Friday, January 22, 2016

Part of the art

Waxing Gibbous. 11:30 PM. Photo: JH.
Friday, December 22, 2016. Very cold yesterday in New York. Overcoat, gloves, scarves, cap. The big snowstorm which was forecast a week ago is evidently coming our way. Although it sounds like New York might get a couple of inches before the weekend’s out.

I went down to Michael’s to lunch with an old friend who was in town. Michael’s was very busy although with not so much chatter clatter that it seems to get on Wednesday.  Around the room: Jimmy Finkelstein was lunching with Harold Ford; Lisa Caputo was lunching with Paul Beirne; Gordon Davis with Arlene Shuler and Diane Coffey; Daniel Glass of Artemis Records; Jack Kliger; Teri Agins; David Kohl; Marc Rosen; Alice Mayhew with Lynn Nesbit and Cosby biographer Mark Whitaker; Gil Schwartz with Richard Johnson; the Whittinghams, Chuck and Charles Jr; Christine Taylor with George Gurley; Amy Sole with Andrew Davidoff; Donny Deutsch Steven Kaiser; Nitin Karmani; Joel Moser; Mitch Rosenthal; Chuck Rosenzweig; Mort Hamburg; Glenn Horowitz with Tim Duggan who has his own imprint in the Crown Publishing Group; Robert Zimmerman; Mitch Kanner.

Last night was the opening night Preview Party of the 62nd Winter Antiques Show at the Park Avenue Armory. The evening benefited the East Side House Settlement. East Side House was founded in 1891 on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. A little more than 50 years ago they moved up to Mott Haven in the South Bronx.
The entrance to last night's opening party preview of the 62nd annual Winter Antiques Show at the Park Avenue Armory benefiting the East Side House Settlement and sponsored by Chubb.
Today with a staff of more than 400, full-time and part-time teachers, social workers and other professionals, they serve 8000 individuals with a variety of programs and a budget of $11 million, much of which is provided by philanthropic individuals and the Winter Antiques Show.

Their mission is to help improve lives and enrich the quality of life in the community. The policy is the belief that education is the key that enables all people to create economic and civic opportunities for themselves, their families and their community. They do great work and our world could use more of them.
The banner just outside the Wade Thompson Drill Hall in which the Winter Antiques Show exhibited.
There many who work to produce this annual event. The co-chairs are Lucinda C. Ballard, Arie Kopelman, and Michael R. Lynch. The opening night party chair was Fran O’Brien. Ms. O’Brien is Senior Vice President of Chubb Personal Insurance. Chubb Personal Insurance is also the Presenting Sponsor of the show. Vice chairs were Jay Cantor, Courtney Booth Christensen, Helen Frech Kippax. Honorary Design Co-chairs were Nate Berkus, Ellie Cullman, Alexa Hampton, Markham Roberts.  Plus there are scores more serving as vice-chairs and co-sponsor who make it possible for East Side House to continue its work.

I always enjoy these antique shows even though I am not a candidate for any kind of collecting (other than books, and those that are found in bookstores). This antique show has those books that are found in museums and important collections. All of it is part of the art. 
Kevin Sharkey and Susan Magrino. John Rosselli and Bunny Williams.
The Armory was very crowded with guests at the 6:30 hour.  There are 75 exhibitors of furniture from antiques to contemporary, paintings, from Early American right up through Modern, rare books, sculpture, ceramics, rugs, jewelry, silver, bronzes. There are so many beautiful things to look at, it’s almost like a more intimate museum. You can imagine items in your own home. Under the most fortunate of circumstances.

Last night was also a social night for New Yorkers. The very beginnings of what becomes the social season. So there was a lot of seeing friends, seeing people, not to mention the fantastic tables of canapés, hors d’oeuvres, tiny sandwiches and beef on a stick. Put that all together and you get a very fancy and pleasurable party.  I have no doubt many will be back to look again. The show opens today and runs through the 31st, which is a week from this Sunday.
Richard Turley and Margo Langenberg. Sheila Stephenson and Martha Glass.
It was impossible for me to take it all in last night, regrettably. But I did get a closer look at a couple of booths. One of them was that of Aronson Antiquairs of Amsterdam who unveiled a Monumental 17th Century Delft Pyramidal Tulipieres.

They are very rare. Now, I should add that I am neither a connoisseur nor a collector of Delft, nor do I have any kind of emotional connection to it. But. On sight, each  41 inches high, they are extraordinary works of artisanship and beauty. For those in the know, they are attributed to Dirck Witsenburgh, an owner of the White Star (De Witte Ster) factory and bear the company’s distinctive six pointed star, letter F 20 and numeral 120 of the acclaimed Delft maker. They date to 1695 and have been in a private Belgian collection since 1913.
Monumental 17th Century Delft Pyramidal Tulipieres, the largest pair of Delft flower vases to appear on the open market since 1991, 41 inches in height, very rare, made in 1695 at Aronson Antiquairs of Amsterdam (, now on display at the Winter Antiques Show.
Mr. Aronson, who is the 5th generation owner of the 13-year-old Dutch firm explained:

“Fifteen years ago my late father Dave and I were invited to visit the home of an elegant Belgian couple who possessed an important collection of Delft that had been passed down for generations.  This grand pair of Blue and White segmented Pyramidal Flower Vases dominated the room and immediately captured our attention.  We were allowed to deconstruct them and to look at every segment and found the vases in remarkably good condition. We immediately asked about purchasing them but were told they were not for sale. However, the couple promised that when they were ready to sell, they would come to us. I view this as a testament to the relationship my family has had with the couple over many years that this past summer they were at last offered for sale. They are the largest vases of their kind I have handled and in fact, the largest to come onto the open market since 1991.”
Tulipiere details.
Dutch Delftware has been handmade in Holland for more than 400 years. It began when trade with Italy, Spain and Portugal brought earthenware to the Netherlands. By the 17th century the Dutch East India Company had introduced Europe to Chinese porcelain and exports flourished as the West strove to duplicate the Chinese formula for fine blue and white porcelain. When war in China interrupted the trade, potters in Delft expanded their businesses to create earthenware versions of ‘porcelain.’ At the height of production The Guild of Saint Luke counted almost 40 factories in the small city of Delft. They were innovative and adapted to fill the needs of clients all over Europe, with the elegant term ‘faience’ becoming synonymous with 'delftware.’ The word “Delftware” has long been associated with a visit to Holland.

The Tulipiere are valued in the seven figures.(We learned on Friday afternoon, that the tulipieres sold to a private collector , confirmed, for a price close to $1 million).
Two Faberge pieces at A La Veille Russie -- the elephant is a match holder and the Monkey is a candle. The price of the two is in the low six figures.
Closeup of the elephant match holder with the ruby eyes and the sandstone back (for lighting a match).
And the monkey lighter made of silver with the head which opens to fill with oil to lubricate the wick (his tail stick out).
Another interesting exhibition which is set up at the entrance of the Show is that of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford. I took a few shots of items that took my interest.

The Winter Antiques Show is open daily from 12 noon to 8 pm and Sundays and Thursdays from noon to 6, through Sunday the 31st. Canard has set up a café  at the back of the hall.
A tool chest, part of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum exhibition at the entrance to the show.
Otto Dix, Two Girls, 1925

Charles C. Cunningham greatly expanded the museum's collection of modernist works during his directorship. He acquired this masterfully colored drawing by Otto Dix, one of the leading German Expressionist artists. Dix, who was profoundly affected by the trauma of fighting in the First World War, chose a vivid palette with acid-like colors to satirize the materialistic society of post-war Weimar Germany.
Charter Oak Chair, 1857
American, Hartford, Connecticut
John H. Most and Charles Burger
White oak, brass, and modern upholstery

In colonial times, Daniel Wadworth's ancestor hid the Connecticut Colony's royal charter in the hollow of a tree. British regents sought to revoke the charter, so this act protected the colony's self-governance. The Charter Oak tree stood as a symbol of American Independence until it fell in a storm in 1856. Samuel Colt commissioned a woodworker to transform remnants of the tree into a throne-like chair reminiscent of the original tree.
Giorgio de Chirico, Costume for the Astrologer in Le Bal (The Ball), 1929

The Wadsworth Atheneum's collection of designs and costumes from Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes offers the most comprehensive documentation of this revolutionary ballet company. Today, roughly 50 costumes are preserved at the museum together with about 250 related drawings and paintings.
Birdcage, c. 1740-50
German, Meissen Porcelain Factory
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917

J. Pierpont Morgan's collection consisted primarily of figures, but it also included this rare birdcage. Difficult and costly to make, a solid form had to be carved out by hand to form the trellis pattern. The forget-me-not flowers were then applied and painted. It is remarkable that this large, pierced cage did not collapse in the kiln.
Elizabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun
French, 1755-1842
The Duchesse de Polignac Wearing a Straw Hat, 1782

Among the numerous paintings purchased through the substantial Sumner Fund is this French portrait by Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun of la Duchesse de Polignac. Born into an impoverished noble family, the duchesse became the governess for the royal children. The duchesse became a favorite of the queen, a position that provoked jealousy in the court and rumors of another kind of intimacy. Queen Marie Antoinette urged her to flee France on the evening of the French Revolution. The news of the royal family's execution in 1793 sent the duchesse into a deep depression, from which she never really recovered. She died on December 9, 1793, in Austria, less than two months after the execution of the Queen.
Florine Stettheimer
American, 1871-1944
Beauty Contest: To the Memory of P.T. Barnum, 1924

Stettheimer's painting comments on the circus-like atmosphere of an Atlantic City beauty pageant, offering a parody and window into the artist's fascination with spectacle. Her hand-carved frame resembles a theater curtain. She later became involved in theater productions, producing avant-garde costumes and set designs for the Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein opera Four Saints in Three Acts, which debuted at the museum's theater in 1934.
This week was jam-packed with art and antiques fair openings all around town, and the New York Ceramics & Glass Fair kicked off the frenzy at the historic Bohemian National Hall this past Wednesday night.

With 30 international dealers and artists who descend upon this jewelbox of a fair from as far away as Turkey and the Czech Republic. Now in its 17th year, this is must-attend destination for anyone interested in ceramics and glass! Not only is there an eyeful to see and buy, but dynamo fair organizers Meg Wendy and Liz Lees put together a powerhouse lecture series that draws museum directors such as Glenn Adamson from The Museum of Arts and Design and Elizabeth Sullivan and Adrienne Spinozzi from the Met, not to mention that the loan exhibition featuring a rare work called Blue Bubble by Ai Weiwei.
Ceramics and Glass Show at Bohemian National Hall.
Some of those who stopped by to check out the the goods were: Jamee and Peter Gregory, Ellie Cullman, Claire Ratliffe, Dennis Rolland, Lark Mason, Jennifer Watty, Geoffrey Bradfield, Roric Tobin, Leigh Keno, Harry Heissmann, Christopher Spitzmiller, Angus Wilkie, Louis Boefferding, Christina Prescott-Walker, Robin Cembalest, Steven Bowers, Paul Scott, Garth Johnson, Barry Harwood, Caroline Cole, Sarah Coffin, Stephanie Delamaire, Marcy Masterson, Liz O’Brien, Bouke de Vries, Betsy Pochoda, Vyna St. Phard, Larry and Janet Larose, Bill Figilis, Philip Balshi, Martha Vida, Brandy Culp, Brian Gallagher, and Jason Busch.
Meg Wendy and Liz Lees
Geoffrey Bradfield and Roric Tobin
Robert Walker
Paul Vandekar, Stuart Cohen, and Bennett Weinstock
Joanna Bird
Ellie Cullman and Mark West
Michael Schunke and Josie Gluck
Cliff Lee
Larry and Janet Larose
Leslie Ferrin and Robin Cembalest
Christopher Spitzmiller and Harry Heissmann
Jamee and Peter Gregory
Claire Ratliff, Ellie Cuillman, and Sarah Depalo
Dennis Rolland
Susan Kaplan Jacobson and Mark Bramble
Simon Doonan
Jennifer Watty and Liz O'Brien
Leigh Keno, Marilyn White, and Andrew Baseman
Olga Ragamelli and Young Hye Hwang
Bill Figilis and Philip Balshi
Betsy Pochada
Vyna Saint Phard and Gina Piccirilli Hayden
Nancy and Jim Glazer
Bouke de Vries and Simon Doonan
Lark Mason
Marcy Masterson
Michael Boroniec
Hideaki Miyamura
Lynda Willauer
Ian Simmonds
Leo Kaplan, Ltd
Earle D Vandekar of Knightsbridge
Ferrin Contemporary
Vetro Vero

Photographs by Annie Watt (NY Ceramics & Glass Fair )

Contact DPC here.