May 9, 2014 | Visitors approaching the grand front entrance of Norfolk, Virginia's Chrysler Museum of Art on its reopening on May 10 could be forgiven for not realizing that a major transformation has taken place. So seamlessly have the flanking wings been enlarged and the gardens in front of them so surreptitiously moved forward that it is only when inside that the impact of the seventeen-month renovation and expansion becomes evident. In its new spaces and reconfigured galleries the museum presents a fresh look at its collections, with its longstanding strengths in glass and European and American painting and sculpture as well as newer areas, such as contemporary art.
Within a broadly chronological progression of painting, sculpture, and decorative arts the curators have created several provocative "interventions": in a gallery devoted to seventeenth-century Italian art, a 1954 Robert Richenburg Pieta so abstract that it takes some looking to discern the image of the dead Chri…» More
May 6, 2014 | The subtitle of the Met's Charles James exhibition, "Beyond Fashion," is suitably vague, hinting at an exalted realm where even the most extravagant fashion superlatives will be inadequate. Then, too, the phrase is meant to suggest that what lies beyond fashion must inevitably be art. Certainly James's designs have been so described almost from his first decade as a couturier in the 1930s: "Charles James is...the world's best and only dressmaker who has raised it from an applied art form to a pure art form," no less a personage than Cristóbal Balenciaga declared in a compliment that has become more or less routine.
Evening dress in black silk-rayon velvet, red silk satin, brown silk faille, and black silk crepe by James, 1946. © Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, gift of Arturo and Paul Peratto-Ramos.
The Met will display some seventy-five of the master's designs, all instantly recognizable for their dramati…» More
April 24, 2014 | We asked exhibitors at the Philadelphia Antiques Show to highlight one exceptional object in their booths and describe it as they might to an interested collector. Here are the things they chose, along with some of their comments.
Nothing evokes spring and the promise of summer like butterflies flitting around the garden. From ancient times to the present, bejeweled figural jewelry of insects and birds has amused and intrigued us, and every major jeweler from around the world has delighted their clients with whimsical jewels of the flitting, creeping, and crawling. Our "garden" at the Philadelphia Antiques Show will include a selection of butterflies, bees, birds, and snakes-as well as flowers.
The paintings of fashionably dressed and elegantly posed women at leisure by Irving Ramsey Wiles (1861-1948) were as popular during his lifetime as they are today. These "esprit portraits," as Charles H. Caffin wrote in 1907, combined the tec…» More
April 17, 2014 | Despite cold temperatures and snow on the ground this mid-April morning, it is spring, one of loveliest harbingers of which is the annual Antique Garden Furniture Fair held at the New York Botanical Garden. Scheduled this year for Friday April 25 through Sunday April 27, with its always delightful preview party and private plant sale on Thursday, April 24 from 6 to 8 pm, the show is a must for collectors and a joy for the uninitiated. As Paulette Peden of Dawn Hill Antiques says, "It is the premier show in the country for garden enthusiasts and a wonderful venue to show prized garden furnishings."
Fountains, sundials, statuary, bird baths, gates, garden benches, antique wicker, urns and planters, botanical prints, and architectural ornament are just some of the items that will be found in the booths of the more than thirty exhibitors-all set up in a large tent outside the landmark Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, amid the garden's flowering trees, plants, and shrubs. In additio…» More
April 16, 2014 | THE PHILADELPHIA ANTIQUES SHOW's hardworking committee, on the job since 1962, this year welcomes the show's new director Catherine Sweeney Singer. From this pairing expect a fresh take on tradition, the best of the past proffered with invigorated ideas for the present. The gala preview is April 25, and the show runs through April 29.
Limning a portrait of a place and its people, Historic Deerfield, organizers of this year's loan show, is exhibiting more than thirty eighteenth- and nineteenth-century objects from its collections of Connecticut River Valley fine and decorative art. Many of the items selected by curator Amanda E. Lange have unbroken histories in Deerfield and nearby communities in western Massachusetts. Highlights include Ralph Earl's 1799 portrait of Dr. Ebenezer Hunt of Northampton and a pole stand with a screen embroidered about 1810 by Sarah Leavitt of Greenfield.
Associate chairman Leslie Anne Miller will debut her book Start with a House, Finish with a…» More
[Compiled by Bill Stern, Executive Director at the Museum of California Design, Los Angeles. Originally published in "Curator's Eye" in Modern Magazi» View All