Monday, January 23, 2023. North and northwest of us it’s snowing; here in New York it’s raining. We’ve not had a real snow day so far this year. We’ve had a couple “flurries” day but hardly enough to even refer to as “flurries.” When I was growing up in Massachusetts my parents who were born in the first decade of the 20th century always referred to the Blizzard of ’88 in New York. That was 1888. They were born long after that but fifty/sixty years afterwards it was still a memorable date decades later. But more than a century and a half later it’s never been replaced as the “champion” snowfall.
Here in New York there’s a sentimental regret among a lot of us about the no-snow days, although it’s an unspoken relief, especially for business, and the annual “storm” this week is about Art and Antiques. The major auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s and Doyle are also holding their annual sales of such treasures. This past Friday was also the opening of The Winter Show which runs at the Park Avenue Armory through Jan. 29th which promises “5000 years of Art/Antiques Design.”
We always cover the Armory Shows. I’m not a collector by any stretch although to some I am a “hoarder” (of books) but I love these shows because it’s a demonstration of History – something we usually don’t realize we are a part of. I love to look because it’s a learning of times past and always a reminder of the brilliance of human creativity and a reflection of artists past to remind us of who we are (and were) and where we’re going.
This year’s Show is a wonderful experience. There was a preview which is an annual event and was held on Thursday. It is always a benefit/fund-raiser for The East Side House, and draws an audience of the collectors and philanthropists (often also collectors) who have the means to respond to acquiring, as well as those of us who remain in awe of what we are capable of with our imaginations. It’s also one of those public events where people get to see friends and acquaintances which makes it very stimulating in the people department.
This year’s show is the 69th anniversary at the Park Avenue Armory – a core instituion of New York’s art scene. It was co-chaired by Lucinda Ballard and Michael R. Lynch.
Very important. This show has consistently set the standard for quality and connoisseurship as the longest running art, antiques, and design fair in the country.
It is also serves as the principal fundraising effort of East Side House, a community-based non-profit organization ethat offers quality education, job training, and assistance services to individuals living in the Bronx and Northern Manhattan.
It is the only major art fair in New York that dedicates all its proceeds to charity. For 130 years East Side House has provided families with innovative services and programs to help meet their evolving needs. Its full scale food bank reaches 5000 people each week, and a home-delivered meal program for 900 older adults.
It’s a leader in the field of youth services, and encourages innovation to help New York’s young residents graduating from high school to enroll in college, pursue careers, and achieve economic security.
Every contribution to East Side House directly benefits our most vulnerable communities, and each year helps more than 10,000 people break the cycle of poverty.
There are about a hundred separate exhibits. I took quite a few photographs for my own pleasure but also to share the pleasure of looking at the works of another time and era – although the “design” that is displayed is often current.
You can literally spend hours taking it all in and there is a café with tables where you can relax with a coffee or tea or drink when you need to rest and consider.
Here’s a taste: