By Laura Beach
NEW YORK CITY – In a marketplace increasingly saturated with high-level international fairs, the Winter Antiques Show, which previews at the Park Avenue Armory on January 18, is holding steady as one of the last bastions of carefully updated traditionalism.
The fair organized by and for East Side House Settlement recently announced a handful of new exhibitors among its 70 specialist presenters. Strikingly, most of the newcomers embrace the idea of historical continuum, an approach to art and design grounded in the past but accommodating of the present and future.
Associate executive director Michael Diaz-Griffith told us that the fair’s low attrition rate, now at prerecession levels, contributes to the feeling of family at the show, where some dealers have exhibited for decades. The 2018 roster, he added, “Is really exciting, with some familiar names and new dealers who are perfect fits. We are forging head into the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries without losing what makes the Winter Antiques Show so specific and unique.” He said the show remains as committed as ever to historic material, much of it American, not withstanding its diversity.
The 2018 roster, he added, “Is really exciting, with some familiar names and new dealers who are perfect fits. We are forging head into the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries without losing what makes the Winter Antiques Show so specific and unique.”
One sparkling addition to the 2018 show is Spencer Marks, Ltd, silver dealers with a sterling reputation for late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century silver, mostly American. It is an underserved niche and a subject destined for more attention, what with the Rhode Island School of Design’s upcoming Gorham exhibition and other major museum presentations on the horizon.
Peter H. Eaton and Joan R. Brownstein are returning to the fair after a year’s hiatus. Brownstein is an expert in American folk paintings. Eaton specializes in New England furniture made between 1650 and 1820, with an emphasis on William and Mary, country Queen Anne and Federal period furniture from eastern Massachusetts, Connecticut and the Connecticut River Valley.
“We know Arlie Sulka will curate a very specific and elevated array of material,” Diaz-Griffith said of the owner of Lillian Nassau LLC, also new to the show. Lillian Nassau is the pioneering specialist in Tiffany Studios lamps, Favrile glass, Favrile pottery, mosaics, windows, desk pieces and Louis C. Tiffany paintings.
Hirschl & Adler Galleries is expanding to two spaces. The firm’s immaculately appointed room-setting booth off the show’s central court offers foremost examples of historic American painting and related decorative arts, much of it dating to the Nineteenth Century. The company’s contemporary wing, Hirschl & Adler Modern, featuring emerging and established realist artists as well as American and European art from the postwar period, will have a separate space elsewhere in the show. Highlights will include works by sculptor Elizabeth Turk and painter Stone Roberts. Both contemporary artists employ traditional methods and materials.
“A nod to the past by artists who are really part of the present – that is the niche Hirschl & Adler Modern fills,” managing director Elizabeth Feld told us.
Also new to the show is Jason Jacques Gallery, perhaps best known for Modern and contemporary European ceramics. Gallery director Jason Busch said, “We are very honored to be invited into the show. We are looking at historic ceramics from circa 1900 Europe together with the art of living artists. We find interesting ways to mix it together. Jason Jacques, a true visionary, is a seasoned connoisseur with a brilliant eye.” A glazed stoneware and bronze lamp by Clément Massier, whom Busch calls “one of the pioneers of Modern French ceramics,” is anticipated to be a highlight of the Jacques display.
Also new to the fair is Lobel Modern, established by Evan Lobel in New York City in 1998 to promote vintage Twentieth Century design with an emphasis on craftsmanship and materials. The gallery features work by Karl Springer, Gabriella Crespi, Philip and Kelvin LaVerne, Paul Evans, Vladimir Kagan, Tommi Parzinger, Edward Wormley, Harvey Probber, Milo Baughman and Anzolo Fuga, among others.
The Winter Show’s one collaborative booth, a concept it promoted in 2017, will belong to antique wallpaper specialist Carolle Thibaut-Pomerantz, who is joining forces with the Paris firm Galerie Anne-Sophie Duval, a specialist in French Modernist design who will bring roughly ten pieces of Art Deco furniture.
Americana enthusiasts are disappointed to learn that South Egremont, Mass., dealers Grace and Elliott Snyder are taking a leave of absence from the show, as are Glass Past, private dealers in the field of Italian glass; Maison Gerard, featuring Modern and contemporary European design; and the British jeweler Wartski, known for Fabergé. Also departing are Todd Merrill, a dealer in studio contemporary design, and Nordic design specialists Hostler Burrows.
“The show is filled with rare and unique objects and singularly focused on quality and authenticity. We see this as a magical combination. A buyer can find an unusual object that speaks to her and know that it is vetted and presented by leading experts in the field,” Diaz-Griffith concluded.