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In her New York Times review, art critic Roberta Smith ripped this new exhibition of Tsarist jewels by Peter Carl Faberge at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Ave. as "simplistically presented and blatantly promotional." The latter a rap at the Faberge fragrance folks for backing the show financially in return, one assumes, for a little ink. Ironic part, the co-host of the opening black-tie gala dinner and preview was the museum's board of trustees chairman, Punch Sulzberger, whose family owns the Times and for whom critic Smith works.

Prevention magazine, the powerful little (digest-size) Rodale mag, is booming. Publisher Ken Wallace reports that with a rate base of 3,250,000, the monthly carried more ad pages than ever before (over 100) in the current March issue and that the April issue will top that mark.

Dale Lang isn't tossing the old cash around. The New York Observer reports Marcia Gillespie, editor of Lang's Ms. magazine, says slow pay to her writers is "a nightmare from hell." Lang Communications reportedly wouldn't pay several writers until lawsuits were brought. A Lang spokesperson blames the difficulties on "spiraling paper costs" and says, "We are catching up."

Remember heavyweight contender Gerry Cooney? Gerry lives out in the Hamptons these days which is where I ran into him on the jitney, looking tanned, fit, slightly graying. These days Gentleman Gerry writes about boxing for a local weekly, the East Hampton Independent, one of whose backers is Madison Ave.'s Jerry Della Femina.

Did you know they vote for a "publisher of the year" at Conde Nast? They do. And the winner i....Lynn Heiler of Bon Appetit.

Joan Sheridan La Barge reports Family Life circulation for the second half of 1995 hit 405,000 audited, a bonus of some 30,000 copies.

Fortune's managing editor, John Huey, and Publisher Stuart Arnold will meet with media writers Wednesday of this week to intro editors and talk about the magazine.

A fan or alum of Scali McCabe Sloves? Then head for the One Club Gallery (32 E. 21st St. in Manhattan) for a retrospective of 25 years of their creative work. The show has a gala preview March 13 and will be on through April 11.

CMP continues to knock 'em dead. The Manhasset (Long Island) publisher closed out 1995 up 20% in sales to $382 million.

MPA's Waldorf-Astoria magazine seminar March 22 has a winner with its PR Pyrotechnics panel chaired by Paul Wilmot of Conde Nast and featuring Dan Klores, Richard Johnson, Bobby Zarem, Karen Shapiro and Jason Weinberg.

Backpacker, the Rodale mag, carries a record 114 ad pages in its March "gear guide" issue. I'll drink to that from my nifty canteen!

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