May 4 to June 18, 2017 • FREE Exhibit in New York
Wednesdays to Sundays 12:00 to 6:00 pm; Thursday evenings until 8:00 pm. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
FREE admission to the gallery exhibit & TV special screening. No advance ticketing.
The Paley Center is happy to present this unique exhibit that brings together the singing artistry of one of America's greatest entertainers with his vibrant painting talent. On display are forty pieces of art grouped into themes Tony has pursued over years--his love of Manhattan; capturing his world travels; and his salute to fellow musicians--along with highlights of his extraordinary career as captured on TV. The combination of these two artistries brings a very special dimension to each.
Screening: The Paley Center will be presenting a free screening of Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come each Saturday during the exhibit at 4:00 pm.
To attend a private opening reception with Mr. Bennett on May 3 (limited availability), join the Paley Center at the Patron level. Click to join or call 212.621.6780 to speak with a Membership representative.
The Paley Center for Media in New York
25 West 52 Street, New York, NY 10019
More information about visiting the Paley Center in New York.
Whether in song or painting, Tony Bennett is a master communicator of emotion. Throughout his life, Tony has been able to use the lyric or the brush to convey the most delicate feelings and intense passions. For over sixty-five years Tony continues to be the living embodiment of the Great American Songbook, bringing musical pleasure and sophistication to the entire world on stage and on television. Now, during the celebration of his ninetieth year, The Paley Center for Media is pleased to present a retrospective of Tony’s other artistic love, his paintings and drawings, which offer a unique peek into his personal vision and boundless creativity.
Tony has been a visual artist since he was five years old, when he began drawing on the sidewalks of his hometown, Astoria, Queens. Tony received formal training as an art student at the School of Industrial Arts (now known as the School of Art and Design) in Manhattan and has renewed his learning with private teachers throughout the decades. He continues to paint every day, whether at home in Manhattan or on touring around the world, always signing his work with the family name Benedetto, a homage to his ancestral roots.
For Tony, painting is “all about line, form, and color, balance and learning what to leave out.” Whether singing or painting, Tony has mastered the mantra “less is more,” and his art is compelling in either medium.
We have grouped this exhibition into the themes that Tony has pursued over the years: his love of the many facets of Manhattan; his curiosity about the world wherever he works, encompassing Tuscany, Japan, and the Persian Gulf; and his salute to such musical icons as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, and Duke Ellington. You will also see two self-portraits, giving a sense of how Tony views himself. In all his work you feel touches of Impressionism and Modernism; Tony is as invigorated by the classics in painting as he is in music. Tony studies music and paints daily.
As Tony has emphatically stated: “My whole world has come down to art and music.” To give a full experience of Tony Bennett’s aesthetic sensibility, we are complementing his art with his music. You will hear exemplary performances of Tony over seven decades on television from the Paley Center’s archive. The earliest highlight is Tony singing “Taking a Chance on Love” from a 1951 edition of the series Star of the Family, where he is introduced by his mother, who was so supportive of all his early artistic endeavors. Tony will be seen singing such signature songs as “Because of You,” "I Wanna Be Around,” and "Steppin’ Out,” as well as multiple versions of “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” which visitors can compare to his foggy visualization of the Golden Gate Bridge.
You will also see in the gallery highlights from Tony’s recent acclaimed special on NBC, Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come. We invite you to watch the complete special, screening every Saturday at 4:00 pm throughout this exhibition.
Tony recently said: “I have pursued truth and beauty in my artistic endeavors and want to just keep going… I
feel like I am just starting out.”
You can feel that love in his art and music, side by side in our exhibition.