Everyone is scaling back these days. Bloomberg tells us about the paltry gift bags at the Parrish benefit this year:
Guests at the Parrish Art Museum’s 2005 summer gala received a limited-edition bag from Coach Inc. This year, Kelsey Grammer, Joel Grey and some 500 other attendees got a nylon bag, a journal and a cookbook. Even the bottles of Estee Lauder perfume and Hampton & Co. neckties left on diners’ chairs couldn’t lift the cloud of the gala’s 25 percent budget cut and the failure to attract a corporate sponsor.
“It’s clearly an indication of the correction in the economy,” said Terrie Sultan, the Southampton, New York-based museum’s director.
The New York Times looks at the scaled down design for the new museum:
It was hard to get excited three years ago when the Parrish Art Museum unveiled its plan to build a lavish new home in a meadow in Water Mill, part of the town of Southampton, N.Y. The problem was not with the architecture. The design, a villagelike cluster of pavilions by the Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, was perfectly suited to its pastoral setting. Its interlocking galleries made an engaging statement about the bonds among viewer, artist and the art-making process. […] The new design, budgeted at less than a third of the original $80 million, will be a perfectly nice place to view art — or host a party. Its handsome profile — a long, narrow bar under a corrugated metal roof — has a serene, low-key quality that is a far cry from the ostentatious mansions that defined the Hamptons of the last decade. Yet the design is also a major step down in architectural ambition. And it suggests the possibility of a worrying new development in our time of financial insecurity. It is a creeping conservatism — and aversion to risk — that leaves little room for creative invention.
When Creativity Dminishes Along with the Cash (New York Times)