovations, doubled the length the spears of his army (to over 18 feet!) and reduced the size of their shields so his soldiers could hold the long spears with both hands. This allowed the spears of the first five ranks to protrude from the formation instead of just the couple ranks like in a Greek phalanx. Enemies faced an impregnable wall of spear tips. Phillips son, Alexander the Great, then used this formation to conquer the known world (335 BC – 326 BC).

 

 

 

Around the year 315 BC, the Romans adopted the system of the Samnites, called the maniple system, that allowed for more flexibility in the rugged hills of Samnium where the Romans were forced to fight. The maniple system has been called a phalanx with joints, each square maniple, about 120 men, could function as an independent unit. The maniples were arrayed in a checker board pattern; this allowed space for skirmishers to retreat through the gaps when the heavy infantry closed on their enemies. The front two rows of maniples would then form a single line and battle the enemies. When this line tired it could then retreat through the spaces of the maniples behind it without disrupting their formations, and a fresh line of soldiers would take up the fight. Maniples could also be detached to protect flanks or any other task. The Roman heavy infantry was organized into three lines, the first two lines used short, double edged stabbing swords and the last armed with spears. The youngest men formed the first line, the hastati , after they tired they would fall back through gaps in the next line, the principes. The more experienced principes would then continue the fight, if they were having trouble they could then retreat behind the Triarii. The triarii were the final line and most experienced soldiers.

 

 
In the Pyrrhic War (280–275 BC) Rome proved that they were capable of competing with the armies of the Hellenistic kingdoms — the successor kingdoms of Alexander and the dominant Mediterranean powers of the time.  75 years later the Romans fought the Macedonians and their phalanx in the Second Macedonian War (200–197 BC). They employed a variety of tactics to break up the massive formations. They chose uneven ground to fight on, attempting to break the cohesion of the massive phalanx. Before the front lines met in battle the Romans let loose with their pila, harpoon-like throwing spears that caused gaps in the enemy formation that could be exploited. They used a wedge shaped formation to attempt to break through the wall of spear points. The well armed Romans with their large, curved shields were able to exploit the gaps in the wall of spears and get through to the Macedonians in order to break up their formations. Once inside, the spears, the longer swords and better armor of the Romans gave them a distinct advantage over the lightly armored Macedonians whose secondary weapon was a short sword was little more than a dagger.

 

 
The Macedonians’ defeat is often held to have demonstrated that their phalanx, formerly the most effective fighting unit in the ancient world, had been proven inferior to the Roman legion. Others have argued that the loss was actually due to a failure of command on the part of Perseus, the Macedonian king. They also dispute weather the Roman maniples ever succeeded in breaking the Macedonian phalanx by engaging it frontally. We will never get the opportunity to know how a Macedonian phalanx using combined arms tactics in the style of Philip or Alexander would have sized up against the Roman legions.

 

The Roman legions standardized the sword as its main weapon, but they also carried the pila that could be used as spear in certain situations. Pila could be employed in hand to hand combat or as protection from mounted troops.  The legions conquered the Mediterranean world with sword in hand, but spears remained a common weapon throughout the world. 

Adapting to Range Weapons and Calvalry

From around 117 AD to the Western Roman Empire’s collapse around 476 AD the Roman army slowly changed. The sprawling empire was difficult to defend so the Romans became more dependent on barbarian troops. Additionally, a greater emphasis was placed on speed. The Romans concentrated on ranged weapons and cavalry at the expense of the heavy infantry. The infantry became more lightly armored as well and they acquired a heavy thrusting-spear which became the main close order combat weapon. Roman infantry had come full circle. 

 

 

Dark Ages

 

In the years that followed, called the dark ages, spears continued to be used widely. Barbarian armies used shield wall tactics reminiscent of the Greeks as they jostled for their places in the new world order. Spears offered an excellent defense against ascending military power of cavalry, if braced against the ground a charging enemy would impale himself. The Huns had introduced the stirrups to the roman world; this allowed a spear armed man to deliver a blow with the full power of the horse, couching the weapon under their armpit instead of stabbing overhand as was done in antiquity. This was the beginning of the medieval knights, but even if a plate armored knight wanted to charge into a wall of spears, his horse might not share his sentiment. 
During the Viking age and medieval period spears developed into a variety of polearm weapons, such as the bill, the halberd and the lance. The long, two-handed Macedonian style spear also made a comeback during the medieval times. During renaissance and age of exploration Pikes had another heyday and were used extensively by close order infantry formations both for attacks on enemy foot soldiers and as a counter-measure against cavalry assaults. Pike and firearm formations worked together; the pike men defended the slow loading and vulnerable gunners from enemy infantry and the deadly cavalry while the gunners provided a powerful ranged weapon.  Although pikes and spears were still used, usually due to the lacking of quantities of more modern weapons, up through the 1800’s.

 

 

 

The spear had a very long history, from the dawn of man and even into the first several hundred years of the gun powder era. Today spears are manufactured and used for hunting by humans, chimpanzees and orangutans.

Griffin Gallery:

Griffin Gallery specializes in museum quality Ancient Art. Our holdings include over five hundred authentic artifacts that reflect a spectrum of the cultures of Antiquity in addition to Contemporary Fine Works of Art. Among our treasures are pieces from Greece, Rome, Egypt, the Far East, the Near East, the Holy Land, Pre-Columbian cultures, and pre historic Native America.

 

 561.994.0811, fax: 561.994.1855

www.griffingallery.net
griffingallery18@yahoo.com

Sponsored by: Beiner,Inkeles & Horvitz, P.A. 2000 Glades Road, Ste. 110, Boca Raton, FL, 33431, (561) 750-1800

Works Cited By Griffin Gallery from Ancient Military.com

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact The Rickie Report at:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420

Rickie@therickiereport.com

561-537-0291

Griffin Gallery Presents “Idols of Our Fathers”

Griffin Gallery, in Boca Raton, specializes in museum quality Ancient Art. Their holdings include over five hundred authentic artifacts that reflect a spectrum of the cultures of Antiquity in addition to Contemporary Fine Works of Art. Among their treasures are pieces from Greece, Rome, Egypt, the Far East, the Near East, the Holy Land, Pre-Columbian cultures, and pre historic Native America.  On Thursday, November 13th a special program will feature “Idols of Our Fathers” and focus on a monumental pottery idol from the time of Terach, father of Abraham, 2000 BCE. The Rickie Report shares the details and a glimpse.

 

 

 

griffinlogo

 

PRESENTS:

IDOLS OF OUR FATHERS

 

Featuring a Monumental Syro-Hittite Pottery Idol

Time of Terach, Father of Abraham

Middle Bronze Age, ca. 2000 BCE

Found in the Holy Land

 

 

Public Reception:

 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

5:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M.

The exhibition continues through December 10, 2014.

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10:30 A.M. until 5 P.M.,

Monday by appointment only and closed Sunday.

 

 

Syro Hittite

Syro Hittite Pottery Idol

According to the Jewish Virtual Library, Abraham (ca. 1813 – 1638 BCE) was born under the name Abram in the city of Ur in Babylonia. He was the son of Terach, an idol merchant. From his early childhood, Abram questioned the faith of his father and sought the truth. He came to believe that the entire universe was the work of a single Creator, and he began to teach this belief to others.

 

Abram tried to convince his father Terach of the folly of idol worship. One day when Abram was left alone to mind the store, he took a hammer and smashed all of the idols except the largest one. He placed the hammer in the hand of the largest one. When his father returned and asked what happened, Abram said, “The idols got into a fight and the big one smashed all the other ones.” His father said, “Don’t be ridiculous. These idols have no life or power. They can’t do anything!” Abram replied, “Then why do you worship them?”

 

 

 

When, according to tradition, Abram rejected the idols that Terach, his father, had made, he established the foundation for a belief in a single monotheistic, all powerful, omniscient God.  “They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; they have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths.” (Psalm 135).

What was the appearance of the gods and idols that Abram rejected and that the prophets railed against? Please join us at Griffin Gallery Ancient Art to view these spectacular artifacts. The idols in this exhibition are Syro-Hittite deities from the Middle Bronze Age (1950 – 1539 BCE), Persian deities from the Elamite Period (1500 – 1000 BCE) and Roman deities from first through the fourth centuries.

 

 

 

Griffin Gallery specializes in museum quality Ancient Art. Our holdings include over five hundred authentic artifacts that reflect a spectrum of the cultures of Antiquity in addition to Contemporary Fine Works of Art. Among our treasures are pieces from Greece, Rome, Egypt, the Far East, the Near East, the Holy Land, Pre-Columbian cultures, and pre historic Native America.

SAVE THE DATES:

 

The Original Miami Beach Antique Show
Miami Beach Convention Center
January 30, 2015 – February 03, 2015
Booth 3008

Boca Raton Fine Jewelry, Art & Antique Show
February 07 – 09, 2015
Boca Raton Marriott
5150 Town Center Circle
Boca Raton, FL
Booth 13

Griffin Gallery Ancient Art
Gallery Center, 608 Banyan Trail
Boca Raton, FL 33431
561.994.0811, fax: 561.994.1855  

www.griffingallery.net   or  griffingallery18@yahoo.com

Sponsored by: Beiner,Inkeles & Horvitz, P.A. 2000 Glades Road, Ste. 110, Boca Raton, FL, 33431, (561) 750-1800

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact The Rickie Report at:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420

Rickie@therickiereport.com

561-537-0291

Thelma Dorfman Shares Her Love of Asian Art at Griffin Gallery Lecture

Thelma Dorfman is widely acclaimed for her lectures at the Institute of Asian Studies, International Christian University in Tokyo, Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Jewish Lecture Bureau and the Life Long Learning Society at FAU.  She will be giving a gallery talk about the magnificent art of China at the Griffin Gallery on February 14th.  The Rickie Report was honored to interview Mrs. Dorfman for this article and we know that anyone who has been married for 65 years must have some good advice to share on Valentine’s Day! We look forward to being at her lecture and seeing her in costume.

Griffin Gallery Ancient Art

Presents  Guest Lecturer

Thelma Dorfman

Formerly of the Metropolitan Museum

 Art Far East Department

Thursday, February 14, 2013, 5 P.M.

Gallery Center608 Banyan Trail   Boca Raton, FL 33431

561.994.0811

Qing Vase

Qing Vase
This Picture Greets Visitors as They Leave the Elevator

This Mixed Media Piece by Thelma Greets Visitors Leaving the Elevator to Enter The Dorfman’s Home

Getting off the elevator in a condominium, The Rickie Report staff was immediately transported to another world.  Spending the afternoon with Thelma and Jack Dorfman was more than an educational experience.  It was a delight!  Objects d’art from their travels around the world populate their home, each with a special story that would keep anyone mesmerized.  We urge you to go and listen to Thelma’s lecture at the Griffin Gallery because we don’t want you to miss this opportunity!

Recent Sculpture by Thelma

Recent Sculpture by Thelma

Thelma Dorfman is not only an art collector, but a true artist herself.  As she showed us the large bust she sculpted, she expressed her frustration with getting the piece smooth enough to her liking.  From the outset, it is clear that Thelma has high standards.  She is mostly self-taught because her mother thought being an artist was “nonsense” and wanted Thelma to be a teacher and play the piano.  Thelma followed that track, teaching all ages from kindergarten to college.  She is especially proud of creating innovative programs in music and art for gifted students.
IMG_0703
A stained glass window hanging, the hand painted breakfast table which matches the Mottahedeh platters on display, the paintings and the sculptures all caught our attention.  Thelma Dorfman continues to let the artistry in her being emerge into everything she touches!  Noticing her lovely top, we could see it was originally a Asian scarf which she transformed into a one-of-a-kind blouse.  “I’m a crafter”, she tells us, “I’m always into everything!”
Thelma with one of her first sculptures

Thelma with one of her first sculptures

Married for 65 years, The Dorfmans have traveled the world!  Seeking out small villages, towns, and little known areas to the general public.  They regaled us with stories over tea, some of which we will share here.
From the Dorfman's Travels

From the Dorfman’s Travels

 

When foreigner visitors were few and far between, The Dorfmans explored China’s Gobi Desert and Buddhist Caves in Mongolia. With no modern hotels available, they mingled with the people of each country they visited. She explains, “This area was the last great hurdle before Marco Polo entered China.  Dunhuang, the city of “The Singing Sands” was the last terminus of the Silk Road before entering ancient China in the West-East connection.  In addition, from the North-South connection, Buddhism arrived from India to Dunhuang, then turning east to China.  For two thousand years, this outpost with its fabulous grottos and Buddhist art, was hidden in the desert sands…and rediscovered in 1900!”

Painting from Thelma's memory

Painting from Thelma’s memory

As we looked at various paintings, Thelma would tell us what country they had visited. Sometimes she paints from photographs but she usually paints from memory!  The details included in these pieces of art are often intricate.  The faces of the people are captured brilliantly.
Thelma and Nien Cheng

Thelma and Nien Cheng

Thelma shared stories about her friendship with Nien Cheng, author of “Life and Death in Shanghai”. The Dorfmans played a major role in safekeeping Thelma and Nien’s 10 year long written correspondence. Jack Dorfman is a retired trial attorney who immersed himself on the Board of Directors of Florida Atlantic University’s Life Long Learning Society.
Thelma's Office, with Newspaper Clippings, Files and Montages

Thelma’s Office, with Newspaper Clippings, Files and Montages

How does this couple keep track of their travels?  Thelma makes montages from each trip, including museum passes, tour tickets, a coaster from a local restaurant and more memorabilia.  These collages are framed and decorate their home, especially Thelma’s study, where she has neatly categorized boxes for each topic she lectures about.
Thelma has a graduate degree from Columbia University and was on the staff of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. When the King Tut exhibit came to the Museum, she engrossed herself in everything she could find about Egypt. Eventually Thelma led her first art and archeology tour from the Museum to Egypt in 1979/80, returning three more times.
Working originally in the Far East Department, Thelma began planning the Japan exhibit.  The Dorfmans became friendly with a family from Japan who was in the U.S. through the United Nations. In the 1980’s they first went to Japan, traveled to China and then to India. With this background, Thelma was a prized employee for the Museum, as no one had been to China at that time.  She helped  the interns with their research, since she had actually been there and they were working only from books!
IMG_0683
Thelma gave lectures about their travels not only through institutions of higher education, but she showed us a newspaper clipping that announced her lecture at B. Altman & Co!  She spoke about “Buddhism and its role in the arts; bronze, jade, sculpture, calligraphy, woodcuts, lacquer and their influence in Chinese art and Western culture”.  Before her lecture, there was a Farberware demonstration on “Cooking Chinese Food in the Electric Wok”!
According to www.metmuseum.org, “The Museum’s Chinese Garden Court is based on a small seventeenth-century courtyard that is part of an actual garden, known as Wangshi Yuan or the Garden of the Master of the Fishing Nets, in Suzhou. In 1980, using this existing garden as a model, Chinese craftsmen created a replica in the Museum using man-made and natural elements crafted or found in China and assembled with traditional construction tools and methods. The building of the garden court was the first permanent cultural exchange between the United States and the People’s Republic of China and was the first of a number of Chinese gardens to be built in North America.”
Painting by Thelma

Painting by Thelma

Thelma oversaw this effort due to her vast first-hand knowledge.   She explained that ” everything is built using not one nail! The joints are dovetailed so everything can breathe and the wood won’t crack”. She went on to tell us how the Museum supplied the plumbers and electricians working easily with the Chinese craftsmen.  They were housed at a hotel on 81st Street and on weekends, Thelma oversaw cultural exchange activities, taking the Chinese craftsmen went bowling or touring New York City.
The Asian Art Galleries were built in much the same way, with all of the materials, craftsmen and plans coming from the “mother country”, Japan.  A year later, the Topkaki exhibit was ready to be built, with small alcoves for silversmiths, rug makers and other craftsmen.  A snafu with the workers resulted in having no native demonstrators and only pieces of literature. Perhaps, when you meet Thelma at the Griffin Gallery she will give you the details!
Jack built this box to protect this art piece

Jack built this box to protect the art piece

The Dorfman’s travels since the 1950’s have taken them to more than cities, buildings, sites and countries.  Going on the Orient Express, taking their children to Greece, Israel, Egypt and exploring on their own around the world has enriched this couple beyond measure.  While they have brought back quite a few keepsakes that decorate their home, their most precious souvenirs are the people they encountered and the relationships that were built and still exist.
She lectured at the Heritage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.  When she arrived, the paintings were stacked against the walls and lying on the floor, “It was not what is is today”, she says.  The focus of her lectures was French Impressionism, as the Hermitage has one of the largest collections in the world.  She tells us that the Czarina had a man stationed in Paris, who would buy every piece of art he could.
Table Set for tea. Far right is vase of Thelma's Hand made flowers with glass seed beads

Table Set for tea. Far right is vase of Thelma’s Hand made flowers with glass seed beads

At the time, the Impressionist painters were not admired by their peers or the public, so these pieces of art were relatively inexpensive and plentiful. That is how the Hermitage came to own them all.  Thelma knew all about French Impressionism through the Japanese print.  She explains,”The Impressionists were so overwhelmed and awestruck by the Japanese concepts! They used the flat color, the strong diagonal and cropped images to create their own work in a new way.”  She titles her French Impressionism lecture, “That Parisian moment of magic that created a language of art that ignited all that came after”.
Thelma shows us the photo of Mrs. Lee, the last person of the five Jewish clans living in China.  She goes into a number of theories of how these kosher, practicing Jews came to China.  The Protestant missionaries tried to help the clans survive by purchasing their wares and their relationship with the Moslem community was so friendly, that the local mosque is built from timbers purchased from these Jews.
Painting of Mongolian Child

Painting of Mongolian Child, Daggers from Morrocco

As we wait for the water to heat for tea, Thelma shows us the numerous Japanese dolls that were given to her as gifts.  Some are ceramic, others glass, a few more precious ones are ceramic and were made by doll makers.  Thelma is not the only creative person in the household.  Jack beams with pride as he shows off the Grandmother clock and bookcases he put together himself.  And we noticed a clarinet on the porch, which Jack practices.  He enjoys delving into scientific research and appreciates all eras of history. Some of the lamps in their residence are vases or statues bought during their world adventures which Jack made into functional lighting pieces.
Part of Thelma's Asian Doll Collection

Part of Thelma’s Asian Doll Collection

She is particularly fond of her Buddha sculpture, which she made herself. A photo of her taking part in the Tea Ceremony brings more stories and fond memories of their visits in Japan. As we wend our way through their home, anecdotes are recalled and shared with humor. Their most recent trip to China was in 2000.
Close-up of Thelma's Sculpture

Close-up of Thelma’s Sculpture

As she shows us her first sculpture, she emphasizes that she did it for her own enjoyment.  You can see how she used the grains of the stone to emphasize the movement of the clothing’s drape.  We see their wedding photo, taken at B’nai Jeshurun in New York City.  The portrait of her teacher, who posed once a year, for his students of the New York Art League is prominent. She could only attend one night a week, as she had young children at home.  The teacher, Dickinson, made an impression on Thelma.  
Thelma's Rock Garden

Thelma’s Rock Garden

Thelma continues to paint and has a massive collection of sea shells from all over the world which she makes into dioramas and rockeries incorporating statues and other objects. As we prepare to sit down to tea (savories and sweets with dainty cups and floral napkins), Jack points out the floral arrangement on the table.  We’re fascinated to learn that Thelma made these glass beaded flowers herself when she was part of a Japanese women’s handcrafts organization!
Thelma is available for lectures to groups and organizations.  She welcomes invitations to share her stories and plans these educational talks meticulously. After Thelma’s presentation at the Griffin gallery, she will have special balloons situated around the Gallery and walk the guests through so they can see art and artifacts about which she has spoken.
For more information about The Griffin Gallery or Thelma’s upcoming lecture, please visit: www.griffingallery.net  or email griffingallery18@yahoo.com.  The exhibit is sponsored by: Beiner,Inkeles & Horvitz, P.A. 2000 Glades Road, Suite 110, Boca Raton, FL, 33431  (561) 750-1800

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