2018 Winter Antiques Show Kick-off Party at Macklowe Gallery

December 13, 2017

By Marleen Barr

The Winter Antiques Show is America’s leading art, antiques and design fair. Now in its sixty-fourth year, the show features seventy experts in the fine and decorative arts. Visitors encounter an eclectic mix of works which date from antiquity to the present. The Show’s proceeds benefit the East Side House Settlement, a nationally recognized community-based organization in the South Bronx.

Although the following point is extraneous to the occasion, it speaks to true life in New York: due to an electrical shut down, I became stuck in the F train on my way to the gallery. So, while I make a habit of arriving early to the events I cover, this time I ran breathlessly to Macklowe Gallery as the clock was ticking toward the bar’s closing. Anxious to find a content hook, I entered the gallery which was brimming with gorgeous objects, well-dressed people, and smiling jewel-clad models. I marched up to the people standing behind a jewel-filled counter and announced that I am a reporter. Lary Matlick, the gallery’s Vice President who struck me as being a quintessential New York gentleman, turned his attention to me.

I asked Mr. Matlick to describe Macklowe Gallery’s raison d’etre. His response: “The Gallery educates and makes people aware of the fine selection of collectible antiques. Our specialties are art nouveau Tiffany lamps and antique jewelry. We invite experts to lecture on various aspects of what we do. We were located on Madison Avenue for forty-seven years. We recently moved to this new space where we continue our tradition of excellence.”

Trying to strike a more personal note, I then asked Mr. Matlick to comment about spending his life in the fine arts business. He said, “It was very enjoyable working with beautiful objects, especially exquisite jewelry from all over the world. Our clients are from many walks of life, including museums, diplomats, and business people.” He demurred when I asked him to name his most fascinating client: “Most of the clients are fascinating and thrilling to work with over the years,” he said.

En route to decide upon which beautiful object to describe, I moved to the middle of the Gallery. I stood transfixed while holding my notebook which says “Teach @ CUNY Day” on its cover. When one of the bejeweled models saw it, her eyes sparkled more than the 1870s gold precious stone-set necklace she was wearing. “Do you teach at the City University of New York?” she excitedly asked. When I answered affirmatively, she informed me that she is pursuing her Ph.D. at the CUNY Graduate Center. We had a wonderful conversation about the topic du jour: the treatment of women. When I asked her how it feels to be a brilliant woman who is working as a model she said, “It is a means to an end. This is how I pay the bills. Modeling is a job. I can set my own schedule.”

Last but not least, I approached a server and said, “I came too late for the hors d’oeuvres. What did I miss?” Her answer: “mini tart flambé, vegan risotto balls, salmon croquettes, and a pumpkin soup shooter.” As I stood grazing at the by now wilted leftover steamed vegetable tray, chomping on a lone carrot, I felt certain that these offerings must have been delicious.

I exited this wonderful—and, to me, better late than never–event resolved to walk home. I had had enough of the New York subway for one night.

Image: Diana Jacoby, Lucinda Ballard, Michael Diaz-Griffith, Karen Kemp Glover, Lorri Ahl, Loie Acevedo