The art of it all …

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The massively complicated tribute to color and grace and the art of it all suspended over the center passage in the room, surrounding an elegant bar fully stocked. Photo: DPC.

Light snow moving in about midnight, on the periphery, the weatherman tells us, of a much bigger storm moving northeast, with temps below freezing. They say the weekend will really show us some snow. We’ll see …

Last night at the Park Avenue Armory, the annual Winter Show opened with a benefit preview. The show runs through January 27th, a week from Sunday. This year is its 65th Anniversary Sapphire Jubilee. We’ve covered this for at least 20 of them. The show is an annual benefit for East Side House Settlement – a community-based organization which serves the Bronx and northern Manhattan, making a big difference in the lives around them.

This year’s 2019 edition features 68 of the world’s leading experts in the fine and decorative arts. It maintains the highest standards of quality in the art market. Each object is vetted for authenticity, date, and condition by a committee of 150 experts from the United States and Europe.

They stop you. They speak for the exhibition and the show …

This year’s Loan Exhibition, Collecting Nantucket, Connecting the World was organized by the Nantucket Historical Association. It is the first thing you see when you enter the Wade Thompson Memorial Drill Hall. Because of my fond experiences visiting Nantucket (NYSD readers will recall this past summer’s beautiful flora JH and I photographed), I went to this collection first. What immediately caught my eye was the model sailing ship, and on the plaque next to it, a dramatic story we’d never think of in this day and age.

I’m neither a connoisseur nor a collector. You don’t have to be to take it all in. It’s another aspect of humanity that will give you a breather from the day-to-day. For me it’s always about beauty and the artist’s ingenuity that catches you. My knowledge is based entirely on familiarity and the effect things have on seeing and discovering. This years’ Winter Show delivers, and the pleasure is all yours. This exhibition seemed especially spectacular to my eyes.

The Nantucket Historical Association’s Collecting Nantucket, Connecting the World, celebrates 125 years of collecting by the Nantucket Historical Association including the best the association has to offer in paintings, craft, and folk arts.
Engraved panbone, ca. 1830

Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin, ca. 1810
Gilbert Stuart
Gift of the Friends of Nantucket

My original intention attending these “shows” is to catch the audience, social activity, and report on that. This year the objects and art kept distracting me. If you’ve never been, it’ll sweep you away, and the time will fly. If the weather this weekend is going to be inclement as they say, this is a great place to pacify your starving aesthetics in the world of cold and grey.

I intended to stay for a half hour max but after almost two I had to tear myself away. The vibe in the room matched it. The floral arrangements were striking and entirely compatible with the art and the antiques and the objets. You’re forced to stop and look; it takes you away.

Brian Stewart, Stephanie Krieger, and Geoffrey Bradfield
L to R.: Margo Langenberg, Missie Rennie Taylor, and Barbara Cates; Bill Williams with Eula Johnson who for years was the director of the The East Side House Settlement. The camera can’t refuse her style which is why I seek her out to photograph every year

A bonus during the event is a series of lectures and panel discussions will take place throughout the coming week right up to a week from Sunday, January 27th. To get the full schedule visit

The Winter Show maintains the highest standards of quality in the art market, and each object is vetted for authenticity, date, and condition by a committee of 150 experts from the United States and Europe. Returning for a 23rd year, the Show’s Presenting Sponsor is Chubb.

Daily Admission:
Friday, January 18–Sunday, January 27, 2019
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday: 12 PM to 8 PM
Sunday and Thursday: 12 PM to 6 PM
Tuesday: 12 PM to 4:30 PM

Elizabeth Strong (1855-1941)
Two Dogs at the Window
Alexander Gallery, New York, NY
William Hunt Diederich, 1884-1953
Aviary Installation for a New York Townhouse, ca. 1927
Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts, LLC, New York, NY
Reginald Marsh, Merry-Go-Round, 1930
Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, NY
Roman marble bust of Hermarchus, 2nd Century AD
Charles Ede, London, England
A Beloved Dog — Portrait of Pearl Di Bello, Venetian School, 18th Century
Inscribed (translated from Italian): “In her eyes, her snout, her fur,
wherever you look at her
She looks just like her good parent
Everyone immediately recognizes her,
the worthy daughter
She is the Di Bello, the lovely Pearl. The Year 1779.”

Robert Simon Fine Art, New York, NY
L to R.: Karen LaMonte: Floating World featured life-sized kimonos cast in glass, ceramic, bronze, and rusted iron. Gerald Peters Gallery, New York, NY; Gerald Peters Gallery, New York, NY
Keshishian, London, England: The Defeat of Porus from The Story of Alexander the Great series, Brussels, late 17th century, workshop of Geraert Peemans-Jacob and Pieter van der Hecke.
In 1661, Louis XIV requested from Charles LeBrun, to paint the subject of his choice provided that it be drawn from history of Alexander the Great. It is not surprising that the young Sun King should show an interest in Alexander who had conquered the world by the age of thirty. Louis XIV saw himself as the present day Alexander. LeBrun painted five paintings, now in the Louvre, the three battle scenes were so large (over 45 feet long), they had to be divided into three separate panels thus making a total of 11 subjects. The present tapestry is the left part of The Defeat of Porus.
Detail from The Defeat of Porus.
The entire collection of tapestries hung in a Brussels palace, now in the Louvre.
Hagenauer Werkstätte, Vienna, Austria
Franz Hagenauer, Drummer, circa 1960
John Singer Sargent, The Countess of Essex, 1906-7
Menconi + Schoelkopf Fine Art, New York, NY
Gilbert Stuart, Portrait of George Washington, about 1798
Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Inc., New York, NY
A set of 19th century Austrian silver-mounted agate cutlery hallmarked Vienna 1839; A large South African Tsonga carved wood chain, circa 1900; An early 19th century English specimen wood inlaid tilt-top center table, circa 1830 ($40,000). Cove Landing, New York, NY
Miguel Covarrubias (Mexican 1904-1957)
Rockefeller Discovering the Rivera Murals, 1931
Thomas Colville Fine Art, New York, NY
Egon Schiele, Woman Holding Flower, 1915
Galerie St. Etienne, New York, NY
Ormond Gigli, Models in the Windows, NY, 1960, printed later. The building in Harlem was entirely gutted and about to be demolished. The photographer had only the day of the shoot to set it up with all the latest fashions from the famous Seventh Avenue designer collections. The following day the entire building came down. Edition 33 of 75 ($55,000). Peter Fetterman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
William Zorach, Interior and Exterior, 1919 ($140,000)
Jonathan Boos, New York, NY
Jamie Wyeth, Dog Under Lilacs in a Downpour, 2018 ($1,000,000)
Adelson Galleries, New York, NY
Carolle Thibaut-Pomerantz, New York, NY • Paris, France
A George II Giltwood Mirror, circa 1750 ($58,000) & a George III Giltwood Console Table, in the manner of Thomas Johnson, circa 1765 ($130,000). Hyde Park Antiques, New York, NY
I Love New York’ Patriotic Textile, 1893-4, New York
Stephen Score, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts
Rufus Porter, Boyden House Mural, Westwood, Massachusetts, about 1834-37 ($125,000)
Porter is known to have painted inside five homes on a street in Westwood, MA.
Provenance: I bought the mural from the original family in 1982, removed it from the home, sold it to a collector and installed it in their home in Massachusetts. The collector is moving to an apartment and the mural was removed again — assisted by the same people who removed it from the original house to bring to my booth at the Winter Antiques Show. Linda Lefko is publishing an article about this discovery because the Porter scholars have not known about the whereabouts of the mural since I removed it form the house in Westwood, Massachusetts.
Stephen Score, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts

Leaving the Park Avenue Armory, looking south along Park Avenue. The tallest building is of course the Macklowe building at 432 Park.
This piece of art is someone’s fire escape on 66th Street next to the Cosmopolitan Club between Park and Lex. It was presumably lit for the holidays but having just come from the exhibition at the Armory, It looked more like art to these eyes. Of course, everything intended to draw one’s attention is, in its ways, art.

Photographs by DPC

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