Lost Bohemia – where I want to live when I’m old

Both Amanda and I saw the Bill Cunningham New York film (separately) as a mothers day treat. We loved it (as did the teens) as it’s about so much more than just fashion and Bill Cunningham is an inspiration.

The film highlights the plight of the unique residents of the culturally significant Carnegie Artist Studios. Originally created as live/work studios for artists and to financially support Andrew Carnegie’s struggling concert hall, Bill and the other residents had lived there for decades, but were being forced to move by the landlords to make way for a luxury condo and office development. Eventually only Bill and his long time neighbour Editta Sherman were left in the building.

Since seeing BCNY I have become a little obsessed with the story of the artists studios and Editta Sherman in particular. She was named the Duchess of Carnegie Hall as she had lived there for for over 60 years, taking photographs of artists, celebrities, sports stars and politicians.

Film maker Josef Birdman Astor, also lived in the studios for 20 years and filmed his neighboring artists, ballet and drama instructors, dancers, singers, sculptors, painters and writers, over a period of eight years, as they fought to preserve the studios for future generations.

Lost Bohemia is the result and perfectly sums up the eccentric, creative lives of the residents and why it is so sad they are no longer there. It is the sort of place I would love to live both now and when I am 98, especially in Editta’s amazing studio!

See Bill Cunningham New York if you can. It is being screened all over the UK until May, or you can buy it on DVD.

1 Comment

  • nottsw19 says:

    Hi Jane, I watched Bill Cinnignham New York last Saturday evening at the Broadway Cinema in Nottingham – ’twas FAB! Having spent the previous w’end in NYC just made it all the more poignant. I’d never heard of the Carnegie Studios either, despite having visited and stayed directly opposite the Carnegie Hall more than once. Editta’s bouffant wig and eccentric ‘modelling’ poses deserve their own show, so pleased to hear about the Lost Bohemia film!
    Really great to hear at the end of the screening that Bill took the appt overlooking Central Park and made the landlord remove the kitchen to house his filing cabinets . . . priceless!
    Was disappointed not to be told anything of Editta’s new living arrangements in the prologue, so will hopefully find out more in Lost Bohemia. Thanks for investigating and sharing the link.

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