Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lost Bohemia

Lost Bohemia is a documentary by Josef "Birdman" Astor. It tells the heartbreaking story of how artists were evicted from Carnegie Hall for its $150 million expansion.
Andrew Carnegie intended for the artists studios above the music hall to be used for exactly that: artists! It was a place for musicians, dancers, actors etc to work and much more than that it was home.
The original Carnegie Hall was built in 1891 and formed the nation's first actors' studio. Tenants had resided there as early as 1941...over 50 years, and were systemically removed from the building for the expansion.

"The studios’ significance to 20th Century culture cannot be overstated, as generations of legendary performers and artists lived and worked in them including Isadora Duncan, Marlon Brando, Barnett Newman, Agnes deMille, Marilyn Monroe, Leonard Bernstein, Ruth Gordon, Mark Twain, Martha Graham, Paddy Chayefsky, Robert Redford and Lee Strasberg."[sic]

The studios as they were (on left) and the renovation plans on right

It's a great documentary but a sad tale of how desensitised we can become when money is involved, but in hindsight we lose what's really important.
Carnegie Hall was rich in culture and history in those studios. See the trailer below:

To buy the DVD click here.

"Stick to your art, bury yourself in it, it will never fail you"
~Dr. Donald Shirley, virtuoso pianist
tenant since 1946

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