Edward Albee, a two time t, hosted an intimate private/cocktail party in his enormous art-filled loft dominated by 90-100 pieces of African art. They are displayed in dynamic juxtaposition with adventurous contemporary art that he has been accumulating for around five decades. Most of the pieces were not high priced when he acquired them and many were gifts from the artists themselves, but today several of the artists, like Chagall and Milton Avery are renowned. Early on the 80 year old playwight, who has won two Tonys and two Drama Desk Awards, developed an enthusiasm for African masks and sculpture in general, which began his journey.
The public has rarely been privileged to view his diverse accumulation of art, a vast division of primitive pieces and the so called sophisticated. As a special treat Albee dialogued with Robert Storr (art critic and author) about what he feels is a personal need to be stimulated by provocative things, and he spoke specifically about how he came to create a life informed by art. The evening was Mr. Albee’s idea, a generous gesture to his longtime friend Jack Lenor Larsen, to benefit LongHouse Reserve. Larsen, an internationally known textile designer, established LongHouse in East Hampton on 16 acres to exemplify living with art in all forms. The arboretum, sculpture gardens and programs there bring together art and nature, aesthetics and spirit, to make a strong statement that art is necessary to living fully.
Albee’s latest play, Me, Myself and I, will be produced on Braodway this September. Meanwhile the prolific playwrite said, "I am working on two other plays, one very funny, one not, but that is all I am going to tell you, because I may be wrong."
Photography: Barry Gordin