A trip to Shangri La

Get ready for the island breezes – and the dazzling treasures.

The Greenwich Antiques Society will take its guests on a virtual trip to Shangri La – the legendary Hawaiian retreat of American heiress and philanthropist Doris Duke – through its next lecture.

WAG, you may recall, explored Shangri La back in the December 2012 issue (sadly, also a virtual trip) with a feature on an exhibition then underway at the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan.

The memorable show was curated by Donald Albrecht and Thomas Mellins, in collaboration with the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. The curators also wrote the book that accompanied the exhibition.

Now, the antiques society will host Albrecht and Mellins May 4 as they again team up to present “Doris Duke’s Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape and Islamic Art” at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich.

Here’s how the society, which is dedicated to the decorative arts, sums up the lecture:

“This illustrated lecture will focus on the remarkable estate known as Shangri La, a five-acre estate overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Honolulu, within the context of other residences occupied by Doris Duke and her family in New York, Newport, and Los Angeles. Ms. Duke amassed one of the nation’s largest private collections of Islamic Art encompassing a broad time spectrum, from pre-Islamic and medieval periods through the mid-20th century, as well as a multiplicity of styles developed within the realm of the Islamic Arts from the start. Duke’s aesthetic sensibility was eclectic, and the mix of people she worked with was similarly far-reaching, from the renowned Palm Beach architect Marion Sims Wyeth to interior designer René Martin of Morocco and antiques dealer Ayoub Rabenou.”

Albrecht, featured numerous times in WAG through the years, is the curator of architecture and design at the Museum of the City of New York, while Mellins is an independent New York-based curator.

The illustrated lecture at 1:15 p.m. will be followed by refreshments. Admission is $20 for nonmembers. Space is limited, with reservations required by April 27.

I’m planning to attend, looking forward to another chance to “visit” Shangri La.

See you there?

For more, including reservations, contact greenwich.antiques.soc@gmail.com or call 203-322-2967. And for more virtual trips, look for “Passion’s Tides,” WAG’s travel annual travel issue, out this June.

– Mary Shustack

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