At Bronx Mansion, An Artful Paradise

by Daniel Reynolds · April 5, 2012

Last night, nearly 1,000 people turned out for the re-opening of the Andrew Freedman Home, an early 20th-century Bronx palazzo that once housed New York’s elite.

Long-shuttered to the public, the mansion has been repurposed for an art exhibition, “This Side of Paradise,” a title borrowed from the debut novel of F. Scott Fitzgerald. For the occasion, 32 artists have transformed the many stately rooms, among them a library and billiard parlor, into a series of installations which explore the Home's fascinating history.

The exhibition was organized by No Longer Empty, an moving arts organization steered by curator Manon Slome. In an interview with NY Daily News, Slome stated:

“You couldn't be in here and not deal with its history. But curatorially, I didn't want it to be just about the past and this white elephant on the Concourse. I wanted to find ways of relating it to the Bronx today.”

Guests packed Freedman's rooms and corridors to get a glimpse of the treasures on display, among them, artwork by Linda Cunningham, Benjamin Petit, and photographer Sylvia Plachy, whose son, actor Adrien Brody, was present to show his support.

A Gatsby-esque after party followed the Opening Reception, where white-gloved ladies sipped St-Germain and champagne cocktails, and were twirled on the ballroom floor by tuxedoed gentlemen.

It wasn’t a sight one would normally associate with the Bronx.

Between sets of jazz and swing standards, the band leader took to the mic. “Would the owner of the grey Mazda please move their car? You’re blocking Adrien Brody.”

Where: Andrew Freedman Home, 1125 Grand Concourse, Bronx Exhibition Hours: Thursday to Sunday, 1pm to 7pm

For more information, go HERE.