Tuesday, February 7, 2012

South Florida Social Diary

Design Center of the Americas, Atrium C. Pictured from above, the 2012 DCOTA WinterMarket keynote panelists led by Paige Rense Noland, at the podium. Seated on stage: Geoffrey Bradfield, Jennifer Post, Scott Snyder, and Stephen Shadley.
South Florida kaleidoscope: Art + Design + Architecture
By Augustus Mayhew

Florida is a state of relentless change, always ready to redefine the ever-shifting paradigm for paradise. During this past week, I happened on two revered locales beset with changes.

At the Design Center of the Americas (DCOTA) in Dania Beach, I found the international trade center in the midst of transforming its interior spaces, no doubt from the sublime to the even more spectacular. It was my first visit to DCOTA’s three-building complex where 100 design showrooms are clustered within the 775,000 square-foot showcase.  

Paige Rense Noland led the panel at 2012 DCOTA WinterMarket.
During Friday night’s American International Fine Art Fair First View and Collector’s Invitational opening, I noticed not only evident changes among the more than 60 exhibitor’s portfolios and price points but the new presentation grid introduces a more dynamic format to the often unsurprising maze constituting most art fairs.

All that was missing from the café and lounge areas was a full orchestra, inviting guests to fox trot or samba while contemplating whether the Hammer Galleries” Portrait of George Washington might be just the right addition to their collections. Yes, Tiffany opted out but there was plenty to captivate, including several stellar London galleries, dazzling jewelers, and museum-quality French furniture showrooms.

Then, the latest uprisings in Manalapan, a town already of many mansions where there are  never enough new mansions. For the anxious looking to dispel concerns about the direction of today’s up-and-down economic markets, I have included a passing glance at the latest hard-to-miss Manalapan mansions-under-construction. Lastly, a touch of perspective with a sentimental look at a house designed in 1954 by Palm Beach architect Byron Simonson, a Mid-century Modern  classic now for sale on nearby Hypoluxo Island.

Apparently, none of this fascinating allure was enough for Russian Internet kingpin Mikhail Vinchel who this week paid $5.475 million for 12591 Banyan Road in North Palm Beach’s Seminole Golf Club area just a few doors from Elin Nordegren and the Ziff family. Nonetheless, here are snaps from DCOTA, the born-again 16th edition of the Fine Art Fair, and Manalamansion Row.
2012 DCOTA WinterMarket
Design Center of the Americas 1-2 February 2012

For this year’s WinterMarket event where DCOTA’s otherwise to-the-trade only restriction is lifted allowing unescorted public access to what is considered the largest design campus of its kind, President and CEO Charles S. Cohen put together two days of programs and receptions highlighted by an opening keynote panel led by design icon Paige Rense Noland. For her topic “Timeless Design: Past, Present and Future,” Noland assembled some of the design world’s most influential personalities including, Geoffrey Bradfield, Jennifer Post, Scott Snyder, and Scott Shadley.  Following the presentation, among several of other special the events were a Baker Knapp & Tubbs trunk show featuring the latest from Baccarat; Schumacher & Co.’s launch of their 2012 Spring Collection; Century Furniture’s reception for designer Juan Montoya; and the 2012 Stars of Design Awards presented by Mr. Cohen.
Charles S. Cohen and Paige Rense Noland. Mr. Cohen is president and CEO of Cohen Brothers Real Estate whose portfolio includes the nation's premier design centers – Pacific Design Center, LA;, D&D Building, NYC; Decorative Center Houston; and Design Center of the Americas (DCOTA) in Florida. The editor emeritus of Architectural Digest magazine, Noland is among the interior design world's legendary figures.
DCOTA, Atrium C. Since I had never visited DCOTA, I arrived early to tour the trade center's three-building complex that is undergoing a makeover. The A and C buildings appear completed as the B-building's ground floor is in the midst of finishing touches. Behind the stage, Bistro D Restaurant & Bar open daily for lunch.
Along with interior improvements, the grounds are being landscaped.
Atrium B. While the design galleries remain open, Atrium B is still being polished. Atrium B.
Atrium A. The view of Atrium A's seating area from the fourth floor.
Atrium A. Janus et Cie is located on the ground floor. Atrium A.
Atrium A. Seating area.
Quadrille Wallpapers and Fabrics. DCOTA. Quadrille Wallpapers and Fabrics. DCOTA. An array of China Seas Malay batiks.
When I returned to Atrium C, the crowd was beginning to arrive.
A quick moment among the swatches before the panelists stepped under the lights for their presentation: Charles S. Cohen, Paige Rense Noland, Scott Snyder, Jennifer Post, Geoffrey Bradfield, and Stephen Shadley.
At the podium, DCOTA President and CEO Charles S. Cohen welcomes an overflow crowd and introduces Paige Rense Noland who moderated the opening program. Noland was joined on stage by the gold standard of notable designers: Geoffrey Bradfield, Jennifer Post, Scott Snyder, and Stephen Shadley.
At the microphone, Paige Rense Noland. Seated, Geoffrey Bradfield, Jennifer Post, Scott Snyder, and to the right, Stephen Shadley.
The "C" in Atrium C might stand for cathedral as the setting's magnificent aspects added a fitting dimension for the presentation. I stayed longer at the presentation than I planned. Thus, I preempted some of my Miami gallery stops and went directly to W Hotel's The Dutch restaurant for lunch in South Beach.
American International Fine Art Fair
PBC Convention Center 3 February – 12 February 2012
The opening preview was delayed as exhibitors completed their finishing touches.
The Palm Beach County Convention Center, north elevation. Friday night's breezy overcast conditions cooled temperatures just enough for wraps, for what has otherwise been an unusually warm winter.
This year's tableau offered a more theatrical staging. As much as this scene might first appear to be aboard one of Star Trek's galactic inter-phasic colonies, the AI Fine Art Fair offers a worldwide array of exhibitors under one roof.
Exhibit spaces were framed with lights.
Once the doors opened, the evening's fashion scope ran the gamut from black tie to polo shirts.
Several thousand attended Friday night's invitational opening preview.
Galerie Felix Marcilhac, Paris.
Galerie Felix Marcilhac, Paris. Galerie Felix Marcilhac, Paris. Tapestry detail on a chair back, Andre Arbus (1903-1969).
Potterton Books, London-New York-Los Angeles. Dogs, needlepoint. $9,500.
Guariso Gallery, Washington DC. Vying for Attention. Briton Riviere, artist (1840-1920), British. Oil on canvas. $415,000.
Avery Galleries, Bryn Mawr. Poetry after Breakfast. Milton Avery, artist. Oil on canvas, 1951.
Mallett, London-New York.
Mallett, London-New York.
Hammer Galleries, New York. Portrait of George Washington. 1822. Gilbert Stuart, artist. $7.5 million. Hammer Galleries, New York. La Danseuse. 1929. Fernand Leger, artist.
Art Link International, Lake Worth. Jules Brassner.
Chip James, Pamela Pipes, and Peyton Bruns.
Michael Goedhuis, Suzanne Stoll, and Daniela Di Lorenzo.
Willow Gallery, London. Gondoliers in front of Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti, Venice. c. 1900. Rubens Santoro, artist. $135,000. Rehs Galleries, New York. The Menu. Francois Brunery, artist. $40,000.
Bill and Cece Black.
Ariadne Galleries, New York-Paris-London. Seated: James Demirjean and Torkum Demirjian. Standing: Gregory Demerjian.
Martin du Louvre Gallery, Paris.
Martin du Louvre Gallery. Elégance. c. 1930. Alfred Janniot, sculptor. Original atelier plaster for the monumental relief at the Maíson Française, Rockefeller Center. Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques, Dillsberg, Pennsylvania. Weather vane in the form of the god Mercury. C. 1870-1890. $95,000. Eric Firestone Galley, East Hampton. Goddess. c. 1948. Sidney Geist, artist.
Wilbur Ross and Hilary Geary Ross.
Betty Becher, Janie Armfield, and Leta Austin-Foster.
Alpha XXI. The automobile's developers encourage you to "Go Green" with what is described as "Wind Turbine Technology," "non-mainstream artistic design," and "magnetic power."
Diana El-Daher and Jennifer Garrigues.
Roland Finer, Peter Finer Antique Arms & Armour. Simon Barton, Potterton Books.
Cam and Deedee Harris.
Harvey Hewitt and Janet Kardon.
Sally Altizer and Katherine Covington.
Richard Green, London.
Richard Green, London. Jonathan Green, deputy executive chairman.
Arcature Gallery, Palm Beach.
Gladwell & Company, London. Peace-Rosa Madame A. Meilland. Oil on panel. Pieter Wagemans, artist. $8,320.
Manalapan Mansions & Mid-Century Modern

Manalapan's Mansion Row extends south from The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in two segments. First, South Ocean Boulevard to Chillingworth Curve where the houses command direct ocean frontage; secondly, from the old Gedney place to the Boynton Inlet where the properties are predominately lakefront with ocean frontage, some accessed by tunnel, across A-1-A with cabanas built on the smaller ocean side parcel. The elaborate Ziff enclave is, of course, an exception. Built originally as Gemini, now demolished, for the Lambert family, architect Marion Sims Wyeth extended the living room beneath A-I-A opening onto the ocean. For many years, Gemini was best known as the winter retreat of Loel and Gloria Guinness. In case you have lost sleep in worry about the future of mansions, here are the current works in progress.
South Ocean Boulevard, Manalapan.
South Ocean Boulevard, Manalapan.
South Ocean Boulevard, Manalapan.
South Ocean Boulevard, Manalapan.
South Ocean Boulevard, Manalapan.
South of Chillingworth Curve
South Ocean Boulevard, Manalapan.
South Ocean Boulevard, Manalapan.
Mid-Century Modern
Byron Simonson, architect. 1954.
502 South Atlantic Drive, Hypoluxo Island.

With much of architect Byron Simonson's imaginative designs in Palm Beach's North End and along North Lake Way now demolished, as well as his Colony Hotel still undesignated as a landmark, Patricia Towle, a broker with Illustrated Properties in Manalapan, notified me last week that she had listed a Simonson-designed villa on Hypoluxo Island. The nearby original La Coquille Club, now demolished, was also a Simonson design, built for Rockefeller scion Spelman Prentice. However modest by today's standards, the house has 1,700 square feet of living area, the island house is a reminder of the once popular Tropical Modernism style utilized by seasonal residents. Towle has listed the property for $525,000 and said the owner has indicated she would like to sell it someone who will not demolish it. Good luck. Here is a look around.
The front of the house faces north. The house was originally designed by Simonson for Enoch and Jean Hunt.
The oval pool was added by the second owners Jane and Eugene Hunt.
The living room features a vaulted cypress ceiling.
In the bathroom, some of Jean Hunt's art work remains.
The bedroom has custom built-ins.
The entrance and galley kitchen have slate floors.
A seagrape provides a centerpiece for the circular drive with a two-car open carport to the east.
Photographs by Augustus Mayhew.
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