Current & Coming | By Megan Holloway Fort

Antiques season in New York

January 19, 2010  |  
Winter Antiques Show

This year's fifty-sixth annual Winter Antiques Show will feature six new exhibitors—including two who specialize in early twentieth-century decorative arts, New York's Liz O'Brien and Lost City Arts—to complement the always stunning array that is the show's signature. Its loan exhibitions are also always remarkable in the way they transform a very small space into a lively gallery that conveys the essence of the subject at hand: this year it is the collections of Historic New England. The oldest, largest, and most comprehensive regional heritage organization in the country, Historic New England comprises thirty-six historically and architecturally significant properties, as well as a collection of more than 110,000 objects spanning four centuries. A full lecture program over the course of the show will cover topics related to Historic New England's collections as well as a wide variety of other subjects. A keynote address entitled "Things of Beauty" will be delivered by Peter J. Gomes of Harvard University on January 22. As always, the Winter Antiques Show is a benefit for East Side House Settlement in the Bronx.

Winter Antiques Show · Park Avenue Armory, New York · January 22-31 · www.winterantiquesshow.com

American Antiques Show
While some things are changing at the popular American Antiques Show this year—namely a redesign of the lobby and floor plan by Ned Jalbert Interior Design (Jalbert is also an expert in American Indian art and one of the show's exhibitors) and six new dealers—the show remains the only all-American antiques show held in New York during "antiques week" and features the eclectic mix of fine, decorative, and folk art objects that draws throngs of new and ex­­­­perienced collectors alike. As always, proceeds benefit the American Folk Art Museum, and the ticket price includes two-for-one admission to the museum as well as complimentary shuttle service between the show and the museum. There is also an extensive educational series for collectors, including a panel discussion on the state of the art market, a tour of the show with the museum's curator, Stacy C. Hollander, an appraisal day, and, for museum members, a visit to a private collection. 
American Antiques Show · Metropolitan Pavilion, New York · January 21-24 ·  www.theamericanantiques show.org
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Current & Coming | By Megan Holloway Fort

Cartier and America

January 6, 2010  |  Organized to celebrate the firm's one hundred years in the United States, Cartier and America, which opened last month at San Francisco's Legion of Honor, explores the history of the house of Cartier from its first great successes as the "king of jewelers and the jeweler to kings" at the end of the nineteenth century through the 1960s and 1970s, when Cartier supplied international celebrities with jewels and luxury accessories, and up to the present.

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Current & Coming | By Megan Holloway Fort

Poetry and painting

December 31, 2009  |  Among this year's best surprises is the moving exhibition Bold, Cautious, True: Walt Whitman and American Art of the Civil War Era, which opened during the summer at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee, and remains on view at the Katonah Museum of Art in Katonah, New York, through January 24, 2010. Taking its title from a Whitman poem, the exhibition explores the American writer's poetry and prose to gain a deeper understanding of the transformation in the mood, the point of view, and the character of art produced in this country between 1861 and 1867.

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Current & Coming | By Megan Holloway Fort

American paintings at auction

November 30, 2009  |  On the horizon are the fall sales of American paintings, drawings, and sculpture at Christie's and Sotheby's in New York. Among the highlights to be offered at Christie's, on December 2, is Andrew Wyeth's 1960  Above the Narrows, a painting the New York Times art critic Roberta Smith once referred to as "bleak" and "inexplicably barren," featuring a young boy in shorts and shirt in a desolate landscape. While important examples of Wyeth's tempera paintings on panel or paper can bring auction prices in the millions, this picture's estimate of  $3 to $5 million suggests Christie's is banking on a continued boost in interest due to the artist's death earlier this year. On December 3, Sotheby's is offering Wyeth's 1968 watercolor Bikini, depicting his frequent subject Siri Erickson posing seminude at the back door of her shed (the same door that appears in Erickson's Barn and Maine Door). In a 1976 interview with Thomas Hoving then the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Wyeth described his pictures of Siri as representing "an invigorating, zestful, powerful phenomenon." Being sold from the estate of the artist and collector Arthur Byron Phillips, the work has an estimate of $300,000 to $500,000.
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Current & Coming | By Megan Holloway Fort

Blocks of color

October 30, 2009  |  One of the country's finest collections of American color woodcuts is now being featured in the exhibition Blocks of Color: American Woodcuts from the 1890s to the Present at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, through January 3, 2010.

The Zimmerli has one of the largest university print collections in the country and is particularly strong in turn-of-the-twentieth-century American color woodcuts, inspired by the British arts and crafts movement and Japanese ukiyo-e color prints, which its former director Phillip Dennis Cate began actively collecting in the 1970s and 1980s. The current exhibition of some one hundred objects, drawn primarily from the museum's collection and augmented by a few select loans, features rare examples by Arthur Wesley Dow and his contemporaries Helen Hyde and Bertha Lum, as well as a number of ambitious examples by members of the second generation of American woodcut printers—Helen Frankenthaler, Jim Dine, and Richard Diebenkorn, among others.

The exhibition also brings to light works by a number of lesser known artists such as Frances Gearhart and Edna Boies Hopkins, who spent summers in Provincetown, Massachusetts, in the early twentieth century and helped to make the area a center for printmaking. Another revelation is the large-scale Classical Horse and Rider (1953) by the Chinese American artist Seong Moy, an intricately layered abstraction in which energetic sweeps of color are overlaid with forms suggesting Chinese calligraphy.

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