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news of the death of Anne H. Bass yesterday has come today.

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RIP to a dedicated  patron of the arts. Ms. Bass did as well as a nice Vassar girl of her day could  by the social rules then obtaining, marrying into Texas oil money that wisely diversified into the entertainment business, and was later the beneficiary of the fattest divorce settlement Texas had seen to that time. 

The Dallas Morning News

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In the early 1980s, she was instrumental in reorganizing the Fort Worth Ballet after it collapsed in bankruptcy. In addition to bringing in New Yorkers Nanette Glushak, from the American Ballet Theatre, and Michel Rahn as artistic co-directors and putting them on her personal payroll, she reorganized the ballet school and underwrote a $150,000 redesign of the ballet’s 1985 Nutcracker. Over the next two years, she directly contributed about $300,000 to the ballet. Almost as much was channeled to the company from the Fort Worth-based Sid Richardson Foundation, which was controlled by her husband’s family.

ArtNet

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Bass was, by most accounts, more introverted than your standard-issue socialite (she once agreed to talk to a Texas Monthly reporter on the precondition that he not ask “anything personal”). But she represented a distinctly old-school sort of patron—one who viewed championing the arts as a kind of serious duty.

Her house and garden:

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So, for anyone who missed the 2005 event, here are photos of her architecturally significant house designed by Paul Rudolph and her absolutely splendid garden designed by Russell Page.

Ups and downs with NYCB:

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Peter Martins asked the faculty to remain neutral in the argument, but the teachers sent a letter to the board stating that it would be “devastating to the prestige and best interests of the school to have any action taken damaging to Lincoln Kirstein.” In the end, Mr. Kirstein stayed on and Ms. Porter’s dismissal stood.

Some years later, one newspaper reported that during a benefit gala, Ms. Watts, Mr. Martins’ former girlfriend, snapped at Anne Bass.

“‘You write the checks for his ballets, but I get to wear his underwear,’” she reportedly said—“and then lifted her dress to prove the point.”

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, dirac said:

RIP to a dedicated  patron of the arts. Ms. Bass did as well as a nice Vassar girl of her day could  by the social rules then obtaining, marrying into Texas oil money that wisely diversified into the entertainment business, and was later the beneficiary of the fattest divorce settlement Texas had seen to that time. 

The Dallas Morning News

ArtNet

Her house and garden:

Ups and downs with NYCB:

 

 

Wow...that part of her ups and downs with NYCB is quite intense. So interesting to see that Villella is brought into the article as a the example of how things ought to be done between board and AD, given that he would end up embodying the same exact issue years later, the tumultuous affair ending with his exit-( opposite case of Martins').

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Posted (edited)

Russell Page designed many gardens in Europe as well as the Frick garden in New York. I remember seeing a series of low-cut white 'Iceberg' rose bushes floating above a sea of blue pansies on the Fifth Ave side (though it may not have been a direct Page design).

From "The Education of a Gardener" –

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There is so often in landscape gardening a special difficulty: that gap so hard to bridge, between good design and good planting.

Processes have always given me more satisfactions than results. Perhaps this is peculiarly English and may explain our national affection for a pursuit which is always changing: growth and decay, the swing of seasons, our inconstant weather speeding or retarding the development of a trees or the flowering and seeding of a plant.

I have had to remember that I have been making other people’s gardens and that the garden must be theirs. People’s wishes and hopes and requirements are contributory factors just like soil, an oak wood, or lack of water. Where I have worked well the garden will be content to be itself and bear no obvious label.
 

The Paul Rudolf Foundation on the Bass Residence, 1970-76, with Paul Rudolf and Russell Page drawings –

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Rudolph’s most ambitious residence in both size and scope was, in his mind, also his greatest. Dazzling if not domestic, its stark white forms seem to hover above the landscape rather then grow out of it in an elegant counterpoint of floating horizontal planes and volumes. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater had been a fascination for thirty years, since his time at Auburn, and it is said that Rudolph visited it shortly before beginning the design for the Bass project.

"[The] ideal of weight and counterweight, similar to the movement of the human body, became the genesis of this house."

https://paulrudolph.org/project/bass-residence/

Edited by Quiggin

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater had been a fascination for thirty years, since his time at Auburn, and it is said that Rudolph visited it shortly before beginning the design for the Bass project.

Thanks for that, Quiggin. The Wright influence on the finished house is evident, I think.

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