Left: Photo by Eric Fischl.

PALM BEACH - Denise Bethel and I hosted a lunch at Bice on the occasion of a sensational photography exhibition that just opened at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre, a great little non-profit in downtown West Palm Beach, near the Norton Museum of Art.

This was my first visit to the Centre, whose mission is to promote photography and digital media through educational programs, amazing workshops, and exhibitions. The new show, called Full of Grace: A Journey through the History of Childhood, is masterfully curated by my friend Ray Merritt, and chronicles the way children have been depicted in photography from 150 years ago until today. There are over 200 works, all from five private collections.  It is riveting, and takes on some challenging issues such as child labor and exploitation, the effects of poverty, hunger, illiteracy, disease, and war – but also celebrates the pure unadulterated joys of childhood in beautiful and poignant images by some of the greatest photographers of all time, including like Irving Penn, André Kertesz and Joel Meyerowitz. It’s on until March 17.


Two images from Full of Grace: Irving Penn’s “Cuzco” and Joel Meyerowitz’s “Heidi.”

Our lunch was held the day after the opening, following a stimulating panel discussion. There were sixty of us at Bice, dining on branzino, with a nice lemony sauce and tangy caper berries, and a super light and creamy tiramisu.

It was a very convivial mix of artists, collectors, and curators, including Eric Fischl and April Gornick, legendary photographer Ralph Gibson (who received the Fotofusion award this week at the Centre), lenders to the exhibition including Henry Buhl, Joe Cohen, and Joe Baio, and a special treat, the talented designer Tomas Meier. We ended the afternoon with a visit to his eponymous Worth Avenue boutique after lunch to admire a beautiful selection of decorative objects, jewelry, and men’s and women’s clothing.

Left: Collector Joe Baio and Denise Bethel. Center: Curator Roger Ward. Right: April Gornick, Lee Skolnick and Tina Bilotti.

Left: Tomas Maier, Mary Jane Marcasiano, Andrew Preston and  Ralph Gibson. Right: Attorney Loretta Ippolito and dealer Howard Greenberg